A Stylist’s Complete Guide to Clip In Hair Extensions

woman with windblown long brown hair
woman with windblown long brown hair

Hair extensions are a fantastic way of achieving longer and fuller hair without having to wait for your hair to grow. Clip-in hair extensions are a temporary method of wearing hair extensions. If you’re thinking about getting them, it’s essential that you know the important details of using them to determine if clip-ins are the best for you.

What Are Clip-In Hair Extensions?

Clip in straight dark brown human hair extensions

Clip-in hair extensions are made from wefts of human hair that will attach to the natural hair by using clips. A lot of women love to wear clip-ins because they are affordable and simple to apply.

The clip-in hair extensions package will usually contain three wide strips of hair and four more narrow pieces, which will all contain clips. These clips will securely attach to the scalp in layers.

Who Should Wear Clip-In Hair Extensions?

Various colors of straight single clip in human hair extensions
  • Clip-ins are ideal for you if you prefer a temporary method of wearing hair extensions. If you love changing the color, length, and style your hair from time to time, then clip-ins are excellent for you. They come in a variety of colors and lengths and you can easily attach and detach them anytime and anywhere.
  • If you’re not sure yet if you are willing to commit to wearing hair extensions long-term, then you should also go with clip-ins.
  • If you’re taking a break from using permanent hair extensions, but still want to achieve longer and fuller hair, then clip-ins are the solution!
  • Clip-ins are also perfect for occasions. If you only want to wear hair extensions during special occasions, like weddings, company parties, holiday gatherings, etc., clip-ins are really useful.

Pros and Cons of Clip-In Hair Extensions

pros and cons arrow signs in red and green colors

The Pros

  • You can attach them as fast as five minutes.
  • They are easy to install.
  • You can purchase them in different styles and colors so you can change your look regularly.
  • They are affordable.
  • You have the freedom to attach and remove them whenever you want to.
  • They are safe as you won’t use any special adhesives and heating tools to attach them.
  • They are versatile and you can style them even when you’re not wearing them.
  • The clips are comfortable and light.
  • You can ask a professional to color or dye your human clip-in hair extensions.

The Cons

  • You need to remove them each time you go to bed.
  • You cannot use them on the same area of your head for extended amounts of time as the clips may cause the hair to break.
  • If you won’t attach the clips properly, the hair extensions may shift or fall out.
  • You cannot customize individual clip-in hair extensions, like the other methods (micro rings), which allow you to blend different shades to create a customized mix.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Hair Extensions

thinking woman holding book and pen and looking upward

Even though clip-ins are typically low-cost, it’s still important that you choose the right one. You’re still spending money after all and it will save you time and effort when you get the right clip-ins during your first purchase.

The Color

The first crucial factor you must consider when getting clip-ins is the color. Remember, you cannot customize the colors by blending different shades. However, you can choose from a variety of colors, which can be confusing when choosing the right color for you.

Get the color closest to the natural shade of your hair. If you’re purchasing from a physical store, it’s better if you’ll get them during the day. Natural light will give out the real color of the clip-ins.

If you’re purchasing online, try your best to compare your natural hair from the different colors of clip-ins and determine which will best fit you.

Your Hair Texture

The ultimate goal is for your clip-ins to blend with your real hair as natural as possible. One way to achieve this is to get the matching texture of your natural hair and hair extensions. Unless your goal is to try a different look, you must choose curly hair extensions if you have curly hair, the straight ones if you have straight hair, and so on.

The Hair Length

When choosing clip-in hair extensions, you must also pay attention to the length. How long your hair extensions will be will depend on their texture. Straight hair will typically fall longer because they lie entirely flat when measured. It’s best if you stay within four inches of the length of your real hair to achieve a more natural look.

The Price

If you’re thinking about getting high-quality clip-in hair extensions, then you must be wary of the price. While it’s a plus that you get affordable ones, be careful not to choose those that are really cheap that the quality is already compromised. With that said, make sure your clip-ins are made only by a well-trusted hair extensions manufacturer.

How to Install Clip-In Hair Extensions

close-up shot of a woman applying clip in hair extensions

Installing clip-in hair extensions are quick and as easy as ABC. You don’t need a stylist to attach them to your hair, which is another reason why they are the most affordable method of applying hair extensions.

When attaching clip-ins, you’re going to need your clip-in package, clips to secure your hair, a hairbrush to combine your clip-ins to your natural hair, and a rat-tail comb for parting your hair. You may also need an elastic to provide a firmer hold on your hair.

Here’s how to install your clip-in hair extensions properly:

Step 1: Prepare and divide your hair for the installation.

Using the rat-tail comb, part an inch of your hair at the nape of your neck. If your hair is silky and smooth, you can comb small portions of your hair (where you’re going to attach the clips) backward.

You can also use the elastic bands to make small ponytails that will give the clip-ins a secure ground to adhere to. Doing this will prevent your clip-ins from moving out of their position.

Open the clips and securely attach them to the divided sections of your hair. You will know that the wefts are holding securely in place when you feel and hear them close tight.

To guarantee that your hair and the clip-ins will blend naturally, brush your hair gently and properly after installing all the wefts.

Step 2: Install smaller wefts to the top portion of your hair.

We recommend that you attach first the smaller wefts in your clip-in kit to the top and sides of your head, the average ones at the nape of your neck, and the biggest ones at the crown. This will make your hair appear longer and fuller.

