Preparing Your Long Hair System for Attachment

If you have a system with long hair, it is important to secure the hair away from the edge of the base prior to attachment. With the hair out of the way, you will be able to see what you are doing more clearly, and won’t run the risk of getting hair caught in the adhesive as you place the system on your head.

There are a few commonly used methods for securing the hair in place. Some hair-wearers prefer to make one large hair bun on top of the system, and secure it in place with clips. Others like to arrange the hair in one or more braids. Our recommendation, and the method you will learn in this guide, is to make a couple of buns and clip them on top of your system. We recommend two buns rather than one because it helps evenly distribute weight, making your system easier to handle. Larger hair systems may require a third bun in the back.

  • Your clean hair system (already taped, if you are taping any areas)
  • Four or more 1-inch jaw clips
  • Styrofoam head with T-pins and mount
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • One or more 1/2-inch jaw clips (if you have bangs)
  • Spray bottle of water

Step 1: Prepare and pin your hair system

Use your wide-tooth comb to gently comb through your hair system and remove all knots and tangles. Start at the ends and work your way up towards the base.

Once you’ve done so, place the system on the Styrofoam head.

If the perimeter of your base has tape applied, it is vital that you do not pin through the tape. You will be putting in about eight pins — two each on the left, right, front and back. Use more as needed.

Starting on one side, use your fingers to part the hair and feel around for the tape. It may be difficult to see, but if you are using 3/4- or 1-inch tape, you will be able to discern where the top edge of the tape is. Put the T-pin right above the tape. Continue to pin the other three sides of the system in the same way.

Step 2: Separate the hair into sections

The objective with this step is to separate the hair in the system into two sections. With your system pinned down, part the hair in the middle, from “ear to ear,” across the base. Comb the front half of the hair forward, and comb the remaining hair back. It does not need to be done perfectly — you just want to end with two sections of hair.

Step 3: Twist the hair into buns

Starting with the front section, gather the hair up and begin twisting it into a bun. As you do so, the edges of the base will have the tendency to lift up. Some lifting is fine, but use your hand to periodically push the edge back down to avoid excessive lifting, as this could create difficulties during attachment. You should end up with a small bun at the top-front part of the system. Use a 1-inch jaw clip to secure the bun down on one side, and use another clip to secure the other side.

Use the same process to secure the back section of hair into a bun.

If you have bangs, use the 1/2-inch jaw clip to clip them up out of the way.

It is best to use several small clips as opposed to one or two large/jumbo jaw clips that you might use to secure a French twist, for example. Larger clips are heavier and may cause the system to be awkward and floppy while trying to attach it.

Step 4: Secure “returns”

“Returns” are the short hairs sticking out around the edge of your base. Returns are the shorter, opposite end of the long hair that remains in your system after it has been tied into the base.

Typically, there isn’t a problem with them getting stuck under the tape when you attach your system. However, if they bother you, you can mist them very lightly with water and push them up out of the way, or use pin curl clips to keep them secure.

Step 5: Remove T-pins

Your hair system is ready for attachment. Your last step is to unpin your hair system from the Styrofoam head. Gently pull the pins out through the hair. If hairs get caught around the T-pins, carefully work them out while untangling the hair.

If you’re growing hair is long enough, pull it back into a low ponytail to keep it from getting stuck in the adhesive during attachment.

Again, this is just one method to secure the hair out of the way while you are attaching the system. Feel free to modify it in a way that works best for you.