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Let's Talk Extensions

Let's be real. When someone in a bridal party says "Oh wait! I've brought my own extensions...hang on a sec I'll go get them!" I cringe a little. I prepare myself for some tangled up, frizzed out extensions that've been sitting in a bag for too long. Then I cringe some more because of them time it will take me to brush them out. Then I cringe a little more because they may not take heat well even though they're "real" hair. All of the sudden my curling iron has melted hair on it. Gross. ​ Have you been there? Or maybe your bride brings you extensions for her trial and they don't hold a curl at all. There are so many variables when it comes to extensions, so I'd like to offer you a few tips!

  • Do a trial early in the morning so they can try wearing their extensions for the whole day and make sure they hold up-especially if their updo is half up half down, or all down.​

  • Have your bridal clients wash and blow dry their clip in extensions before the trial day. Also have them try curling a few just to make sure they hold a curl.​

  • Set the extensions before you put them in your bride's hair. Prep and curl each extension section, then set it on a surface on top of itself in a curled formation. Continue with the bridal party, then come back to the bride and place the extensions. This way, they'll have a long time to set and will hold longer.​

  • Use a halo extension for quick length and fullness! They don't work for everyone, but they can be a great option if you just need some extra thickness. Here's an example of an updo with a halo:

You can see the placement here:



Here's the finished look:



  • Be honest. If a bridesmaid pulls out a ratted up extension pile, be clear that you don't have the time to work that out. Time is of the essence on wedding days, and by gently saying that you need to honor the timeline you won't have to deal with the headache.​ Make sure to charge extra for extensions so they're worth your time. Include it in your contract and also let your brides know that if anyone in their bridal party plans to bring their own extensions, they need to plan extra time in the timeline AND have them prepped and ready to go.​


  • I also always keep some cheap, synthetic hair in my travel bag. I can use it in the base of a bun or any other style of updo to add some bulk and fullness to the hair. It's super cheap and easy to keep on hand, and you can always upsell it to bridesmaids for $10 bucks.​


  • If your bride has super fine, thin hair, getting extensions professionally done is always a good option, such as tape ins. You'll have more success with those than the clip ins on super fine hair.

Here's an example of tape ins:​



  • Consult, consult, consult. My biggest tip when it comes to extensions it to talk about all of your options at your trial run. The picture below is a styled shoot where the model brought her own extensions. At first glance the hair looks great-but look closer. You can clearly see that her real hair is an ashy blonde below her shoulders. Her extensions are light brown and super long. If she was a real bride, this would not have went well! Since it was a styled shoot it was fine, but had she brought that to me in advance as a bride I would've wanted to cut the extensions and done color matching. So overall, just make sure you talk about the type of extensions, try them out at a trial, and double triple quadruple check that they will look great for the wedding day!​



As always, thanks so much for being here!!! Shoot me an email with any questions or tips and tricks you have for extensions! ​ Heidi :)

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I love doing bridal hair and I am super passionate about working in the bridal industry. It can be a daunting task to get started, but I want to show you how and help you do more of what you love!
The Updo Collective is for passionate stylists like you, who want more creativity and freedom in their career. It's for stylists like you who want a place of learning and collaboration, to grow in our skills together. It's for stylists like you to have a community of support in an often competitive and isolating industry. 
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