If Amber Fillerup Clark knows anything, it’s hair extensions. The Barefoot Blonde blogger has a following on Instagram that is 1.3 million strong, and her website is a destination for her readers to find fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle advice — plus lots of Pinterest-perfect photography of epic braids. Clark creates those braids with the help of hair extensions, which she has been wearing for for over 11 years. Her love of mile-long tresses and desire for a thicker mane inspired her to launch her own line of extensions in November 2016, Barefoot Blonde Hair, which offers hair in shades of blonde, brunette, red, and black — there’s even an apricot shade for more adventurous types.
Of course, no hair pro worth her weight in wefts is anything without dishing a few of her secrets. And Clark, who keeps her extensions looking Instagram-worthy as she takes in the sun, sea, and a few waterfalls traveling with her photogenic family, happily spilled the tea on how she takes care of the hair that grows from her head — and that she clips in.
Read on to find out more about Clark’s hair brand and her tips for keeping extensions in tip top shape as you enjoy the summer months.
What’s been the most challenging part of having your own line of extensions?
Making sure people order the right color and are educated on how to use them! This is why started our series of pop-up shops, so that girls can come get matched in person and have a stylist show them how to put them in and style them. Our first pop-up was really successful and lots of girls left with amazing, big braids. Our next pop up will be in Salt Lake City on June 30th and we are also planning one in LA at the beginning of August!
Where is your hair sourced from?
Our hair is 100% human remy hair of premium quality from a manufacturer in China. This is where most hair comes from and we went through dozens and dozens of manufacturers testing hair for over two years before we found something we were happy with. Finding a reputable, ethical, fair trade manufacturer was of utmost importance to Barefoot Blonde Hair. This is one of the reasons why it has been such an undertaking. We had a long checklist of criteria by which we sought out a manufacturing partner and could not be more pleased.
Do you have any tips for women who want to wear their extensions to the beach, but don’t want to damage them?
I would suggest wearing just two to three wefts, and doing a big three-strand braid in back, a fishtail, or dutch pigtails. This way, the hair doesn’t get tangled in the wind or from moving around. They also won’t get tangled if you decide to go in the water. I wear mine in the ocean, but if you are going to be surfing or moving around a lot, you definitely want to keep your hair braided. If you are a regular extension wearer, I recommend keeping an old set of hair for when you go swimming. That way you aren’t so worried about it.
What are you tips for caring for extensions that have been in salt or pool water?
For the ocean, I often like to just let mine air dry and let them be beachy waves for a week or so and then I will wash them. You always know when it ges to the point where there is too much product or too much salt in them, but sometimes I like a little salt. As for the pool, chlorine will damage any hair, so I recommend not going in chlorine or if you do, getting them wet first so they absorb less pool water — then wash them after.
How do you wash your extensions?
Everyone washes their extensions differently. I personally like to take them out and hold them all together and wash them in the sink. I use cool or warm water and a little bit of moisturizing shampoo. I rinse, then apply conditioner. I often let the conditioner soak in for an hour or even overnight if I feel they are getting dry. Otherwise, a few minutes is good — just rinse and let it air dry!
When do you know when it’s time to retire a certain set of extensions?
There definitely comes a point when they get really dry and that’s when I know it’s time for a new set, though I do like to keep an old set at all times to use when I go swimming as I mentioned before! I will also those old extensions when doing a top knot, or at times when it doesn’t matter too much if the ends are dry.
What’s the one hair product you can’t live without during the summer?
For sure my deep conditioner. I use the Kérastase Resistance Therapiste Masque and it does wonders on my hair. Especially after swimming and being in the sun so much.
What are your extension do’s and don’ts?
Don’t sleep in them. Do brush them after each use starting at the ends. Don’t use high heat. Do as many no-heat styles as possible to keep them nice and silky… braids are a great option!
Love hair extension? Take a look at these stories:
- Condola Rashad Wore A Gold-Wrapped Ponytail to the Tony Awards
- Colorist Ursula Goff Paints Famous Paintings onto Hair Extensions
- Chrissy Teigen Struggles to Remove Her Hair Extensions on Snapchat
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