Monday, March 5, 2012

Extend Your Look With Extentions

Have the flexibility, but without the cost. Extend your look with clip-in hair extensions by adding length, volume, and fullness to your own hair. When I was younger, I was teeter-tottering between getting professional salon hair extensions or making my own custom clip-in hair extensions. I’m thrilled I went for the clip-ins. For years, I have had the flexibility of changing my hair style for weddings, special occasions, travel, or just everyday fun. My goal is to show you how to make your own custom clip-in hair extensions so you can get the gorgeous look you have always wanted. 

1) Purchasing Your Hair Extensions*

Always buy REAL hair. This is absolutely key. Synthetic hair can melt with heat, meaning you can't curl, straighten, or blow dry. Also, pick extensions that match your hair color. To do this correctly the first time. I strongly recommend you go to the store and put the extensions next to your hair. Don't worry if there is no perfect match, you can always dye real hair to your color needs. Recommended stores: Sally Beauty and Ulta. 

2) Products Needed*

-Hair Extensions: Length 14" or 18" (I purchased 18"). Brand: Remy, Sassy, or Jessica Simpson are great quality.
-Durable Sewing Needle and Thread (Thread should match your hair color)
-Tape Measure
-Hair Extension Snap Clips
(You will need 9-15 clips, depending on your head size)

3) Cut and Sew*

Remove hair from package. Cut hair according to your head size. I recommend cutting 5 pieces: I cut one 7 inch piece for the base of my head, one 6 inch piece to be clipped in one inch above that layer, one 4 inch piece to be clipped in one inch above that layer, and two 2 inch pieces for the sides of the head (This makes your extensions look like you have layers). View picture above to see the number of clips I needed (14) and spacing. 

Sew in one clip at a time. Make sure the teeth of the clip are facing out. Sew thread through each hole to make a tight fit. I used the whip stitch method, which means I started on one side, tied a knot, then whipped a stitch through each hole until I got to the end, then tied a knot. (To learn how to whip stitch I suggest going to You Tube. There are many quick and easy tutorials.)

4) Clip In Hair Extensions*

a. Practice opening and closing the clip. With the teeth side facing you, put both thumbs on each side of the clip and the index fingers at the front side of the piece. Snap open and close by applying pressure away from and towards you with the thumbs.

b. Practice snapping your hair.  Using one of the 2" pieces, practice attaching and removing the extension piece. 

c. Separating the hair.Using a tail comb or your index fingers, practice parting the hair where you wish to attach the first extension.

d. Clip up the hair above the part. Place the longest piece of hair at the base of the head. 

e. Placement of the hair piece. Select the largest piece to go on the base of the head and snap open all the clips. The clips should be placed on your own hair below the part so that that top of the hair piece is even with the part. From left to right place the clip on your own hair just below the part. Moving the clip downward, catch your own hair in the clip and snap it shut. Check for gaps and adjust as needed. 

f. Preparing to the place second piece.  This piece will be placed above the first piece. Release all the hair that was clipped out of the way in step e. Then, slightly above the first piece that was just attached, make another part - as explained in steps c through e. Repeat this step by adding a third piece above the second piece. Follow steps c through e once more. 
 g. Adding the side pieces. Place your shortest pieces on each side of the head (ex. 2 inch pieces). Using only one piece on each side. Follow the same directions c through e to apply extension. 

H. Your DONE! Let you hair hang. Cut, curl, blow dry or straighten your extensions to your style. SIDE NOTE: Extensions have allowed me to have beautiful up-do's for special occasions. 

I. Removal & Maintenance. Remove extensions by unclipping hair pieces starting from the top of your head to the bottom. Maintain your extensions like your own hair. Wash, shampoo, condition, and blow dry as needed. 

 Now you can enjoy the benefits of long, full, and gorgeous hair without the salon cost. Life expectancy of the hair extensions can range from 1-3 years depending on use. Enjoy!

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