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Friday, 20 May 2016

Great Lengths Hair Extensions: Two Weeks In.

It's a full two weeks since I got myself some hair confidence and so I wanted to do an introductory post about my extensions; why I got them, how the application went and how I feel about them now that I've had two weeks to get used to them!

My hair history
I've never had Samson-esque hair, it naturally veers on the straight, thin and weak side but when I became quite ill in my mid-twenties, my hair, skin and nails all took a bit of a battering.
Three years on and as I'm still on life-maintaining medication, my hair is also still in a heap. My skin is better than ever and my nails are somewhat improved but my hair, particularly at the back remains a disaster. I've tried every product on the market but if you have weak hair there's not a huge amount you can do.
I hummed and hawed about getting extensions and read all of the advice on them but eventually just decided to go for it. Sure look, it's only hair and money at the end of the day and if it helps me to feel even slightly better about my currently negative body image then, why not.


Choosing a salon
On the advice of my massive friend Eilo (she'll appreciate that), I went in to Cowboys and Angels on South William St. I've previously been in before for colour and cuts but my research and my Eilo told me this was the place for extensions. Valerie Patterson is renowned in Dublin for being an extension wizard and so she set to work on my limp locks (the previous Saturday she had re-pinkified and lightly snipped my hair too). She created a 50 piece blend of blonde, pink and orange tones to perfectly match the rose-goldy blonde I was currently rocking.

The application process
The process itself took a couple of hours. The extensions are bonded to your own hair using heat and a protein polymer, rather than glue, and are then trimmed to sit naturally with your own hair. For me, it was all about volume- I didn't particularly want hair down to my waist, just more body. Which I got!
My before and after shots don't really do it justice to be honest but my Snapchat selfies (below) probably will show you how very happy I am with my new hair!
I also really liked my experience in Cowboys and Angels. I'll say at this stage that I was not paid to write this and I did pay in full for my extensions!
Valerie only advised me to buy the Great Extensions brush, which allows you to brush your hair through from root to tip, without pulling on or damaging the bonds. When I asked about special shampoos etc, she told me not to waste my money and to use what I have, just to make sure the conditioner went nowhere near the bonds. As it happens, I'm already using a sulphate free set from Kevin Murphy that is safe for use with extensions but I really appreciated Valerie's honesty. She saved me a good bit of cash there!

Extensions, pre-application. And, eh..ignore the many caffeinated beverages in the second photo (bit hungover that day) but that's the beginnings of them in, pre-cutting!

So, my thoughts so far:
  • It does take a little getting used to. The first few days my scalp was tender but it's back to normal now and there's no extra weight there or discomfort.
  • Styling my hair also takes longer than usual; not a huge amount more but I have to factor in longer drying time and then straightening/curling also.
  • It's a small thing but I need a bobbin on hand to plait my hair nightly; doing so eases the pressure on the bonds from your hair being pulled as you move around in your sleep.
  • I can't just throw my hair up into a messy bun anymore- although I now have the hair to make the messy bun look good, I also have the bonds there so there has to be a lot more tactical hair arranging. 
  • It's definitely worth spending the money on the Great Lengths brush, which makes life just a bit easier.
  • I was worried you'd be able to see the bonds but honestly, they're not particularly noticeable (see photo)
I've exposed the bonds in the first photo to show you what they look like, while the second one is my own hair back in place over the bonds.

  • I definitely feel more confident and feel better about my appearance in general. I've had people say they didn't notice the extensions and that's exactly what I wanted- they're not incredibly obvious to the naked eye. They sit perfectly with my own hair but I just have more of it now! It looks natural but enhanced at the same time, if that makes sense!
You know you're already obsessed when you start taking Snapchat selfies, immediately.

Would I recommend GL extensions?
Yes, most definitely. The hair that's used is real hair and is ethically sourced. It's very good quality and easy to style and it's given me a bit more pep in my step! I also love the freedom I have now- we have a lot of weddings etc this year and it's nice to know that when we're away somewhere, I'll be able to do my own hair and not have to try and find a hairdresser in the middle of nowhere. 

From the side and the back. Keep it in mind that it's very tousled here, hairdresser stylee ;)

Price wise, it's different for everyone depending on how much hair you want. I went for one of the less expensive options as I got only 50 strands. You can get as many as you want which will obviously then impact how much you spend. Because my hair is light anyway, more than 50 might look a bit too much on me but if you have normal hair but want some more length, 75-100 strands might be more appropriate for you. 
Hopefully, I should get 5-6 months out of my extensions, if they're well looked after and if my hair continues to grow characteristically slowly. For me, that's another bonus as I don't enjoy going to the hairdressers and 5-6 months of hairdresser-free time is kind of glorious. 

Again, keep in mind both the hangover here and that I have had to filter said hangover from the photo. The hair, however, is unfiltered!

Have you been thinking about getting extensions? What's stopping you?
Or, have you had them and haven't gone back?
To the comments and let me know what you think!


  1. How did I miss that you'd gotten extensions? You look amazing, they're very natural looking. And can I just say, filters or not, I only wish I look as good as you do when I'm hungover.

  2. Looks gorgeous on you! So lush and voluminous!

  3. Your hair looks gorgeous. What is your snapchat name, I thought I was following you but haven't been seeing anything on your story ☹

  4. Your hair looks gorgeous, it's great to know that extensions can make such a difference to your hair other than just being used for length. Great job with the colour matching too! Look fab x

  5. I had keratin bonded extensions in about 2 years ago - I got them for my debs because my hair was in such a heap and I was self conscious about pictures and the like.. I had proper princess hair, about 200/250 strands altogether and 22" it was a LOT of hair but I loved it and actually got about 8 months out of them! I haven't gone back yet because I wanted to save up but I think I will for graduation next year. Your own look absolutely beautiful and I LOVE the colour! I'm glad you feel good in yourself with them, they definitely do make you feel more confident when you have a fab weave ;) x

  6. You were stunning before and you're stunning after but there is no doubting that the extensions look incredibly glamorous! Love the look lady x

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