Clip-in hair extensions can come into play in many different scenarios. Whether you just cut your locks (and totally regret it) or just want to give your finer locks more volume for a big night out, there are plenty of clip-in hair extensions that can help you get the look you want, no matter your hair color or type.
When shopping for clip-in extensions, Cliphair stylist Lynn Chambers suggests you start by thinking about what you want to achieve. “Do you just want length, or do you want to add thickness but keep the length?” she says. “Natural versus synthetic is the biggest decision to make when looking for extensions.”
Synthetic clips, although less expensive, are generally more problematic than human hair clips. “Synthetic hair looks shiny, like doll hair, which makes it look less natural,” says Brynn Reed, extension specialist and educator at Mirror Mirror Salon in Austin, Texas. “They also can’t have heat on them.”
When it comes to natural extensions, you should look for “remy” or “cuticle intact” hair, which is the highest quality type of human hair. “This means that all of the hair shaft’s cuticles run in the same direction, ensuring hair will stay soft, shiny and tangle-free for months or even years if properly cared for,” Chambers explains. “It also gives a much more natural look as it will blend in with the rest of your hair, whereas synthetic extensions tend to look a bit more obvious and are harder to style.”
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How do you style clip in extensions?
To style your hair with clip-in hair extensions, Chambers notes that you need to be sure to use the right amount of clips. “Using too little can make them look mismatched and unnatural; you want them to be eye-catching for the right reasons!” she says. “Try using different lengths at the same time, to add layers and disguise the fact that your natural hair is shorter. Using too much will look bulky and be heavy and uncomfortable, and can put a strain on your natural hair , risking losing them.”
Adds Reed, “Make sure you’re wearing enough to blend with your natural density: if you have thick hair, you’ll need more extension hair and vice versa.”
You also want to make sure your extensions aren’t too bulky. “You want to get clips that blend and have a fine weft,” says Cynthia Alvarez, hairstylist at invisibobble. “Anything too bulky will stick out and make your head look bigger. A seamless clip will disappear into your natural hair.”
And there are also a lot of things you should avoid when it comes to clip-in hair extensions. “A common mistake is attaching your clips too high on your head. Ideally, you should apply your hair extensions no higher than your eyebrow level and always leave about half an inch between your scalp and the clip- in, to keep your hair from being too tight,” Chambers adds.
How do you match the color of your extensions to your real hair?
This is the key to making your extensions look natural. “Always match your hair color with natural light. When in doubt, go for a clip with multiple shades, for a more natural look,” says Alvarez.
If you’re having trouble getting a perfect match, let a pro handle it. “Take your clips to a hairdresser who specializes in extensions to have them cut so they blend in with your natural hair,” Reed says. “Make sure the color match is perfect.”
How to take care of clip-in extensions?
“Let your hair extensions dry naturally after washing them, rather than using unnecessary heat,” says Chambers. “Most human hair extensions dry with a slight wave, giving them a more natural finish.”
And you should never sleep in your extensions. “Clips should be removed before sleeping to prevent them from rubbing against natural hair and the scalp, causing tangles and tension on the head,” says Chambers.
She adds that overall, you should avoid choosing low-quality hair in your clip-in extensions because they won’t last as long, especially if you plan to use heated tools. Alvarez adds, “Always deeply condition your clips and use a heat protectant spray before styling. Treat it as well as, if not better than, your natural hair.”
Emilie Shiffer Emily Shiffer is a former digital web producer for Men’s Health and Prevention and is currently a freelance writer specializing in health, weight loss and fitness.