Clip In Extensions 101

I seriously am so excited to finally do this post because I get asked about my extensions all the time!! And if me wearing extensions is news to you – then sorry to burst your bubble! This mane is definitely NOT all mine although I totally wish it was 🙂

This is going to be about clip in extensions mainly because I hate any other kind. I have tried sew ins (my hair was literally turning into dread locks by the end – SO BAD!), beads (they hurt my head), and glue ins which I also just hated. My main reason for hating any form of extensions that stay in your hair (beads, tape, etc) is that I like to be able to braid my hair and style it tons of different ways and you just can’t with them. With clip ins you can move them around and hide them so easily. I also love being able to take mine out at the end of the day and just give my head a good scratch haha. I like to also be able to wash my hair and rub my scalp and brush my scalp when I brush my hair. Any other extensions besides clip ins just truly stress me out. Not to say that you should go down that road because I know SO many people who love their tape ins and other kinds, but that is just my opinion!

I started wearing extensions when I was about 15 years old – I had no clue what I was doing and they didn’t blend and just looked quite horrible. BUT over the last (almost 10 eek) years I have learns SOOO many tricks and tips that I have been wanting to share with you guys!! So I will be answering commonly asked questions I get and then I made a tutorial on how to put extensions in for basic hairstyles. Hope it helps!! xo

Barefoot BlondeQ: What kind of extensions do you use?

A: [Updated 10/24/2016] I finally launched Barefoot Blonde Hair and I’m so excited! They are by far the best ones I have used, for a lot of reasons.  I wear the 21 inch most of the time. In the photo above I am wearing my 21 inch.

Q: My extensions always fall out – even when I tease my hair.. how can I keep them from falling out?

A: First, it is all about the clips you use. Never use the straight prong clips, they should always be curved (see picture below). When you use the curved clips they don’t require teased hair, you will just clip them right on your hair as is. NEVER tease your hair before putting an extension in. Never never never. This is what will create bald spots. If they are not holding on your hair as is, spray some dry shampoo, wait for that to dry, and then clip it on the area you sprayed.

Barefoot Blonde

Q: My extensions don’t blend, how can I make them blend better?

A: A few things..

1. If your hair is three or more inches different than the length of your extensions (i.e. your hair is to your boobs and your extensions for 4 inches passed your boobs), for the love, DO NOT wear your hair bone straight. There is almost NO way to have blended extensions when your hair is straight. If your natural hair has a blunt cut, DO NOT wear your hair straight. As much as it might suck to always have your hair curled, you just have to if you want to wear extensions and have them blend. If your hair is super thin or if the ends are kinda stragly (preferred for blending extensions!) then you can get away with it straight.

2. Your hair could be too thick, in which case, you might need to use two packs of extensions or have your hairdresser thin out the ends of your hair a bit (not as scary as it sounds!)

3. Go to the video I posted at the bottom of this post and go to 3:33 and see a trick for blending.

4. You may be clipping them too high, try to keep them low. I stack two and two. Go to  to see how I clip in mine.

Q: How should I care for my extensions to make them last longer?

A: There are a lot of things you can do!

1. Don’t sleep in them. I am not sure what it is but sleeping in them somehow ruins them! I swear sometimes I will get lazy and sleep in mine and I wake up and the ends are nasty! Again I have no idea what causes it – if its the rolling side to side or just being laid on or what but something happens and it ain’t good.

2. IF you do sleep in them which I totally do a lot of times because I am l-a-z-y .. be sure to braid them alllll the way down to the very ends!

3. Don’t use ANY hairspray. In fact, try not to use any product period. I often do but then again my hair is a part of my job so I don’t mind getting extensions every month. When I was in college and donating plasma to pay my rent, it was a different story – so I didn’t use anything on them.

4. Be gentle with them.. get a good brush. I love the Wet Brush. Don’t rip through them – start at the bottom and work your way up and just be gentle!

