I've been wearing hair extensions for around 7 years now. I first started wearing them when I was in highschool - I was 14, with short black hair and big black eyeliner and I wanted more ooomph in my hair, so extensions where the way forward. Even to this day I'm still absolutely addicted to the bloody things. I refuse to leave the house without them in because I just see them as another part of me. Just one that I can attach and detach at will.
As I've been wearing extensions for so long, I sort of see myself as a pro. If I could get a PHD in hair extensions I would be top of my class. But alas, the world is a cruel, cruel place. So instead I thought I'd pop a few of my tips and tricks on here for any of you who wear or are thinking about getting hair extensions. I can honestly say these are one of the best things in my life (awfully sad, I know) and they can really make a look!
Tip One: Always, always, always get human hair. Synthetic hair can be nice if you are only going to wear your extensions for a day or two, but if you want to style and use heat then you need to buy human hair. I cannot express this enough. Synthetic hair looks cheap and plasticy and will probably fall out of the weave almost straight away, which is why it's so cheap! So don't even think about going there. Ever.
Tip Two: Buy from EBAY and not from Markets. Markets LOVE to sell hair extensions, I'm pretty sure that you are picturing a hair extension stall on your local market right now. Don't go there. They will charge you so much more. If you pop onto EBAY and search for "human hair clip in extensions" you will pay half the price! Another good thing about EBAY is that a lot of the companies who sell the hair online also have a matching service, so you can send off a picture of your hair and they will tell you which hair colour to get. They have always been super helpful for me! Markets also don't tend to sell virgin hair or remy extensions which means you'll get a rubbish quality extensions which have probably been dyed many times to get the colour.
Tip Three: Make sure you buy "double wefted" extensions. Sure you've bought a full head of hair and you've got a good 7 pieces of hair, but it's never enough. I will never understand those people who buy half a head and think that their hair looks even remotely natural. Double wefted adds more hair and weight to the extensions, and you get more for your money. Trust me on this one. And if you can't get double wefted then buy two packs. One pack is not enough. I currently wear two packs of double wefted extensions and it still doesn't look right to me at the ends.
Tip Four: Don't wash your extensions a lot. Okay this sounds totally gross doesn't it? But if you wash the hair a lot you will find that slowly the weft will start to disappear. Hair will start to fall out and you'll get split ends on hair that isn't even alive. Then you'll end up with an uneven weft and it will look awful. The best thing to do, is wash the hair once a month and for the rest of the time use dry shampoo! Dry shampoo is an absolute miracle worker. If you talk to any pro, they will tell you the same or they will try and fob you off with some "miracle" product when all it is really is dry shampoo in a posh bottle. You will find that your extensions last a lot longer if you use dry shampoo and they will always smell gorgeous and look shiny! Perfect.
Tip Five: Give your extensions a hair cut once in a while. You will find at some point you will get split ends, and the hair won't look as nice. I find it best to whap out my hair scissors and give the ends a cheeky trim. Literally not taking more than a few centimetres off, but you will notice the difference in quality instantly. This will also help you maintain the hair.
Tip Six: When brushing the extensions don't brush too hard. You need to be delicate or the hair will fall out and then you've wasting your money. Your best bet is to buy a tangle-teaser brush or use a comb and gently comb from top to bottom.
Tip Seven: Blend, blend, blend! Make sure that you have a hairstyle that will actually blend with the extension. Countless times I've seen people with non-layered hair and hair extensions sticking out at the bottom. Not a good look. You really want to try and make it look natural or else what's the point? You can go to a hair dressers to get this done. If you go in with your extensions they can apply them for you and then cut your hair around the extensions so they all fit properly. It's definitely worth a try.