We've all experienced it: The brief pang of regret after cutting our hair; mourning for all of the hairstyles intended for long hair that we were "just about to try" and will miss out on until it grows back.
Luckily, there's an easy solution out there for anyone who feels like their hair just doesn't have the length or volume they crave (and that growing it out takes too long): extensions.
With so many options out there, it's so hard to know which to choose. So we spoke to a hair stylist to give us the low-down on what to look for in hair extensions. We also asked other celebrity hairstylists for their favorite clip-in hair extensions, including the brands they recommend to their own clients.
What kind of hair extensions are best?
“As a colorist, I like clip-ins the best,” Stephanie Brown, colorist at IGK Hair in New York City, previously told TODAY Style. “It’s easier for me to color hair, and also because you can put them in and take them out whenever you want. They are a (commitment-free) way to add length and fullness or body to your hair.”
Brown's most important tip is to pick a set with color and texture that is most similar to your own hair. “It isn’t easy dyeing extensions and it isn’t cheap...I charge the same amount as I do when I color someone’s hair," she said.
How long do hair extensions last?
The length of your extensions comes down to quality and how well you maintain them. When it comes to price, a good set is worth the investment if you want them to last, Brown said.
"(Cheaper options) can look bulky and even cause harm to your natural hair since the clips or tapes are poorly made," Brown added. "If you take proper care of your extensions, they will not need to be replaced so quickly. Even if you dye your hair, just bring them with you to the salon and ask your colorist to match them."
Best clip-in hair extensions, according to stylists
"For easy, clip-on hair extensions, DevaLook comes in an assortment of colors, adds some nice volume and is easy to use," said celebrity hairstylist Felix Fischer. With 14 colors including ombre, these extensions promise to "add thickness and body" to your hair.
"I originally bought these because they were an Amazon’s Choice item, plus their reviews — although there [weren't that] many — were almost all five stars," said celebrity stylist Gregg Giannillo. "Once I used them, I knew why! They are soft, thick, very good quality and very well made. They curl beautifully, they color beautifully and they come in so many varieties that you can find a perfect match. They are truly the next best thing to custom-made at a fraction of the price."
Extension expert and celebrity hair colorist Kacey Welch swears by Bellami clip-ins. “They come in lengths from 18 inches to 24 inches and are perfect for a quick style change, event or to see if extensions are for you," Welch said. "They have such a wide assortment of colors, they virtually match everyone — and they also have fun colors so you can experiment, too. They instantly add volume and length and are easy enough to do at home or to take to your stylist."
“I like The Hair Shop. They have a large variety of colors, lengths, textures and styles...They have everything, and I mean everything,” said Brown. With 53 colors to choose from, feel comforted knowing you are choosing one that matches your preferred hair color. While these extensions prove to be a bit pricier, they are a high quality pick for extensions.
“Cashmere hair extensions are my No. 1 choice," said Arthur Shamalov, senior stylist and co-owner of Eddie Arthur Salon. "Not only are they real human hair, but they also have a good variety of colors to choose from. The clips are very secure and they don’t feel tight on the scalp."
Top-rated clip-in hair extensions
These extensions provide a full head of hair to add overall volume and length. Reviewers were impressed with how natural the synthetic extensions looked, including one Shop TODAY staff member who tried them on and said they clipped in easily and matched her hair really well.
"I think people are usually a little nervous about curling synthetic hair, but I curled mine and they held up really well," Shop TODAY project coordinator Sunah Bhasin shared.
For effortless length and extensions that blend in seamlessly, opt for Goo Goo's hair extensions with almost 4,000 five-star verified reviews. "I am beyond impressed with the quality of these clip-ins," one reviewer said, who purchased multiple extensions at the same time.