5. RARELY wash them. See the next Q & A for more details on washing them.

6. AVOID WIND LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!! Wind trashes extensions and blows sooo much dirt into them. If you get caught in a windstorm then I give you permission to wash your extensions immediately.. but again just stay out of crazy wind and if it is windy and you are out and about just braid your hair in a super tight braid and all the way down.

7. Say no to bon fires. Just no. Well, you can say yes but don’t you even think about wearing your extensions to them. They will reek of campfire and you’ll be forced to wash them. Again, I personally, have found washing isn’t great for them.

8. Avoid heat. Okay it is really hard to never use a curling iron or straightener but worth a try. You shouldn’t ever use a blow dryer though, like ever.

HERE ARE SOME GOOD BRUSHES FOR EXTENSIONS:

Q: Should I wash my extensions? And how do I wash them?

A: Okay you guys are going to think I am disgusting but I don’t wash mine! Gasp. Disgusting, I KNOW. But not really because they are not attached to your head and therefore do not produce oil. They will never be oily. Still, I know its a little gross. If I keep mine for an extended period of time (4 months) I will wash them.. like maybe once a month? Maybe even less? If you go to a bon fire or something then you obviously have to. SOOO when you do wash them….

1. Use an extension shampoo and conditioner.. I always use Cinderella Hair Shampoo and Conditioner – I have used it for yeeears and love it. I have never used anything else so I really don’t have any other recommendations but I know there are others.

2. Rinse the conditioner with cool water.

3. Be gentle when brushing through them while wet.

4. Always air dry, never ever blow dry! I would always lay mine flat on the floor on a towel.. yes your husband/boyfriend/roommates will be like WTF!!%*#& when you have hair laying all over your floor but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Ya feel me?

Q: How do I find out which color to buy online?

A: AHH I so wish there was an easy answer for this!! It honestly always scares me too. I wear an 16/22 although I used to wear 18/22 and this set matches a very wide variety of blondes.. I wear it when I melt my hair, when I have a lot of low lights, when I have very few low lights, etc. and it always matches. In my opinion it is ALWAYS BETTER TO GO DARKER than lighter. Here are a few tips but it really is up to your own discretion. Check out this color matching guide I made for Barefoot Blonde Hair.

1. FOR SANDY BLONDES: This is what I consider myself. If you have low lights or any sort of dimension in your hair, always look for a set with low lights like this one.

2. FOR PLATINUM BLONDES: For you gals with platinum blonde hair (I do not consider mine platinum.) you really need to make sure you pay attention to the tone of your hair. If your hair is on the warm side (yellow/orange tones) this could be a good set for you.

3. FOR TRUE BLONDES: This is when you aren’t quite platinum but you aren’t sandy… you have blonde hair but no low lights. This could be the set for you.

4. Melts

5.BRUNETTES

Q: Do you wear your extensions when you work out?

A: If I am going for a quick gym visit and just lifting some weights, doing lunges, etc. then, sure, if they are already in. I definitely don’t put them in to go but if I am planning to have a pretty quick work out then I don’t take them out. If I am going to a spin class or doing intense cardio then I take them out! I don’t sweat a lot unless I am doing intense cardio but if you sweat a lot then I wouldn’t wear them period.

Q: Can I use products on my extensions?

A: It is good to never use any products on them unless they are specifically made for extensions but if you do use any make sure they don’t have alcohol in them because that will dry them out quick! If I am ever doing braids or something I try to add product before putting them in. I do use products occasionally especially for my tutorials but I also get new ones quite frequently.

Q: How do I know what length of extensions to get?

A: I would say to just always get the longest ones because you can always cut them (will get into that with next question) but you obviously cannot make them longer! I have had friends who think the 21 or 22 inch will be too long for them so they get the 14 or 18 and it just doesn’t make a significant difference. Especially keep in mind that you will be curling or braiding your hair and that will shrink them a lot! If your hair is extremely short then you could probably justify the 14 or 18!

Q: I need to cut my extensions, how should I go about doing that/getting that done?

