Today i'm putting hair extensions to the test for you, over the years i've been asked by a number of
people what extensions I wear, (Katie Price even told me three times that she loves my hair) so I decided that it's about time that I tell you the pro's and cons of the extensions I've tried. Above, you will see lots of photos of me with long hair, to the naked eye, it just looks like the same hair, however, each photo is me with a different set of hair extensions in. It's not even always about what looks best, of course that is 90% of the battle with hair extensions, whatever looks best we want to buy, but that other 10% is definitely about cost, how they feel and what underlying damage they do to your hair. I'll discuss that and hopefully help save your hair in the process, I wish there was a guide to extensions before I bought my first set!
Clip In extensions- I'm starting with the worst (sorry clip in fanatics) Ever since I can remember, I wore these extensions, I was an actual addict. I'd sleep in them, wear them day in, day out even though they are so uncomfy and kill your scalp. However, it was only in May last year that my hair dresser banned me from them, and i'm so glad that she did. Okay, so clip in extensions may look nice and they did get a lot of compliments, but it's just not worth it, you don't realise how much damage they cause to your hair, but the long term effects are horrible. A lot of people are so shocked when I tell them the effects that clip in extensions had on my hair but I would never recommend buying them, as they ruined my hair completely.
As you can see, clip in's look like normal hair, but I do find that sometimes they look rubbish as you can see the clips. I always used to buy the real hair ones as synthetic ones don't straighten and go matted. A good pair should last 4/5 monthsish but that's pushing it as the more often you wear them, the more the hair sheds and the shorter and more matted they get. What I found with clip ins is that they match the colour to the bottom of your hair, so for example , my hair is bleach blonde on the top, but the bottom is highlighted as my colour has grown out, so when I put clip in extensions in, they always made my hair look darker and dull. As soon as I took them out, my hair looked the colour that I wanted it to look, bleached. You just can't win with clip in extensions, they may be cheap and they may last a longish time but to be honest, 6 months really does drag them out. I find that you need to buy them really long, because otherwise the hair sheds and after about a month, they go a lot shorter which can be very annoying! So the damage, basically, I had to get most of my hair cut off because the right hand side had completely snapped off, you could see visibly where it had just snapped and it looked so so bad. My hair is extremely thick, but even the thickness of it had gone, it was thin, straw like and snapped. Of course, my hair is bleached but I do take good care of it and bleach has never caused problems for me. Furthermore, at both sides of my scalp just above my ears, I got bald patches because of my clip in extensions. What was naturally long hair. began to shed off because the clips on the extensions had been tugging at my natural hair causing it to shed. I've heard this from a lot of people after telling them my problems with clip ins. After a year of not wearing clip in extensions, the right hand side had grown back, my layers had grown out and the thickness of my hair had come back, you could see a noticeable difference, but this was painful for me, having to have all of my hair cut off, not colour it for a year AND just having to tie it up every day and leave it like an afro as the heat from straighteners was damaging it as well. Basically, if you can stray away from them, don't use clip in hair! Unless you're only gonna wear it on nights out etc, it got to the point where I could feel it hurting my head. I left it too long and was left with a complete and utter mess, if possible, just don't wear them all the time!
These are for you if: You want instant length, but want to take it out whenever you wish.
You have quite a lot of time to sew them in and to style your hair every morning.
You want to add another random colour to your hair.
You don't want long hair forever.
You're on a bit of a budget.
Flip In Hair (hair on a wire) - After clip ins I used flip in hair. Surprisingly, not many people have heard of these and im not sure why as it's revolutionary, especially because it doesn't damage your hair at all.As you can see on the photo on the left hand side, (with my rollers in!) it is a bit like a wig, you can't see the elastic wire but along the top is a wire, this wire sits on your head and then you use a tooth comb to pull the rest of your hair out. Whilst this is a great invention, it's extremely expensive when you buy it from flipinhair (mine was £220!), the hair is great quality and i've had mine for a year, I've heard that 'Halo hair' do a similar thing which is cheaper so I am dying to try that one out. However, with flip in, once again, the colour match was rubbish (probably because on the day I got colour matched I hadn't washed it properly or something) Another problem I got was when I first got it, the wire was super tight and did really hurt my head sometimes. I did get used to this though and actually managed to loosen the wire so once I'd done that they were fine. The one thing that disappointed me the most about these extensions is that you would look like a complete idiot if you wore them with a short fringe, I always had to put clip ins on the side of my head even when I did wear it, because the hair doesn't go round far enough and doesn't put any extensions on your fringe. This I feel is a really bad point about them, but it may just be me personally preferring to have my hair thicker on the fringe. The really excellent point about this, is that it literally takes 1 minute to put in, you literally do just 'flip' it in! But then it's the added annoyance of still having to put clip in extensions in the places where the hair doesn't reach, it would probably be okay depending on the length of your fringe though and how thick you like it, but I think it looks more real if it's thicker. I bought mine from Clothes Show Live from a place called Flip-in Hair. They are amazing and everyone commented on how good they are. I just think they are very pricey and would prefer to try Halo hair next time, as they're cheaper and apparently better. Watch this space!
These are for you if: you have a long fringe!
You're sick of clip ins!
You don't like to spend hours getting ready and want quickness.
