We’re breaking down the best types of hair extensions for every mane.

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We have a little secret: hair extensions are one of the beauty industry’s best kept secrets. It’s the instant fix for fuller, longer, more voluminous hair and can work on just about any hair texture and length (starting at around 4-inches long or so). The trick is to find extensions that match your hair color and strand texture—that combo will win you a natural look that might even fool your friend who can spot a bottle job at twenty paces.

Real Hair Extensions

Pee-can versus pah-kahn. Toe-mae-toe versus toe-mah-toe. Synthetic versus real hair extensions. The answer in the first two scenarios is really a matter of preference. Synthetic versus real hair extensions though, is a little more cut-and-dry (no pun intended). If budget allows, real hair is your best option. Synthetic hair often has an unnaturally shiny appearance (think Barbie), is lighter than real hair (often it doesn’t blend as well), and can’t be heat styled. It must be noted that this is not true of all synthetic hair extensions—you just might have to do a little more legwork to find the good ones.

Clip In Hair Extensions

Clip in hair extensions are the easiest to apply and take out, making them an excellent choice if you’ll only be giving your locks a boost occasionally (for instance, special events and the occasional date night). Bonus: You can easily clip them in at home. No salon visit necessary. Before you give it a try, watch a few videos (like this one) to brush up on the proper technique.

Curly Hair Extensions

They do exist! As anyone with curls knows, they don’t grow overnight. It takes time for those corkscrews to wrap their way around, meaning it often seems to take twice as long for your hair to grow when compared to straight- or even wavy-haired gals. The answer? Clip in hair extensions. DevaCurl, a great resource for curl-focused product and information, suggests Bebonia for the best curly hair extensions. Read up on everything you ever wanted to know about curl extensions here.

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What are your thoughts on hair extensions? Do you think you’ll give them a try the next time you want to give your natural hair a boost?