If you ever wonder how celebrities can go from an on-trend pixie crop to flowing Rapunzel locks within one sleep, it has something to do with clip-in hair extensions, wigs and hair pieces... Yep, it's not genes, it's a salon-bought accessory that you can get your hands on too. From Beyonce to Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez to Jessie J and Rita Ora to Rihanna, see how Hollywood rock the trend below, but first, get the down-low on adding fullness to your mane. Hera hair will tell you what you need to look for when purchasing them, how you put them in for a natural look and how you can maintain them so that they last as long as possible...
How to select Clip in hair extensions
When purchasing hair extensions you want to get as close to your natural colour as possible and the best quality of hair you can.
When selecting the colour, make sure you go shopping or to the salon during the day. Comparing hair colour in the natural light is the only way to ensure you get the best possible match.
Ideally, always select real human hair extensions as they will last a lot longer and look a lot more natural. Sian Quinn, an Art Team stylist at Headmasters, says "the quality in human hair is much better and makes styling really easy". However, this type of extension is pricier and, actually, there are a lot of false extensions avaliable now that look pretty damn close to the real thing, so don't fret if money doesn't allow it.
Take your new extensions to your hairdresser and ask them to trim your hair with them in. That way, they'll sit better against your head. If you colour your hair and have selected real hair, your stylist will be able to colour the extensions too.
How to wear clip in hair extensions
Once you've colour matched your extensions and had them trimmed to work with your style, take them out, wash them like you would natural hair (making sure you've checked which shampoos you can and can't use on the hair or synthetic), and leave them out to dry, flat.
Next, section your hair into layers. Extensions are always clipped in to the bottom layer first, working up. Take these steps for each section:
Take a brush and gently backcomb the root sections of hair that you'll clip the extensions into, finishing with a light misting of hairspray. By texurising the hair, you're giving the extensions more to clip on to.
Next, clip in the extension in at a slightly uneven, slanted angle. If you clip them in totally straight, they won't blend into the hair as naturally.
Once clipped in, brush your hair so that the extensions fall into your natural layers. Take a straightner and straighten the layer (check if stylers are compatible with your extensions), again, for blending purposes.
Once you've done each section of the hair, brush the full head and then either leave it straight or style as you naturally would using a tong or product (if you use synthetic hair, make sure they are heat-friendly). Comb your fingers through your hair and add some texturising product to the top roots for added volume.
How to care clip in hair extensions
It's not difficult to keep your clip in hair extensions in good tack, but it does take care and maintanence. Here are the golden rules:
Always brush your extensions with a soft bristle brush and never brush them if they're wet.
Wash your extensions no more than three times a week. You want to keep them clean so oil doesn't make them slip but you don't want to overload them with product.
Always use a sulfate free shampoo. Sulfate strips hair of natural oils, as there is no direct supply of nutrients from your scalp into the extension strands, it's vital that you avoid drying the hair out.
Adding 2-3 drops of dry oil, such as coconut or almond, once a week will help to boost the shine of your extensions.