A: Make an appointment with your hair stylist but don’t do this at home. You can tell your hair stylist the length you are going for and if you would like any layers cut into them. She will be able to use professional tools to do this! However, if you are a hair stylist and you have a razor at home you can use that to cut them but never use sheers because it will make the ends way too blunt.

Q: Do you use hot tools on your extensions?

A: Yes I do!! I think extensions look best blended when they are braided into a style or curled. It obviously will ware them out faster but that is just kind of the name of the game.

Q: Once my extensions are curled, how can I restyle them?

A: There really isn’t a specific way to do this so I will just share how I personally do it which is actually really simple – I just straighten them with a straightener. Granted, I don’t have to do this very often because I rarely wear my hair straight with extensions but if I do then I just straighten them! When you curl them after a few days the curls will drop and you will have to re curl them if you don’t want to add more heat to them then you could just wait it out until they flatten up a bit.

Q: Do you curl your extensions when they are attached to your head or off your head?

A: Both, but usually when they are already attached to my head! To curl them attached, you just do it like normal but you may need to be careful how much pressure you apply, obviously. If you are having trouble curling them off your head then just curl them attached.

Q: Should I get real or synthetic hair?

A: REAL. NEVER SYNTHETIC. And I will pretend no one ever asked me that, haha 🙂

Q: Do your extensions poke or hurt you? Aren’t they uncomfortable?

A: I mean I have been wearing mine so long that I think I am just used to it, so I don’t notice them one bit! After having them up in a pony for an entire day I am definitely ready to go home and take them out but I mean, its  nothing terrible. You will definitely feel them and know they are there in the beginning and you’ll have to get used to the feeling but trust me its worth it and it goes away!

Q: If the color doesn’t match can I color them?

A: You can, and I have done it before but it really damages them so it is almost not worth it!! I would really recommend not coloring them. However if your blonde is too warm you can add purple shampoo to them and it doesn’t damage them near as much as coloring them would.

Okay I think that is all the questions you guys asked!! I hope that helped! Now here is a video showing how I put them in for my various styles.. to see how I wear them with..

For hair down go to :00
For hair half up go to 2:32
For hair in a side braid go to 3:09
For a blending trick to help your extensions blend better go to 3:33
For a pony tail go to 5:15
For small braids go to 5:57

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  1. Hi Amber!
    I am considering getting some extensions but I am worried about the long term affects on my hair. Is it true that clip-in hair extensions can cause bald spots because of the extra weight being added to your natural hair? Thx!

  2. I wear the 14-24 halo couture halo and would love to try your extensions- do you know what color might match?

  3. I would like to order your extensions in color barefoot blonde, but unfortunately they are sold out at the moment. When are they available again?
    Love your blog btw!!! 🙂

  4. Love this!!

    If you wouldnt mind me asking a question (I just have no idea where to even start!)

    I recently cut my hair – it was about as long as yours and now it’s above my shoulder! – I am IN LOVE with the cut. No regrets (this isn’t cutter’s remorse) but the stylist gave me the cut sections and I’m wondering if they can be used to make my own extensions? Is that possible? I’ve been considering a few avenues of donation or whathaveyou (and if we’re honest that’s definitely a better cause and what I am leaning towards), but I couldn’t help wondering if I could make, like, DIY extensions for myself from my own hair. They’re in 4 ponytails, almost a foot long, healthy, not bleached, etc. Is this a thing??

    Thanks girl, I find you, your blog, and your sweet family lovely and inspiring. You brighten my day 🙂

  5. Hey Amber! I’m absolutely obsessed with your platinum status extensions. I recently went a little on the more silvery side (nothing crazy) and wanted my extensions to match. I used purple shampoo like you recommend here on one clip (thank goodness for testing!) and noticed it immediately turned hot hot hot pink! I’m so sad! How do I reverse this?

