Top Picks

We all know the feeling of wanting long, luscious locks or thick curls. Maybe you’ve tried taking vitamins, using special shampoo, or going to a dedicated stylist. Despite your best efforts, your hair just won’t cooperate. If you’re looking for a way to get gorgeous hair without all the work, cost of maintenance, or weaves, then clip-in hair extensions might be just what you’re looking for.

What’s in a Mane? Choosing Your Clip-In Hair Extensions

If you enjoy watching people on the red carpet or scrolling through Instagram, you may wonder how on earth celebrities and influencers can go from a stylish bob to waist-length beach waves just months apart. The key to this transformation is, frequently, hair extensions.

Extensions are almost exactly what they sound like. They are hair accessories that you can wear hidden in with your own hair to increase the volume or length of your own hair or add a fun color or highlight. Extensions can be made of real, human hair or synthetic material. They can be long or short, curly or straight, and natural or dyed.

This article will focus on one of the most versatile options: clip-in extensions. These extensions are easy to use, non-permanent, and simple to care for, making them a really great all-around option.

REMY Hair and Pricing

The highest quality of human hair is REMY virgin hair. REMY hair is human hair that has its cuticles intact and facing the same direction. It has never been dyed or processed, meaning that it is healthy, and its proteins have not been stripped or damaged.

Every stylist who’s worked with actresses and models knows that price is a major factor in getting natural, authentic hair which hasn’t been acquired unethically. For hair that is 100% virgin REMY, has consistent quality, and is acquired ethically, prices will almost always be over $100, with some of the highest quality extensions running upwards of $400.

That said, you can still get excellent hair extensions at affordable prices from online retailers; they just won’t be the exact same kind your favorite celebrity wears. For more information about pricing and quality concerns, we have a more in-depth explanation of the fake hair market below.

Key Factors to Consider

Whether you’re new to the extensions game or a connoisseur of hair enhancement, there are some great options out there for you. Online retailers offer great entry-level options alongside higher quality, more intensive-use products. Keeping that in mind, choosing which extension to buy can be daunting. There are a lot of options out there, and not all of them are worthy of purchasing. When choosing your extensions, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind: quality and realism, texture and color, and cost.

Texture and Thickness

Unless you’re looking for a total transformation, you want the extension’s texture to match your own. Textures range from Straight to Kinky/Coily, with the corresponding classifications of 1a to 4c. For a great, in-depth explanation of hair texture, this article can help you find yours. We’ll also give a brief overview in our texture guide.

The thickness of your hair and the extensions is also very important. Extensions should weigh up to 100 grams for fine hair, up to 150 grams for medium hair, and no more than 220 grams for thick hair.

We will make sure to note the textures offered for each product in our list, as well as the thickness and weight.

Quality and Realism

If you’re just looking for a costume piece or a festival look, you may not need a high-quality, $50 set of extensions, but if you want extensions for daily use that will last you a year or more, you’re going to need to buy something higher end. Synthetic hair tangles easily, doesn’t style or color, and tends to break down quickly. Authentic hair can last years with proper care and is as easy to care for as your own hair.

Style Options

Just like texture, color and length are key to achieving your desired look. You may want to have a crazy color-pop and an explosion of length, or you might prefer to stay natural. We’ll make sure to note the color and length ranges of each product.

Ease of Use

Extensions should be easy to use and easy to maintain. If they are not comfortable, tangle, or cannot be maintained easily, you won’t get your full use out of them. When discussing ease of use, we’ll look at lifespan, intended purpose, comfort, and maintenance requirements. For a closer look at caring for your extensions, stick around after our roundup and check out our hair care tutorial.

