Extensions are a wonderful way to add length and volume to your natural hair, but they aren’t without their issues. Apart from color-matching and finding the right length, knowing how to seamlessly blend hair extensions into your own strands is more difficult than it seems. Even mega Hollywood stars like Angelina Jolie aren’t immune to blending faux pas. To ensure you aren’t met with the same fate, we reached out to Covet & Mane founder and CEO Dafina Smith to learn how to blend our extensions. Scroll below for her expert advice!
Enlist Help From a Hair Extension Specialist
Before you try to blend your extensions on your own, make an appointment with a hair extension specialist. They’ll likely have a much better understanding of not just how to blend your extensions, but also how to apply them in the first place. Save yourself the extra headache and see an expert.
Make Sure the Extensions Are Similar to Your Natural Hair
This goes for color, cut, and also texture. If you’re trying to blend a color that isn’t even in the same shade range as your current hue, you likely won’t be able to blend them. And if you have a blunt cut, it may be more difficult to achieve a seamless transition. Again, an extension specialist can help you find the right extensions for your hair type, cut, and color.
Don’t Go for a Dramatic Transformation
Apart from choosing the wrong color or length of your extensions, Dafina notes that the “biggest culprit for a mismatched look happens when you go for an extreme transformation.” She shares that if you want to ” add more than four inches, change more than two levels of color, or use a dramatically different texture than your natural hair pattern, this will all result in an unnatural look.”
Aim for Enhancement
Rather than going extreme with your transformation, Dafina suggests aiming for enhancement. This is especially the best route to go if you don’t have the budget or the time to deal with a more dramatic transformation. Enhancement can look like adding a few more inches “via soft and blended layers.”
Time Out Your Trims
Blending extensions into freshly-trimmed hair is incredibly difficult, even for the experts. “A fresh trim right before a hair extension installation requires skill to make sure that your fresh ends aren’t lifting up from the hair extensions revealing the point of differentiation,” says Dafina. “You will need to ensure that you point cut as much as possible if you do decide to do a trim right before a hair extension installation.”
Consider a Pre-Application Treatment
Before your extensions are blended into your long or short hair, you may want to opt for a gloss, deep-conditioning, or keratin treatment. Dafina notes that this will ensure “your hair is at optimal shine and hydration before installing hair extensions.” If your extensions are being installed professionally, be sure to ask your extensionist about doing one of these treatments beforehand.
Known Which Types of Extensions Are Best for You
The at-home application process will be a lot different than one done by a professional. And professionals, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right type of extensions for your client. Dafina shares that “clip-ins or halo extensions have the least room for permanent error. But even those will be a giveaway if the colors, length, and layers are not blended correctly.”
Adding Extensions to Some Short Haircuts Can Be Difficult
Though Dafina shares that it can “sometimes be easier to blend” extensions into short hair, that’s not always the case with bobs or lobs. “Bobs are seemingly impossible to blend unless you soften the line of the bob via texturizing or you do a subtle enhancement or add in extensions to define the line of the cut,” she shares. So if you have shorter hair, visiting an extensionist might be your best bet. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to blend the extensions into your strands on your own.
Long Hair Requires a Bit More Time and Money
If you already have long hair and are hoping to achieve extra volume, extensions can definitely do that. But, you’ll need a bigger budget. “The challenge of long hair is that your client will need a larger budget to support the more is more requirement of adding in extensions,” Dafina says.
Curl Your Hair Rather Than Straighten It
“Save pin-straight hair for when you’ve mastered the craft,” Dafina notes. “You should curl or add soft waves to your extensions if you want a more seamless blend. Straight hair is completely possible for hair extensions, but some waves or texture can assist in a more seamless blend.”
Manage Your Expectations
Even if everything is done perfectly, there’s still room for error. Extensions are temperamental and they may not always be 100% blended in with your natural hair. And guess what? That’s totally fine. As long as it looks somewhat natural, you’re good to go. Don’t think the blending has to be flawless because that’s simply unachievable.
Try a Wig Instead
Sometimes extensions aren’t what you need to create your desired look. Rather than forcing them to blend, try a wig instead. Dafina shares that if you’ve tried everything in your power to get your extensions to blend and they aren’t blending, go with a wig. “Wigs have really had their moment and I think they are best designed for dramatic transformations,” she says.
Did you decide a wig may be better suited to the look you’re hoping to achieve? Before you strap any wig to your head, learn how to wear a wig HERE!