Who doesn’t want longer, thicker, fuller hair? Okay, some don’t — but lots do, and if you’re one of them, you’ve probably tried every product, trick and tool to get it.
But you have you tried hair extensions? You’d be forgiven for dismissing them out of hand. After all, getting extensions glued into your hair at the salon is expensive — and sounds distressingly permanent. The prospect of using clip-in extensions at home sounds intimidating, too. Are they hard to use? Will they damage your natural hair? Will they look embarrassingly obvious?
If you use them right, clip-in hair extensions can look just like your natural hair. They can be a cost-effective, easy and temporary way to improve the length, fullness and texture of your natural hair, even if you have fine, thin hair. Read on to learn how you, too, can have the thick, luscious hair of your dreams — and leave no one the wiser about your extensions!
Choose the Right Extensions
The first step to looking great while wearing clip-in hair extensions is choosing the right ones. These days, you can easily get inexpensive hair extension kits in a range of colors and textures. All you need is one pack of high-quality, real-human-hair extensions that match the color and texture of your hair. You can order these online for $100 or less. If you want to see and feel the hair before purchasing, you should check out a local wig shop.
Extensions made with real human hair look the most natural. Choose extensions that mimic your own hair’s texture, and match the color as close as you can. You may not be able to find a perfect match, but don’t fret — the hair on your head grows naturally in different colors, so extensions will blend in even if they don’t perfectly match your natural color.
Keep in mind that extension packs of the same color will each look a little different because they’re made from real hair. If you’re shopping in a wig store, ask to see all the packs in your natural color to look for the closest match. Take a friend with you to help you choose; a second opinion can be invaluable. If you’re unhappy with your color match, your stylist can color the extensions to better blend in with your natural hair.
Prepare Your Extensions
Once you’ve chosen and purchased your extensions, it’s time to take them home and get them ready to wear. If you have curly hair and you’ve purchased curly hair extensions that match the texture of your hair, you’re good to go. If you’ve got straighter hair, you’ll want to curl your extensions before putting them in to add volume to your new style.
First, hold on to the extensions at the clip and brush them out with a round hairbrush. Find the spot on your head where it’s easiest to curl your hair — usually in the front, at the crown. Attach your extensions here, curl them with a curling iron, and then take them off and lay them flat to cool so the curl sets.
Attach Them Correctly
When clipping in hair extensions, you want to make sure you put them far enough down on your head so that the hair at your crown covers them. Most packs have two large extensions and a few smaller ones. The large extensions go at the back of your head, and the smaller ones go along the sides. Don’t feel obligated to use them all if you don’t want to.
To attach the large extensions, part your hair across the back of your head below the tops of your ears. Pin the top part of this hair out of the way with alligator clips. You may want to tease or crimp the roots of the hair below the part, or apply some hairspray or dry shampoo, so that your extension’s clips grip better.
Take the second-largest extension, and clip it into your hair from right to left, one clip at a time. Then, let your hair down and make another horizontal part, this one just above the tops of your ears. Clip in the largest extension from right to left. Add a small extension at the top of the back of your head, below the end of your part. The other two small extensions can go on the sides of your head, below your part and above your ears; leave plenty of your natural hair to camouflage them.
When all the extensions are in, brush the ends of your hair into them to blend everything together. Store your extensions flat in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and clean them with shampoo and conditioner.
There’s only one surefire way to get thicker hair, and that’s to have more hair on your head. Thanks to clip-in hair extensions, anyone can give themselves thicker, fuller hair at home, for a fraction of the cost of getting extensions put in at the salon. Throw away your volumizing shampoo; once you get your first pack of extensions, you’ll never look back!