If you are nervous about purchasing clip in extensions online because of the fear of not matching, don't worry, there is a solution!
I have been working with clip in hair extensions for over five years now and I have taught myself a few tricks along the way that have really helped me blend and match my extensions (even if they might not come the perfect colour).
Depending on your hair colour, length and thickness of your hair, everybody has different needs when it comes to their hair extensions.
Whether your hair is long, thick, thin etc...it is no surprise that short hair is the hardest to conceal when it comes to extensions; especially if you have a blunt cut or a combination of thick and short hair. While it does seem difficult, it can be done! Here are a few tips I have found work well when you are blending clip in extensions to short hair.
Blending Short Hair
Natural looking extensions on short hair.
To look the most natural, the top layer of your actual hair should be chin length or longer. This is helpful if you are looking to have your extensions past 14 inches (16, 18 or 20 inches etc). The reason for this is to prevent a mullet or really shaggy effect (unless you like this look, than disregard)
If you plan on having extensions that are 14 inches or shorter, your shortest top later shouldn't be shorter than the top of your ear for the same reasons as above.
Layer Layer Layer
When you have short hair, layers are a godsend when it comes to making the extensions look natural! If your natural hair is shorter than your chin and your extension hair is 16 inches or longer, always start your layers at your chin or longer. (to prevent a mullet or shag). I have attached a video on how to layer clip in extensions. Hope it helps!
The shorter your hair the more hair you will need to blend
I would suggest two packs of 120 grams of clip in hair extensions for medium to thick short hair (even though I have finer hair, I like the added thickness). Some may feel that 240 grams is too much for your hair but I like the fullness.
The closer you set the extensions to each other, the more natural it will flow and look.
Especially if you have short hair, setting the extensions closer together will prevent your natural hair underneath from being seen. If they are set further apart, as the wind blows your natural shorter pieces in between the extensions will be noticeable. Here is a video on how to clip in extensions to short hair.
Hair Shoulder Length Or Longer
With hair this length, you don't need to worry as much about it looking natural. Because It already has length, blending makes this much easier. if you have fine to medium hair (depending of course on the individual) You could probably do well with one pack of 160 grams of hair. If your hair is on the thicker side, you might want to consider 2 packs of 120 grams of extensions. I still prefer (even with longer hair) to follow the guidelines in the video above when applying hair extensions so they flow more natural. To find out your hair type, please click Here.
Curly Or Wavy Hair
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options for those of us with curly/wavy hair when it comes to extensions. To blend, the best way is to straighten your natural hair to match with the straight extensions. Otherwise, you may be able to find a curling iron that matches the same curl as your hair and curl the extensions instead.
Dying or Low Lighting Extensions
Synthetic Hair Extensions.
I never recommend synthetic extensions. You cannot dye, straighten or curl these extensions and they have a very short life. In my opinion, unless you are looking to wear these once and throw them out, they are a waste of money.
Dying Extensions A Full Set Of Extensions
Never attempt to dye the extensions lighter or use bleach. If you are unsure of your colour, be sure to get a shade lighter than what you think you need. Because everybody's computer monitor is different, the colours will always look different. So just because it looks like it matches, doesn't necessarily mean it will. If the company has a colour ring you can purchase, I strongly suggest it! Depending on how much extension hair you have will vary on how many boxes of dye you will need.
Match Your Hair Colour's Undertone
Just because the extensions are a dark brown colour doesn't necessarily mean it will match your dark brown hair. There are different undertones when it comes to hair colour. Examples of these are ash, red, gold etc... Personally, I have a golden undertone. When looking for extensions, look for what your undertone is and again if your not completely sure that it will match go a shade lighter. This helps when it comes to dying your extensions yourself because you need to start with the same undertones in your hair extensions as your hair even if it is a bit lighter. Find a box colour that has the same undertone to match the undertone of your hair and your extension hair. If you have an ashy undertone in your hair extension and try to put a colour with a gold undertone on top to match your golden undertones, it won't match. You will be able to find out your hair's undertone by visiting your stylist and then asking the extension company.
Like I said before, you will never want to high-light or bleach your extensions. This will shorten the lifespan of your extensions because it strips the colour out of the hair and opens the cuticle. The other alternative is low-lighting. Now, it may seem odd because if you are a person that goes to a salon and just gets highlights, it may seem counter productive to low-light the extensions. Believe me, it works! i know this because this is the method I use to do my hair.
What you are going to want to do is start with is your lightest colour. So if your high-light or lightest colour in your hair is a yellow blond, buy a set of extensions that are yellow blond (again keeping with the same undertone).
Sometimes your hair may seem one colour, but in reality have different demensions in it. This usually happens when you have blonde hair with blonde high-lights on top or brown hair with brown highlights etc... The ends may seem all one colour but in reality there are a few different colours. This is where some go wrong thinking that a one tone hair colour will be right for them. Even when my hair was lighter and looked one colour, I still low lighted them my extensions to get a more natural colour blend.
Now, you will want to low-light your hair the darkest colour you have in your hair. Find a box colour that matches your darkest colour and undertone. I do this by holding the my hair up to the sample colour on the box. Depending on how thick your high/low-lights are in your actual hair, is how thick you are going to want to make your low-lights in your extension hair.
Low-lighting your extensions is better than high-lighting because you are depositing or adding colour and not stripping it or pulling it from the hair, therefore there is less damage.
When you have big chunks of highlights or low lights in your hair. This is where I would suggest using the 1" clips to dye to match that particular colour so you can place them exactly where your high-light/low-light or coloured pieces are.
So this is most of my knowledge and my opinions about making extensions look natural. It has worked for me and hopefully it will worked for you as well! Hopefully I haven't missed anything... If you have any questions, please let me know!