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How to Make Hair Extensions

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A girl with funky hair extensions

You may well be wondering what all this entry is about. Well, a lot of people when they go clubbing like to have mad manga-type hair, a sort-of cyber-look: bunches, dreadlocks, mohawks, high ponytails, or plaits coloured pink, UV yellow, white, black, green, purple, or any combination of the above. You can achieve your own particular look by either:

  • Spending many hours with a bottle of peroxide, 'Directions' hair dye, and a bottle of ShockWaves, to emerge triumphant with pink fingers and a ruined bathroom.


  • Making yourself some rather trendy hair extensions, which you can clip in before you go out, astound everybody with your vertical manically coloured hair, which you can then whip out in time for work the next day.

Although there are still the die-hard brigade who are prepared to suffer for their art, some of us have jobs to go to and have to research different alternatives...

To Make a Pair of Bunches

You will need:

  • Two large metal hairgrips - The ones that look like bulldog clips. Make sure you get ones that either have small handles, or pretty ones you don't mind showing. Accessory shops do some good ones with hollow handles to thread the hair through. Metal ones are best, as they don't tend to break. You could use actual bulldog clips, which would be very post-industrial and cyber but might hurt your head.

  • Ribbons - Or other artefacts to attach to your ponytails. If you're a tad Goth you'd probably use black lace ribbons and black and purple fake flowers. If you're a cyber-type you'd want dayglo ribbons or those plastic UV strings, with glowing beads. Be creative. If you're not taking it very seriously, you could use plastic spiders or dolls heads or pompoms... go have a look at the toy stalls on the market for inspiration, or a haberdashery department.

  • Elastic bands - You can get little black ones which are all the same size and look neater from afro-Caribbean hair shops and stalls. If you don't have these nearby you could try a hairdresser's, or give up and buy a packet of multicoloured rubber bands ones from a stationery store.

  • Material - To cover up the messy bit where it wraps around the clip. You could use a scarf, or scrunchies, or this Researcher's favourite, the cut-up nylon tight scrunchie.

  • The Hair - The best stuff to use is the proper fake nylon hair in bright colours from afro-Caribbean shops, usually about £2 or £3 worth is enough to make one ponytail (or two if you're frugal). If you're not lucky enough to live near one of those shops, you can use wool. Make the wool twice as long as the finished ponytail so you can double it up. Try two or three contrasting colours - pink/white is good, or black/purple/white; you get the idea. White often glows under UV, which can only be a good thing! You'll need a couple of balls of wool, either very fine or very thick, or a mixture of the two works well. Aim to make the ponytails about the same length as your real hair, remembering they will be sticking up a bit, so they'll need to be a couple of inches longer. If you have very short hair you'll need to be inventive with the clips you use, or maybe use a hairband instead so that they hold in properly.

  • That's it. You are now ready to make your hair.

Assembling your Ponytails

  1. This is fairly self-evident. First separate your fake hair into two bunches (or as many as you have clips). You may find it easier to thread it into a pair of old tights (especially with the nylon) to make it easier to handle as it can get a bit knotty if you're not careful. Put a lot of one colour (usually black or white) and then streaks of other colours on it.

  2. Arrange the hair so that you can see all the interesting bits. Then thread the hair through the loops in your hairgrips and fasten with as many elastic bands as necessary.

  3. Tie in ribbons, bits of string, dead animals etc, and hide the knobbly bit with a scrunchie.

  4. That's pretty much it - you can spend a lot of time putting little plaits in and beads and stuff to make them look prettier but that's up to you!

Now clip into your real hair, put on your platform boots and party like the hoopy frood you are...

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