  6. Hi Amber! I love your blog! Quick question, do you have any suggestions of a little cheaper version of the hair extensions? I have never worn extensions before but would love to try them out! Thanks so much☺️

    1. A full head of extensions is anywhere from 100g-200g (usually 110-140g is still not enough for someone that has short thick hair). The volumizing piece she is using is only 40g (I checked on the website). At that price, you’re better off visiting your local weave shop and buying your own there! I paid $170 for my 24in clip ins I bought there, and I even ended up cutting close to 4in off since they were just too long for moving around and doing stuff. I’m planning to go get wefts so I can glue them all together and install a wire myself. The 10lbs fishing line is only $2 at Walmart. Also, something that not many tutorials mention is to layer the hair before wearing it. Just buy a cheap pair of shears (mine were $9 and work great) and watch A LOT of videos on YouTube for layering hair. Otherwise it just won’t move well and look natural. I added front layers to mine to transition from my face framing layers, and then the sides so that it formes more of a V-shape at the back and lays nice on my shoulders. If you think you still need more movement, you can LIGHTLY thin the top layer towards the back, just so it’s not all the same length, When you do it well, it doesn’t thin out the extensions, it just allows them to move with your hair better. The trick is to cut less then you think, that way you can always go back and cut off more. Good luck 🙂

  7. I just got new hair extensions… WHAT DO I DO?! I want to straighten them for my hair appt. tomorrow but should I wash them before their first straighten?! PLEASE HELP:)

  8. I would soooo love to wear these, I am needing a 8-9 n. Please and thank you. More information if you have time. Jennifer

  9. I found your blog two hours ago and I’m hooked! I’ve been wearing extensions for about 6 years and just learn so much. Thank you ☺️

  10. Thankyou Amber! this was extremely helpful. Just wondering do you know if there is another website where i can order good clip in extensions but for cheaper?

  11. Your hair always looks amazing. Come on a trip to Minneapolis and put extensions in for me?????

  12. Thanks so much Amber! I loved this, I was just wondering if you still wear the 18/22 colour, I have a very similar hair colour to yours and I ordered the 18/22, I was surprised as it was a little bit darker then what I saw in the video. It must just be the way it looks on camera! Thanks 🙂

  13. Hi Amber,
    I am a 21 year old college student and I absolutely adore your blog! You are future goals in every way! Lol! I Am struggling with my hair and I was obviously creeping real hard on your blog in order to find your hair secrets. I came across this post and it really gave me hope! I used to have long naturally really pretty hair and I decided to chop it all off. Stupid I know! Ever since I have struggled with growing it back to its old self and it unfortunately has become more thin than it already was. As you probably know a girls hair is one of the most important things especially in college! I need to get it back! In the mean time I am now thinking about purchasing hair extensions especially after seeing this post. Your hair looks awesome! My only thing is I am so poor right now idk if I could afford the Laced Hair Extension prices. Do you know of any cheaper awesome brands? Or do you have any advice on how I could get my long hair back? It would be greatly appreciated. And you could potentially be saving a life! 🙂 Thanks!
    The poor struggling fashionista college student <3,
    Sara

  14. Hey Amber! What is your opinion on halo extensions vs. clip ins? Also, you mentioned that teasing your hair while wearing clip ins can create bald spots…by that do you mean extensions can cause your hair to fall out?

    Thanks! 🙂
    Hayley

  15. The link for this “If your hair is more cool (more white) then this could be a good color for you.” isn’t working. I can never find the right color for my hair. The platinum is always too yellow and toning them shortens the life of them SO MUCH.

  16. literally the simplest high pony tutorial, thank you! You oughta check out the other ones on youtube, yikes.

  17. Hey Amber! Thanks so much for all your tips and tricks with extensions. I love all of your tutorials and you were actually the one that made me start thinking about getting extensions. I also have long hair naturally but am wanting more volume to do more braids and such. I am debating between the 21″ and the 24″ extensions from Laced Hair and wanted to know if you ever wore your 24″ extensions down or if you only used them in your braids? I want to be able to wear my extensions when my hair is down but don’t want them to be too long. Thanks for your help!

    xoxo Ashley

  18. Is there any other brand of clip in extentions you would recommend? I have found a lot of websites I tried are sold out. I am a first time wearer and not sure who else has good extentions. Thank you!