Whether you’re looking to add volume, get the length you’ve always dreamed of, or give your look a fresh update, we’ve got an option for you in our top-ten list. Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Top 10 Best Clip-In Hair Extensions 2020

#1

Vario Clip-In Extensions

#1 Vario Clip-In Extensions

Best Overall Clip-In Extensions


Why we like it: Vario clip-ins are a solid starter option for anyone looking for a consistently higher-quality cut of hair at an affordable price, with a natural look.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight, 1a
Thickness: 120g
Quality: 99%+ REMY

Review

All online retailers can be somewhat sketchy in terms of what percentage REMY hair they offer. Vario hair styles well and retains color, suggesting that it has a high percentage of authentic human hair. The company states that it is guaranteed 99%+ REMY. The hair itself is thick, meaning you shouldn’t need to purchase extra packages to get the volume you desire. With seven pieces and seventeen clips, it offers significant coverage at a solid price.

Style

Vario Clip-Ins offer a great range of colors and lengths. There are six natural shades from jet black to natural blonde, six highlighted shades, and five ombre shades. The platinum blonde is also light enough that you can take it into your stylist to be dyed, either to match your shade more closely, or to offer a pop of color. It’s available in five different lengths, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 inches.

Ease of Use

Vario extensions are a solid choice for daily users who want to style their hair and use them regularly. It has a lifespan of twelve months or more, so long as you maintain the hair regularly. Vario is also one of the few brands to offer silicon-coated clips, for increased comfort and a stronger grip on your hair. As REMY hair, it is fairly easy to maintain, requiring only regular shampooing and brushing. When it arrives, be sure to rinse it before styling to prevent damage.

Pros

  • Wide variety of natural and styled colors
  • Consistent quality
  • Thick weight for a fuller look
  • Silicon-coated clips for extra comfort

Cons

  • 1a texture requires regular styling to fit in with a natural head of curly hair
#2

Hetto Clip-Ins

#2 Hetto Clip-Ins

Best Clip-In Extensions for African Americans


Why we like it: With by far the widest array of textures, the Hetto Clip-Ins are a shoe-in for women with natural hair, chemically relaxed hair, and curly hair.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight to Kinky/Coily, 1a to 4c
Thickness: 100g
Quality: 100% REMY

Review

These extensions stand out for being pure REMY hair at an affordable price. They are thick, can be heat-styled and dyed, and retain their texture after styling. Each strand has been meticulously aligned to curl in the same direction to prevent frizz and split ends.

Style

With 33 color and texture options, the Hetto Clip-Ins have the widest variety of texture options on our list. It offers a similar natural texture range as Caliee Extensions, but has a wider range of colors and extends into 1a and 2a textures.

The style options are well-suited to women with natural hair, but Hetto also offers loose curls, body-waves, and straight hair for women of any hair texture. Hetto clip-ins are also available in yaki kinky hair, for women looking to add volume to their textured, blow-out style hair.

There are nine length options, from eight inches to 24 inches. The blonde extensions can be dyed and they hold color well, but there are options in black, brown, and mixed highlights to save the hassle.

Ease of Use

Hetto Clip-Ins are great for daily, extended use. They are good at holding heat, so styling these extensions is simple. Even after washing and styling, they return to their original texture. You will need to buy a size or two longer than you would if buying straight extensions, however, as curly extensions are measured by their stretched-out length. Unfortunately, because curly hair can be hard to care for properly, the lifespan is not guaranteed.

Pros

  • Huge assortment of colors and styles
  • Great for women with any hair texture
  • Wider range of lengths
  • Hair fibers are carefully aligned to curl together
  • Offers both blonde options of both kinky and straight hair for dyeing

Cons

  • Run short, due to texture
  • No guaranteed lifespan
#3

Fullshine Clip-In Hair Extensions

#3 Fullshine Clip-In Hair Extensions

Best Premium Extensions


Why we like it: With gorgeous colors in solid and ombré and gorgeous dye-jobs, these extensions offer high-quality hair that looks salon-treated. As a bonus, each purchase comes with a free set of mink eyelashes.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight to loose waves, 1a to 2a
Thickness: 120g
Quality: 100% REMY

Review

These extensions are on the pricier end, but they are soft and silky, and they respond well to toner, dye, and heat-styling. Stylists have given it a mark of approval in the salon, and the double-weft design offers thicker coverage.

