Now this 'Bigger is Better' illness infects everything beauty-related - hair, eyelashes, heels. The TOWIE girls, unfortunately, also seem to apply this to plastic surgery (Chloe Sims I'm talking to you). It is for this very reason that I think it would be very risky for me to ever go near a needle or scalpel. But in all other cases, moderation need not apply - I want my fake tan as dark as it will go, I want my eyelashes as thick as possible and damn it, I want my hair as long as possible!
Around 18 months ago I decided to do something about the hair thing - it just wasn't long or voluminous enough. My Mum calls me an "ungrateful moo" (WHAT A WITCH). I got my Dad's hair (who is a pretty hairy lebanese man) so granted I do have quite a lot of it and my Mother feels I should be more thankful. But thanks to my annual foray into bleach, it hasn't grown past my boobs in years. Now, whilst I have made some serious beauty resolutions to rectify this (no more straighteners, no more peroxide, no over-washing), I discovered something that would tide me over until my own hair has grown - clip-in hair extensions.
I'm now addicted. I sometimes wear two sets in my head so it's longer and thicker and bigger (BIB! BIB! BIB!) and I haven't been on a night out without them since I bought my first pair. For those of you who have never worn them, if you do, you'll never go back. The quickest way to inject some glamour into your look is with long hair.
To prove my point, I have selflessly decided to take a less-than-flattering 'before' and 'after' shot so you can see the difference. (note to self: when using a very high definiton camera, put more make up on. Dickhead).
Please excuse my real hair (it desperately needs a trim). I haven't styled my extensions as well as I usually do but you can see the difference. I see a lot of bad extensions which either don't match with the wearer's natural hair colour or they simply aren't blended well (or both, in some very unfortunate cases). As a seasoned hair extensioner (what? That's a real thing), I felt it was my duty to pass on some advice.
- Buy human hair only. Synthetic hair doesn't look real and you can't style it with heat appliances (it will just melt).
- Whether you're buying online or out at the shops, look for packets with 'remy' on them. It means the hair will be smooth and good quality.
- Generally, the more you spend, the better they will look. My most recent set cost me £50 (you can save money by just purchasing the hair and then sewing the clips on yourself).
- If you're buying online take into account the weight of the hair. Email the supplier and ask how heavy they are. The heavier the better! If they're under 100grams, steer clear. The hair will be too thin and will look obviously different from your hair. Aim for at least 120-160 grams.
- Afro hair shops tend to sell a huge variety of extensions without clips on that you can then cut to fit your head and sew clips on yourself (they will also sell the clips and needle and thread that you will need too. Just ask.). If you're going to do this, when cutting and sewing the hair, double it up! Cut a section of the hair to fit the side of your head and then cut another one the exact same length and sew them together on top of each other so the hair is thicker. Then sew the clips on!
- This sounds like very obvious advice but try and match them as closely as possible to your hair colour. Blondes are more difficult to match as they tend to have a few different shades in so try and match them to the most prominent shade in your hair. A lot of online shops will match you hair colour to their extensions if you send in a photo. If you're in a shop looking at some, take the extensions outside into natural light and hold them up to your hair in front a mirror.
- I wear 18 inch ones. They reach my waist when they're straight but when they're curly are a perfect length. I wouldn't recommend getting longer than 20 inches in length. Wear 22 or 24 inch and they'll just look a little ridiculous.
- When you're putting the hair in, space them no more than an inch apart on your head. If you space them too far apart, they won't conceal the length of your real hair very well.
- Backcomb your own hair at the roots and then securing the clip ins onto the backcombed hair. This will hold them in better (they're a pain if they start sliding down).
- If you're going to wear the extensions straight when they're all in, then straighten your hair first. They'll blend better. I generally wear mine curly so I put them all in first then curl my hair with GHD straighteners afterwards as normal.
- WASH THEM! I wash mine every time I wear them as they just won't style easily after they've already had the straighteners on them once. Wash them like you would your own hair but be gentle. Use a deep conditioner to keep them as soft as possible.
- Use a 'Tangle Teezer' brush on them. It's more gentle than other brushes and will damage them less, meaning they will last longer.
- If your hair is very short then steer clear, they're just so difficult to blend well. Your hair should be longer than chin length ideally.
That's a hell of a lot of to remember I know! But if you too are greedy for the hair and sold on the idea (though I'm aware all that information may have put you off a bit) then please feel free to email me with questions. firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me twitter.com/chrystiread. I love nothing more than talking about hair so do get in touch!
Until next time. Goodboo!