Meghan Markle Just Made Clip-In Hair Extensions Look Totally Regal and Natural
It's always a great day when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry make a royal appearance — even if it's on Instagram in a photo taken from their $14 million Santa Barbara home. The couple presented on the virtual Spotify Stream On event on Monday (their first official appearance since their separation from the Royal Family) and shed light on their production company, Archewell Audio, as a tool for fueling powerful and inspirational conversations.
While it was an exciting break from quarantine to see the adorable pair in the flesh, it was truly the Duchess of Sussex's bouncy, waist-length locks that stole the show. Although Markle's fabulous tresses are probably credited to a Hollywood stylist, this is actually one look from the Duchess you can mimic without breaking the bank or surrendering your strands to a professional. Celebrity stylist James Johnson told the Daily Mail that Markle's long-parted mane was likely achieved thanks to clip-in extensions. (Related: People Swear This Hair Growth Shampoo Is the Answer for Anyone with Thinning Hair)
Markle's sleek, new hairdo is a perfect example of how clip-ins can enhance and refresh your look. Using clip-ins is an easy way to switch up your style — especially if you're wanting to add body, length, or texture — without committing to a major change or investing in upkeep. "Permanent extensions are much more maintenance. Clip-ins can be great as it's versatile to change up without any long-term commitment," said Johnson to the Daily Mail.
When it comes to finding clip-ins that are not just affordable, but also great quality, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you start shopping for extensions, decide what look you want to achieve, suggests Rashuna Durham, pro educator at Amika. "Think about the texture, density, how much maintenance you want to put into them, and, of course, budget." Also worth consideration: Texture. You'll want to identify your hair's natural texture since you want your clip-ins to blend in with your own strands as much as possible for a seamless, overall look, adds Durham. And if you want to add length, figure out where you'd like your locks to hang, so you don't buy a set that's too short.
ICYDK, clip-ins are usually measured in grams. If your aim is super long, cascading tresses (think 22 inches to 24 inches in length), you'll need at least 220-250 grams, explains Durham. But for 16 inches to 20 inches of length, you only need 100-180 grams. Grab clips that have U-shaped lines, as they hold better than clips with straight lines that resemble a fork, adds Durham. (Related: 10 Products That'll Make Your Thinning Hair Look Thick AF)
Applying clip-ins is equally as simple: Just use a rat-tail comb to part your hair, and apply the clip-ins by clasping the piece onto your natural hair and closing the clip. From there, you can style your hair along with your clip-ins accordingly. "As long as those clip-ins are 100 percent human hair, heat styling isn't an issue. Feel free to curl, wave, and straighten your heart away with your extensions, as long as you are using a heat protectant first," cautions Durham. FTR, using heat is a no-no on synthetic hair extensions since these clip-ins are made of a type of plastic that will burn, singe, or even melt when your hot tools are applied.
Once you've found clip-in extensions that you like, how long they'll last is dependent on how well you take care of them. "Unlike your natural hair, extensions aren't directly attached to your scalp, so they don't absorb the same oils from your head," explains Durham. "Therefore, keeping your extensions hydrated and healthy may require a little bit of extra effort." You'll want to cleanse them with a moisturizing shampoo and follow up with a conditioner, which you should leave on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cool water. Avoid hair-care products containing alcohol, since this can dry your extensions out and leave them looking straw-like. Gently remove excess water from your extensions with a towel, and work a quarter-shaped amount of leave-in conditioner in with your fingers or a wide tooth comb — and don't rinse it out, says Durham. She recommends enlisting a dry shampoo, such as Amika's Perk Up Dry Shampoo (Buy It, $25, amazon.com), in between washes, as well as a dry conditioner, which is a light spray that keeps static and crunchy ends away.
If you're looking to refresh your look or want to imitate Markle's waist-long locks, snap up some zero-commitment, clip-in extensions to enhance your length, texture, and thickness. Shop top-rated options from Amazon below, and be on your way to a regal-looking 'do, stat.