Yes, that’s right. We think clip-in extensions are the best protective hairstyle to help you transition to natural. We know this is a bold statement and of course we are biased as we adore clip-in extensions. However, bear with us while we tell you why we think this is true, and then you can decide whether you agree with us or not. We believe we have compelling reasons that will make you consider trying clip-ins if you are thinking about going natural or currently transitioning to natural.
Now first things first…
WHAT ARE CLIP-IN HAIR EXTENSIONS?
In short, clip-ins is essentially removable hair extensions. A set of clip-ins has multiple wefts with small clips that are applied to your hair to instantly add length and volume in a matter of minutes. They can be washed and styled like other hair extensions and cause no damage to your real hair. They’re probably one of the few hair extensions that are easy, fast, and affordable to use.
Although clip-in extensions aren’t new, natural textured clip-in extensions for afro and curly hair have just started to gain popularity in the last decade. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most of us with curly or afro hair haven’t heard about them yet.
THE BENEFITS OF TRANSITIONING TO NATURAL WITH AFRO AND CURLY CLIP-IN EXTENSIONS
Transitioning to natural is when you decide to stop chemically straightening (i.e. relaxing) your hair to grow out your natural hair while you slowly cut off your relaxed hair over an extended period. It’s a perfect option if you want to gradually ease into growing out your natural hair.
The first few months of transitioning are usually the easiest since there isn’t a lot of new growth to manage. However, as you progress into your transitioning journey managing this new growth with your relaxed hair can be tricky.
It’s at this stage where we think clip-ins can help, here’s how.
- CLIP-INS CAN HELP DURING THE ‘AWKWARD’ STAGE
If you decide to transition to natural you probably want to retain your length for as long as possible. However, as your new growth gets longer you may start to experience more shrinkage then you are comfortable with (at first). This is easy to overcome by simply popping in a few clip-in extensions to gain back some of that lost length so you can feel more confident while your hair grows.
- CLIP-INS GIVE YOU TIME TO GET USED TO YOUR NATURAL HAIR
It’s not uncommon for us to reach our 30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s and have little experience with dealing with our natural hair. This is nothing to be ashamed of and is to be expected, especially if you relaxed your hair for many years. For that reason, it’s not surprising when faced with looking after your natural hair you become confused, frustrated and overwhelmed. However, we urge you to not throw in the towel yet until you’ve heard this next point!
Since afro and curly clip-in extensions are steam processed to replicate our curl pattern they require similar care to our natural hair and some clip-in textures are even similar to transitioning hair. This is great because while your natural hair is growing you can start getting familiar with your curl pattern by using clip-ins. Therefore, by the time your hair is longer, you will have a better idea of how to care for and style your natural hair which will make your transitioning hair journey more seamless and stress-free.
- CLIP-INS ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR NATURAL HAIR
At Curly & Wild, we are all for protective styling. Clip-ins can be used as a protective style; however, there is a difference between low-maintenance protective styles and no-maintenance protective styles which come with their pros and cons.
Now, say you transition to natural with no-maintenance protective styles (e.g. weaves and braids); it’s very easy to leave your hair and forget about it. The risk of this, however, is after you take out the protective style you may have no idea how to care for your natural hair because you have no practice at doing it. So now, it’s very easy to lose the length you’ve gained because you lacked experience in adopting good hair care habits while using this form of protective styling.
Clip-in extensions are a low-maintenance protective style as they are easy to install, but still require you to handle and care for your real hair at least every other day. Therefore, you naturally gain a better understanding of caring for your hair compared to if you were wearing a weave or sew-in. This will increase your chances of maintaining healthy hair and retaining length for long natural hair.
- CLIP-INS PROVIDE LENGTH, VOLUME AND MORE STYLING OPTIONS
When you transition, your hair is at a fragile state because you are managing your chemically straighten and curly hair. This can limit your styling options since you want to avoid over manipulation while your hair is growing out. This is where clip-in extensions shine because you can transform your hair in minutes without having to compromise your natural hair journey. So the next time you have work events, parties and social gatherings, with clip-ins you will instantly have length, volume, and more styling options at your fingertips.
- CLIP-INS CAN HELP CONCEAL BREAKAGE
As we mentioned, your hair is naturally fragile when you transition because your relaxed ends are more prone to breakage. When you continue to transition, you may find your hair starts to look uneven as your relaxed ends start to break off. This can leave you with thick new growth at the top and thinner, broken hair towards the bottom making your hairstyles look thin at the ends. Clip-ins can offset this by filling out the areas of your hair where you lack volume making your styles appear natural and flawless.
Going natural is an exciting journey and although it can be a little daunting, we hope we've shown how you can successfully use afro and curly clip-in extensions to make this experience more fun and effortless.
Let us know in the comments whether you would consider using clip-ins to help you transition to natural. Have we managed to showcase the benefits of clip-ins or are you not convinced? We’d love to continue the discussion with you so please share your thoughts below.