Style

With 33 color options and six lengths, Fullshine clip-ins fall short only in the texture department. Fullshine offers the same number of options as Hetto but lacks its dazzling array of textures. However, with beautiful ombré and solid color options in rich shades, it might be worth the work to curl and style these extensions and get the colors you want without an expensive salon trip.

Fullshine also has the advantage of offering a variety of clip-types. As you check different style options, you can decide whether to order 3-piece extensions, 5-piece extensions, or 7-piece extensions. 3-piece extensions are about half the price of 7-piece extensions and come with roughly half the amount of hair.

Ease of Use

Fullshine suggests that the lifespan of these extensions is twelve weeks, but with proper care they can last far longer. REMY hair should be treated gently, but it is far less fragile and frizzy than synthetic hair. They can be worn for long periods of time, and the hair has a gentle wave when airdried. Fullshine hair is known for being extra shiny, so to get a better blend, be sure to wash the extensions gently before wearing them out.

Pros

  • Salon-worthy coloring and quality
  • Variety of clip-numbers
  • Silky texture
  • Free pair of Mink eyelashes with every purchase

Cons

  • Only one texture
  • Hair can be a bit shiny
#4

Geelook Clip-In Extensions

#4 Geelook Clip-In Extensions


Why we like it: These pure REMY extensions offer a solid quality at an unbeatable price, with an array of natural colors and a dye-ready blonde option.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight, 1a,
Thickness: 70g
Quality: 100% REMY

Review

Geelook clip-ins aren’t professional level. They lack the premium qualities of Fullshine’s extensions, but they are soft and durable. Geelook extensions have no issues with dyeing and heat styling, meaning that they are made of high-quality hair. At 70g per pack, this model is great for wearers with thin hair, but anyone with thicker hair may need to buy multiple sets to achieve the volume they desire.

Style

These extensions offer two shades of blonde, three shades of brown, and two shades of black. This is a fairly basic range, but the palest blonde shade is light enough that you can dye these extensions to any color you’d like for a closer color match or for a highlight that pops.

This model is offered in 14, 16, 18, and 20-inch lengths. For hair that just reaches the shoulders, the 14-inch option will give you about two inches of clearance past the shoulders, so you can trim it to your ideal length.

Ease of Use

These extensions are a budget-friendly option for anyone looking to wear their extensions regularly. They have a lifespan of six to 12 months with appropriate care. Because the packs are thin, the strands of hair do tend to clump together. Be sure to style your hair with the extensions or brush them together with a wet brush for a more natural blend.

Pros

  • Looks professional grade
  • Easy to dye and style
  • Excellent price point
  • Durable

Cons

  • Multiple packs may be needed for wearers with thick hair
  • 1a texture requires extra styling
#5

Goo Goo Clip-In Hair Extensions

#5 Goo Goo Clip-In Hair Extensions


Why we like it: These extensions are a little on the pricey side compared to offerings like the GeeLook Clip-In Extensions, but they offer lovely dye jobs and thick coverage.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight, 1a
Thickness: 120g, depending on length
Quality: Mostly REMY hair

Review

These extensions offer a silky texture and airdry into soft waves when washed. They are advertised as 100% REMY, but the advertiser’s recommendation against heat styling casts doubt on this claim. REMY hair should not have a problem heat styling, but extensions with synthetic hair in the mix will react poorly to heat styling. However, the coverage on these clip-ins is thick, so if you are fine with loose waves or straight extensions, you may not need to heat style to get the look you want.

