Want really long, really full and really attractive hair (that comes in a really wide range of colour highlights) – without the commitments, expenses or damage? A Hair Extension is just what you need. One way to get one is, of course, to approach an experienced professional or a trustworthy salon. You can also purchase a Clip-on Extension Kit. But what if you want to avoid both? Maybe you are in the mood to get creative, are bored with your time and want to explore a new hobby (which can even mature into a career, who knows?), or are just trying to save some pennies? No matter what the reason, getting a Hair Extension done by yourself can be a super idea. So below is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself ) Clip-on Hair Extension ‘Guide’ that can help you get that amazing look – without burning a hole in your purse.
So below is a DIY (Do-It-Yourself ) Clip-on Hair Extension ‘Guide’ that can help you get that amazing look – without burning a hole in your purse.
Step one: Getting the supplies
We first start with gathering the materials, and, of course, ‘hair’ itself has to be the first item on that list. You can go for real or synthetic hair. While the latter is less expensive and more versatile (coming in a variety of cuts, colours, shapes and textures), the former is better adapted to dying and heat-styling. Whichever you buy, it is strongly recommended that you do NOT get ‘ponytail hair’, which is loose and can be terribly inconvenient (Some hardcore DIY-ers will probably buy just that and make their own wefts! If you are a first-timer, you will probably find it time-consuming and frustrating – and it works only if you have a sewing machine). You will then need Wig Clips – and here, how many will depend on how many hairpieces you want to create. Do not scrimp, because using less clips than you actually need can result in your hair suddenly coming loose in a party – the one thing you want to avoid. Also, you will need to get a pair of sharp scissors for trimming the final piece and cutting the wefts. You will also need a needle(s) and strong ‘matching’ (or invisible) threads to sew the clips and wefts together. A measuring tape will be needed to caliberate the width of each piece. Some people may also want to go for a sewing machine to join the wefts with each other (doing it manually isn’t always the easiest of tasks!) and an appropriate adhesive or glue to bond the wefts with the clips powerfully.
Step two: Choosing the hair
Hair available off the shelves usually comes in a long weft. It can also be rather thin. You will therefore probably need to double or triple it to suit yourself. If you are going for synthetic hair, the most important thing to ensure is that colour and texture matches your own. So, for instance, if you are buying straight hair, do ensure that you flat-iron your own hair as well. Similarly, if you are reaching out for that wavy hair on the supermarket rack, remember to curl up your own hair so that the two sync. When you are choosing length, calculate from approximately the middle of your ear down.
Step three: Making the pieces
Of course, you can ‘wing it’ all by experimenting with what works best for you. Normally, though, a typical set of ‘Clip-on’s comprise 4 wide back pieces and 4-6 small side pieces. For a custom-fit, measure your hair along the back, first from right above the nape region, and then again about an inch above, then from about half-an-inch behind one ear to the other, and finally about an inch above that. Now start cutting the hair according to those lengths from the weft. If you want to add length instead of volume, go ahead and triple them. If you are adding volume but not length, double them. You can glue the wefts together, but it is still advisable to add a few stitches at middle and at the ends – and this is where a sewing machine can really help (sewing them on top of one another manually can be challenging). At the end of it all, you have your prize: 4 wide back pieces and 4 - 6 smaller strands of hair for the sides.
Step four: Attaching the clips
Purchase Wig Clips and hand sew them to the top of the pieces while making sure you use matching or invisible thread. Wig Clips come with combs that slide into your hair and, thanks to their rounded shape, fit against your head. It’s a good idea to practise opening and closing the clips (press down on the sides to snap them shut ; To open, pull up on the sides while pressing the centre) to make things smoother during the actual act of clipping-in the extensions. All your Wide Back Pieces must have 3 clips (one at the centre and two more at the two ends), while the Small Side Pieces should have one clip each.
Step five: Inserting the pieces
To get started with this stage, you will first need a rat-tail comb, a couple of bobby pins, clips, a soft brush and a couple of mirrors (to help you keep a track of what’s going on at the back of your head). Although it really depends on your hair texture, you can start with clean hair that has some mousse or hairspray in it to give the clips a better grip. Do keep in mind that extensions will be covered by your own hair, and plan your clip positions accordingly.
Step six: Attaching the back pieces
Starting from your hair end, section off about an inch. Attach the bottom piece (this should be a thick piece – about a couple of layers thick – but not the thickest). Insert (and snap-shut) the center comb into the middle of the hair that has been pulled down. Pull the sides along your head and do the same, attaching them firmly against your head. Now, with the tip of the rat-tail comb, move up and section off another horizontal strip (about an inch wide) - pull (and tease, if you like) it down and insert the second piece (second from the end, that is). Repeat the above for the next two pieces.
Step seven: Attaching the sides
Unclip your natural hair and pull it down over the back clips. At this point, you must have gorgeous thick, long hair in the back, and short or thin hair on the sides. If you are amongst those who part your hair on the side, section your hair about a quarter inch from your hairline forward and insert two of the clips on the narrow section of your part. If your clips are of different sizes, the wider clip must be placed lower and slightly back, and the narrower or smaller one as high to your hairline as you are comfortable. Flip and clip your hair to the other side and repeat the steps. After, pull your hair back down and add your last two combs where the side looks empty. Do make sure all the clips feel secure and snug.
Step eight: Styling up
Most of us want our extensions to look as ‘natural’ as possible – unless, of course, you’re going for a dramatic look. If you have been wise in choosing the shade, people won’t be able to tell. However, there can still be two kinds of ‘giveaways’ – one, where the clips are visibly jutting out from the top of your head, and two, where there is discernible break between your real hair and the extension. The first can be solved with enough hair ‘volume’, while the second can be addressed by layering your extensions.
Ready to turn heads with a epic Hair Extension? Go ahead and just do it yourself!