Expanding My Natural Hair Journey
Sometimes we wear extensions to get styles that we cannot achieve with our hair.
It’s great to be able to change up your look effortlessly with no problems, but it’s also great to be able to try styles that are not necessarily a whole new look, just an enhancement of your natural appearance! For my afro sisters, I want you to think about all the times you got a wig or weave that was straight or curly.
Now, think about the times you’ve spent money on some that were afro textured or kinky. What’s the difference? Like many others, I opt for styles that are nothing like my real hair, but that’s the whole point!
But then I realized that I don’t have to keep wearing regular wigs to wait until my hair is long enough to rock natural styles too. With afro clip-ins, we can instantly give ourselves the length we need to showcase the most beautiful, realistic hairstyles.
Showcasing Natural Hair
Girls with 4C hair hold the tightest and driest coils of all curly hair.
A kinky texture does not have a defined curl pattern, so it breaks more easily when handled. This is why tighter curls are the most fragile hair type. With heads composed of different textures, there are no two 4C heads that are the same.
I have 4C hair and friends who also call themselves 4C, yet our hair appears to be different. I am strictly kinky all around except the baby hairs I have. My hair grows thick but breaks a lot. I have a friend who is 4C with a little 4B around her head, and her hair is much stronger than mine, but not as thick. To determine the details of your 4C head, check out your curl pattern after washing.
Every type of hair requires special care, so to understand the full composition of your head is vital. We can grow hair as long and as lavish as other hair types; we need to stay dedicated to the thorough process.
Why do you think that so many people are shocked to see what natural hair bloggers can accomplish with their hair? Being able to see someone with a similar hair type as you experimenting with their hair gives you the confidence to do more with your hair. The hate towards African American hair brought a misunderstanding of our hair that caused us to invest in “easier,” more “acceptable” styles.
From our circumstances, however, we’ve been able to generate industries and hairstyles to strengthen and increase black hair care. It’s time we should also invest in protective styles that benefit our natural hair in the long run.
Protective methods allow for low maintenance, so your hair has the space it needs to grow and flourish on its own. 4C hair holds braids, twists, and shingling styles for a long time. Any form that gives easy access to roots for daily moisturizing is perfect for a girl with 4C hair. The shrinkage of afro hair gives you the freedom to achieve various styles as well.
For even longer and fuller styles, natural afro clip-ins are perfect for natural, moisture-locked looks.
Afro Hair Clip-ins
Just as curly and kinky natural hair requires considerable care when handling, any curly or kinky unit you have should often be maintained to ensure the longest lasting quality.
The reason afro clip-ins are a great option is that of the temporary usage. When you’re ready to rock any style, the hair brings life to your look, and when it’s time to sleep or get active, the hair goes back to storage. It is true that protective styles help your hair’s overall health, but relying too much on wigs or weaves can do more harm than good.
The thing about getting any hair extensions is that you should never be dependent on them. Hiding your real hair away for too long and not giving it the proper care as it can result in hair loss or breakage.
By using afro clip-ins, you’re able to keep up with your natural hair and will use extensions only when necessary. Zero damage!
If you aren’t sure of your hair type, how can you possibly know what kind of hair to match your natural hair? This is why it’s important to take into consideration your hair’s behavior all over your head so that you can be able to depict your hair type.
The last thing you want is to have a different curl pattern, making the style less realistic. Can’t seem to tell your type even after looking? Ask a friend who can tell you or your stylist. Don’t let ignorance keep you from discovering more about your self! There are many companies that design hair units that can match your unique texture.
There’s nothing better than seeing a woman who is confident in her look and style.
Best Times for Afro Clip-Ins
Afro clip-ins can be installed and removed within minutes.
The convenience of this style gives the freedom to change between styles, deciding whether you want to wear them short or long term. Afro clip-ins are easy enough for daily use, but of course the more you wear, the more you should make sure the hair stayed clean and trimmed if need be.
You save money and time from getting your hair done and catering to your hair on the daily leads to you naturally getting better at styling your hair. At the end of the day, the best hairstylist for yourself is you, so why not give yourself the chance to learn more every day? It takes time before anyone can learn different techniques to create lasting styles.
Love your hair and be patient with its care!
Styling With Different Hair Lengths
Afro clip-ins are known as one of the safest methods to attain different hairstyles.
There are so many benefits as an afro sister from natural-looking extensions. The only disadvantages could come from improper styling or short hair, which can result in hair falling out. Shrinkage is not something we should not go against, but rather embrace.
The thickness associated with shrinkage enables us to grasp braided and holding styles correctly. With hair long enough to grip, you can wear clip-ins in 5 simple steps:
Long HairHaving some inches is very beneficial for afro clip-ins because a strong foundation is all it needs.
Step #1To prepare for the installation, stretch the hair overnight in braids (or similar).
Step #2Section off the hair and starting from the bottom, secure the clip-ins by rows (about 2-5). Depending on your desired thickness, you can add as many sections as you want.
Step #3Blend hair with fingers for an authentic style.
You can then part your hair however you’d like for your desired look.
