21/04/2013

HOW I RUINED MY HAIR AND MY 'EXTENSION PROFESSIONAL' HAIR EXTENSIONS

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know I had hair extensions about 6 weeks ago and if that is something you have thought about doing you should read this post. This is quite a photo heavy post which is unusual for me, you rarely see photos of me up here. I think that's a makeup artist thing, it's never meant to be about us. But I need to give you the history and I'm going to do it with a whole lot of selfies*. I was blonde through most of my twenties, this is me 25 in 2002, don't mind the guy he runs a club (Tao) in Vegas now if you're ever out there. 

I went back brown when I was 28 and had some great shiny hair years. I had lovely thick healthy shiny hair, we all agree?
Spring 2011 I decided to go back blonde, I missed it. This is the first full head of highlights I had from brown and with hindsight maybe I should of stopped here. It needs a trim but it's still pretty great long thick hair. I have hair envy for my own hair. 

This is the next full head of highlights a few months later about September 2011. Going creamier, should almost definitely have stopped here.
This is the Made In Chelsea live studio show at the end of Season 2, December 2011. Could. not. be. creamier. Why didn't I stop here??
This is the Made in Chelsea live studio show at the end of Season 3, June 2012. Definitely yellow and definitely looking thinner. (I have to stand on a chair to do Rick's hair & makeup)
Three months later by September 2012 half my hair had snapped off and parts of the top layer were just a few inches long, I know it's not death or cancer but still upsetting all the same. I quit blonde cold turkey and dyed my hair brown to try let it grow. I have cut off so much dead end and it is still in really dreadful condition. I went to Thailand in January this year for 3 weeks and spent the entire trip with my hair scraped back in this style, coated with deep treatment masks. It grew 3 inches in 3 weeks.
Where the underneath is not that bad the front and top layer is appalling and in the most awful state. I can't cut it as my long hair will become a pixie cut, and that's never gonna happen, all I can do is keep cutting the top layer as it grows a bit longer and eventually (hopefully) it will meet the bottom layer again in equal condition and thickness. THIS WILL TAKE YEARS. This photo is from 2013 London Fashion Week in February, it took a full set of rollers to get it to look this thick. I've hidden the short top layers very well.
And then I saw THIS. Ree's hair looks amazing!!! (read her post if you want more examples) I went straight to the Extension Pro website and read every single word, then I messaged Louise right away and had them fitted the next week. I need to back this up with I have never had extensions and I never would have extensions. I have seen so many peoples hair ruined by extensions that is was something I never would have given a thought to but Ree's testimony that not one hair got damaged backed up the website claims and gave me enough comfort to go ahead, and I made Louise swear it wouldn't damage my hair any more that it already was. The extension hair wraps around your own hair and glues to itself, allowing a tube like seal to be manipulated around the natural hair so there is no glue touching your hair, very clever really. And then your hair can grow and stay strong underneath. When they remove it they spray a solution on to dissolve the bond and it just slides off leaving no damage.
The whole process took about an hour and it looked amazing. Louise matched my hair colour perfectly, you would NEVER know. I did for a hot minute think to leave it like this (go big or go home) but common sense prevailed.
I never even thought how important it is to have a good stylist fit extensions but they have to cut them to your hair and blend them in so it's important to get a good hairdresser do it, it has to look natural once they're fitted. Here are my before/after photos, it looks so much better don't you think? I didn't add length I just added volume. The back after photo looks like a Pantene advert!
It looks really flat in the after photos but once you wash it it kind of fluffs out to proper thick hair and looks awesome. They took me a few days to get used to, for the first few nights I could feel them when I laid my head on the pillow, it didn't hurt it just felt weird. But they didn't take long to loosen and after a few days I didn't feel them at all. Before the extensions my hair looked appalling straight, (err see photo above) it only looked ok if I tonged it, which is a vicious circle as the heat is making my hair worse. For me the best thing about these extensions is they look great on their own, I don't have to do anything to them, I've only curled them once for my Cosmopolitan hair videos, other than that I've not put any heat on them which is exactly what my hair needs right now. Look at the difference now from my February photo just 2 months ago!
The extensions need to come off or be replaced between 10-12 weeks, my hair should have grown about 3 inches by then, that's 3 inches of healthy not heat touched hair and I need every inch I can get! For me to get through this awful waiting for broken damaged hair to grow so I can cut it out, but with my hair looking great, has been amazing. The alternative would have been to cut the whole lot off (ahhh I find getting even a one inch trim a traumatic experience) so for me Extension Professional was the best decision ever, I honestly couldn't be happier. Louise is becoming the London hair extension person to go to because it's so safe, she's recently fitted extensions on Ellie Goulding, Caroline Flack, Stacey Solomon and Yasmin Le Bon. If extensions are something you are thinking about do make sure you get ones that won't damage your hair and a damn good stylist to fit and cut them. Extension Professional have their own hair extension training course so you should be able to find a stylist trained by Louise and using the Extension Professional hair all over the country.  I'll make sure to do an updated post when I get mine taken out. And if anyone knows how to make hair grow fast please let me know!

*apologies for all the selfies it won't happen again

1 comment:

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