How To: Clip-In Hair Extensions

There is something so lush about long hair.

It's super feminine and fun, but unfortunately hard to achieve for someone like myself who has fine, lightened hair that has been through more than a few colour and style changes. I'm working on improving the condition of my hair - and it's definitely growing - but in the meantime, I am loving my clip-ins for added length and volume. 

Hair extensions are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to transform your look in an instant. Clip-ins, in particular, are a fantastic tool for special occasions for those who don't want to commit to tape, weft, or bonded extensions. By clipping in pieces of hair and styling them to blend with your natural hair, you have the flexibility to wear your hair long or short, up or down, and with absolutely no damage (as long as you're not wearing them constantly).

If you're not after length, but you have flat, fine hair, clip-ins are amazing for adding volume. Take your set to your hairdresser and have them cut them to the same length as your hair for fuller, thicker locks. When I chopped my hair into a lob I would often clip in a few pieces on the sides for added thickness. 


My silky soft clip-ins pictured above are from Chic Hair Extensions.  I was very kindly gifted a set by Chic, and now I know where I'll be purchasing mine in the future! They specialise in high-quality Remy human hair extensions in a range of colours, lengths, and weights. I love that you can select how much hair you want - for instance, I am wearing 120g which works beautifully for my normal to fine hair. If you have thick hair or want a very voluminous finish, you can opt for 200g of hair. They even have ombre clip-ins for the balayage lovers among us. 

I'm wearing shade #12/613 (they look a lot lighter in my image due to lighting and photo editing). I have also toned my clip-ins with purple shampoo to give them a cooler, ash tone - be very careful if you do this at home as many blonde shades will grab the colour and go silver or purple very quickly. You can take your extensions to your hairdresser if you want to tone or colour them to match your hair, though they don't fare too well with lightening. 


Apply the pieces in layers throughout your hair - and keep them low (here's a great tutorial). I like a good layer of hair over the top of my clip-ins to disguise them as much as possible. 

Always backcomb each section where you will be placing the clips. This gives your hair some grip and will prevent the extensions falling out. 

Backcomb the upper layers of your hair to give more cover - there's nothing worse than visible extensions. I always check the back and sides of my head with a mirror to make sure everything looks good.

I prefer to wear my extensions with a wave or a curl as I find they blend into my natural hair much better this way. Curl your natural hair as you go through each section - it's up to you whether you curl the extensions first or while they're in your hair. I like to pre-curl mine apart from the front section which I curl with my natural hair for maximum blending.

Invest in a Tangle Teezer brush! These brushes are the best for long hair and extensions as the don't pull on the roots. I like to brush mine regularly while I'm wearing them to keep my hair looking soft and my waves fresh.

Treat your clip-ins like you would the hair on your head. Wash them with a gentle shampoo and condition them deeply. I try not to apply too much styling product to mine, and I wash them every two to three wears - lay them flat to dry on a towel rather than blasting them with a hairdryer. 

If you're going for a super long set, take them to your stylist, get him or her to clip them in and cut them with some layers so they look as natural as possible. 


I have previously worn tape extensions, which I loved, but decided to have a break to let my hair thicken up and grow. Tapes are amazing if you want a little added volume, but be prepared for six to eight weekly maintenance appointments. I went to a stylist to have these applied and I wouldn't recommend a DIY job with tapes. 

If I ever wear permanent extensions again, I will try Great Lengths keratin bonded extensions. I have heard amazing things about them, and apparently, they are the least damaging option available.

Have you worn hair extensions of any kind? I would love to hear your tips and tricks.