  19. Really informative post! Have you ever used Halo extensions on a wire? Curious about them as I’m trying to decide between that and clip-ins.

  20. Hello,
    I am an avid fan! I do not think I would want to keep up with extensions on the regular but would love to have them or my wedding day (just a small one in the woods), do you have a less expensive brand that you could recommend for one day use? Thanks in advance.

    Best,
    Monica

  21. Amber,
    You said you use the lace hair extensions… well for the 24 inches you use for braiding, do you use 120 grams or do you customize them? It looks like all their extensions are 120? Which is fine, cause I want long length that isn’t too heavy!

  22. Hi Amber,

    Above all questions and answers about hair extensions are good and helpful for women who want to know information regarding hair extensions. If you want to choose the synthetic or real hair, then I would recommend synthetic hair because it is cheap and easy use in your hair than real or other.

  23. Hi,

    Thanks for this post! Can you please let me know if extensions work for thin hair? Won’t the clips show through?! Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Nancy, yes extensions work for thin hair. If your hair is really thin, then you will use less wefts of hair. The clips won’t show through if you apply them farther down on your head. I hope this helps!! xo

      1. Hi Amber,
        I love your site! I am a single working mom, and it is such a treat to get style and beauty tips from another mom! 🙂
        I was wondering if you had a promo code to use for the Clip In Laced Hair extensions? Also do you know when the 18/22 extensions will be back in stock?

        Thank you Amber. You are truly an inspiration.

  24. Hi Amber,
    I ditto a previous request for the colors and brands you use to color your hair! My hair color is very similar but I am having trouble figuring out how to explain (pictures aren’t enough apparently) the strategy used to color your hair. If I say “give me dimension,” I get all these tiny little stringy highlights and low lights but I can tell from your hair, there are much bigger chunks throughout that are different colors. Also, I’m looking to start wearing hair extensions and love all your tutorials! My problem is that the Euronext “blonde frost” you mentioned in a how-to tutorial is discontinued for 18+inches and the Laced hair extensions 18/22’s are sold out 🙁 If my hair color is similar to yours, can you recommend another color or brand that might work?
    Thanks! – Amber Bird

    1. Also, I ask about other color recommendations for the hair extensions because the links you provided for sandy blondes are broken, so its not clear which colors you are referring to… 🙂

  25. HI Amber,

    Do you think you could update your hair color information? (brand of color, base, & lights?) I’ve brought several images of your hair to stylists but they unfortunately can’t seem to get it right. Also, would you mind sharing the color you wear from Laced?

    Thanks & Good Vibes!

  26. I would love your opinion on whether to try Bellami extensions vs laced? I have natural strawberry blonde hair that I attempt to pull the warmth out of but I am having a difficult time finding an appropriate color. Thank you! Love the posts.

  27. Thank you so much for this posting this!!! I have been considering extensions for awhile now but was heistant since I had very little knowledge of what to do, but your tips has given me new hope! Have you ever tried dirtylooks extensions? They are considered to be the best around and would probably gift you a free sample to test and review if you asked.
    Btw: Atticus is such a cutie pootia!

  28. The Laced hair extensions have been back ordered all month in most colors. Is there a different brand you would recommend?
    Thanks for the advice. Your tutorials have really been helpful.

  29. Hi Amber, thanks so much for posting on extensions! I’ve never used them before and wanted to know the plain and simple facts which was exactly what I found here. I’m wondering, though, if you can recommend another brand of extensions also? I’ve contacted Laced Hair and they are out of their chocolate brown (which I need) until next year. Can you please help?

