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A DIY Approach to Affordably Fabulous Hair

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You may wish that you had hair for a bold fringe, or you might bemoan the fact that the cost of extensions can wipe out that stimulus check with one visit to the salon, or perhaps you simply can't risk having outrageous hair thanks to conservative corporate or school dress codes.

Regardless of what has held you back from having the hair of your dreams in the past, those reasons are irrelevant now. I'm not talking about potentially pricey and itchy wigs or custom hair pieces that can also run into the triple digits. No - all you need for fabulous, versatile hair is a car and a few minutes to spare.

A drive to your local mall to visit Sally Beauty Supply or any ethnic hair supply store can be very rewarding for those with sharp eyes and limited funds. If you're able to see through all the outwardly plain looking hair pieces, you can find a variety of items that can be styled to counter-culture perfection. Here are some of the most versatile and inexpensive projects for your temporary hair transformation.

Neon Streaked Ponytails

Supplies: One or a pair (for pigtails) of drawstring or clip-in ponytails in a color that matches your own, a needle and thread, scissors, and wefted hair.

Pick out the wefted hair (explained above) in the accent color you desire, and then head over to the hair pieces to find a ponytail in the color that most closely matches your own. For this project, straight and/or layered texture ponytails work best. The ponytail should have a drawstring or claw clip base that comes pre-attached to the hair.

How-To: Cut the wefted accent hair into 1" to 3" sections, and then part the ponytail down to its mesh base, this is where you will attach the wefts so they will be hidden when the ponytail is worn. Sew the weft sections to the mesh ponytail base. You may add as many or as few wefts as you desire, depending on how much color you want showing through. If making pigtails, repeat on the second hairpiece. Take your own hair and put it either into a bun at the back of your head or into two buns at the sides and attach the fall(s) at the base of your bun(s) using either the drawstring or the clip on the hairpiece. Brush or backcomb and you're good to go.

Bangs for a Night

Supplies: If you can find them, pre-made bangs. Otherwise, wefted hair, scissors, needle and thread, toupee or wigs clips, and a curling iron.

How-To: For pre-made clip-in bangs (which are available at many beauty stores), simply trim the hair to the desired length. To make your own bangs with wefted hair, cut off a 5" section of the weft and sew the wig/toupee clips (which should match your base color or the weft color) onto each end. Placing each clip beneath where you own hair falls on either side of your part, clip the "bangs" in and determine how long you want them. For Bettie bangs, trim the hair straight across or in a slightly rounded curve that is approximately 3" long. This will give you enough length to curl the bangs with a curling iron (hot for human hair, cooled down for synthetic). Curling the bangs will help them lie properly across the forehead. You may also experiment with V-shaped cuts as well as longer, side swept styles. If you feel the weft is too obvious at the top of your head, cover it with a headband or goggles. Once you're happy with the look and placement, you're club ready.

Final Thoughts

If your wallet is thin or your hair isn't jet black, don't be daunted. Most of these projects run less than $20 and since you choose the hair yourself, you can ensure the base color matches your own, be it fiery red or flaxen white. There are no hard and fast rules for how much color you should put into the hair, how long it should be or how the bangs should be shaped. If super-long, choppy, J-Rock falls are your thing, go for it. Haute, asymmetrical bangs?  Ditto. With a little creativity and experimentation, you're certain to find the hair and style that works best for you.

Featured writer

Gail Brasie

Gail Brasie

Gail lives near Chicago and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature and a Master’s in Library and Information Science. Gail loves books, birds and Gothic Americana music.

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gothic hair, goth hair, diy goth hair, how to goth hair, neon streaked ponytails, bangs for a night, gothic hair tips, gothic hair on a budget