Style

While the color quality of Goo Goo’s extensions is rich and natural, they only offer six color options. Unlike other options, there is no solid platinum option, so you will not be able to take these extensions to the salon to be dyed. There are six length options, from 14 inches to 24 inches, with prices varying widely depending on the length you choose

Ease of Use

Goo Goo Clip-In Extensions are good for everyday use, and have a lifespan of two to three months, which is much shorter than most other extensions. Proper care may extend this life span, so be sure to care for these extensions regularly. The balayage and highlight patterns should blend well with similar hair colors, making close color matching less of a necessity.

Like the Fullshine Clip-ins and the Vario Clip-ins, you will need to wash these before using to ensure they style correctly.

Pros

  • Gorgeous balayage and ombré
  • Thick coverage
  • Natural coloring
  • Blends well with similar hair colors

Cons

  • Shorter lifespan than most other REMY extensions
  • Limited color options
  • May not be 100% REMY
#6

Reecho ¾ Clip-In

#6 Reecho ¾ Clip-In

Best Budget Extension


Why we like it: This synthetic clip-in offers a great style solution with an astounding range of colors.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Fact

Texture: Loose waves, 2a
Thickness: 130g
Quality: Heat-friendly Synthetic

Review

Reecho gets bonus points for being honest about the material it is made of. Many synthetic extensions claim to be real human hair, when in fact, they are mixed with artificial or animal hair. (We’ve got out eye on you, Goo Goo!)

That being said, Reecho hair is a heat-friendly synthetic material, meaning you can cut and style it with regular salon tools. Synthetic hair does tangle and clump over time, however, and it tends to look shinier than pure REMY hair.

Style

Reecho is brilliant as far as colors go. With 41 color options, you can get natural solid colors, from ash blonde to black, a rich wine-red, ombré patterns in both natural and bright dye colors. Because the hair is synthetic, you cannot home dye or salon dye these extensions, but the color range is broad enough that there should be an option for most shades of hair here.

The Reecho is offered in four lengths, 14, 16, 18, and 20-inches.

Ease of Use

Reecho extensions are a little limited, simply because they are a one-piece clip-in. Therefore, getting a realistic blend may be more difficult, as you won’t be able to vary and stagger clips as needed. Because it is synthetic, you will want to be careful using heat tools. Spray it with water and heat protectant prior to curling or straightening.

You will need to brush it out with a water brush fairly regularly and use a spray bottle to avoid static build-up in the hair.

Pro-tip: If you like the Reecho, buy a second set and cut it at even intervals between clips to make smaller extensions to place with more freedom.

Pros

  • Excellent budget option
  • Heat-friendly synthetic material
  • 41 colors in natural and ombré
  • Good thickness

Cons

  • Synthetic hair cannot be dyed
  • ¾ design is not as flexible as multi-piece extensions
#7

Caliee Kinky-Curly-Afro Extensions

#7 Caliee Kinky-Curly-Afro Extensions


Why we like it: The Caliee Extensions are a great choice for women with natural hair of all different textures looking for more volume or length.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Kinky-Coily, 3c to 4a
Thickness: 120g
Quality: 100% REMY

Review

These extensions are soft and keep their curls. They don’t have shedding issues and so long as they are maintained, frizz is minimal. The 100% REMY hair means that it will take heat well. To add volume or for a bun or ponytail, one pack does the trick. For a full head or to use with a protective style, you may need to purchase two packs.

Style

Caliee extensions only come in natural black, but come in five textures and six great lengths. It offers afro curly, jerry curly, kinky curly, kinky straight, and yaki straight. It’s available from 10 to 20-inch lengths.

Ease of Use

These extensions are intuitive to use and offer seven pieces for an even look and custom placement. The jerry curly model looks great with the wet-look, and the yaki straight can be ironed and bantu knotted. With proper care, these extensions have a lifespan of six months. You will need to condition and care for them to keep the texture healthy. If you decide to dye the hair, do so with care to avoid breakage and shedding. Bleaching the hair will get it to color #27. Caliee also offers this style in ombré colors.

Pro-tip: Purchase these clip-ins in a variety of lengths to achieve a layered shape.

