Springtime is here, and I thought I could use a change in my typical curly hairstyle. At the same time, I know I don’t want anything too permanent, and I’m not really into color right now since I’m letting my old hue grow out. After lots of research for ways to experiment, I discovered Bebonia, a NYC-based line of premium quality clip-in hair extensions catered to women with naturally textured hair. The problem is, I don’t know how to install extensions into my own hair. I decided to reach out to its founder, Soleil Guerrero, for assistance.

“My personal experience and struggle with loving and properly caring for my curls helped spark the idea,” says Guerrero of her inspiration for starting Bebonia. “I realized that people with textured hair were under-represented in the hair extension industry. Specifically with easy, healthy and flexible hair extension methods such as clip-ins. I worked for about 10 years as an Enterprise Sales Professional for tech companies then decided to leave the corporate world to launch my own hair extension brand.”

Of course, I wonder if someone with this genius type of idea has had any curly hair dilemmas of her own. As a supporter and consumer of products catered to those with natural hair, I wonder if it comes from a real place or just the desire to capitalize on what’s ‘on-trend.’ Soleil assured me that, in fact, she had her fair share of struggles growing up. “Absolutely! I hated my curls and believed that I looked more professional with straight hair. I used to flat iron my hair every morning cause severe damage. When I made the decision to go natural, I didn’t feel beautiful and confident which is where my Bebonia’s come into play. They made and are still making the process of my loving my curls so much easier.”

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I went to Guerrero’s studio where she showed me what texture, length, and density I’ll need in order for the extensions to blend in perfectly with my real hair. I was surprised to know all the variety of ways Bebonia clip-ins can be used. We used 110-gram set of the ‘Ringlets’ style specifically designed for those with finer hair. She used both the 18 and 22-inch set to blend in nicely with my actual haircut shape. “It’s great for adding some natural volume to your hair. Our 220-gram set is our heaviest set and is catered for those who already have medium or thick hair and are looking to add length and have an extra voluminous look. This is the set that we recommend for those with short hair looking to add 18-22'' hair extensions.”

For those wanting a thicker style, Guerrero suggests using the 220g set. “The lighter weight set might cause the extensions to look ‘stringy’ in your hair. For thinning hair, if you try to wear the 220g, it might be too heavy for your hair.” Speaking of thinning, hair health is one of those rare factors that Bebonia takes into consideration. Some protective styles can be used in a way that actually ends up harming the health of natural hair rather than helping it, but she is adamant about suggesting using the extensions in a way that will compliment hair--working with it, not against it. “BEBONIA’s are great for people that are transitioning back to healthy curly hair, have had a Big Chop, or are suffering from hair thinning. They can be used daily, for vacation or special events are great to add to updos.”

After installing my extensions to help me reach my length goals for the day, I was interested in replicating the style in the future since I loved it so much. The process was quick and painless, and my hair was big, voluminous, and full of the fluffy bounce I’ve always dreamt of. I wanted to know how to best preserve my extensions, especially since they can be an investment (about $139 for 1 110-g set). “Deep conditioning them and storing them properly is key,” says Guerrero. “Also, we advise our customers to not swim with them in the pool or beach. The chlorine is a harsh chemical that can shorten the lifespan of the hair extensions.”

So, based on BEBONIA recommendations, here are the fast do’s and don’ts of caring for premium curly hair extensions:

  • DO deep condition.
  • DO lay flat when drying.
  • DON’T flat iron (or use any hot tools on them).
  • DON’T bleach your extensions.

Find more about Bebonia’s Curly Hair Extensions online at www.bebonia.com, on YouTube and on Instagram @curlsbybebonia.