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Cork Independent

Glamity Jane

Learn to extend your hair options

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019 4:40pm

Hair is something that I have always had a big interest in ever since I got my first bob haircut as a child in the 1980s and I have indeed gone through all of the hair trends from Sun-in to stripy highlights and of course ‘the Jennifer’.

In the last few years, my most notable one has been hair extensions. It all started a few years ago with some clip in ones that added a little volume and length to my fine hair.

Then a few years ago, I got bonded hair extensions which were of course a game changer.

I was initially slightly hesitant - would it damage my hair? Would they look unnatural? These are tiny strands of real, human hair.

Generally, you head in for a consultation ahead of time so the stylist can match your colour and order the hair, but some salons have many shades on-hand, ready to be used same-day.

The extensions themselves look like a small wisp of your own hair, but with a keratin-based dried ‘glue’ at one end.

These are attached to fine strands of your own hair to create the length and volume desired. The placement is important.

It may be easier to recognise them by name; the first set were by Irish company Great Lengths. The hair extension market has since evolved greatly and there are now many brands and types of extensions and hair pieces available which means a bit of healthy competition and a broader range of choice for us, the consumer.

Let’s look at the bonded variety first. Gold Fever is an Irish luxury brand by Katie Jane Goldin which is well respected and established in many high-end salons.

Gold Fever have some of the best quality hair extensions, and they also offer training on how to apply and remove extensions.

Being educated on how to properly do extensions can be just as important as the quality of the hair extensions themselves. There are several things to consider which I why the consultation is paramount.

Platinum Luxury Hair extensions are another excellent brand.

Available in salons and in their own salon, the hair is the one I have currently.

They are easy to manage and the bonds are small, and the hair is similar in texture to my own, which means they are less noticeable. They are so easy to style too and are not knotty or high maintenance.

Cork woman Amy Michelle launched her own brand this year and again these are fine bonds with a superb selection of colours and available for other salons to use too.

One of the latest crazes to hit Ireland is celebrity favourite Hairtalk - a taped extension brand. Back in March I decided to get the chop. I had a bob which looked good but lacked vavavoom. Enter Hairtalk extensions.

Application takes under an hour for a full head of almost invisible tape extensions. The hair can be reused up to three times.

No heat machines are used, instead it’s safe and healthy hair application methods, fast application and beautiful results.

These are great if you like the low commitment too as they can be retaped three times before they need to be replaced. The taped extensions are removed every six to eight weeks.

Overall, I found these to be lower maintenance, but I did enjoy all the benefits of having bonds - it is harder to disguise the tapes though, if for example you were used to piling your hair in a top knot.

They even do a colour melt range which I had to give a more ombre effect and it blended perfectly with no knots or matting.

As with everything hair-related, you must look after and maintain the hair like you would your own, putting in treatments and taking time to style and protect it.

I found that I washed my hair less when I have extensions as the style holds well and dry shampoo is superb.

The extra weight wasn’t a problem in the heat and I really feel that they are an essential for me now. You must use sulfate free shampoo and keep oils away from the tapes and bonds.

The most important thing is to enjoy them and embrace the new look you!

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