I get asked all the time how to get fuller, thicker hair.  Mousses and root pumps can help, but if you’re going to a special event and want some extra “oomph”, it might not be a bad idea to throw in a few extensions.  More often then not, those luscious locks you see in the magazines aren’t all real.  From the runway to the red carpet, most celebrities and models need a little ‘faux’ help too, so don’t feel like you’re the only one.  And extensions aren’t just for added length.  You can get a few pieces the same length as your own hair, just to help with volume.  It can be a little overwhelming and may seem overly complicated, but I’ll help you navigate through the world of extensions.

Always get real hair.  Synthetic hair won’t hold up to heat very well, and they don’t last as long.  A set of real extensions will last you a long time if you take care of them, so it’s worth spending a little more.

You’ll have to find a wig shop in your city (or ask your hair stylist to recommend a place).  Most companies make a decent range of extension colors but when you’re choosing the right ones, focus on matching it to the bottom half of your hair.  You’ll be hiding the clips, so it’s ok if your roots don’t match.  Extensions usually come in different lengths, but I tend to like them about an inch shorter then my natural hair.  If you’re between lengths, get the longer set because its easy just to trim any excess.

A full set of extensions might come in 5-6 pieces.  One for the bottom, one for the crown, and a few for either side.  It’s up to you how much added hair you want – you can add one piece or all 6.  Play around with them a little to see what desired look you want and where you want the extra volume.

Now for the application.  Start with clean, blow dried hair.  Second day hair works great too, but just make sure your roots aren’t super oily. Begin by sectioning off your hair and start with the bottom and work your way up.  Take a 2-inch section of hair and spray just the roots with a little hair spray.  Then back comb it to make a little “nest”.  do this all around the section you’ll be clipping the extensions into. Start with the clips in the back and work your way around either side.  Remember, the ends should remain at least an inch away from your hairline.

If the clips are peeking through, you might need to move them a little farther down or tease some more hair for coverage.  Also, if you want to wear your hair wavy or curly, it’s best to curl your hair and the extensions separately, before before you put them in.  When you’re done using them, unclip them from your hair and brush them out.  If you’re not using much product, you can get quite a few uses before having to wash them (to clean them, just use a little shampoo and conditioner, and let them dry on a towel before putting them away).  Store them in a silky scarf, inside a bag, to prevent tangling and breakage.  And remember, you can have your stylist color and cut them just the way you like, if you think they need some professional help.

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