Clip-in hair extensions are a quick, easy, and temporary approach to achieving longer and fuller hair.
They’ve become increasingly popular in the last couple of decades, this is probably because they require no long-term bonding, pain, or damage to your hair.
They are easily attached and can be perfectly matched and blended with your own hair to create length, emphasize volume, or even to add highlights to your natural hair.
All clip-in hair extensions come in one or multiple pieces, which are called wefts. These wefts will vary in width and amount of clips.
Typically, each weft is specifically designed to be affixed to a certain section of your hair. Extensions can be clipped in and out of your hair in a matter of minutes and are practically invisible.
They are by far the fastest and most affordable way to transform the look of your hair without breaking the bank or damaging your natural hair.
However, there are a number of different types of hair extensions available on the market, and no two sets of extensions are the same.
Some clip-in hair extensions are made from cheap or synthetic hair that doesn’t last very long. Meanwhile, some hair extensions are made from 100% human hair and can tolerate a lot of heat, styling and coloring.
Before diving straight in and making a purchase, consider the different varieties of extensions and try to figure out which one is the best for you.
How long do real human hair extensions last?
Most human hair clip-in extensions will be Remy hair. Remy hair is considered to be the high quality of human hair that means the hair's cuticles are kept intact and always going in one direction.
The term Remy refers to the characteristics of the hair and the method used to manufacture the hair extensions. For this reason, Remy hair extensions are the most popular human hair extension on the market due to the quality and price.
When all hair strands follow the same direction, there will be almost no tangling and matting. With true high-quality Remy hair, the hair collected is healthy, the cuticles intact and all cuticles flow in the same direction from root to the tip. This increases the longevity of the hair.
If you take really good care of your human hair clip-ins, they can last about 12 months. Usually, they last somewhere between 3 to 6 months with medium to heavy use and without proper care. Remember just like your natural hair, they require the same love and attention.
How long do synthetic hair extensions last?
The lifespan of synthetic clip-in hair extensions depends largely on how often it is worn, styled, and washed. If cared for correctly, some synthetic clip-in hair will last up to 6 months.
Some inexpensive synthetic hair may only last a few days, especially when applied as hair extensions. Unlike real human hair, synthetic hair will not absorb the products you choose to put on it. This is the case with shampoo and conditioner.
However, using a heavy conditioner can help with de-tangling. Do not use heat on your synthetic hair, unless the manufacturer’s instructions state that it is safe to do so.
Using heated styling tools on synthetic clip in hair extensions pose a risk of burning or melting. This is because synthetic hair is made out of very thin strands of plastic or sometimes nylon, which means it will melt very easily.
It is best not to use heat on your synthetic hair at all, but sometimes a knowledgeable stylist will offer to do it for you. Be careful and make sure you trust your stylist before allowing them to use styling products on synthetic hair.
If you’ve purchased your synthetic clip-in hair extensions for a single event such as a wedding or a party and you never plan on wearing them again, it’s probably worth letting a professional style them for you.
How can I improve the lifespan of my hair extensions?
In order to improve the lifespan of your hair clip-in extensions, you’ll need a regular maintenance routine.
Human hair that isn’t cared for will react in exactly the same way that the hair on your head would if it was left to its own devices. Hair extensions that have been neglected will become tangled, matted, and stinky until they eventually break.
Store them correctly
Ensure that you store your clip-in extensions after every use. Hanging your clip-in extensions up after every use will prevent tangles and damage.
Special hair extension bags exist that allow you to hang them up safely. However, these aren’t necessary and clipping them to a coat hanger and putting them somewhere safe will work just fine.
Be sure to brush your extensions after use and avoid stuffing them into a drawer and you’ll probably be fine!
Avoid cheap products that contain harmful chemicals
One of the most important things to consider when taking care of your extensions is to ensure that you are using the friendliest products possible. This will make all the difference in whether your extensions will tangle or stay soft and manageable.
Be sure to check the ingredients on the back of the bottle and ensure you don’t see the words: SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Alcohol Denat, Ethanol, SD Alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl.
These are all chemicals commonly found in low-quality shampoo and conditioner. A lot of them are pointless lathering agents that cause a lot of damage to your hair over time.
Purchasing sulfate-free and alcohol-free products is a necessity. These ingredients strip the hair of its natural oils which makes the hair drier and more prone to tangling or matting.
Prolonged use of these ingredients can affect the integrity of the hair, shortening the lifespan of your hair extensions significantly.
Remember, products that are free from sulfates might not produce much lather, as these are the specific ingredients used to create suds. However, these products will clean your hair just as effectively as products that contain sulfates, they’ll just cause less damage.