Hair extensions, no matter what kind you use, are an investment. So, once you have them, you'll want them to last a long time. We have talked about how to change your sew-in extensions into clip-in or halo extensions, and recently, we were asked if extensions can go the other way, from clip-in to sew-in. For clarity, I am going to refer to sew-in extensions as 24/7 extensions, because this would also apply to installing clip-in extensions using any other method that would lead to them being worn 24/7.
In short, yes, they can. But here are 3 main reasons we would not recommend doing it.
Even if advertised as human hair, they occasionally are not. It doesn't happen
often, but throughout our career, we have had clients bring in beautiful clip-in extensions to be blended with their own hair. The first thing we typically do is a heat test. We have seen many clip-in sets fail the heat test because they are not 100% human hair. They have synthetic heat-friendly fibers mixed in. I know you're now thinking, "Well, if they're heat-friendly, what's the problem?" Typically, they are only heat-friendly up to a certain temperature, and they are also not as durable as your hair. So with repeated washing and styling, they will start looking rough and can even cause matting.
2. The hair quality is different from extensions expected to be worn daily. I have been ordering hair extensions for close to 2 decades and have talked with many manufacturers. Typically, the hair used to make clip-in or day-only wear extensions is lower quality than what is used in extensions worn 24/7. This allows the manufacturer to use more of the hair that they purchase and offer it at a more affordable price than extensions expected to be worn 24/7. Clip-in extensions aren't expected to be washed regularly or styled daily like your 24/7 extensions, so they likely won't hold up to daily styling and brushing. This also tends to mean it will be harder to color match if it isn't already matching perfectly, so take extra care in your color matching.
3. Not enough hair. Since clip-in extensions are typically worn for a day and a single style and can be moved to help you achieve the style you want that day, they often have less hair than you would have from extensions that you wear 24/7. Extensions that you have in 24/7 have to blend and move with your hair no matter how your hair is styled, so typically your stylist will use plenty of hair to be able to cut it to blend and have plenty to blend your natural hair with your extensions. Clip-in extensions typically have a bit less hair because they are an added enhancement to a style for the day.
Most extension stylists will not install clip-in hair as 24/7 extensions because of the quality risks and risk to your natural hair. In our salon, we offer 3 different hair types for 24/7 installation, and the price variation comes from the labor needed to make the extensions, so the hair quality is all the same. This gives clients who want 24/7 extensions different price points to choose from based on their budget, all using quality hair meant for 24/7 wear.
If you want to learn more about the types of hair we offer for 24/7 extensions, click here.
If you want to learn about Halo extensions, our favorite option for occasional use, click here.