Step 3: Blend and style your hair.

To blend the clip-ins with your natural hair, make sure to attach them in areas where they are inconspicuous. Noticeable clips will make your hair unattractive, and they will likely fall off easily.

After securing your clip-in hair extensions, give your hair some styling. Since you’re going to use human hair extensions, you can use heat styling tools, like curling irons and flat irons. However, be careful not to over-style your hair to prevent damage to both your real hair and clip-ins.

This video will show you how to install your clip-in hair extensions with ease.

Hair Care Tips to Make Your Clip-In Hair Extensions Last Longer

young woman combing her hair, looking at camera and smiling

Without proper care, wearing your clip-ins overtime will lead to tangling and oil buildup. They will also lose their luster eventually. The main reason for this is the hair extensions don’t receive proper washing and conditioning.

Regardless of what type of extensions you have, it’s imperative you know how to take care of your hair extensions properly. Some ways to take care of your clip-ins:

Deep Conditioning

After you remove your clip-in extensions, you need to clean them thoroughly using sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. You can also apply a hair mask weekly to help keep the hair extensions smooth and shiny.

For deep conditioning, apply the conditioner both to your natural hair and clip-ins and leave them overnight. You can also make a DIY hair moisturizer by mixing argan oil with your conditioner before applying.


After you apply conditioner to your clip-ins, smooth them out using a hairbrush and place them somewhere safe for air-drying. This process will prevent matting and tangling, which are common problems of hair extensions. After drying, use an elastic to tie your clip-ins and place them in a plastic bag for protection.

How to Remove Your Clip-In Hair Extensions

Man holding sign that says "helpful tips"

The installation and removal of clip-in hair extensions are quite simple. However, if not done right, removing your clip-ins may lead to a painful or itchy scalp or ripped hair.

Here are some basic procedures to follow when taking off your clip-in hair extensions:

Step 1: Make sure that your hair is tangle-free.

Before you start removing your clip-ins, you must make sure that they are free from tangling and matting. Take your time to ensure that you’re able to attend to all affected areas.

You can use a large-toothed comb and some drizzle of water to remove any clumping. You can also simply use your hands and run with your fingers gently to make your hair smooth.

Step 2: Section your hair.

Part your hair right above where your clip-in hair extensions are. This will give you a good view exactly where the hair extensions are attached. It’s not necessary but you can also part the bottom portion where the clip-ins are. This can help in removing the clip-ins easier.

Step 3: Take off the clip-in hair extensions.

  • Using one hand, secure your natural hair. Lift and slide gently and carefully the clip-in hair extensions out of your hair.
  • While doing this, be alert to any pulling on your scalp. If you feel that you’re pulling your hair too much, stop and start detangling some more. This will help keep you from losing hair.
  • When removing the clip-ins, press your thumbs and put pressure with your index fingers.
  • The clips should snap open. Make sure you open all the clips before pulling out the extensions.

Step 4: Detangle your clip-in hair extensions.

  • After removing all the clip-ins, inspect them carefully for any knots and tangling.
  • Use a comb or brush to smooth out your hair.
  • If there isn’t too much tangling, you can use your fingers.

Step 5: Dry and safely store your clip-ins.

  • If you’re clip-in extensions are still damp from using water, air dry them first before storing.
  • If your time is limited, you can use a blow dryer but set it to the lowest setting.
  • Once they are completely dry, it’s time to store them in a safe place.
  • Choose a cool and dry place for your clip-ins. Make sure they avoid direct sunlight. UV lights can damage the hair and their color will start to fade.
  • You can store them in a box, which must be long and wide enough to hold the entire length of your hair extensions.

Check out this video to show you how to remove your clip-in extensions properly.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clip-In Hair Extensions

Girl holding a signboard with a question mark

Can I shower with my clip-in hair extensions?

You must take off your clip-ins each time you shower. You must also take them off when swimming and before going to bed. The good news is, it takes about five minutes to remove them. This is to prevent any tangling and knotting on your clip-ins and natural hair. This is also to avoid the clips from pulling your hair too much.

How long should my hair be to use the clip-ins?

People have different opinions when it comes to the length, but as a general rule, as long as you have shoulder hair or even slightly short hair, you can use the clip-in hair extensions.

How long do clip-in extensions last?

Since you’re going to use human hair extensions, they’re going to last depending on how you take care of them. If you look after them and maintain them properly, they can last up to a year. If you neglect to care for them, you’ll have to replace them every three to six months. The more you take care of them, the longer they’re going to last.

Can I use styling tools with my clip-in hair extensions?

Yes, because it is human hair. You can use heating or styling tools to curl or straighten your clip-ins. However, just like our natural hair, be careful not to style them too much.

How often should I shampoo my clip-ins?

You can wash them like how you wash your real hair. You can use your preferred shampoo and conditioner.

Can I color my clip-in extensions?

Yes, you can. Keep in mind that it’s easier to darken your hair than to lighten it. However, blonde hair went through extensive bleaching so be more careful. To minimize risks of hair damage, choose a high-quality hair dye. You can consult with your stylist which hair dye is perfect for your clip-ins. Also, test the product first to see if it’s the color you really want.


Using hair extensions will make a significant change to your hair. They help in improving your overall appearance, which will greatly boost your confidence. Hopefully, the details in this post will help you be more confident in choosing the best clip-in hair extensions for you!