Clip-in hair extensions can be a wonderful addition to almost any hairstyle. Whether you’re in the middle of growing out your hair (like me) or you just want added fullness and length, it’s important to know some key tricks to ensure your hair extensions look natural and won’t slip out.
First, you MUST use hair extensions that are full on their own. If you have medium to thick hair but use hair extensions that are thin and stringy, you will end up with what I call “The Jelly Fish.” If you can’t imagine it, feel free to search the internet for “Jelly Fish Hair.” It’s real! Even though this type of look may be popular in other cultures (I’ve known a few ladies who specifically requested their hair to look like this), I think we can all agree that we want full, glamorous, natural looking hair. So, make sure you invest in thick, 100 percent human hair extensions. Another reason to buy good quality 100 percent human hair extensions is because if you go with the cheaper option and buy synthetic hair you may not be able to curl them. Speaking of curling, it does not matter whether you curl your hair before or after applying the extensions. However, even though my hair and the extensions were pre-curled in this post, I do prefer to curl after I’ve applied all the hair. This typically creates a more unified, blended look.
Now, where should you begin? I ALWAYS start applying clip-in hair extensions at the nape using horizontal sections. The nape is about an inch above the back hairline.
When you buy clip-in hair extensions you will find that there are different sized tracks. Some tracks will be very wide, and some may only have one clip and be rather small. Select the track that is wide enough to fit across your section, but not too wide where it may stick out.
Always tease the base of the section where you will be applying a clip. If you have naturally silky or slippery hair it is important to spritz a bit of strong hold hairspray to each area you tease. Make sure to let the hairspray dry completely before applying the clips!
When you’re teasing each section it’s important to tease exactly where your clips will go. So, if you have 4 clips along the track (photo below) you will need to tease the 4 areas of your own hair that the clips will attach to.
As you move up your head and continue applying the tracks, it is important to appropriately space out each row. There should be no less than 1/2 inch separating the tracks because there needs to be enough of your own hair to tease and attach the next row. Do not place them more than 1 inch apart because the finished product will end up looking less natural.After you’ve placed enough tracks in the back of your head, you’re ready to apply the small to medium sized tracks to the sides of your head. Be sure to leave 1/2 inch to 1 inch space along your hairline. If you place the clips too close to your hairline your hair extensions will be easily detectable, especially if it’s a windy day! You may need to experiment with the placement on this depending on how thick or thin your natural hair is.
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see people make when using hair extensions is placing the track too high up on the head. Looking at the photo below you can see where the hair extension track is placed. DO NOT do this. Even though there is enough of my natural hair to cover this track there is still a high risk that the track will be exposed throughout the day. Typically it is best to not place any tracks higher than your eyebrows unless you have naturally thick/dense hair or you plan to tease the crown area of your head after applying all of your hair extensions.
When you finish applying all of your tracks (sometimes you may not need to use ALL of them), gently brush through all of your hair. This will allow you to find out of there are any loose clips that you may need to adjust and it also helps blend the hair extensions in with your own hair.
Before walking out of the house, do one last double check of the back of your head! All of your curls should blend nicely. Depending on the length of your natural hair you may need to visit your regular hairstylist to have him/her add some layers to your extensions. Or, if you’re brave, you can do it yourself!
For more great hair ideas check out Hair and Makeup Girl.