Can You Cut Clip-In Hair Extensions? (Beginner’s Guide)

If you’re looking to invest in a set of clip-in extensions or already own them, you’re probably wondering whether you can trim them, as you would with your natural hair. Well, I’ve done some research and here’s what I found!

Synthetic and virgin clip-in hair extensions have a similar texture to real human hair; therefore, you can cut and trim like you would with normal hair. You can even cut them in half if they’re too long for where you want to clip them on your head. Cutting, trimming, and blending extensions with real hair creates an improved natural look.

That said, let’s take a closer look at how you can cut your own clip-in extensions and blend them seamlessly with your natural locks. Keep reading to find out!

How To Cut Your Clip-In Extensions: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Cut Your Clip-In Extensions

Cutting your clip-in extensions is certainly an art, however, if you have the right knowledge and practice you can do it from the comfort of your home without having to spend hundreds of dollars at the salon!

The safest way to cut your clip-in hair extensions is to use a razor tool to cut a precise and neat cut in short strokes that will not damage your clip-in hair extensions. Ensure that you brush and detangle your hair extensions beforehand for the best accuracy when cutting.

I’ve put together a step-by-step guide for you on how to cut your clip-in extensions like a pro:

Method 1: The Evaluation Cut

This first method is probably one of the simplest methods you can use. In fact, it only requires 3 simple steps!

Step 01. Brush your hair to remove any knots or tangles. Use a hairbrush to comb through your hair after you have installed your clip-in extensions. Be sure to avoid the area where your clip-ins are attached to your natural hair so it does not pull. Only stop brushing when the brush glides freely through your hair and is free of knots. The purpose of this is to blend the extensions in with your natural hair.

Step 02. Smooth out the extensions and observe the length. Using a mirror, run your palms over the length of your hair and turn so you can see the full length of your hair. You’ll most likely notice that at the bottom edge, the extensions layers begin to thin and separate. Take note of where some of the extensions hang lower than the rest (an obvious giveaway)!

Step 03. Pick a trim length. In order for your hair to look natural, you’ll need to chop away those extensions that hang below your natural hair. If your hair is layered, some extensions will be shorter than others. If all your hair is one length, then your extensions need to be the same. You can even give the extensions a slight trim to get rid of that blunt look that many extensions have and give a more natural finish.

Method 2: Trimming Your Extensions

This method requires the use of a razor blade rather than your regular shears, and the result is a more feathered, layered appearance. This is a little thicker than the first method, but the results are certainly worth it!

The purpose behind using a razor tool instead of shears is to prevent the ends looking too blunt and unnatural. The result will be a softer, feathered finish which will really help your natural hair and extensions blend seamlessly.

Step 01. Cut off the longest section with the razor. Comb the section of hair you want to trim, and hold it between your index and middle finger. In your dominant hand, use the razor to gently snip away the extra hair in small strokes.

Step 02. Leave some length and evaluate how your hair looks. It is always best to trim little by little so that you can carefully monitor your progress and if you are happy with the results. Continue doing this until you are fully satisfied with your look!

Step 03. Comb through the trimmed hair. Once you have combed your hair, grip the hair between your index and middle finger. Make sure you are holding the hair about 1 inch (25cm) from the ends. Take notice of any extra long hairs that do not match with the overall new shape of the cut you are creating.

Step 04. Use shears to point cut the ends. Position the shears so that the tips are slightly pointing into the line of hair that is between your fingers. Cut any extra long hairs with the scissors perpendicular to the path of hair to even out the edge.

Step 05. Use the razor tool to blend in face-framing edges. Firstly, clip away the rest of your hair, so it does not get in the way of these pieces. Use a gentle trimming motion to glide down the length of the hair that frames your face on both sides. Don’t be shy to hold the ends so that you have some control and resistance! The aim here is to blend the sides of your extensions with your polished path in the back.

  • This should create some soft, flattering face-framing layers!

Method 3: Blending Your Extensions Into Your Natural Hair

Cutting and trimming your extensions is certainly one thing, but blending them into your natural hair is quite another! This method is for those of you who are planning a big night out, and want to look fabulous and flawless while doing so!

Step 01. Give your extensions a good wash. Using a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, gently clean your extensions until thoroughly clean. This removes any of that unnatural gloss that extensions tend to have when they are new. Make sure that you leave them to air-dry overnight, and do not use a hot blow dryer on them! The reason behind this is to ensure the new extensions blend seamlessly with your natural hair.

Step 02. Curl your extensions (if they are heat-resistant). Grab your curling iron and curl your hair in sections of 2 inches (5.1 cm). Next, hold the curls for about 10 seconds and spray a generous amount of hairspray. This is done to ensure that your natural hair and extensions blend together seamlessly.

  • If your extensions are made from human hair, spray them with a heat-protectant spray prior to curling them so that they are not damaged and last longer.
  • If they are synthetic, I strongly recommend ditching the heat-styling tools altogether! If they are heat-resistant you should be able to, but proceed with caution.

Step 03. Match the number of extensions with the thickness of your hair. To ensure your hair looks natural, avoid putting in a full set of wefts unless you have super thick hair! Clipping in too many extensions, especially if you have thin hair, can end up looking lumpy and make it obvious you are wearing extensions (not the look we’re going for)!

Step 04. Be mindful of the length of your clip-ins. If you are after a natural look, rather opt for extensions that are shorter than 22 inches. While extra long hair may sound appealing, it will look unnatural as the majority of people do not have hair that excessively long unless it is fake!

Step 05. Add some color! Now that your extensions are beautifully blended, you may want to add in some color to enhance the look and match with your natural hair. While your extensions are likely a similar color to your own hair, a stylist can help you create the perfect shade for a perfect blend!

  • Unfortunately, you will not be able to dye your extensions if they are synthetic, as this can ruin them permanently.

Want to learn how you can still color your synthetic hair, but using food coloring? Check out our article here for a step-by-step guide!

Related Questions

Is it better to go to a salon professional to cut my extensions?

This one really is entirely up to you. If you are removing quite a large volume of hair and are aiming for a super blunt or trendy cut (without much experience) I would recommend consulting with a professional. This type of hairstyle is very tricky to achieve yourself from home, especially with extensions in the mix. Make an appointment with your stylist first and they can assist you with the process, as well as give you some advice!


Hey, I’m Jodie, the gal behind CraftyHairHacks. I have a deep passion for hair extensions, hairstyles, and almost anything that has to do with hair, which leads me to the writing and research I do for this website daily. Our site is still small, however, we’re pushing to get the best hair hacks out to as many as people as possible. ENJOY!

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