Pros

  • Nice variety of textures
  • Natural-looking
  • Takes heat well
  • Excellent coverage

Cons

  • Only offered in one color
  • Protective styles or full coverage may require multiple packs
#8

Aisi Queens Puff Ponytail

#8 Aisi Queens Puff Ponytail

Best Afro Ponytail


Why we like it: A great kink-curly afro ponytail that is easy to use and affordable.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Afro, 4c
Thickness: 200g
Quality: Synthetic

Review

This synthetic afro puff cannot be dyed or styled, but it definitely doesn’t need any custom work to look stylish and convincing. The fibers are durable and resistant to heat. The synthetic hair has a realistic, soft texture, and the clips and drawstring style are secure and stable.

Style

These puffs are offered in three sizes: medium, large, and extra-large. Medium is offered in jet black, natural black, dark brown, and medium brown. Large is offered in black, blonde, strawberry-blonde, and purple. Extra-large is offered in two shades of black.

Ease of Use

When you receive the puff, shake it out to decompress it after shipping. It is easy to apply securely, with two clips and an adjustable drawstring. Simple put your own hair in a small bun, place the puff over it, clip, and tighten. This puff does require extra care, including regular shampooing and conditioning with a detangling product. If it starts to look lackluster, you may need to use jojoba oil on the puff extension.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • One piece
  • No styling required
  • Great to use with protective hair styles.

Cons

  • Requires maintenance when not in use
  • Not customizable
#9

OneDor 20-Inch Ponytail

#9 OneDor 20-Inch Ponytail

Best Ponytail Extension


Why we like it: This long, ponytail clip-in is an easy solution for anyone looking for a new look or to accessorize without hassle.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Smooth, wavy
Thickness: 190g
Quality: Synthetic

Review

This synthetic hair is lightweight, smooth, and holds its style and shape well. For synthetic hair, it is decent quality, with low-frizz, low-tangle technology. While some may appreciate how thick and long the piece is, it is rather obviously an extension and doesn’t look perfectly natural. It also tends to look shiny in the light, which is another giveaway that it isn’t natural hair.

Style

With 13 colors, the OneDor Ponytail Clip comes in a wide range of natural colors. The red clip is deeply unconvincing and has an awkward, uneven blend of darker colors with red. Most of the other colors are even in tone. It cannot be dyed and only comes in a 20-inch length.

Ease of Use

The jaw clip and drawstring offer easy attachment, and with a gentle wash and brushing it should stay in decent condition.

Pros

  • Easy, no-fuss clip-in
  • Broad range of color options
  • Low maintenance
  • Long, and impressive volume

Cons

  • Limited use
  • Doesn’t look as realistic as REMY hair
#10

36 Piece Rainbow Hair Extension

#10 36 Piece Rainbow Hair Extension

Best Party Extensions


Why we like it: These extensions are a fun party activity or casual accessory for events and special occasions.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

Texture: Straight, 1a
Thickness: N/A
Quality: No-Heat Synthetic

Review

These clip-in extensions aren’t exactly premium, but they make a great accessory for anyone looking for a no-commitment colorful hairstyle. The synthetic fibers will burn if used with heat-tools, but they hold their style if curled or straightened using a straightening brush or wet-curl method.

Style

With 36 cute color strands in both solid color and gradient color, you can have a vibrant hairstyle in no time. These strands only come in straight texture, but styling can help them blend with your natural hair. At 22 inches long, these pieces are a great length for anyone looking for a dramatic, accented look.

Ease of Use

With small strands and one clip, these extensions are easy enough to apply if you only plan to use a few. If you plan to use the entire package, they may become heavy or uncomfortable, and application might be difficult. To maintain these extensions, wash with shampoo and brush with a wet brush to avoid tangling and static build-up. Do not sleep in these extensions.

Pro-tip: Clip in an extension, and braid it into your hair for a subtle, realistic accent.

