So you want to find the right hair extensions… well, here is a comprehensive guide to selecting the right hair extensions for you, how to ensure you do not waste money ordering extensions of low quality, that simply won’t last you more than a month, how to help you not to buy extensions that will damage your hair at the root, leading to alopecia, and how to buy that ultimate set of extensions to help you to instantly achieve volume, length or that celebrity style. This article focuses on clip-in hair extensions, and explains why I favor them over pre-bonded and micro-loop extensions.
Clip-in hair extensions are a great investment. The beauty of hair extensions in general is that they instantly allow you to change your look and achieve styles that you simply couldn’t without waiting months for your hair to grow, if you want length; but if you want additional volume or to recreate the Kardashian/Cheryl Cole or many other celebrity looks, the extensions really is the only way. Don’t be fooled, almost all celebrities wear extensions! So why clip-in’s? Well, clip in hair extensions are quick to apply over permanent solutions and if you buy a good weight of hair, they give your roots a much needed rest when you taken them out, which permanent extensions do not do, and they costs between £50-100 for a good set (more on price later – you get what you pay for!).
A good weight for extensions is 120g of hair, and that is perfect for 90% of people out there, maybe 140-160g if you have very thick hair – anymore than 160g and you are a much increased risk of alopecia. I would strongly advise anyone buying to ignore all websites, salons, and stores offering more than 160g, as yes this will give you extra thickness, all too often an unnatural looking thickness way beyond the levels of even Kim Kardashian), but the risk of alopecia is very high. A UK company offers 215g set of extensions, but this weight will pull more on the roots of the hair and will also look too thick. Why do you think top stylists use comb cutting scissors to thin your hair at the salon, to reduce the weight and allow for a more luxurious and volumised style, so why add 215g of hair back in, stressing the roots and undoing all of the good work your (since you’re reading this, probably expensive) haircut. Also, bear in mind a full head of bonded extensions, or micro loop extensions would use about 100-200 pieces of hair which weigh 0.8g of hair per piece, which is roughly 80-160g of hair.
Next, we come to the quality of the hair. This is a tough one. Almost all suppliers will claim that they offer “the best” hair available, but this is not the case. I suggest that if you want durable stitching (so your hair doesn’t shed), very soft hair that holds a curl, and doesn’t matte, I would recommend spending about £90-100, but you should expect them to last 12+ months, if you look after them. Extensions that cost less than this would have been made with less care, use poor quality hair, or both! There would be little point in buying these for £40-50 if they last you 3 months, as that would mean £160-200 for 12 months – or you could spend £90-100!
In terms of caring for your extensions, that is quit simple. ALWAYS use heat protecting spray! This will stop the hair from drying out and becoming ratty. Next, wash the hair as necessary, i.e. when there is a build up of products, mousse/hairspray/argan oil/seasalt spray/etc. Allow your hair to dry naturally when washing. Once a month use a deep conditioning hair mask to add back oils and moisture back into the hair (sounds obvious, but extensions won’t get these replaced naturally like your own hair does). For extra shine, use argan oil. Be careful not to over do it though, as you will end up with a greasy set of extensions that need washing!