We asked a hair expert for her best hair extension tips and tricks. And we were surprised at what we learned!
By Diane Small
Celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Demi Moore may all look like they have incredible hair. But in fact – they don’t.
All three women have experienced serious hair thinning over the years, and likely have a significant amount of grey hairs, given their age. So, how does their hair look so amazing? Well, besides obviously having access to the best hairdressers and colourists in the world, there are plenty of tricks to make your hair look fuller.
Those with really thin hair or alopecia will use U part wigs made with real hair. These look so real, they’re barely distinguishable from one’s actual hair. But if a star has ‘ok’ hair, it’s highly likely that they’ll be using hair extensions.
In fact, hair extensions have become massively popular over the last few years. They are all kinds of of them, ranging from clip-in ones you can DIY, to beaded, taped and even zip-lock hair extensions that are best applied by an expert.
The problem? Sometimes, they look super obvious. And frankly, in that case, they can look a bit ridiculous. This is especially true if you’re applying the extensions yourself.
Here below, hair expert Nicole Petty from Milk + Blush gives her best hair extension tips and tricks so you can easily get a seamless look.
All images: @luxyhair on Instagram
1. Pay attention to texture
So, you’ve found the perfect colour, and the perfect length. But if you don’t know how to use hair extensions correctly, you may choose a texture that makes it too obvious you’re wearing hair that’s not your own.
Ensure you have your extensions cut into your hairstyle after they have been fitted for the most natural look. Getting the extensions layered will help to graduate the hair so that there isn’t so much of a harsh line between your natural hair and the extensions. A straighter hairstyle can often make your blunt ends more noticeable when wearing extensions. For that reason, you may want to curl your hair (and extensions) a bit to make them blend in more seamlessly.
2. The thicker the better?
For those with thick hair who are just looking to add a bit of volume, having thicker extensions will make it easier to hide any disconnect from your real hair, especially if your hair is closer to shoulder length than the ends of the extensions.
If you’re layering your wefts, ensure you are clipping them to enough hair to hold the weight comfortably. I don’t recommend using more than two wefts per layer of natural hair.
To fit more wefts around your head, layer or stack them on top of each other. This method removes a bulk of your hairs’ bluntness, whilst creating more volume. Doing this will enable you to fit more extensions onto your head using fewer layers of hair. You can also use this trick to achieve an ombre or mixed-shade style.
Here’s one of my best hair extension tips: if your hair is super fine or thin, do NOT go for thicker extensions! They won’t blend into your own hair naturally, and will look very obvious. Aim to find extensions with European hair, which tends to be thinner and finer than Brazilian or Chinese extensions.
3. Conceal hair at the nape
One of the most obvious tell-tale signs of clip-in hair extensions is not paying attention to your bottom layers. After fitting your extensions, the section of hair at the nape of the neck will be the most prominent, particularly for those with short, blunt hairstyles.
To avoid the choppy extension look, you’ll need to conceal this shorter bottom layer of hair. The most discreet method is to plait the hair flat against the nape of your head.
If your hair is too short to plait, twist the hair and pin it or tie it into a small bun. You can then begin clipping your first weft to this pinned section.
4. Consider buying longer
As mentioned above, one of our top hair extension tips is to cut them into your hairstyle. For that reason, don’t forget that you’ll need to cut your hair extensions. Possibly, a significant amount! So be sure you buy your extensions a least a few inches longer than your actual hair length.
5. Clip at an angle
To create a graduated effect with your extensions, you can clip your wefts on an angle. This will soften up your look, making the extensions appear much more natural.
Remember to tilt your wefts up when fitting them around your face instead of clipping these in super straight. This will help to soften the lines and create some faux layers for a much better blend.
6. Pre-style your extensions
Styling the wefts when they’re on your head can stress your natural roots, leading to hair damage. It can also give your extensions a rough look. For these reasons, one of my best hair extension tips is to pre-style your hair extensions before putting them on.
No matter if you’re straightening your extensions or trying to add some lovely bouncy curls, make sure to put them on a hanger and then style them into your preferred look. Once done, you can apply the extensions to your hair and look beautiful instantly.
7. Don’t forget to care for them right
It’s always best to buy natural hair. Care for your extensions as you would with your hair. Organic hair conditioners and styling products will ensure your extensions last longer and look better over time. Wash them every few weeks, and be sure to store them flat in a cool, dry place.
But one of the most important hair extension tips is this: don’t pull, pick at or play with them! This will damage the natural hair underneath, and can lead to bald spots if you’re not careful.
Nicole Petty is a Hair Expert for Milk + Blush