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D'Shonda Brown

Source: D’Shonda Brown / D’Shonda Brown

I am so proud of the progress my natural hair has made — it’s starting to retain more moisture, my edges are growing back day by day thanks to Canvas Beauty Brand and I’m falling in love with it more and more each day. I do miss the luxury of a weave or braids going down my back and making me feel like Tracee Ellis Ross on Girlfriends or Janet from Poetic Justice. I have no issue with my hair looking like Justice Smith from Netflix’s The Get Down, but I would like a little length here and there. With the rice water method, my hair has grown a solid inch and a half, but it’s not the same feeling that I’ve been looking for. 

I don’t have the skill set (yet) to cornrow my own hair and sew-in some bundles to make me look living room carpet ready, so I decided to invest in some clip-ins. After watching countless YouTube tutorials, influencers have deemed it an easy way to achieve a voluminous look on your natural hair with the benefits of taking it out whenever you’d like to allow your real hair to breathe. Sort of like a wig, but in wefts instead of a whole head. I came across Power Hair Collection, a Black-owned brand for wigs, bundles, closures, frontals and clip-ins and immediately noticed that they made sure to cater to the variety of textures in the African-American women’s community. Robin “Bijou Star” Sadler was really looking out for her people when she created these clip-ins.

My attention went to the Kinky Curl clip-ins because of the beautiful curl pattern, but I wanted to try out their Afro Kinky Curl pattern because it was closer to the natural texture of my own hair. I could do a twistout, braid out, buns, and pretty much anything I wanted to because it would be far easier to mimic the texture of 4C hair within my own hair, if I were to do it right. 

D'Shonda Brown

Source: D’Shonda Brown / D’Shonda Brown

After chasing down USPS for about a week, a service request, missing items claim and four redelivery requests later, I had to go down to my local post office and retrieve my package. When I got back to the house, I ripped open the marble plastic packaging to reveal a black satin drawstring bag with Power Hair Collection’s signature lettering across the front. When I opened the drawstring bag, I reached my hand inside and felt the initial, unwashed texture of the hair – tight, but soft. Luckily, the package came with instructions on hair care and thank God because I had no idea what to do. 

I co-washed the 12”, 14” and 16” clip-in wefts in the kitchen sink with cold water and TPH by Taraji’s cowash. I lightly finger detangled each weft under the cold water and slightly brushed through with a Denman brush to give it an extra umph of volume. The hair only shed a small amount and nothing for me to cry about – just as natural hair would. I laid the clip-ins out to air dry on my towel in the kitchen and immediately noticed that the clip-ins texture began to imitate that of my own natural hair. Excited was not the word for how I felt about trying these on the minute they dried.

Full disclosure: I can do a great Celie from The Color Purple plait, but I cannot cornrow to save my life. It just doesn’t work out for me. I gave my friend YouTube a visit and found videos on how to install clip-ins with minimal braiding required and no braiding required. I think we both know which one I chose. 

Although my hair isn’t super short, I wanted this process for me to be as smooth sailing as possible considering that I am an absolute beginner. I found myself in front of the bathroom mirror not too long after letting the clip ins dry and I was ready to experiment. I brought the bundles to the bathroom on the towel and sat them on top of the toilet seat. I began to part my hair with my fingers and clasped the clip-ins into my roots. At first, the curl pattern was still a bit too blunt, but after finger detangling a bit more, it began to blend effortlessly. I worked my way to the top of my head in rows and stopped to create a U-part to section off a good amount of leave out.

My hair grows up and outwards, as opposed to down and spirally like a staircase, so this next step required a bit of manipulation. I flat twisted the sides of my hair as well as the leave out in the section left in the U-part with clear Pro Styl gel and hair mayonnaise. I laid my twists down with my satin scarf and tied it into the front to let it sit for approximately half an hour minutes without any additional straight or pull that may mess this up.I went back into the bathroom to unravel my flat twists and allow my hair to blend in with the extensions – it looked great. My boyfriend was stunned and said that it had even looked better than the last Brazilian Curly bundles and lace frontal I had a year ago. This style definitely looked more natural than anything else I’d ever tried.

I called my mom on FaceTime and she screamed, “Oh my God, your hair grew so long!”. No, ma’am, it didn’t, but these extensions are the perfect solution to any quick hairstyle I want to achieve. She was stunned to find out that these were extensions that corresponded too well with the hair that actually grew out of my scalp. I fell so in love with my elongated hair and I appreciate that it only took 15-20 minutes of styling time to install, not including waiting for the gel to dry and untwisting my hair. The clip-ins were so lightweight and at the end of it all, I felt like Yara Shahidi with her natural voluminous tresses.

These changed the game for me and I think, just maybe, I may never have to go back to weaves again.

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