I’ve always had long hair. The shortest I’ve ever gone was when I cut my nearly waist-length hair into a trendy layered lob at 20 years old, and I cried for weeks until it grew past my shoulders. Now that you know my hair history, you’d understand why I never had the urge to get extensions—length was never an issue. But that’s not all extensions are good for, and even if you already have long hair, a set can give you some absolutely transformative results.
Simply put, you can fake thicker, fuller-looking hair. All those years I was denying myself a solution for one of my major hair woes. While I have a lot of hair, it’s fine and it falls fast, meaning that voluminous body post blowout doesn’t last for long. But extensions, whether they’re clip-in, tape-in, or keratin-bonded, can fix all that.
The pros over at RPZL, a hair extension and blowout bar in New York City, showed me how a set of clip-ins could amp up my head of hair, creating fullness and volume. While this was my first time looking to extensions for help, it’s not a new concept at all. It’s a technique that’s been used for years and years and years, and it’s a tool celebrity hairstylists commonly use on their clients. Recently,celebrity hairstylist Chad Wood added in extensions to Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson’s hair to add subtle length and fullness, while they’re also frequently used in updos, braids, and ponytails to add more bulk to the hair.
But there’s a trick to doing it right. The pros over at RPZL told me that in order to add volume, you should focus on clipping the extensions in towards the middle of the back of your head, and no higher than the top of your ears. Any lower than this, and you’re adding length. All in all, it took about 30 minutes to clip them in and style them with the rest of my hair.
I had dinner with a friend immediately after my appointment, and she didn’t notice I had extensions in at all. After she complimented my bouncy curls, I filled her in on my secret. Another bonus? If your hair doesn’t tend to hold curls or waves well, these can actual help keep the style around for longer.
It was raining that day, and while that usually eliminates my chance for a good hair day, my blowout even lasted for hours on end.
This article previously appeared on InStyle US.