You have quite a lot of money to spend.
You're wanting to move away from the damage that clip ins cause.
Cold Fusion Extensions - My last stop, after been sick and tired of clip ins damaging my hair, I resorted to permanent extensions.OOOH NO. You will probably scream, as we all know that permanent extensions are extremely damaging, HOWEVER, I did A LOT of research, I mean a lot. No chance was I having any glue or any heat put onto my already poorly (recovering) roots. After treating my hair like a piece of silk for over a year in order to restore it's condition, I do not want to go back to square one. I'd read up on 'micro bond/ micro ring' extensions, which sounded absolutely fantastic. Basically, the tip is keratin, which naturally occurs in hair anyway, and it kind of creates a loop around your hair... using no heat! I found it really hard to find a trustworthy salon in Leeds, where I live, who could do these extensions for me. Then I came across Robert Calvin, I actually discovered that he created his own extensions which are called Cold Fusion extensions. Whilst been permanent, unbelievably, they don't use any glue or any heat. I couldn't believe it when I spoke to the salon and found out that they are completely damage free. I went for a consultation as soon as I found them, as some people were quoting ridiculous amounts to get similar extensions fitted. I've read horror reviews about permanent extensions but knew that these sounded good. They checked my hair for damage and colour matched me. The thing I LOVE about these extensions is that there is no restriction with the colour choice, they perfectly mixed the colours and my hair doesn't look bland at all with them.
On this photo you can see the hair been put in and the hair afterwards.
As you can see, the colour is perfect, it still looks really bright and hasn't given me that extension dullness that I usually get. I knew I was in safe hands as Sam, who did my hair for me has been doing extensions since the age of 14, they used to do them for celebrity clients in Marbella, so you can't get better than their technicians.
The hair was cut and styled after wards so that it looks natural, and it really does look natural as you can see on the photograph.
Here you can see the process close up. Sam uses their cold fusion machine and grabs a tiny bit of the hair and then ultrasonic rays bond the hair without causing any damage. They do so many layers that it looks thick and natural. You can't see the bonds through your hair as they are put between layers of hair. It didn't hurt getting them in at all, it's quite relaxing as you can just chill whilst someone does your hair.
After wearing them for over a week now, I've come to the conclusion that they're the best things I've ever had. More than worth the money. I wake up every morning and my hair is done! I've even washed them and acted like they are completely normal hair and it is fine. On a night, I sleep with it in a plait, then in the morning I take it out and my hair is left really nice and curly. The hair is so soft and such good quality, a lot of people didn't realise that it was extensions. They cost around £350+ depending on what you get done etc, but I promise you it is more than worth it. With good care, these last for 6 months, which works out at around £60 a month. I've uploaded some more photos to show you what they look like.
I haven't used any heat on my hair still, this is just from sleeping with it in a plait. I love the fact that my hair is growing underneath these and can't wait for my roots to come through so I can see how much it's grown when I get them taken out, think about it, you leave your hair for 6 months, of course it's gonna grow!
After washing it, they feel instantly refreshed, as long as you don't put conditioner on the bonds and just stick it on the ends, the hair feels so nourished. I was worried that it would hurt me sleeping but I honestly can't even feel them, they don't feel heavy at all and to be honest I don't even realise that I have them in. These would be especially good for a holiday as you could sit by the beach and not even have to worry about putting extensions in. Some people say that they get matted but I bought a Tangle Teezer and it brushes over the bonds and therefore, stops any matting as it detangles the hair. My mum and me have decided that these are going to become an addiction as they're so easy to cope with! Because I don't know all the technicalities of these extensions i'm going to link you to their online booklet, if you click on it and have a read through it tells you a lot more about them than I could! Make sure you get GOOD hair when getting bonded extensions, I highly highly highly reccommend BeautyWorks for the most incredible hair. Click here to find out more info.
These are for you if; You can save a lot of money up for an investment.
You want long hair all the time.
You want to wake up and go to sleep with long hair.
You want something easy to style which is a good colour match.
-Cheap clip in extensions make you bald (literally) and ruin your colour, not to mention how uncomfortable they are.
-Flip in hair is a bit of a nuisance but natural, permanent extensions are the closest thing to real hair, look the best, feel the best and last the longest. I know which i'll be buying in the future. I see these extensions as more of an investment, you wear them because you want your hair to grow, so you should stick to the healthiest option for your hair. There are so many girls out there who want their hair to grow and so many people ask me for tips on how to grow your hair, if you are wanting naturally long hair, the best way to achieve it is to use flip in hair or cold fusion so that your natural hair grows underneath it at the same time and is left undamaged. I wrote a guide on how to quickly and easily grow your hair which I'd recommend reading if you want healthy long hair.
I wrote this post in 2012, in 2013, I have recently had BeautyWorks extensions (very good hair... you can read about my experience and bonded hair extensions review here, to me, the best hair to buy for extensions but not a very safe method which I have outlined in my brand new hair growth tips blog post.
***Update April 2015 *** These hair extensions are VERY nice -> FoxyLocks (read my review here). These are the most updated extensions I have used.
Which extensions do you wear?
P.S, i've been short-listed for the Cosmopolitan newcomer award, PLEASE vote for me here: