Some of us are born with naturally thick and luscious locks (ahem, Claire)…others, like me, aren’t so lucky. I’ve recently gone from full-time final year student (in other words, poor) to having a full-time job so I decided it was finally time to treat myself to some new ‘Rapunzel-meets-Victoria’s Secret model’ hair!
I’ve never had thin hair and in fact, my hair has grown so much in the last year or so because I’ve started using really good products. I do, however, have quite fine hair, meaning that it can look flat, especially when it’s straightened or not over-styled . I’ve always wanted big hair. For me, hair is like a security blanket. If I’m having a bad skin day or not digging my outfit, I always want to feel like my hair can pick me up a bit. I had done a lot of research on different types of hair extensions, application and after-care to make sure I was happy to go ahead of them. I decided to go for Platinum keratin bond hair extensions in the end. Platinum is an Irish brand that uses great quality human hair in their products. They have a fantastic range of colours so there has to be something to suit everyone.
Prior to getting my extensions, I got a lot of help and advice from my hair dresser Kelley O’Brien, who colour matched my hair so I’d get the absolute best colour and I have to say, the extensions are an identical match to my own hair colour so they look so natural. I then went into the Platinum shop, which is located on South Anne Street, just off Grafton Street, to pick up my hair. The shop is open to the public and they also have a small salon set-up where they apply hair extensions, however, I had mine done by Kelley (I don’t trust anyone else with my hair!!!).
D-Day: Having your extensions applied
There’s very little prep involved in getting hair extensions. The day I had them applied, I just shampooed my hair twice with a sulphate free shampoo. I use the Alfaparf hair care range so I used their Diamond Illuminating Shampoo (StrawberryNET, €18.50). Don’t use conditioner when you wash your hair before having the extensions applied as this stops the keratin from bonding properly to your hair.
The application is pretty quick and simple too. Kelley spent around two hours in total to apply, shape and style my extensions. The actual application is pain free. Each strand is applied to a very small section on your own natural hair, using what looks like a small flat iron. I got a full head of extensions so they were applied throughout my whole head. Depending on what look you’re going for, you could get less. I wanted both length and volume so I got 5 packets of hair. I think each packet contains about 20 or 25 strands. I know, this is pretty hard to imagine but to simplify things, it’s a lot of hair! A LOT!! Once they had all been bonded to my own hair, Kelley styled them by cutting and shaping them. I personally think this is the most important step in getting your extensions done. When they are initially put in, they look quite fake as they are cut very bluntly and straight and are really long, so putting some shape into them is essential. We took a good bit off the length too. As I had never had extensions before, I didn’t want to have them too long. Plus, they grow with your hair! Kelley then curled them and within a couple of hours, my hair had been transformed!
I’ve had them in three days now and I absolutely love them. I was worried about sleeping on them but they really don’t cause any discomfort. They’re not heavy so they don’t weigh your head down. They just feel very normal and natural. In terms of managing them, they actually don’t take that long to style. The hair styles really well so if you’re curling them, it curls really quickly and also holds the style a lot longer than your natural hair would.
It’s extremely important that you take care of your extensions. If you’re going to invest in them, you should be prepared to also buy good products to use in them, such as sulphate free shampoos. One thing that I have been taught by Kelley is the importance of using good products. I only use salon shampoos and conditioners now. While these might be more expensive than your average products from the supermarket or pharmacies, in the long run, they will do your hair a world of good. If anyone wants more info on our favourite hair care products, just let us know! Also, avoid putting conditioner near your roots (I don’t know if anyone does this anyway…I certainly don’t! It would make my hair way too greasy looking) as this will break down the bonds and may cause the extensions to fall out quicker than they should.
Other than that, there’s very little you need to do. Just treat your extensions as you would your own hair – they are human hair after all. The better you care for them, the longer and better they’ll last. The Platinum Keratin bonds should last anywhere from 3 months upwards, if cared for! You will also have to commit to have them maintained by the professionals. Kelley will look at mine in about a month or so and if they need to be trimmed or shaped, she’ll do that. When the day comes for this set to be removed (be brave Sara, don’t cry), it is absolutely vital that you don’t try to do it yourself. Leave it to the professionals! They will be able to apply a solution which breaks down the bond, allowing the extensions to essentially fall out without damaging your hair at all.
Before and after…wow, what a difference, if I do say so myself!
I absolutely adore my extensions. I was apprehensive about getting them as I’d rarely even worn clip in extensions but I have no regrets. I can actually see myself becoming addicted to them! They look, and make you feel incredibly glam and girly, which I love! If anyone wants more information on the extensions I got, just send us a message or comment on the post. Alternatively, you can get in touch with Kelley on Facebook.