Pros

  • Cute, commitment-free color pop
  • Great for parties
  • Great for kids
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Very cheap
  • Not realistic
  • Not meant for long-term use.

Your Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Extensions

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best options, it’s time to figure out what extensions are right for you. In our guide, we’ve gathered all the information you need to get started, and even some extra pro-tips that even extension experts might be surprised to learn. We’ll get started with a little bit of information about the hair market, but if you want to jump right into picking out your extensions, skip on down to our step-by-step guide!

Hair Trading, and Why it Matters to You

As we mentioned in our overview, there is a wide range of quality and cost for hair extensions. You may want the same extensions that Zendaya wears, but to get celebrity level hair can be expensive. This is partly because of quality, and partly because celebrities can’t afford to get caught in the drama of purchasing unethically sourced extensions.

The human hair market is a complicated one. Western sources of hair tend to treat their hair with chemicals, dye it, and bleach it, meaning that most hair purchased in the United States and Europe is no longer virgin hair, and its structure has been damaged.

As a result, most hair retailers purchase hair from Brazil, Vietnam, China, and India to get truly pure hair. This market is easy to abuse, so super cheap hair claiming to be REMY virgin hair is likely to either be fake or acquired unethically. Some women are fairly compensated for their hair, but there have been cases of women attacked in the streets for their hair or being forced to sell a prized part of their identity by their husbands or families.

Celebrities and their stylists don’t want to perpetuate any abuse of the men and women who sell their hair, so they are willing to pay more money for truly high-quality hair, trusting that reputable companies pay a fair price to the original owners and don’t coerce vulnerable donors.

Companies like Bellami Hair, Hidden Crown, Remy Hair, and True Indian offer excellent high-end hair for professional stylists and celebrities, but they can be very expensive.

However, this doesn’t mean that all cheap extensions are the product of bad labor practices. Usually, hair that claims to be REMY at low prices is mixed with synthetic or animal fibers, or they are human hair that has been damaged in some way, making them no longer true REMY quality.

What Exactly is “REMY” Hair?

So, what’s all the fuss about this REMY virgin hair? Why is everybody so obsessed with it? REMY hair is important if you want realistic, durable extensions that can be styled and dyed.

REMY hair is gathered in such a way that the cuticles of the hair remain undamaged. We all know that hair is made of protein, but a single hair actually has a complex structure, made up of layers and layers of proteins. The outside of the hair is called the cuticle, and as it grows, it overlaps the next layer.
cartoon cross-section of three hairs

If hair is mistreated in transit or undergoes chemical dyes and harsh cleaners, the cuticles will be damaged, leading to rough, dry, lackluster hair. If the cuticles aren’t aligned, the hair won’t be smooth, and you’ll end up with frizz, fly-away strands, and shedding.

REMY hair has to be carefully removed, cleaned, and treated to stay high quality. If a hair mill simply tosses its latest batch of hair into a bin to be washed, it will be nearly impossible to gather the hair back so that the cuticles are all aligned.

Truly high-quality REMY hair is treated gently, and each set is kept together to prevent any reversed cuticles.

How Do I Know My Hair Is Real Hair?

If you buy low-price extensions, you may be purchasing real hair that isn’t REMY quality, or you might be buying a blend of human hair with synthetic hair or animal hair. The simplest way to check what kind of hair is in your extension is to do a strand burn test.

Human hair will burn, but synthetic hair will melt. Take a strand of your extension and hold it over a lighter. If it blackens and crumbles, the extension is real hair. If it shrinks and melts, you know it’s synthetic.

It can be very hard to tell the difference between human hair and animal hair. Generally, manufacturers will mix human hair with yak hair, sheep hair, or horsehair, which has been treated to make it soft, clean, and easy to style. If you feel strongly about having only human hair in your extensions, you may have to pay for luxury extensions.