If you’re rocking a TWA, you’re able to put in afro clip-ins for an enhanced look. Luckily with clip-ins, you do not need to cornrow your hair down. Your hair should feel thick and pure. It takes longer for shorter hair. However, you become faster and get used to it in no time.
Step #1Start off with spritzed, moisturized hair. Do not comb it out!
Step #2Section small rows stacked from the bottom of your hair to the top. Since the hair is not long enough to cover with your real hair, every row should cover another row (about 5-8). Clip as close as you can to your scalp for max hold.
Step #3Use a rat tail comb to part a section with your real hair for a natural part.
Step #4Blend your leave out with your fingers, and braid or twist if it needs more definition.
Touch up with a spray bottle or oil if desired.
Tip: If you need to dampen the extensions or add any product to them, do so before installing.
Styles to TryNow that you’ve seen how easy it is to try clip-ins for yourself this summer take a look at some different styles for inspiration and guidance:
Half up, half downThis look is very realistic for those with longer hair looking to extend the length. add some volume to the top of your shortcut, this is perfect to add some edge to your look.
PonytailClip-ins are excellent for the illusion of length to rock high or low ponytails.
Braids and BeadsAdd some flair to your fro by adding some braids and beads, which also don’t take much time.
Length and Strength
If you want to add some inches to showcase styles you’ll be doing on your own in 5 years that’s cool too.
Making Your Own Clip-Ins
To save money, a lot of women make their wig or weave units.
We've learned to take time to create hairstyles that favor us perfectly and can last. Making clip-in extensions are just as comfortable and can be done within a few hours to last you for a few months.
If you choose not to purchase from hair suppliers, you can invest in your clip-ins!
To make your extensions, you need:
- Weaving Thread
- Wig clips
- Your hair texture's extensions
- Blow dryer, shampoo, and conditioner (optional)
Step #1To start, first, measure your extensions so that they are the exact width of your head.
Step #2After cutting your desired length, you can sew the clips onto the tracks of the hair. If you feel the need to wash and blow-dry the hair for a different look and feel, you can. If not, you can do it later.
Step #3When the hair is dry, and you are ready to style, section the hair, and begin to clip!
Finding Yourself Through Natural Hair
As you can see, there’s more to embracing natural hair than waiting until we’re five years into our journey to showcase our kinks and curls.
Seriously, today is the day we take our natural hair journey to the next level and to stop thinking we don’t have time to do more with our looks. Use each day to learn and practice something new. There is nothing out there about you that you couldn’t handle, so take pride in who you are.
The influence of hair is real; use it to empower yourself. You are a 4C queen, and you should feel like one whether you’re natural or not. Clip-ins are a game-changer for us, so hop on the wave! You can even go to the extent of making your own.
Whatever you do, continue to appreciate your hair type and nurture your hair. Your hair is your garden, so tend to (and water) it every day.Continue reading
Battle of the Most Convenient
When it comes to hair extensions, the sole purpose of us wearing them is versatility. Am I right, or am I right? These days there are alternatives to wearing extensions beyond wigs, quick weaves, and sew-ins. Thankfully there are some alternatives to wearing tension related extensions. Clip-ins and tape-ins are this alternatives!
About Clip-Ins & Tape-Ins
People all over the world aren't strangers to clip-ins, but they seem to be coming back in style since this new era of youtube DIYs. Clip-ins are just wefted hair with wig clips attached. You can purchase them already made or make them yourself.
If you are anything like me, I love to save a good coin. I have made my own clip-in extensions with leftover hair of mine. All you need is quality hair extensions or any hair you prefer and add clips to the base of the weft and then voila!
Tape-ins, you may wonder; what are those right? Tape-in extensions are the newest alternative extension technique. They are extensions with polyurethane tape at the weft. Now, I know you read that and thought, "what in the world?". Believe it or not, many hairdressers have taken this technique and ran with it. Their clients request it and are happily pleased with the results.
The newest craze in versatility is clip-in and tape-in extensions, the two sound similar but they are different, and I will share with you how. Full disclaimer: I am not here to advocate for either one, but I do hope to educate you about the differences. Once you read and do your research, you can decide which works best for you!
How Are They Made
Let's take a closer look at how to make tape-in and clip-in extensions.
Tape-in extensions come with strips of tape that's attached to the top of the weft. The strips are polyurethane panels of clear tape.
Which are a super grade adhesive. Tape can either be double-sided or single-sided and is melted into the base of the wefts. Usually, these extensions are made of high-quality virgin remy hair.
Clip-in extensions can be made with any hair. Wig clips attached to the base of the weft that allows you to clip them into your hair.
As you can see, you can make clip-in extensions yourself without spending too much money. On the other hand, tape-in extensions must be done by a hair professional to ensure proper install and removal.
With getting any technique of hair extensions, the installation can make all the difference in how one's hair looks. A lousy application means bulky, loose, lumpy, and just outright ugly.
For you ladies who are tender headed or dread the braid down process, no worries. With both clip-ins and tape-in extensions, there is no need for your hair to be braided. Of course, if you would like to have a small braid or two in place for the extensions, that's fine too.
Work and spend smarter ladies not harder.
Let's go into the detailed steps of how clip-in and tape-ins are installed.
