|Jacquelyn Jablonski, Vogue Italia September 2011 image found via|
In this post we will look at how to DIY your own thick clip on hair extensions. Whether you have thinning hair like me (more on that below), are born with thin fine hair, or just want to have some fun with your hair, clip on hair extensions can be a great solution. Who doesn't want to have thicker longer and fuller hair some days?
My Hair Loss Story
Despite the fact that I have pretty voluminous hair naturally, I have had some hair loss over the last 10 years due to either or both psoriasis of the scalp (a skin condition I have), and PCOS (a hormonal disease triggered by lack of ovulation that causes an increase in male hormones). I've had periods of time when my hair was falling out. I'm not sure if any of it has been permanent or not. Depending on why you are losing your hair and if the follicle is damaged or not can make the difference. Psoriasis usually causes temporary hair loss, but PCOS cause permanent hair loss. I feel like currently my hair has gotten thicker from the last time my hair was falling out but it could just be that I've gotten use to it being thinner.
The reason I bring this up is last year my hair was falling out again and I had just learned that my hair loss that I always assumed was due to Psoriasis and therefore temporary could actually have been caused by PCOS or both and therefore permanent. I knew that mentally I had to prepare myself for the fact that my hair loss could be permanent and could get worse over time. I figured the best way to feel better about this possibility is to get use to wearing wigs and extensions while it's still just a fun fashion accessory and not a necessity. So for my birthday last year I wanted my husband to buy me some extensions at a local hair store.
|Before and after Hair Extensions (love how the after pic always has makeup on LOL) via|
It was my first time buying any hair extensions and I went with what the sales person suggested (I bought mine at Hair Plus Beauty Supply in Minneapolis). I purchased real Remy human hair (make in a 7 piece full set of 18" clip in hair extensions by Lord and Cliff. The colour number 4 was a perfect match.
While everything seems great I found that it was very time consuming to put on all the pieces as well as curling them. It was difficult to get the length to match my own because when I curled it they match my curly hair, but eventually the curls fall out and my hair starts to look overly layered or mulletish. I also found that the biggest piece was way to big for my head. Does that mean I don't have a big head? LOL.
In a nutshell I learned extensions are pretty cool if you only need to put a few in (in other words super thick) and they are cut to your hairstyle (get a hairpiece longer than you think you need to allow more to curl and cut it), and if you can find a way to have your extensions hold their curl (still working on that).
How To Make Your Own Really Thick Hair Extensions
|My extensions before and after sewing two wefts together|
Since I am unlikely to ever wear all seven pieces considering how long it takes to put all of them being a crafty person I started to think about cutting them into smaller pieces and double or even tripling them. I looked online to see if anyone has ever done that and of course they have. Apparently you can buy bulk hair on a weft, cut the strips and sew or glue 2 or 3 tracts together (I would sew them instead of glueing) and then sew on hair clips. Love it! This way you can get better quality hair extensions for less money and they are customized to what you want. It's something you can do while watching TV, which is always a plus in my book.
|How to make Extensions tutorial (not super thick ones though) on Instructables|
- 1-2 packets of real human hair, on a weft (do not buy "ponytail hair," which is loose and incredibly difficult to work with*). You can also buy it off a roll, by length. In this case, measure your head and decide how thick you'll want the pieces before you go. Look at your local hair/beauty shops (Sally's Beauty sells some) or check out Ebay for some deals (just be aware that the hair might be not as good quality since you can't see it, common issues could be falsely saying it's human hair and is really wool, thin wefts, or hair that doesn't have many long strands).
- 15-20 wig snap on clips Depending on how many hairpieces you make, but it's better to have extra than have to make another trip to the beauty supply store. You also don't want to skimp on the amount of clips you put in each hairpiece, or they're likely to come loose while wearing.
- Sharp scissors. to cut the wefts and trim the final pieces
- Needle and strong (or use two threads) matching or invisible thread, to sew the wefts and clips together
- Measuring tape (or long piece of string), to gauge how wide each piece should be to custom-fit your head.
- Measure and cut the length you want. Cut however many layers you want to sew together to the same length.
- Seal edges that were cut with general krazy glue or handstitch with the blanket stitch around the raw edge making sure to secure the section where the hair was sewn onto the strip with a stitch or two. The videos below don't do this step, but I say better safe than sorry I hand sewed mine.
- Sew together 2 or 3 wefts with a handsewing needle with thick embroidery thread in a similar colour, or glue together (I prefer hand sewing). I used a blanket stitch at the top to connect the wefts together.
- Hand sew on clips where the holes are about every 1-2 inches to make sure that the extension are secure. The first one I made I sewed the clips on the wrong way! Whoops. To make sure you don't make the same mistake I did make sure that the brass or gold coloured hole on the clip on the side is facing you when you sew it on. If you do make the same mistake I did you can use a seam ripper to help take the clips out.
|Here is my sewing! It's not pretty but it works. Notice the gold circle I mentioned before.|
If your still not sure how to make your own extensions check out these videos below for more details.
How to Make Clip in Hair Extensions(7 min)
Make Your Own Hair Extensions & Save $$$ (9:57 min)
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