Hair extensions are a popular way to achieve longer, thicker, or differently colored hair without long-term commitment or damage to your natural strands. While they may seem simple, properly applying and caring for extensions requires some knowledge to ensure natural-looking, healthy results. In this in-depth hair extension guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about choosing, applying, and maintaining clip-in extensions like a pro.
Understanding Extension Types
Clip-in extensions are the most user-friendly option for daily wear or special occasions. They clip directly onto your natural hair without heat, adhesive, or braids. There are a few main clip-in styles:
Seamless extensions lay flat against the scalp with a thin, silicone band. They come in 12", 16", and 20" lengths with 10 pieces per package. Best for thin to medium hair past the shoulders.
Classic extensions have a fabric-stitched band for extra volume at the roots. Available in 16", 20", and 24" lengths with 10 pieces per package. Ideal for medium to thick, short to long hair.
Halo extensions use a single weft secured by an invisible wire band and clips. The 16" and 20" styles include blending clips. Suitable for thin to medium hair past the shoulders.
Other clip-in options like clip-in ponytails and buns provide versatile styling without committing to a full set of extensions.
Color Matching Your Tone
Your stylist will use a swatch book containing over 20 shades to find an exact undertone match to blend your natural and extension hair seamlessly. For a custom shade, they can even dye the extensions themselves. It's important hair matches within one level to prevent obvious demarcation lines.
Prepping Your Strands
Proper hair preparation makes or breaks the extension application. One week before, switch to moisturizing shampoo and conditioner sans sulfates or silicones that could block bonding. Three days before, clarify with a specialized shampoo to remove buildup. The day of and after, shampoo as usual but skip conditioner for porous, grip-ready hair.
Dividing and Backcombing Sections
Once hair is prepped, the stylist will begin sectioning strands 1/2" wide stretching from nape to crown. Each section is backcombed/teased at the roots to add thickness and “grip” for secure clipping. Taking care not to roughly detangle sections ensures a smooth application.
Clipping In Extensions
Holding a clip weft flat across teased roots, working root to tip, individual clips are applied closely together for a seamless blend. Layers are spaced 1/4" apart moving up the head. Once each section is complete, gently brush down any flyaways. The stylist ensures a blended look from multiple angles before proceeding to the next area.
Once the full set is applied, additional blending may be needed using volumizing sprays and round brushes Blow drying. Flat ironing is permitted on lower heat after product protection. Proper brushing distributes natural movement without disturbing clips.
Caring for Your Extensions
Regular care is key to keeping clip-ins looking fresh between salon visits or set replacements. Co-washing 1-2 times weekly with gentle, moisturizing formulas prevents clips from slipping out over multiple wears. Be gentle when brushing, avoiding tension near the roots. Consider braiding damp hair overnight for sleek, tangle-free mornings. With proper self-care, extensions can last months!
Part your natural hairs vertically for blended clips along the hairline
Layer finer pieces for a natural transitional blend
Clip in versatile styles like half-pins or braids on occasion for variety
Return every 4-6 weeks for pro touch-ups to prevent damage or slippage
Protect from chlorine and saltwater that strip extensions’ moisture
Consult your stylist with any questions for customized advice
With the right hair extension guide and care regimen, hair extensions open up a world of versatile looks, textures and fun length play. Consult the pros at Luxy Hair to start transforming your hair’s potential from the comfort of home.