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Hair extensions are great for adding volume and/or length. They can also be used as a protective style for growing out natural hair when installed correctly. If this is your first time wearing hair extensions, you may wonder if there is anything you can do before getting them installed. The answer is yes. Just like with any other hair style or treatment, a good amount of preparation is needed to ensure the best results. These are the four things you should do to prepare for your hair extensions.
When selecting a color, it is always best to try and blend it as close as possible to your natural hair color. If your hair has multiple colors and/or your hair dye is growing out, you should try and match the extensions to the color of your roots. If neither option works for you, you can dye your hair to blend in with the color of the extensions.
When considering how many inches you would like to have installed, you should always think of a length that is comfortable to you. If you are not sure, you should know the following measurements based on a woman that stands at 5’5”tall:
12” falls at the chin
14” falls to the collar bones
18” is bra length
28” falls to the waist
Please keep in mind that the hair extensions should ideally be longer than your natural length. If you would like to try wearing a shorter length, you may want to consider wearing a wig instead. It also helps to think about if your desired hair length is appropriate to wear at work. For example, 28” may not be an appropriate length to wear in a corporate environment.
There are four main categories of hair extensions:
Clip-ins (tape-ins are a variation), Glue, Sew In and Strands (ex: fusion and Brazilian knots). It is a good idea for you to research each of the above. Knowing which type of hair extension you want will prepare you for the process. It also helps to know your hair type so that you are aware of which extensions are best for you. To learn a little more about each category of hair extensions, please refer to our article Different Types of Hair Extensions, and How to Install.
If possible, it is best to wash your hair the night before, using sulfate-free and/or clarifying shampoos (these products will provide for a more gentle cleanse). You can follow with a conditioner but it is best to leave your hair free of any styling products such as gel, mousse, sprays creams, etc. Additionally, it is always a good idea to dry the hair with a blow dryer. Doing so will make for a smoother surface, which will help ease the process of installing the hair extensions. Lastly, if this is your first time getting extensions, you should find a professional.