    1. I’m not Amber, obviously….but I had the same problem. Laced has been out of chestnut brown extensions forever. I finally just bought the Euronext extensions at Sally’s for $130ish and they have been great. You can see them on my blog. Good luck with the search
      Dresses & Denim

  30. Hi Amber, thank you for sharing all your beautiful things and this post.
    Loooovvve your hair and how you do braids.

    my question would be, where do you get your extensions? would really love to try.

    I hope to hear from you soon!

  31. Thank you so much. I love to wear hair extensions and your information was so insightful!

  32. Hey Amber, I’m really thinking about getting extensions. Do you have any other brand that is also good but cheaper than the one that you told us on your post? Thanks!

    1. I’m not Amber, obviously, but Sally’s has great extensions in the Euronext brand 🙂

    2. I’m not Amber, but this post inspired me to give extensions a try. I waited and waited for Laced to have my color but after a few months gave up and got Euronext extensions from Sally’s. I wear them all the time and have been pretty happy with them. They costed $130 and I am guessing they will last me about 4-6 months. You can see how they look on my blog.
      Dresses & Denim

  33. Hi Amber- Thank you so much for posting this clip in info! They have always been a big mystery to me on how to blend & place so they don’t look freaky.

    What do you mean by MELT your hair…is that how you describe your color? Do you just get highlights and leave your roots dark. Curious about how you do your color…Thank you!

  34. Thank you for this!! Can you recommend any other brands of extensions? What else have you used? Thanks! xo- Erin

  35. Amber, you are life changing! I have hair very similar to yours and bought my first set of extensions this summer because of your gorgeous hair. Thank you so much for making my braid way less sad looking.

  36. Amber, is that your natural color? If not how do you get your hair that (gorgeous) color? I have brown & have wanted to go blonde for a loooong time.
    Thanks

  37. thanks for all the helpful tips 🙂 I ended up wearing mine to the beach and can definitely tell they took a little hit – but still worth it for the pictures 🙂 just curious in your old extension video you used the 1 clip side pieces any reason for the new clipping method?

  38. Hi there! Great article. I use to have clip in extensions but switched to individuals with beads a few years ago. Love the individuals but I also miss the free scalp thing lol. I’ve heard some horror stories from my friends and my stylist about clip ins putting too much stress on the hair and causing breakage near the root. It might just depend on the brand/clip etc but I was wondering if you would mind weighing in. Obviously its worked for you your hair is gorgeous!

    Thanks love!

  39. Thank you for sharing these tips! I have been wearing mine everyday for almost two years now. I started with the Euronext from Sally’s but I definitely want to upgrade to laced for my next set. I think I am keeping mine too long – the first set I wore for a year and they had broken off and shortened so much. I got a longer set the next time and have had them for about 8 months and I think its time for a new pair.

    When I wash mine (which isn’t too often), I use skirt hangers to let them air dry in the shower. If I find they are really tangly, I will sometimes spray Wen Replenishing Spray on them or a leave-in conditioner.

  40. Amber, call me a fool but for all this time I really thought that your hair is real. Thank you so much for all your helpful advice and I am glad you are human after all too! You are still one of the most gorgeous girls out there in this world/ extensions or not lol! Hugs darling, Sissi http://www.beauty4free2u.com

  41. okay, this would have been so helpful for back in the day when I wore extensions! I seriously did everything with them that you said not to do. of course, my defense is that I didn’t know any better. but I may give them another go now having read this!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  42. Amber, you’re such a babe! Thanks for sharing this post, and although I have black Asian hair, I’ve been wanting to add more thickness to my strands in the longest time!
    X

  43. Thank you so much for this post! I seriously am always having issues blending my extensions but your tips helped out a lot! (also where did you get your pretty blue sweater?!)

    -Katia

    1. Thank you, I love these tips! Like you I have learned through the years the dos and donts of extentions! Question! Do you fly with yours in? I never have because I’m so worried that security alarms will go crazy!thanks in advance!

  44. They sure do make a big difference. I think In Europe people don’t use extensions very much but I am thinking about getting some for my wedding next year. Nice video, thanks