Many celebrities and models have long, layered locks that cascade over their shoulders in bouncy waves. Even if you have long hair, you might find that it's almost impossible to replicate that style. That's because they use extensions.
Hair extensions don't just make your hair longer. They also add fullness and volume, especially at the ends of the hair, which can get scraggly if you don't get regular haircuts.
If you want to play with this look but don't want the cost and commitment of woven or glued ones, you can try clip in hair extensions. These come in all kinds of colors, lengths, textures, and sizes so that you can customize your results.
Using hair extensions that clip in can be simple, but you have to know how to use them. Read on to find out how to make your extensions totally invisible.
How to Apply Clip In Hair Extensions
These types of hair extensions come in strips that you can apply individually. Each clump of hair, referred to as a weft, can range from 1/2-inch wide to 6 inches wide. You'll use these on different areas of your head.
Begin by organizing your extensions. Group them by width and length.
To begin, part your hair where you usually do. Then, section the front of the hair from the back by creating a line from the part to the back of each ear. Pull the front sections out of the way by twisting them and pinning them up for now.
Working with the rear section, separate it into a top and bottom segment by drawing a horizontal line across the back of it from the top of one ear to the top of the other. Pin up the upper section of hair.
Now, choose the weft that will fit best in this area. Wider wefts tend to work best in the back of your head.
You'll need to create tiny ponytails to hold the clips in. Do this by gathering a 1/2-inch piece of hair with a small elastic. This is where you'll attach the clips. Make sure that the elastics are spaced out where you will applying the extensions.
Open the clip on the weft, and place it on the rubber band. Snap it shut. The elastics hold the clips in place and prevent them from sliding out. Don't remove them until you're done wearing the extensions.
After closing the clip, smooth down the hair with your fingers or a brush. Avoid touching the clips with the brush, though.
To add another layer of extensions, bring down another section of hair in the back of your head. Create the line for this segment about 1/2-inch above the previous one. Follow the same steps to insert the clips, smoothing out the extensions after putting them in.
On the next layer of hair, you'll likely need to add three or four extensions. Create the layer by drawing another horizontal line about 1/2-inch up from the previous one. Follow the steps for inserting the clips.
Continue moving up your head in this manner. When you get to the area above your ears, begin to incorporate the hair from the front of your head as you section off each horizontal layer.
How to Hide the Hair Clips
Because hair extensions clip in at the roots, you'll need to make sure that you get them fairly close to the scalp. This will help them blend with the rest of your hair and make them less noticeable. The best clip in hair extensions won't be detected even if someone feels your hair.
Keep Movement in Mind
Although some experts say to clip the extensions as close to the scalp as possible, consider the way that your hair moves. If the clips are too close to your skin, they may stick up at odd angles and prevent your roots from moving the way that they normally do. Going 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch lower may allow the clips to lie flat and move with your tresses.
Hiding Clips, Especially If You Have Fine Hair
Many people with extremely fine hair think that it's hard to hide the clips completely. However, the irony is that the thinner your hair is, the more you may need extensions.
To hide the clips on fine hair, shampoo and condition your hair before you insert the extensions. Then, blow-dry your tresses. Do this upside-down to enhance the volume at the roots.
Day-old hair, product buildup, and residue may help hold your extensions in place. However, they could make your fine hair look greasy, making it more likely to part and reveal the clips.
After you dry your hair, section it off. Instead of making the horizontal line across the back of your head from ear to ear, begin as low as possible. This is where you'll clip in your widest weft. The horizontal part will probably end up halfway between the top of your ear and the bottom of your hairline.
When you create the next horizontal part, make it from ear to ear. Secure another wide weft at the roots here. The next layer up should be about 1/2-inch above your ears. Another wide weft can go here.
Your final layer should be about 1/2-inch above the previous one. If you have thin hair and you go any higher, you might have trouble concealing the clips. One tip to remember is to avoid placing any extensions past the height of your eyebrows. Finer hair won't cover them properly.
Narrower wefts can be used on this layer. Two-inch and one-inch wefts work well here. You may want to place the wider ones above your ears to add fullness around your face. Use the narrower pieces to fill in the gaps in the back of your head.
Finally, curlier hair has more volume and can hide the clips more effectively than straight hair. You can use curly clip in hair extensions and then curl your own hair to match the texture.
You might not want to use rubber bands to hold your clips up if your hair is fine. This will add bulk and can be noticeable. Try teasing your roots and spraying them with hairspray before applying the extensions.
You can also tease your own hair after the clips have been inserted. To do this, lift up all of the hair above each clip layer. Let a thin layer of your natural hair fall over the clips.
Tease this section to help the strands stick together and create thickness that conceals the clips. Focus your backcombing on the center of each section. When you're done teasing, let the section of hair down, and run a brush gently down the strands to reduce frizz and keep everything in place.
Other Ways to Make Hair Extensions Look Natural
One mistake that people make when using hair extensions is not using enough. The pieces that extend past your own hair's length should match your natural tresses in density. If you have thicker hair, you'll need more layers of extensions. People with thinner hair can use fewer wefts.
Still, don't feel like you have to use all the wefts that come with the hair extensions that you purchased. Only use what makes sense for your hair's style, length, and texture.
The shorter your hair, the more extensions you'll need. If you don't build up a lot of layers, you'll just look like you cut the outer layer of your hair and left the underside long. Sectioning hair into multiple layers blends it better with a short style.
You may need a few different lengths if you have short or very layered hair. This helps you graduate the extensions so that they look like part of your natural layers.
Matching the color properly isn't too hard, especially if you already have highlights or lowlights. If you go one to three shades lighter or darker than your own hair color, the extensions should look natural.
Clip in human hair extensions tend to look more natural than synthetic hair. Artificial hair can't be washed. If you wear the extensions in the shower, the hair might develop a frizzy texture. Real hair can be washed and styled as though it's your own.
This is important if you use heat to style your hair. You won't be able to use a straightener or other tools on artificial hair. Therefore, if you are using faux strands, you will need to do your best to match your hair's texture to them before applying the extensions. You might need to flat-iron each section of your own hair just before inserting extensions.
When applying the wider extensions that have three clips, put on the center clip first. This will ensure that you place it along the center of your head and it doesn't look uneven.
Clip in hair extensions don't have to be visible. You can hide your secret to long, voluminous hair by following these steps to conceal the fasteners completely.