- Section hair where the extensions will go.
- Remove the backside of the tape.
- Carefully place the backside of the tape under a small section of your hair.
- Make sure that it's as close to the scalp as possible.
- Smooth down hair onto the taped extension.
- Remove the top seal of the tape.
- Take another small piece of taped extension and place it on top of the previous piece.
Tape-ins should be done by a professional which will cost you money which varies amongst stylists. A tape-in installation can take up to 1 to 2 hours. Because there is a powerful adhesive applied. This application should not be rushed; for your sake.
- Part your hair with a rat tail comb to achieve the desired style.
- Take your longer clip-ins and install them from back to front.
- Simply clip the hair in between two pieces of your natural hair.
- Comb or brush to make sure wefts are not visible.
Clip-ins compared to tape-ins do not take as long to install. They also do not take as much care and steadiness of the hands either. They can be done by yourself or by someone else. Now installing some clip-ins can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. It may take you longer if you aren't sure what style you want or if you are using a lot of small clip-ins.
Which One is Easier on the Pockets?
As a weave and wig lover, I know how expensive extensions and the installation can be. I feel your pain ladies, 100%. Doing anything DIY will obviously be way more cost-efficient.
Clip-ins are the cheaper route because you can install them all by your lonesome. The only additional money you will spend with them is the hair, the $5 wig clips, and the $1 needle and thread.
With tape-in extensions, you have to purchase the hair extensions, find a hair stylist, potentially pay a deposit for your appointment and pay for the service. So while you will pay more to get tape-in extensions you are also exerting more energy going through the entire process.
Is it worth it? I can't say because I have not tried the tape-in technique. While both of these super convenient technique's prices mainly depend on the hair brand you choose; tape-ins will for sure run your pockets dry faster than clip-ins will.
Pros and Cons
Almost everything will have bad and good things about it. On the bright side, having pros and cons will help you narrow down your choice. Pros and cons can be subjective based on person to person. If enough people agree however there can be some truth to it.
Pros Of Tape-in Extensions
- No heat/tools required for installation
- The method takes less time than traditional sew-ins
- Reusable extensions
- Installation can last 2-3 weeks
- Gives volume to hair
- Always made with real human hair
- Simple installation
- Extensions can last 1-3 years with proper care
- Extensions can be dyed, bleached and permed
- Essentially this type of extension is high quality
Pros of Clip-in extensions
- Can be dyed and bleached if made with human hair
- Installation doesn't take long
- NO damage to hair
- Comfortable to wear
- Adjustable once applied
- Greater versatility
- DIY - no salon needed
Take the bad with the good; the cons can be subjective as mentioned earlier. Everyone's experience with these clip-ins or tape-ins will be different. Just like everyone's reasons for getting either of the two will be different.
From looking at the pros, you can already tell some of the differences between the two. Okay, okay, I've stalled enough. Let's rip the band-aid off and took a look at the cons.
Cons Of Tape-in Extensions
- Can cause damage to real hair
- Cannot wash your hair for at least 2-3 days after installation - the tape needs time to set to your hair
- Have to use a solvent to remove
- Semi-permanent - not removable once installed
- Cost of the extensions and installation can be expensive
- No DIY
- Cannot apply oils or oil-based products
- Excessive sweating will cause them to slip out
- Not as versatile
- Not ideal for anyone with thinning hair
Cons Of Clip-In Extensions
- Can irritate a sensitive scalp
- If not made correctly, clips can slip off the weft
- Depending on placement, they shouldn't be worn while asleep
- The DIY process can be time-consuming for first-timers
- Not always the best quality if purchasing
- Cannot be worn for long periods of time - natural hair as it grows will become thick and get tangled in the combs- NOT CUTE
- Not ideal for people with thin hair - wefts will be visible or create tension on the scalp
- Clip-ins can fall out if not applied correctly
- Can be bulky if not applied successfully - we want natural-looking extensions!
- Not for the lazy
Maintenance, I know you guys see this word so much while reading about hair extensions. Hair maintenance is the core of great hair, I promise!
Now let's face it, you've heard that a thousand times and still manage to mess up the hair you worked hard for right? Hair extension maintenance like natural hair maintenance is trial and error. So don't feel bad.
With these two alternative extension techniques, you do not need to do anything differently than you would with your sew-ins, wigs, or quick weaves. Always use a great shampoo and conditioner combo that is of course sulfate free! Never use a rat tail comb to detangle extensions, ever. That is asking for shedding galore which eventually can turn into tangles that grow into a matted mess.
Using any silicone or oil-based products at the root while wearing tape-ins will cause issues. Those products will break down the adhesive. Which wastes the money you spent and will have you dishing out more to get your hair done again.
There is a lot of talk in the hair world about other ways to wear hair extensions, and you've just learned about two new ones. Now whether you choose clip-ins or tape-ins, always do your research and your Googles to make sure you make the right decision for you and your lifestyle. Youtube is also a great platform to check reviews on these hair extension types and so forth.
What are your thoughts on clip-in versus tape-in extensions? Which do you prefer or would like to try? Let us know by leaving a comment.Continue reading