Clip-in extensions have become one of the most popular hair accessories on the market over the last few years. Unfortunately, clip-in extensions haven’t always been as inclusive as they could be, often leaving ladies with curly hair high and dry. Whether you have dark brown curls or ash blonde ringlets, once you find curly clip-ins that match your mane you're going to want to get your hands on them ASAP.
We sat down with Soleil Guerrero, the CEO of Bebonia a curly clip-in extension brand, to find out everything you need to know about curly clip-ins including, how to blend with your curls for a natural finish and how to care for them.
Where do curly clip-ins come from?
Much like wigs, you have two options when it comes to clip-ins: human hair and synthetic hair. Because synthetic hair is often inexpensively made in a factory, you run the risk of losing quality in an effort to save money. While synthetic clip-in extensions are great for a fun night out with your girls, they’re not made to last long. Furthermore, synthetic hair doesn’t always blend as naturally with your natural strands as human hair does. If you want a set of clip-ins that will last a few years and look just like the hair growing out of your head, your best bet is to invest in a set of human hair curly clip-ins.
Much like straight clip-ins, curly clip-ins can be sourced from all over the world. However, countries like India, China, and Vietnam have perfected the process of mass producing sustainable quantities of human hair.
“We source our hair from China,” Guererro says. “We work with a factory that has premium quality, raw, 100 percent remy hair.”
The most fascinating thing about curly clip-ins is that they start off looking exactly like straight clip-ins. The factories don’t source textured hair—instead, they permanently style straight hair to have a curl pattern.
“The way that our hair is made is the raw material comes from straight hair so...it’s steam curled,” the extension pro explains. “It is permanent which is great...There’s different levels of curls.”
While the steam process sets a permanent curl pattern in the hair, you may run into some issues if you decide to color your curly clip-ins later down the line.
“The only thing that affects a curl pattern is bleach,” Guerrero says. “If a client decides to lighten the set of extensions, we disclose that it may affect and loosen the curl.”
Choosing Curly Clip-In Extensions
If you want your curly clip-ins to look as natural as possible, you have to find extensions that most closely resemble your natural texture and color. Luckily, Bebonia not only offers a wide variety of textures ranging from curl type one to curly type eight, but also they offer custom coloring services for those of us that have a hard time finding a perfect color match.
First thing is just checking out what color the client has. If it’s a dark brown, it’s pretty straightforward or natural black...If she has highlights, it’s more of a customized experience where we’d have to select a lighter set and do lowlights in order to blend it.
Once you have the perfect color, it’s time to find a texture match. More often than not ladies with curly hair have more than one curl pattern in their mane, which can make finding the perfect texture match a bit tricky.
“If you have multiple curl patterns, the great thing about our brand is you can mix and match to make it look even more natural and blend with your hair,” the CEO says. “A lot of clients reach out to us and send us their photos, so we make recommendations based on whatever it is we see in the photos.”
Prepping Curly Clip-Ins
Once you have your clip-ins, it’s time to prep them for installation. While you may be tempted to take them out of their packing, give them a quick shake, and clip the hair right in, Guerrero says taking the time to prep your clip-ins can make all of the difference. The CEO says the same way you prep your hair for styling is the same way you should prep your clip-ins: start with shampoo.
“Starting with washing extensions because from the factory it comes in a perfect curl pattern which is completely unrealistic,” she says. “No one has perfect curls, absolutely not. I’ll always wash them and style them beforehand.”
Once you’ve washed your clip-ins, follow up with a conditioner and whatever styling product you typically use on your curls. Styling your clip-ins the same way you style your natural curls is a great way to help them blend seamlessly into your mane. If you’ve washed and styled your clip-ins but they’re still sticking out of your hair like a sore thumb, consider taking them to a trusted hair stylist.
“Take them in to get them cut to your shape in order to blend better with your natural hair,” Guerrero says.
Installing Curly Clip-Ins
Now that your curly clip-ins are prepped, it’s time to install them. While clip-in extensions are fairly easy to install and don't require much guidance, Guerrero recommends beginning installation near the nape of your neck and working your way up to the crown of your head.
The key to having natural-looking clip-ins is to be sure the extension tracks don’t show. The crown of your head is much more visible than the nape of your neck, by layering clip-ins near the back of your head you reduce the chances of anyone catching a glimpse of the source of your extra volume.
Caring For Curly Clip-Ins
The best thing you can do for your curly clip-in extensions is to treat them like you treat your hair. If you plan to wear your clip-in extensions every day, you should wash, condition, and detangle them as often as you do your own hair. If you only break them out on special occasions, caring for them after each use is just fine.
After you’ve washed, conditioned, and detangled your clip-ins you can lay them flat to air dry. If you need your clip-ins to dry in a hurry, feel free to use your blow dryer to speed the process along. If you feel like your clip-ins are beginning to lose a bit of their curl, use a finger curl technique to help restore them to their former glory.
Interested in having your curly clip-ins professionally installed? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you
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