Choosing Your Extensions

Now that we’ve discussed hair quality, it’s time to get into picking out your extensions. There are a lot of options in beauty stores and from online retailers. The extensions we’ve recommended won’t break the bank, but they’re not cheap either. You’ll want to make sure you’re picking out the perfect extension for your needs.

Picking a Type

There are many different types of extensions:

  • Clip-in extensions: strips of hair attached to hair clips
  • Hidden crown extensions: sheets of hair attached to a thin elastic band that you wear like a headband
  • Tape-in extensions: strips of hair with lines of glue that a stylist attaches along your scalp.
  • Keratin extensions: thin strands that your stylist heats and glues to strands of your own hair
  • I-Tip extensions: strands of hair that your stylist crimps to your own hair with a microbead
  • Sew-in extensions: strands of hair that your stylist sews into your braided hair with a needle and thread.

If you’re looking for something permanent, a stylist can help you with higher-commitment extensions. For the average extension-wearer, however, you want something low-commitment and easy to use. This narrows it down to hidden crown extensions and clip-in extensions.

Hidden crown extensions are easy, but they tend to be heavier and harder to customize. They also only offer coverage on the lower back area of your hair and can’t be styled like clip-in extensions.

Picking a Material

As we noted above, extensions come in pure REMY, mixed human hair, and synthetic materials. Which kind you want depends on how often you intend to use your extensions, what dyeing and styling you plan on using, and how convincing you want your extensions to be.

The more often you use your extensions, the hardier they will need to be. Pure REMY is the least damaged, so it will last the longest. Synthetic material, like the hair on the Reecho Clip-in, is also fairly durable. Unfortunately, over time, you might find the feeling of the material irritating. There is also a plasticky texture to any synthetic hair, that collects static and can get caught in rough materials.

If you want to dye and style your hair, you’ll want to avoid synthetic hair. Non-REMY hair can still be bleached and styled, but because there are no guarantees of quality, you may end up with breakage and damage to the extensions. Synthetic hair, for the most part, cannot be heat-styled. Too much heat will melt it and make the hair unusable.

As you might expect, synthetic hair isn’t terribly realistic. It is often shiny or plasticky. The colors may not look natural, and they may be hard to blend with your own hair. If you’re a stage performer, realism may not be an issue, but if you plan to wear your extensions to work or out and about, you might prefer human hair extensions like the Fullshine Clip-ins or the Vario Extensions.

Picking Texture and Thickness

The texture you choose depends entirely on what look you’re going for! If you’ve put your hair into braids and are planning to use extensions as a full head of hair, your texture options are limitless! If you’re looking to enhance your current hair, however, use this hair chart to identify your type.
drawing of different hair types

Many extensions have limited texture options, and expect you to style your extensions to match your hair, but for curly, coily, and kinky extensions, it’s good to know what type will best suit your hair. Both Hetto and Caliee offer great texture varieties for women with natural hair.

When choosing a weight, you’ll need to keep in mind how strong your own hair is. The heavier an extension is in grams, the more stress it puts on your own hair. You’ll want up to 100 grams for fine hair, up to 150 grams for medium hair, and no more than 220 grams for thick hair. Geelook offers a great option for fine hair, while Goo Goo offers a great option for thicker hair.

Selecting a Length

When choosing a length, it’s always better to go long than go short. You can cut your extensions to match your own hair length, or you can move them higher or lower on your head. Generally, shoulder-length hair is about 12 inches, while 24 inches is waist length.

It’s important to keep in mind, that curly hair loses about two inches of length when coiled.

Pro-tip: Take your extensions with you to your next salon appointment. Your stylist can advise you on placement and cut your extensions to frame your face.

Picking a Color

When picking a color, you want as near a match as possible to create a more realistic look. Generally, extensions can match with colors that aren’t the exact same shade, because they are generally worn mixed in with your own hair. However, extensions with highlights are generally the easiest to match, as there is variation in color and shade already built into the hair.

