This Is The Secret To Fuller, Healthier-Looking Hair

In her book Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling dishes about her own follicular farce: She wears hair extensions. “Everyone uses hair extensions. And I mean everyone. The stenographer who doesn’t speak in that judge show you watch. The Long Island Medium. Clooney. Castle. Everybody on the Today show, but no one in the Orange Room.” Chrissy Teigen cops to them, too. “Everybody has them. When I first got them, I had no idea how many people had them on the red carpet," she says.

That's because about five to 10 years ago, extensions were something people talked about in hushed tones (or didn't talk about at all). Now, they’re all but ubiquitous — thanks to no-BS celebs like Kaling and Teigen, and more and more salons popping up that are dedicated to the service. And the hair quality has also improved thanks to advancements in technology, says Serge Normant hairstylist Matt Fugate.

But, contrary to popular belief, they're not just for adding length or bulk. Extensions can solve a multitude of hair needs — from fixing an impulse cut to trying out bangs for a night, and even changing your hair color. We grilled top stylists for their tips, plus on when to splurge and when you can get by with the cheap ones. Check out their advice, ahead.
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Create Better Curls
“Because extension hair has been processed, it curls better,” says Fugate. However, “sometimes you can’t get that memory out of it, [so] there is that catch.” Meaning, your extensions might curl up even when you don’t want them to. (Perhaps when you’ve blown out your hair in, say, Miami.)

For special occasions, clip-ins are best as they’re easiest to curl before you apply them. Fugate says to be careful about the texture differing too much from your God-given strands, because you don’t want your extensions to look obvious.
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Photo: Michael Stewart/WireImage.
Subtly Change Your Hair Hue
“If you want to test out ombré highlights without coloring your hair, choose hair extensions that match your base hue, with your desired lightness at the ends,” says hairstylist Jennifer Yepez, who works with Gigi Hadid.

Yepez likes to use clip-ins for this purpose, because they won't damage the hair and you can keep reusing them as long as you take proper care of them. Two of her favorite brands are Tousled Tresses and Balmain Hair Couture. “Hair Rehab London hair extensions are great for adding in highlights,” she says. “The hair quality is good and these mix in so well, no one could ever tell.”
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Photo: Jack-Rs-Chris/X17online.com.
Or, go the not-so-subtle route and use extensions to try wilder hair hues before taking the plunge. (Kylie Jenner is wearing her own: Kylie Hair Kouture.)
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Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Test-Drive Bangs
Faux bangs are a fun way to experiment without committing to a long, painful grow-out period if a permanent fringe is not for you. “The V Bang from The Hair Shop especially looks realistic,” says Fugate. “Lea Michele used faux bangs for months before she got hers cut.”

Unfortunately, bang extensions are not yet a thing; you just have to let them grow. The good news, however, is that they grow quickly and there is a multitude of ways to hide them while they do.
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Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Maximize Your Ponytail
"Hair pieces had an iffy reputation for a while, but now they’re more common and the newer versions are fantastic,” Fugate says. “The clip-in ponytail works well because you can add thickness to your own, or you can incorporate a ponytail hair piece into a chignon to make it thicker.”

Yepez is a fan of Easilocks ponytail extensions, which have Velcro pieces around the weft for ease of use. “If you are more advanced, you can use a package of hair without clips and pin it in place. Then, use a small hair extension to wrap it around to camouflage the wefts,” she explains.

Her other pick is Rapunzel of Sweden, “as the weft is flat and you have the perfect amount of hair in a package to give you a luxury ponytail, and then you can reuse it for any other style you want," she says. For a cheaper quick fix, Yepez likes Divine Hair Sweden’s Straight Clip-On ponytail. The Hairdo Simply Straight Pony is another wallet-friendly option.
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Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.
Beef Up Your Braid
If it's a Blake Lively princess braid you're after, extensions can get you there, too. Simply add them to your ponytail before braiding (as you learned how to in the previous slide), or tailor your approach for an Elsa-inspired side braid. "For a side braid, place the extensions in on an angle to whichever side you're going to braid your hair to ensure you have enough hair to cover the clip-ins,” Yepez advises. She says to concentrate the extensions by the nape of the neck for full volume and lots of length. “Bombay Hair extensions work well for this,” Yepez notes.
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Transform Fine Hair Into Thick Hair
“If you have fine hair and you want extensions for thickness, you don’t have to put them all over the place the way you have to for extensions for length,” explains Fugate. He suggests focusing the bulk of the extensions in the back of the head, on the occipital bone, so your hair looks thicker.

With this placement, you don't have to worry about matching your color exactly; even if it’s slightly off, it simply looks like ombré or highlights. But it is key to match your texture, Fugate says.
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Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images.
Fix A Cut
We all know extensions can add length — but that doesn't have to mean mermaid-style (or all-over) length. Sometimes just a few inches or pieces are all you need to transform a misguided chop.

To fill in mistakes (i.e., hair that was cut and shouldn’t have been), Fugate says you can use individual strands, wefts, or even clip-ins that match the hair exactly. “The color tones have become more plentiful; it’s not like the days of yore, when there was a single, blond hue offering,” he says.
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Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage.
Protect Your Hair
While mismanaged extensions can certainly cause more harm than good, there are some benefits to donning faux hair. For one thing, the bonded ones "protect your hair, because it's all inside the extensions and isn't getting as much exposure to hot curling irons and other damage inducers on the ends of the hair," says Artistic Ambassador for Pureology Ruth Roche.

Extensions and weaves are often used as a protective style for women with natural and textured hair, especially during the grow-out period. But again, to avoid causing more harm than good, be sure not to neglect the care of your natural hair during this time.
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Photo: Kevork Djansezian/NBC/Getty Images.
Clip In A Man Bun
Yes, ready-to-wear, clip-in man buns are a thing (proceed at your own risk). For a more natural-looking style — if that's what you're after — try RPZL’s clip-in extensions. Simply part the hair, tease the section where you want to attach the bun, and clip in that sucker before twisting and pinning it into place. Jared Leto would be proud.
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