We’re all familiar with wigs and how they allow you to switch up your look in an instant. Now there is something else naturalistas can look forward to afro clip-in hair extensions, which can be worn to boost volume and add length to afro hair whether it’s curly or blown out.
Our fashion editor went for the ‘big chop’ almost three years ago and while her curls are super hydrated and healthy, this also means she struggles with shrinkage. We enlisted her help to test out these afro-textured clip-in hair extensions and we think you’ll agree that the results are jaw-dropping.
So if you’re keen on trying afro-textured clip-in extensions, too, and want to know how to use them, then keep scrolling…
Here’s everything you need to know about afro hair extensions
What kind of clip-ins do I need?
You are probably looking to either lengthen or add volume to your hair. Look for clip-in extensions in the form of the of 4 A, B and C curl patterns, or kinky straight (they look like you’ve blown out your natural hair) to match and blend in seamlessly with your own curl pattern. They also come in varying lengths to match your needs. If you do need to make them a little shorter, take them to your hairstylist so they can be customised to perfection.
Care tips for afro clip-in hair extensions:
These clip-ins are suitable for every afro-textured hair type, whether you’ve gone for the big chop and are rocking a ‘fro, or if you prefer relaxing or straightening your hair using a blow-dryer. There really is something for everyone-kinky straight, kinky and coiled hair- to give you a truly natural look. However, taking care of your clip-ins is vital to keep them looking their best. It’s advisable to take care of them as you would your own hair.
Read more: 7 things you need to know about frizzy hair
Should I wash my clip-in extensions?
Yes, but only with conditioner. Make sure hair is wet when detangling and work from the ends upwards. Follow with a curling product scrunched into the wet hair of the extensions, and leave to air dry. This will enhance the curl pattern. Spray them with a mixture of water and conditioner daily to keep them moisturised. Just as you would your own hair, treat your extensions to a regular deep conditioning treatment to ensure that they last as long as possible.
Can I sleep in them?
Of course, but you don’t need to. Remember to make sure your clip-ins are dry before storing them away. Should you choose to keep them on, simply add some oil and twist into sections before securing underneath a satin scarf.
Can my extensions be heat-styled?
If the extensions are 100% human hair, they can be styled using heat, but bear in mind that prolonged exposure to heat will result in the curl pattern of the extensions being altered permanently. This means that the kinky-straight variety will do just fine with heat, but the coily and kinky styles will change shape if you straighten them too often. The same applies to brushing your extensions out too often when dry.
What about changing the hair colour of your clip-in extensions?
You should know that 100% human hair extensions can be coloured and styled just like your own hair. If you decide to dye your clip-ins, be sure to moisturise them more regularly. And for best results, take your extensions to your most trusted hair colourist.
Before we show you how to install your extensions, 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.
• 2 x four-clip wefts,
• 2 x three-clip wefts,
• 2 x two-clip wefts
• 4 x single-clip wefts
For length and volume, one pack should be enough, but if you have short hair or really want to make a statement with big ‘do, you may need two packs.
Let’s jump straight in!
Prep: Make sure both your own hair and the extensions are properly moisturised and tangle-free. Depending on how much volume you want, you can also brush out your hair and extensions until both are as voluminous as desired.
Starting at the nape of your neck, section off the first piece of hair. You can use a comb or your fingers to do this step, and don’t worry about being too precise. Then twist the rest of your hair up and keep it out of the way with a large clip. Take a two-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 section off another piece of hair as you did before. Each section should be about 1 cm apart, but keep in mind that the size and shape of your head could change the spacing. Take the other two-clip weft and starting at the centre, position the open clips above the new section and press down to secure.
Repeat step two, this time securing a three-clip weft in place.
The next two sections will be for the volume-building four-clip wefts (if you need both). The first section should be in line with your ear and the second should be a little bit above the ear. If you only need one four-clip weft, position it somewhere in between those two areas. 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.
Create another section of hair and secure the last three-weft clip in place.
With the larger wefts in place, you should have lots of volume at the back. Let down the top section of hair so that you can add some 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 your hair falls and only one weft on the other side.
Once all the wefts are clipped in place, use your fingers or a comb to make sure the clips are hidden well and that the extensions blend in with your hair. Use a dab of gel to smooth down your baby hairs if you’d like, and you also can add a spritz of moisturising mist for a finishing touch but this isn’t essential.