Advertisement
Advertisement

Best clip-in hair extensions 2022: Get longer, thicker hair in an instant

Lise Smith
3 Aug 2021
Advertisement

Want to change your hairstyle without the commitment of permanent hair extensions? Clip-ins are your new best friend.

If you’ve dreamed of luxurious long tresses but lack the patience (or lifestyle) to grow your own, or you enjoy changing your hair length regularly, you may have considered hair extensions. Permanent hair extensions, applied with knots and glue, are one way to add length and volume to your hair, but if you’re only looking for a short-term change, the world of clip-ins offers a great variety of length, volume and colour for much less commitment.

Clip-in hair extensions allow you to change your look in minutes by simply attaching the hairpieces to existing hair with small and discreet clips. There’s no need for glue, heat or tension, as the pieces snap into place and are removed just as easily, so you can switch your look for a party or special event and simply take the pieces out again at the end of the day. Clip-ins are great for having fun with hairstyles, adding flashes of colour, a sleek ponytail or a temporary fringe; and as there are no chemical bonds or knotting involved, they’re a great non-damaging option for adding length to hair.

Here we look at how to choose clip-in hair extensions, and below we round up our favourites for all budgets.

READ NEXT: The best curling wand to buy

How to choose the best clip-in hair extensions for you

What are the different kinds of hair extensions?

Hair extensions come in three main varieties:

  • Permanent hair extensions that attach to the hair using either micro-loops or micro-bonds and must be fitted by a trained professional. These last up to four months.
  • Semi-permanent hair extensions that attach to the hair using tape. These are also applied at the salon and last around six to eight weeks.
  • Temporary clip-in extensions, which can be clipped in at home in minutes and are removed the same day before bedtime.

Permanent or semi-permanent hair extensions are best for those seeking a longer-term change to hair length and look, while clip-in extensions are ideal for those who want a quick and simple change for a shorter time.

What are clip-in hair extensions made of?

The best-quality hair extensions, whether temporary or permanent, are made from human hair. The best human hair is known as Remy hair, which is collected directly from hair donors. Remy hair is collected in a ponytail to keep the cuticles of each strand lying in the same direction, which helps the hair appear flowing and shiny.

Non-Remy human hair may be collected from multiple sources and even include fallen hair collected from the floor. As a result, the cuticles will not be aligned and hair will appear less shiny and tangle more easily.

Extensions made from human hair are cut and coloured before application. Human hair extensions can be coloured and heat-styled in the same way as your own hair.

Hair extensions may be made from synthetic hair, which is typically made from nylon, polyester or acrylic. Synthetic extensions are a lower-cost alternative best suited to occasional wear and tend to have a super-shiny finish, which is less natural than that of real hair, and colour choices tend to be more limited. It’s also not possible to heat-style or colour synthetic hair. If you’d like to wear your clip-ins regularly, human hair has a more natural appearance and is easier to care for in the long term. If you only plan to wear clip-in extensions for a single event, however, synthetic extensions are a cost-effective option.

Whether human or synthetic, the hair is attached to a base strip made of silicone or fabric, which then clips into the wearer’s own hair near the scalp.

How do I apply my clip-in hair extensions?

Clip-in hair extensions are simple to apply, but there are a few tips to be aware of that will help you ensure they look their best. First, brush your hair to ensure a smooth base for your clip-ins, then section the hair. For a full set of clip-ins you’ll be working from the bottom of the head to the top, so section out the back of your hair and place the rest in a ponytail or loose bun.

Clip in your hairpiece, starting with the middle clip, then stretch the band gently towards the hairline before clipping the sides to ensure a smooth line with no bumps. Work up the hair from the bottom and back of the head towards the top. Clip the hair as close to the roots as possible to ensure good blending with your own hair, and finish by brushing through once again and checking that no base strips are visible.

To care for your clip-ins between uses, wash them carefully in lukewarm water with your usual shampoo and conditioner, brush gently and hang up to air dry.

READ NEXT: Detangle your locks with the best hairbrush you can buy

Are there any drawbacks to using clip-in hair extensions?

Clip-in hair extensions are a great temporary and non-damaging way to change your hair’s look. Clip-ins should not be worn overnight, however, so you’ll need to remove them at the end of each day and clip them in again next morning. Clip-ins are also not suitable for swimming or wearing in the shower. If you’re looking for longer-term length and volume, or hair extensions that you can wear while swimming or sleeping, a semi-permanent or permanent option may suit you better.

Clip-in hair extensions should last for six months to a year with good care, after which the base strip and the hair itself may begin to show signs of wear.

How much should I spend?

As with almost any beauty product, there’s a wide range of prices for clip-in hair extensions, with smaller hairpieces made of synthetic hair starting at less than £30 and full-head sets made of 100% Virgin Remy hair selling for over £500. How much you spend will depend on how often you would like to wear your extensions, whether you’re looking for a single weft or a full set, and the length of your chosen hairstyle. We’ve included options at a range of price points below, so you can find the clip-ins that best suit your desired look and budget.

