Read Lauren Conrad's crash course on hair extensions 101

For the majority of my life I have always had long hair. Last year when I made the big decision to chop it off, I knew that I would eventually want to make the transition back into longer, fuller locks. Let me bring you in on a little secret of mine: I wear extensions more often than not, even when I have shorter hair. While I wish that my hair could grow five inches overnight, I’ve come to terms with the fact that extensions are the only way to make this dream a reality. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing my hair natural too. But what I’m lacking in volume and length I make up for by wearing extensions.

If you’ve never had extensions and are considering getting them, or if you’re looking for tips on how to manage the ones you currently have, this post is for you. Because I’ve been wearing extensions for quite some time, I thought it would be beneficial to compile all of my tips and tricks into one blog post. From the different techniques to how to apply and care for them, consider this your comprehensive guide to hair extensions. Let’s get started…


There are a few different techniques that are used to put extensions in. I am personally a fan of clip-in extensions but everyone has their own personal preference. If you’re still deciding which technique will be right for you, here’s the low down on each one: 

Bonded hair extensions: This is where individual keratin strands are fused to your natural hair using heat.

Tape-in hair extensions: This is where wefts, or small strips of hair, are attached to small sections of your natural hair using double-sided tape.

Weave (or sew-in) hair extensions: Your natural hair is braided in rows across your scalp and wefts of hair are woven onto the braids using thread.

Clip-in hair extensions: These are pretty self-explanatory. Clip-ins are easy to put in and take out at your convenience. I recommend using the silicon-covered clips to avoid unwanted hair damage.

Type of Hair

Fun fact: not all hair extensions are made the same. There’s a huge difference between real human hair and synthetic hair. You’re going to pay more for human hair. I consider extensions an investment and you want the highest quality out there otherwise your locks won’t be fooling anyone. Extensions made from untreated human hair will give you natural results and will easily blend. You also have the ability to dye human hair extensions so that they match your current ‘do. Something else to consider: Match your hair density when shopping for extensions. If they’re too heavy they could cause breakage at your roots. Yikes! You will also want to make sure your extensions come from ethical source. If you are working with a professional stylist, they should be able to advise you on this matter.

Hair Care

First and foremost, always be gentle. Treat your extensions as you would your natural hair. For optimal longevity, try not to wash them too often or coat them with hair products. If you have to use product, keep oils away from the roots or else you could find yourself with your extensions slipping out. Avoid excessive tugging when brushing them and always detangle from the bottom up. If you have to blow dry your extensions, roughdry your hair with your fingers before having to use a brush. Do not tease your hair before putting in your extensions! This will not only break your hair but also potentially cause hair loss. Lastly, if you have to sleep in them, loosely braid them so that they don’t get tangled.

Styling Tips

The whole point of having extensions is to make them look like your natural hair. If you have stick straight hair or a blunt haircut, most likely your extensions will be pretty obvious. I recommend a layered haircut or getting used to curling your hair on a regular basis. That way you’re less likely to show the world your extension secrets! Be prepared to spend a little more time on your hair than usual if you want your extensions to look seamless. Tip: For extension longevity, go light on the hair products.

And there you have it! This may be a mouthful, but I promise that if you follow these tips your extensions will look beautiful and last a long time.

Do you have any hair extension tips that I didn’t cover above?

Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments!

XO Lauren

Photos: Steve Erle/Kohl’s
  • Great tips, this is so helpful!

    Anika |

  • Michelle

    Please advise me the best brand of hair that I can buy over the Internet! Which do you use Lauren? Xx ??

  • Courtney Lynn Offutt

    What about the headband version. How do you feel about that one? I have had the bead extensions and the wax heated extensions. I am tempted by the hair band one though.

    • Hillary

      Like a “halo”? I have one and I really like it – the only thing though is they’re pretty much impossible to wear all the way up (like in a high pony or bun with no part). So I really only use it when I’m wanting to wear my hair down (or mostly down).

  • I love clip in hair extensions! I wore them on my wedding and also just received a new set of clip in hair extensions! I’ll be sharing photos and information about my favorite brand soon! Thanks for the tips on how to care for them!


  • Grace Campbell

    sooo stunning!!!!

    Grace x

  • Alecia Mariana

    I’m obsessed with extensions. I have such fine thin hair that they are basically a must. Love these tips. I stick to a halo extension but am always open to trying new ones!


    Alecia – La Joie de Vivre

  • erin l

    I had extensions glued to my hair. NEVER again. It started to develop dreadlocks underneath and it cost just as much to take off as it’s to put them in. I’ve used clip-on ever since and it’s the best invention ever!!! Clip on, everyone! 🙂

  • Katie Jo

    What hair extensions do you use? Or can you recommend a place to buy them from?

  • Kari Guastella

    I’ve never tried hair extensions but I always love having full hair!

  • I chopped my hair two years ago and while I love it, I’m missing my long hair. I’ve been looking into hair extensions but there are so many different options, it’s hard to choose!

  • Marti Morgan

    I’ve been wearing tape in extensions for about a year. When washing, wash your scalp in between the rows of tape. Also condition halfway down. Don’t condition the taped area. And make sure it is dry before you sleep. Last tip, don’t wash more than 2-3 times a week.

  • I finally caved and bought Zala clip-in extensions a year ago, and I’ve loved them so far. I don’t really need them for length but the added volume makes it so much easier to try out fun hairstyles.

  • Petra Solomon

    Wow! Wonderful picture! I all the time love having full hair!!

  • I’d love to hear more advice targeted at those of use with fine, straight hair who could really use the extra volume!

  • Lara

    The Halo hair extension has an invisible wire that rests under your real hair, and it’s easy to remove.

  • Beautyforever hair extension and hair weaves are very good quality with best price.

  • I am really thankful to you for sharing the information regarding the extension of hair cut. This is the best solution I find that will protect my hair with style. Awesome tip i can’t wait to try this .