How to Curl Hair Extensions

I have a confession to make, right here, right now: I love curls, and I don’t care who knows it. Whether it’s a soft, beachy wave or over-the-top glamorous curls, I simply can’t get enough. Curls add tons of flowy body that just can’t be ignored.

Well, if you’re on the hunt for bodacious locks with hair extensions, you need to know how to curl them the right way. 

Quick hint: it’s not much different from curling your natural mane, which means you won’t have to learn something brand new to get the look you crave.

But to make sure you’re curling like a hairstyling professional, I am sharing all of my tips and tricks for how to curl hair extensions the right way. 

Below, you will find out how to make all different types of looks in a flash.

How to Curl Hair Extensions

Now, I will start by saying that hair extensions are all curled the same, whether they’re attached to your head (such as with tape-ins or microrings) or temporary like clip-ins or halos. The benefit of curling temporary, attachable extensions is you can see what you’re working with better.

Whether temporary or permanent, there are two ways to curl your hair extensions: with heat and without. 

Keep reading to find out my top methods for each.

How to Curl Hair Extensions With Heat

If you’re going to use heat, it is important to start by squirting your hair extensions with a heat protectant. Heat can cause damage to your extensions just as normal hair. In fact, it’s worse because extensions don’t have access to the natural oils on your mane, leaving more room for damage.

I recommend using a heat protectant such as the HSI Professional Argan Oil Heat Protector. It’s great for fending off heat exposure up to 450 F while hydrating the extensions. Designed sulfate-free, this is a wonderful option for all types of hair extensions. 

Besides spritzing your locks with a high-quality heat protectant, you should also avoid using heat above 350 and less when using synthetic hair. While most synthetic hair can handle 350, it’s best to stick to 300 to ensure the hair extensions last as long as possible.

From there, you can get styling. You have the option of using a curling iron or wand. I prefer a wand because there is less chance of the annoying kinks that can ruin your voluptuous, beautiful look.

To know which size you should be using for your desired hairstyle, look at the chart.

Size of BarrelBest ForResults
⅜ Inch Thin or short hairKinky curls
½ inches Thin or short hair Retro, ringlet, spiral curls, and finger waves
⅝ InchThin/Medium and Shoulder-LengthSpringy, spiral, perm curls
¾ InchThin/Thick and Shoulder-LengthVintage and corkscrew curls
1 InchAllDefined, mermaid, loose, tousled, glam, full-bodied, flipped ends, and uniform spiral curls, and beachy, natural, and textured waves. 
1 ¼ InchMedium and Long All
1 ½ InchLong and ThickVoluminous, loose, blowout, loose beachy, classic loose, undone waves, spiral curls, and neat beachy curls.
1 ¾ InchLong and thick or thinSoft and loose waves
2 InchLong and thick or thinTousled, beachy, and defined waves

How to Curl Hair Extensions Without Heat

Just because you want to turn your hair extensions into voluminous, look-at-me curly wonders doesn’t mean you necessarily have to use heat. However, the major benefit is that curling irons and wands work a lot faster than heatless methods.

I understand wanting to go heatless, though. It’s no secret that heat and hair don’t exactly blend well. Too much heat too regularly can lead to damage to your natural mane and your hair extensions. That said, here are a few great ideas for ditching the heat – but not the hairstyle.

  • Flexirods – Flexirods like the xnicx Flexible Curling Rods are a great option because they are super easy to use and come with amazing results. All you have to do is wrap your damp hair around the Flexirods and enjoy bedazzled hair the next morning.
  • Bobby pins – You don’t even need to buy anything to achieve a charming hairstyle. By simply wrapping your locks around your finger and pinning them into your head using bobby pins, you can achieve similar results you’ll love.
  • Braids – The last option is to simply braid your hair while it’s damp. You can opt for a single braid if you want flowy waves or braid into multiple braids for something tighter and more effective.  

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re going the heat or heatless route, it’s a cinch to get your hair extensions full of curly or wavy life. The best thing to remember is that extensions don’t really need anything ‘extra’. Treat them like your real hair, and you’ll be fine. 

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