Gone are the days of having to feel regret after deciding to go ahead with a bop. We all know the feeling all too well. You’re stuck in a hair rut and feeling uninspired with your tresses, so you march off to your hair stylist and ask for a shorter ‘do. And then the reality of short hair hits and you aren’t quite ready for the big change…
Or maybe you’re struggling to gain a few extra centimetres after months and months of trying to grow your hair. Sometimes it isn’t even about length. Perhaps you’d like your hair to double in volume, but the shampoo that promised fullness and bounce is failing to deliver.
We understand your frustration and we’ve found the solution to your hair woes. Here’s everything you need to know about how to install clip-in hair extensions when you’re looking to switch up your look…
Here’s what you need to know before you buy clip-in hair extensions:
First, clip-in hair extensions are by far the easiest, most versatile form of hair extensions – they can go on and come off in an instant.
What kind of set of clip-in hair extensions should I choose?
Clip-in hair extensions will usually come in sets and it’s important to choose a set that matches your needs. Here’s a simple breakdown of different sets 120g for fine hair, 160g for medium to thick hair and 220g for shorter, very thick hair.
How will I match clip-in hair extensions to my hair?
You can also make use of a colour matching service – usually offered for free, depending on where you purchase your set. You simply take a photo of your current hair colour and cut (make sure you find a spot with good natural lighting) and email them to your hair vendor. They will then be able to recommend a set that matches your hair colour and texture.
And you should know that 100% human hair extensions can be coloured and styled just like your own hair. So it’s better to invest in human hair extensions as you can change the colour or alternate between wavy and straight, depending on how you would like to wear your hair.
To make sure your own hair blends seamlessly with the extensions, you can thin it out towards the ends (head to the salon for this) or curl your hair. Most extensions will be 50cm in length (20 inches) but if you don’t want all that length, we recommend taking them to your hair stylist to trim and/or layer so that your extensions are tailored to perfection.
Do I have to wash the clip-in hair extensions?
Product build-up will occur on your 100% human hair extensions just as it would on your own hair. So be sure to follow the care instructions that come along with your clip-ins to ensure that they stay in a healthy condition and always look their best.
Before we get to the tutorial, here are a few need-to-know terms:
- Weft: a hairpiece made up of individual strands all sewn together. Snap clips are then attached to the hairpiece which allows it to be clipped onto your own hair. They are usually categorised according to how many clips are attached, for example, a 4-clip weft, a 3-clip weft, a 2-clip weft and a single-clip weft.
- Snap clip: a metal clip which has silicon strip to protect your natural hair while providing extra grip so your extensions stay in place.
This isn’t guaranteed and can differ from set to set, but each set usually has nine wefts. The length of each weft can vary, or they can all be the same length and thickness. Each set should typically consist of:
- 1 x four-clip weft
- 2 x three-clip wefts
- 2 x two-clip wefts
- 4 x single-clip wefts
Now for the fun part…
We used a set of 220g clip-in extensions from Front Row Hair. The colour was originally an ombre called Dance With Me but we decided to switch things up and dye them dark brown. As you can see, the colour took brilliantly. These clip-ins have also be trimmed and thinned out to suit our beauty editor’s particular styling needs better so that it looks au naturel!
How to put in clip-in hair extensions:
Prep: Run a paddle brush through your hair to gently remove any knots and tangles. You can also curl your hair so that the extensions will blend better but this isn’t absolutely necessary, and style your extensions beforehand as it helps to speed up the process.
Starting just above the nape of your neck, section off the first piece of hair you will need. You can use a comb to do this but don’t worry about being too precise. If you have fine hair, you can also tease your hair to give the clips more texture to grip on. Then twist the rest of your hair up and keep it out of the way with a large clip. Now take a three-clip weft, open the clips, and position them on your head (starting in the centre) above the first section. Snap into place by pushing down on the clips.
Release your large clip and create another section of similar thickness. Each section should be about 1 cm apart, but the size and shape of your head could change that. Take the other three-clip weft and starting at the centre, position the open clips in place and press down to secure.
The next two sections of hair will be for the voluminous four-clip wefts. The first section should be in line with your ear and the second should be a little bit above the ear. When securing these wefts in place, you’ll want to start in the centre and pull the band towards the side of your head, so that you avoid creating bubbles between the clips.
Section off your final piece of hair, making sure you leave enough hair at the top of your head to hide the last couple of wefts. Now place the two-clip wefts at the sides of your head so that you can match the volume that’s been created at the back.
With the larger wefts in place, you should have lots of volume at the back. Now let down the top section of hair so that we can add some more volume to the sides. Use a comb or your fingers to make sure the hair covers all the wefts.
Part your hair as you usually would so that you can see where you’ll need to place the remaining single-clip wefts. If you wear a middle part, you can place two single-clip wefts on either side of your parting to balance out the volume. If you wear a side part, place two single-clip wefts on the side where most of the hair falls and only one weft on the other side.
Once all the wefts are clipped in, use your fingers or a comb to make sure all the clips are hidden and that the extensions blend in with hair. You can finish off with a spritz of hairspray to keep everything in place but this isn’t essential.
Want to create the illusion of long, thick hair but like to wear ponytails? We’ve got you covered!
Sure, you can find tons of tutorials on how to do a high pony using your normal clip-in wefts… but why go through all the arm-ache and tricky weft positioning, when you could just use a ponytail extension piece?
Here’s how to get the look:
Prep: The same rules apply if your clip-in ponytail is also 100% human hair – you’ll need to colour match and style the piece to suit your hair texture. We curled our ponytail in order to give it bounce and texture.
Gather your hair up into a ponytail as high or as low as you want it. We opted for a high pony as it tends to lift your features for a soft, youthful look. You can brush all your hair back for a sleek finish, or leave a few bits out to frame your face and minimise a large forehead like we did.
Grab the clip in ponytail and use a paddle brush to smooth out any knots. Next, slide the little clip at the top of the ponytail underneath the elastic band on your own ponytail. This will secure the clip-in extension piece to your own ponytail.
Once the piece is secured underneath your own ponytail, flip it over gently. Wrap the two pieces of ribbon attached to the clip-in piece around the base of the ponytail. Then tie the ribbon into a tight bow to hold it all in place.
Take a small section of hair from underneath your ponytail and wrap it around the ribbon to hide it from view. This will also make your hairstyle look more pulled together.