Everything You Need To Know About Hair Extensions

From Rapunzel herself.

Amber Fillerup Clark, Long Hair
Image: Barefootblonde.com

Fact: every woman wants long, luscious hair.

Blame it on Rapunzel if you will but it’s engrained within us from a young age. Someone who knows this all too well is Amber Fillerup Clark. The girl behind Barefoot Blonde (you know, with the crazy good hair) admits she’s been wearing hair extensions for over a decade.

“My hair is long but naturally VERY thin. So I loved that I could have thick hair and do more hairstyles. I became obsessed with them and eventually they just became a part of my every day routine. Even on lazy days I throw in a couple of hair extensions and they make top knots look 100 times better!” says Amber Fillerup Clark.

But choosing hair extensions can be more difficult than you’d think. And after trying over thirty different brands, Amber decided to make her own. Channeling Goldilocks rather than Rapunzel, she admits they needed to shine but not too much, be thick but not too blunt, have volume from top to bottom and take 60 seconds to clip in.

The result: Barefoot Blonde Hair.

So, if you’re in the market for some long, luscious locks, Amber wears the 21-inch Barefoot Blonde most of the time but she has over 22 different shades. And if you’re new to extensions, she’s shared the 411 below.

Like out of a fairytale or something ✨ @tezzamb @jacimariesmith @barefootblondehair #BFBHairIceland #BFBHairEverywhere

A post shared by AMBER FILLERUP CLARK (@amberfillerup) on

On blending your extensions with your natural hair… If you are having trouble blending your extensions, adding waves or curls always helps to blend. Even if you just braid your hair and your extensions before bed so you wake up with wavy hair. Waves and curls help to break up where the ends of your hair are, and gives texture! Or you can do a big fishtail/braided style. Hairstyles are so fun with clip-ins because you can move them around to make braids and twists thicker! Once you try a braid with extensions you won’t be able to go back to normal braids.

On using hot tools on extensions… ​I ​am big on always using the correct heat setting even when you aren’t wearing extensions—it is so important for keeping your hair healthy. It is always best to keep the heat as low as you can get away with too. The thing with extensions is that once they are damaged from heat, you can’t repair it as well as you can your normal hair. They also curl pretty quick so you won’t need to use a high heat setting. To style using hot tools, I always recommend putting all the extensions together and closing the top off in a drawer so they are secure – and curling them like that. Curl your natural hair and then put the curled extensions in.

On using hair products on extensions… You can use hair products on your extensions! I try to limit the amount of hairspray I use on them since the alcohol in hairsprays can dry them out. I usually don’t use hair product on mine personally because then the product builds and you will need to wash them sooner. And I try to limit the number of washes just because it keeps them silkier longer.

On swimming with extensions… YES! You can definitely swim with your extensions. Barefoot Blonde Hair is 100% human hair. However, there are definitely good practices to keep in mind when swimming with them, including the below:

  • Opt for a braid – if you’re going to be swimming for a long time, braid your hair before you get in so it won’t get too tangled. Try these seven super-easy braids and if you’re working out go for a boxer braid. 
  • Avoid chlorine – chlorine will damage your extensions just like it will the hair on your head! If you do go in, wet your hair with clean water from a shower or sink beforehand so it won’t soak up as much chlorine.

General tips for maintaining/wearing hair extensions…

  1. Be careful brushing them, if they are tangled use a detangler and start at the ends. Once the hair breaks, it’s broken, so you want to avoid breakage.
  2. Don’t sleep in them or if you do, make sure to braid them all the way to the ends so they don’t get matted or tangled in your sleep.
  3. Braid them and put them in a dry bag or box when travelling.
  4. Avoid heat when possible – this is why braids are great!