Have you ever looked at someone with impossibly long, thick, and lustrous hair and wondered which piece of their genetic code was responsible for such wonder? Well, these days, there’s a good chance those enviable locks have less to do with DNA and more to do with hair extensions. Once reserved for the Hollywood elite and those with insanely deep pockets, hair extensions of all varieties have become equally commonplace among A-listers and everyday folks alike. “They’re not Hollywood’s best-kept secret any longer,” says Ted Gibson, legendary celebrity hairstylist and founder of his eponymous L.A. hair salon. “They’re really versatile in application and in a way, you can really be a different person by wearing extensions.”
Even if a major transformation isn’t your goal, hair extensions have become as casual an option for increasing length, thickness, and volume in your hair as just about anything out there. The best part? They offer immediate results. (No more waiting for those biotin-filled hair vitamins to finally kick in.) But one deterrent that might have stopped you from trying them up to this point is their reputation for causing severe damage to your real tresses. Are breakage and crazy thinning really worth it?
Gibson thinks so. In fact, he goes as far as to confirm that, with the advances in application techniques and types of hair extensions, it’s possible to wear them with little-to-no damage to your natural hair. Few have reached the upper echelon of Hollywood hairstylists where Gibson now resides, so if he says extensions won’t completely eff up our hair, then we believe it. After all, the gorgeous manes of his A-list roster—from Angelina Jolie to Lupita Nyong’o, Sandra Oh, and Lily Collins—are proof of his expertise. Ahead, check out Gibson’s top tips for making sure your real hair thrives while you’re wearing hair extensions. Then, continue on to learn about 13 of the best hair extensions out there to try now.