Most extension-sellers have a color-match service, so you can feel confident in your selection. Take a picture of your hair in good lighting and send it to the seller so they can recommend the best shade to match yours.

Wearing Your Extensions

The first thing you should do when you receive your extensions is to rinse them out in clean water. While most hair sellers are reputable and clean, washing the extensions will help avoid any chemical residue from cleaning. There have also been rare cases of lice nits making it through quality control. By taking the time to rinse your extensions, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Placement

To clip your extensions in, you’ll want to layer in each piece, or weft, with your own hair.

Step one: Brush out your hair and clip sections up off your head.

Step two: Decide where you want to place your first set of extensions, then let down the layer of your hair that’s below that point.

Step three: backcomb or tease the lower layer of your hair up to the roots to create a secure hold for the extension clips.

Step four: Open the clips and slip them onto the lower section of hair. Close the clips and make sure each extension is secure.

Continue with this process, until you have layered in all of your extensions. For a more detailed guide, you can watch videos based on your hair type and style goals.

Clip-in extensions come in packs of one, three, five, and seven wefts, with various widths. A one-pack, like the Reecho, will have multiple clips on one weft, or strand of hair, while packs with more wefts come in various widths so you can place them wherever you would like more volume.

Styling

To get a natural blend between your own hair and your extensions, style them together, so that the strands mix.

Our favorite styles include updos, wet-look curls, and braids, but extensions can look gorgeous un-styled as well. Running your fingers or a brush through your hair and clip-ins will help mix them together and create a gorgeous look with both volume and length.

Pro-tip: When washing your extensions, use the drying period as a no-heat styling opportunity. Braiding or arranging your extensions to dry in a certain position will encourage your extensions to maintain this position when dried.

Dyeing

If you decide to dye your clip-ins, your best option is to bring them to your stylist. They can help you safely dye them and get exactly the right color. If you decide to dye at home, remember, only dye lighter to darker. Buying the platinum blonde color of most of these extensions should give you a great base to work from.

Caring for Your Extensions

Most extensions are just like your own hair. They need to be washed, detangled, conditioned and brushed when dirty. After wearing your extensions, close all clips, gently brush them with a boar bristle brush, then store them in a dry location away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

REMY hair and non-REMY human hair should be shampooed and conditioned a little less regularly than your own hair if you wear them every day. Once your hair has a build-up of product, that is the time to wash them. The best way to keep your extensions in working order is to use the sandwich method: condition, shampoo, condition.

Fill up your sink with warm water and gently work through them as you apply product. At the end, rinse your extensions with cold water to lock in moisture.

When drying your extensions, pat them dry with a microfiber towel. Do not heat dry or scrunch your extensions. Damp extensions can be hung up to airdry.

Synthetic extensions can be washed with regular shampoo, but to get the most use out of your extensions, consider purchasing specific synthetic shampoo. When washing your synthetic extensions, soak them for five minutes in a solution of water and shampoo. Rinse them and squeeze out excess water. Apply a leave-in conditioner, avoiding the roots and the ends, and allow to air dry.

For all extensions, applying oils like argan oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil can help lock in moisture.

Best Products

For REMY and human hair avoid shampoos with alcohol and sulfates in them. These ingredients can dry out hair extensions and shorten their lifespan. Consider hydrating or detangling shampoos and conditioners for simpler care. For example, Korean shampoos often avoid alcohol and sulfates and are good for moisturizing hair.

For synthetic hair, items like this Revlon Synthetic Cleaner can help you protect the quality of your extensions. Synthetic hair tends to gather static when brushed, so detangling brushes like the Wet Brush are a great option.

Final Thoughts

Extensions are a great way to get the look you want without waiting for your hair to grow or for a miracle product to have an effect. Whether you’re new to extensions or you’re looking for a fresh update, there are great options out there for all hair styles and all budgets. It’s important to take care of your hair and your health while also feeling confident in your style and appearance. We hope this guide has helped you in your journey to your perfect hair.