I get a lot of questions about my hair, especially in the DM section of my instagram inbox. I take really great care of my hair but I also get a little help! Obviously, I color my hair…but I also wear hair extensions to add volume and have been wearing some sort of hair extension for YEARS!
And to be completely honest- most people in my industry, in the blogging world, and modeling industry- ALL wear extensions. Whether it’s just for shoots or around the clock…most of these beauties with long luscious locks are getting a little…or a lot…of help from some added hair. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but for the most part everyone is wearing them or has worn them at some point. Which leads me to my next point: there is NO shame in hair extensions! If adding some extra hair makes you feel like even more of a badass babe, then go for it!! And I am here to help you find your match and make the whole process a little easier…so here we go!
So, in my life, I have used 3 different types of extensions and I wanted to go over the pro’s and con’s of each one, the maintenance efforts for each and my personal preferences. I currently have tape ins, which I absolutely LOVE, and will get into at the end of this post!
It all began when I started working on season 1 of 30 rock, which was 12 years ago (AHH). I have always had good hair, but it was never GREAT, you know? I have always had a lot of it, but it is very fine, so my hair stylist on 30 Rock introduced me to the clip in extension. You probably all know about clip ins now because they have become very common…but back then I knew nothing about any of it. Every year I would get a new set of gorgeous, silky, incredible human hair clip in extensions and would get to keep the ones from the previous year for my own personal use. That is when I started using them for events, special occasions etc and I LOVED how they made my hair look. Once you get that feeling that extensions give, it is kind of hard to go back to au natural!
I would also bring them to other sets when I was working on movies- and I have never shot anything without them in- it’s pretty much a standard for the hair and makeup process on set!
Clip in’s are temporary extensions that you literally clip into your own hair. You put them in by separating your hair in layers, backcomb a little along that line of hair and secure the clip in’s into the backcombed hair so it stays in place. Clip in’s are great if you aren’t ready to commit to something more permanent (the other two types I have had)! They can transform your look instantly and are easy to care for- just wash and condition them every now and then. The one con is that you don’t wake up with great hair…because you have to add them in every time. I also personally feel like they are a little annoying on my head after a few hours. And FORGET wearing them on a super windy day, at the beach or in the water- an exposed extension track is NOT a good look! I think they are best for a special event, going out at night or a shoot.
All my hair clip in’s were always human hair, BUT a new brand recently reached out to me and sent me some clip in’s that are YELLOOW keratin fiber hair and I am super impressed. They feel like real hair, can be heat styled and are a very affordable price point which is also amazing. If you would like to try them out, head over to kinziejones and use my code “fitkat20” for 20% off!
Next, when I was on the set of a big studio film a few years later, I was introduced to beaded bond hair extensions. The hair stylist wanted me to have lush hair, but there was a lot of action in the film so we worried that the extension tracks of clip in’s would show. SO she opted for human hair beaded bond extensions. They are not tracks, but instead a cluster of strands held together by a bead at the top. a similar sized cluster of your own hair gets fished through the bead, then the bead is clamped down to keep the extension in place. These went all over my head! The beads are small, but when you run your hands through your hair you feel little plastic beads which was weird to get used to at first, but after a week I barely noticed. They were also kept clamped loosely as to not damage my hair since they were temporary for the two month shoot. Because of this, they slipped out from time to time which was never a cute look! One time I was waiting in line at Whole Foods and I noticed I had one long cluster that I had to slowly pull down and hide in my bag HA! So if you decide to get these, make sure they are clamped well- you don’t want an embarrassing moment!
So aside from them being clamped loose, I did REALLY like them! I loved that I didn’t have a track in my hair and that the beads were very well hidden. Plus, when I woke up, my hair looked lush and amazing every day! But I have heard that most bonded extensions tend to be the most damaging on your own strands and can lead to breakage. I think it is essential to go to someone who has your hairs best interest in mind and really take care of them on your end.
These need to be moved up toward your scalp every 2-3 months depending on how fast your hair grows…so it requires way more maintenance that a clip in, but you get that great hair all the time look in exchange! All “permanent” extensions need this type of move up maintenance.
I have tape in’s right now. I got them for the first time 2 years ago and I really like them. They are kind of the perfect cross between a clip in and a bonded extension! They are 1-1.5 inch tracks that literally get taped into your own hair and they stay in until your stylist removes them. They are super lightweight, they stay in place and lay super flat against your head and your own hair. Since they are small tracks, the risk of them showing is pretty close to NO risk- in fact, most people have NO idea that I have them and when I tell people they are usually super surprised.
Tape in’s are also considered the safest extensions for your hair- they result in less breakage and really keep you own hair in very good shape. I get mine moved up every 3 months or so and I have a half pack in my hair….so it’s like 1/4 of my hair is the tape in’s…to put it in perspective. You can, of course, get more taped in for a more dramatic look! I own a full pack and when I get them moved up, I sort of alternate which extension pieces I use because I want to keep them all looking nice and fresh. The hair lasts 1-2 years depending on how well you take care of them!
My tape in’s are also rooted so they blend flawlessly into my own natural color.
So in all, I think that tape in’s are my current favorite because I really care about the health and safety of my own hair. Plus, I love waking up with a full head of hair instead of relying on clip in’s! Of course, breakage is a risk with all extensions. Taking care of them, not pulling too hard, not brushing too hard and blow drying delicately (fingers only until its 80% dry) is the key to keeping your extensions AND your own hair looking good.