have a reputation for being high-maintenance, damaging, and an extravagance best left to people who frequent the red carpet. But I've tested a lot of them over the years, and I'm a convert to tape-in hair extensions. Simply put, they give me longer, thicker, shinier hair. Here's why you should try them:
1. They don't look fake. Tape-in extensions
really do look like your own natural head of hair. My proof? I've been wearing extensions for years, and I have friends and colleagues who don't believe me when I tell them. The bonds lie completely flat against the head and are so comfortable, I often forget about them completely—that is, until I catch a glimpse of my long, thick ponytail in the mirror (yup, you can even wear a ponytail). But keep in mind that not all hair is created equal. Matching hair density, texture, thickness, and color is critical to pulling off a seamless look. When shopping for a new head of hair, look for 100 percent human hair, either European virgin or Remy. In technical terms, this means that the hair cuticle is intact and facing in the same direction. What that means to you is that you can style, dry, and iron the extensions just as you would your natural hair without fear of excessive tangles and matting. My ultimate favorite is Invisi-tab Virgin European Hair Extensions.
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2. Getting them put in—and taken out—is easy. Seriously. It takes an hour and a half tops, no longer than a head of highlights. And that's for a whole head. The extension hair is bonded to inch-long supersticky strips. The stylist peels off the cover (just like a sticker), revealing the adhesive, and sandwiches small sections of natural hair between two of these strips. It sounds easy enough for DIY, but the placement is critical to the overall look, so leave it to a trained stylist. As for the removal, that's even faster. The stylist drenches the tape bonds in a solute that loosens the adhesive, then gently wiggles the extensions off. Then all you need is a couple of shampoos to remove all of the solution. Beware of extensions that require a remover containing acetone or alcohol, which can be harsh and drying if left on the hair for too long. (Again, my favorite, Invisi-tab Virgin European Hair Extensions, has its own organic remover formulated with citrus oil, a much gentler option for hair and skin.) I stick to a schedule of removal and/or reapplication every eight to ten weeks. As your hair grows out, the bond inches farther away from the root, and the farther the bond is from the root, the more likely it is twist and tangle—and possibly reveal your well-kept secret.
3. They're easy to care for. Wash, blow-dry, flatiron, curl, scrunch, braid—I treat my extension hair just as I would my own natural hair. Which is to say, as gently as possible. Like natural hair, extensions (specifically the adhesive bonds) are most fragile when wet. I like to blast my roots and bonds with a blow-dryer before gently combing through to detangle. This helps prevent any tugging on the wet bonds. I also always sleep with my hair in a loose braid. It not only helps prevent any tangling during the night but also results in the world's easiest waves. My extension hair actually holds hairstyles better than my natural hair.
4. They don't cause damage. Really. We've all heard the traumatic stories of celebrities who ended up with giant bald patches or tons of breakage because of extensions. In my experience, if applied correctly and treated with care, tape-in extensions pose no threat to the overall health of your natural hair. I actually turned to hair extensions after experiencing post-coloring damage. I had been trying to grow my hair out for almost two years when I decided to speed up the process a bit and extend it myself. Now my natural hair looks and feels as healthy as it did pre-color damage. Here's my only warning: I've found extensions completely addicting! It's hard to accept your shoulder-length, pinkie-thin ponytail knowing waist-long red-carpet-worthy waves are completely attainable.
Clip-In extensions are the perfect alternative for adding length and volume in an instant without the permanent commitment
The specialist Vixen & Blush salons offer one of the simplest yet most effective ways of creating a dazzling new look....
What is it? Vixen & Blush founder Sarah McKenna has spent years developing her techniques and travelling the world to source the best quality hair and the results can be enjoyed in her boutique hair extension salons.
The quality of the Russian Virgin (i.e. non-coloured) hair is outstanding and the signature 'colour-blending technique' creates an exceptionally natural result.
The salons are best known for bespoke permanent extensions but the Completely Seamless Clip-In Hair Extensions are the perfect alternative for adding length and volume in an instant without the commitment of permanent extensions.
One of the issues with most clip-in extensions is the potential for the clips to show as the hair moves around throughout the day. The skilful design of these clips overcomes that problem and also makes them extremely comfortable to wear, even after long periods of time. Anyone who experiences the superior quality of this luxury product will feel the difference and with the right care the clip-ins should last many years.
Before and after: the Vixen & Blush clip-in extensions create a fuller look
The result? A dramatic transformation: instantly glamorous, glossy locks that will make heads turn.
19 things only people who wear clip in hair extensions will understand
What is co-washing and is it good for your hair?
Any extras? Consultations are free of charge and in addition to the fitting of hair extensions there are also removal and colouring services available.
Price: the price depends on how much hair you want or need. The pieces are priced individually - large £275/medium £140/small £30.
Find it: 1st Floor, 42-44 Great Titchfield St or 194-196 Hoxton Street, Shoreditch
Some of us aren’t as blessed in the hair department. We all have that one friend who will dramatically sigh, ‘My hair just won’t stop growing!’ or ‘I need to have my haircut… again… I only had it chopped last Saturday!’ until we would quite like to strangle them with their own swishy, shiny hair. Joking! But it really is annoying.
If you don’t have hair down to your belly button you may have had a go at faking long locks with clip in hair extensions, which in minutes can transform you into a goddess that wouldn’t look out of place on Tangeled. Or Towie.
Here are 19 things you will ONLY understand if you wear clip in hair extensions.
1. Colour-matching your extensions to your real hair is nearly impossible
My roots are black, the midlengths are white blonde and my ends are golden. Under the bathroom light my hair is platinum and when I look in my bedroom mirror, my hair looks mousy. Oh.
2. When you first put your extensions in, your head feels really heavy
'Will my neck snap under all this weave?'
3) Then you clip one of the hair pieces in at the wrong angle and nearly cry with pain
Beauty hurts, right?
4. All this is forgotten because you then you walk down the street and can tell Sue from next door has mistaken you for a celeb
You look SO GOOD.
5. Now every occasion is an excuse for a selfie
'Take a picture of me next to the fountain!' 'Shall we have a group photo?' 'Quick get in my Snapchat selfie!'
6) 95% of your time is spent rearranging your hair so clips don’t show
Any sudden movements could prove fatal.
7) Wearing your hair in a high ponytail is out of the question
Otherwise everyone will see the clips and KNOW you’re faking
8) All your birthdays and Christmasses and Easters come at once when someone asks how you grew your hair so long
And you definitely don’t correct them.
9) Your partner has walked into the horrifying scene of your hair pieces drying on the radiator
But knows not to ask any questions
10) The rain can ruin your entire day.
Not because you’ve left the washing on the line, but because hair extensions and water do not mix. WHERE IS MY BROLLY.
11) You're talk to someone and mid-conversation, a hair extension piece falls out into your drink
And it’s always infront of someone you fancy/hate
12) When you take your extensions out you feel bald
You avoid the mirror at all costs.
13) If you get into a new relationship, you have to sit them down to discuss the hair situation
And explain it’s like dating two different people
14) There is horror and then there is the moment when someone trys to run their fingers through your hair
The look of confusion on their face is priceless.
15) All your spontaneity goes out the window
It takes me at least an hour to comb, straighten and then put in my extenstions! Don’t even get me started on blending!
16) You fantasise about dying your hair a funky pastel pink or grey
But not being able to 'cos. Colour-matching.
17) Only telling a handful of people about your hair extensions and making them swear to keep it hush
You could count the people on one hand who you've let into your little secret.
18) Spending more time, love and attention on your hair then your S.O
But babe, it's my hair! It needs me!
19) Your Instagram has never had so many likes