READ NEXT: The best hot brush to get salon-fresh hair at home

The best clip-in hair extensions to buy in 2022

1. Beauty Works Double Hair Set: best hair extensions for volume

Price: From £162 | Buy now from Beauty Works

These extra-thick clip-in hair extensions from Beauty Works are perfect for adding volume to finer hair. Made from 100% Remy human hair, the extensions come in a variety of shades from ice-blonde to ebony black, and are soft, natural-looking and easy to apply. The Double Hair Set contains a generous 180g of hair, which is more than a standard full-head set, to give you thick and voluminous hair. A silicone coating on the clips feels comfortable and cushions your own hair against breakage. For a glamorous, high-volume look, this clip-in set is a good investment.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 18in, 20in, 22in, 26in

Buy now from Beauty Works


2. Foxy Locks Seamless Clip-In Hair Extensions: best hair extensions for length

Price: £290 | Buy now from Foxy Locks

If it’s length you’re after, Foxy Locks has a good range from shoulder-length to a bottom-skimming 26in. Made with soft and shiny Remy hair, these super-long locks come in 23 shades including on-trend ice blonde and silver grey, as well as brondes and ombres. Lightweight and thin silicone wefts blend in seamlessly with natural hair, and the clips are small yet sturdy, with a good grip, and feel comfortable against the scalp. If you’re going for the full-mermaid look with extra long extensions, you may want to invest in the hanging storage case, available from the same company, to protect the hair and prevent it from tangling between uses.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 14in–26in

Buy now from Foxy Locks


3. Cliphair Curly Full Head clip-in extensions: best extensions for curly hair

Price: From £90 | Buy now from Cliphair

If you’re living your best Type 3 curly-girl life and want to add some length, Cliphair has these beautifully tumbling ringlets in a good range of shades. Curly hair by its nature can tend to stick up from the scalp and reveal wider base strips, but these clip-ins are made with a fine, lightweight seam, so will blend in well with existing curls. Like other natural human hair extensions, the pieces can be dyed to match your own hair and are washed and styled just like your own hair. Using a curl cream will help the clip-ins retain their bounce. Make your Rapunzel fantasies a reality with these coily tresses.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 14in, 18in, 22in, 26in

Buy now from Cliphair


4. Isheeny Afro Kinky Curly clip-in hair extensions: best extensions for afro hair

Price: From £58 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re wearing your Type 4 afro hair in its natural pattern and would like to add extra length or dimension, these clip-in Remy hair extensions from Isheeny will help you make the most of your natural coils. Available in a range of lengths from 8in to 20in, the clip-ins come in natural black, but if you’ve bleached or dyed your natural hair, the extensions can be dyed in the same way to match what you have on your head. The curls are soft and bouncy, and can be washed with your usual shampoo and conditioner (Isheeny in fact recommends washing the extensions before first use). Great for adding volume and lift to natural afro hair.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 8in–20in


5. Easilocks clip-in HD fibre bouncy ponytail: best clip-in ponytail

Price: From £23 | Buy now from Easilocks

Sleek and bouncy ponytails are having a fashion moment right now, and if you’re after some extra length on your up-do then a clip-in hairpiece could be just what you need to give your pony some extra va-va-voom. Easilocks’ synthetic clip-in pieces come in 13 shades, including ombre and balayage effects, and a choice of 12in or 16in lengths. To apply, simply tie your own hair into a ponytail or bun, clip the Easilocks ponytail in place and wrap the velcro strap around for a seamless finish.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 12in and 16in

Buy now from Easilocks


6. Hairdo clip-in Human Hair Fringe: best clip-in fringe

Price: £26 | Buy now from Hot Hair

If you’re interested in trying a fringe with your hairstyle but not sure about taking the plunge with scissors – or if you’d like to add a fringe to up-dos and party looks, but don’t want one every day – then a clip-in hairpiece might just be the answer. A small clip-in hairpiece allows you to simply snap a fringe on and off as you choose. Hairdo’s clip-in fringes come in seven colours, from pale blond to black, and can be heat styled or dyed to match your own hair. The fringe itself is an eyebrow-skimming 5in, with face-framing longer side pieces. A small crown section helps blend the fringe piece into your own hair, so the fringe looks like you grew it yourself. A fringe can make a big difference, and Hairdo’s fringe pieces are a quick and easy option that will change up your look surprisingly effectively.

Key specs – Hair type: 100% Remy; Lengths available: 5in fringe

Buy now from Hot Hair


7. Halo London Halo Hair Extensions: best extensions for even easier application

Price: from £72 | Buy now from Halo Hair Extensions

If you’re looking for instant hair length and volume – even more instant than with a set of clip-ins – then Halo extensions might be for you. Popular with the beautiful young things of Instagram, these extensions sit on a fine nylon wire that fits around the head like a hairband; the wire sits just under the wedge-shaped occipital bone at the back of the head and is covered by the wearer’s own natural hair, which in turn helps to keep the Halo in place. With a bit of practice, a Halo can be attached in under two minutes, which is much faster than a full set of clip-ins. Halo London’s Halo sets are made with 100% pure Remy hair, and come in over 60 natural, bright and pastel shades. A great option if you want extensions to be a regular part of your morning routine.

Key specs - hair type: 100% Remy; lengths available: 12in, 16in, 20in

Buy now from Halo Hair Extensions


8. Zala clip-in hair extensions: Best ethically sourced clip-ins

Price: from £80 (plus international shipping) | Buy now from ZalaHair

With the growing popularity of hair extensions, the global trade in human hair has come in for scrutiny in recent years: stories of women in developing countries being paid low sums for their hair have come to light. Australian hair extensions brand Zala sources hair from sellers in Europe and Asia, and pays a much higher rate. The Zala range includes both clip-in and tape-in extensions with a good range of lengths, weights and colour options, starting at £80 for a 5-piece shoulder-length full set. Seams are fine and light, blending in well with natural hair. While ethical sourcing can usually be expected to come at a premium price, Zala’s products are comparable in both price and quality to other leading hair extension brands, so there’s not even a small price to pay for the peace of knowing your clip-ins are helping rather than hurting women in poorer communities.

Key specs - hair type: 100% Remy; lengths available: 12in - 30in

Buy now from ZalaHair