Drum roll please…

Actually don’t, it’s really not that exciting but… it has been almost a year since I posted my last blog spot and, whilst the blog’s not undergone any type of makeover, I have! Ish…

If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll know that I’ve battled with hair issues for many years now and, whilst I’ve studiously avoided anything other than intelligent ways of embracing the ageing process, I finally bit the bullet in order to fulfil my lifelong dream (yes, very shallow I know) of a better barnet.

Hair Extensions

In pursuit of more luscious locks a la Krystle Carrington (if you don’t remember Krystle then you’re probably on the wrong blog 😉 or perhaps you just had better taste in TV than me) I’ve sought out the best hair extensionist (hhhmmm… spellcheck is telling me this isn’t even a word) in town! Well, if he’s good enough for Sali Hughes, he’s good enough for me… so I’m stepping back into the bloggersphere with a little message of Christmas hope to those of you more follically challenged than your enviably, more hirsute chums 😉

Last week, after much research and a little procrastination (well quite a lot actually) about the pros and cons of hair extensions, I made my way up to Percy and Reed on Great Portland Street; the new home of Hadley Yates (formerly of Hersheson’s), extensionist extraordinaire. Ordinarily he’d have had me in for a consult beforehand but was confident enough (he’s been doing this a long time) to match my hair type and colour from a snap I’d sent him the week before (see insert of my cobweb-like hair :-0).

How It Happened

Given my leaning toward a more natch approach to ageing intelligently, I was more than a little nervous at the prospect of adding someone else’s hair to my own but, Hadley got to work by explaining the type of extensions that he was going to use; ‘filler extensions’ (no thicker than a grain of rice); ethically sourced human hair by award winning brand Great Lengths and applied in targeted areas to my own hair (almost at the root but with a half cm gap between root and bond) using a keratin bond and heat seal. Prior to application your own hair is washed, conditioned and roughly dried. Applying the bonds took about an hour and once they were all in, my hair was cut and styled to it’s original length (the filler hair comes in varying lengths) and I was done and dusted in about 1.5hrs in total. Eh voila!

Extension types

Extensions have clearly come a long way since those early days of masses of rather unnatural-looking, Victoria Beckham-type tresses taped to the back of your head and tumbling over your shoulder pads! This was partly the reason I’d put it off for so long – I had no idea about the different types (micro-rings, tape and pre-bonded), their suitability and, that it was even possible to add them to my ratty barnet and not have them look fake. The filler extensions that I was advised to go for are best suited for those of us less follically blessed; in particular women of a certain age whose hair gets noticably thinner with the passing of time 🙁 And no, advancements in application means they won’t ruin your own hair either.

Maintenance

Is much the same as looking after your own hair, only you should avoid conditioner at the roots as it can weaken the bonds. They will need to be removed and replaced every 4 months but in the meantime, I can swim (with my fetching swim cap of course), get it trimmed and my roots coloured as norms. The only concession I needed to make was the purchase of a Tangle Teezer hairbrush which ensures that you don’t catch and drag the bonded hair.

My verdict

I love ’em!  Although it doesn’t quite look this salon perfect a week down the line, it is noticably thicker and less wispy at the ends. Hadley’s advice was to go in conservatively; going from zero to bouffant can be a little too obvs, and we can always add more next time round. Krystle, you’d better watch out – I’m coming for you!

Price

Well it ain’t cheap and will vary from salon to salon and, be dependant on the number (half head vs full head) and type of extensions you choose. I’d recommend shopping around and getting a few consultations/quotes before you jump in. It’s a big investment and needs to be done well. But the overriding message is one of hope, if, like me, you thought it was time to hack it all off, start wearing big earrings and crazy glasses because middle-age stole all your hair 😉

Hairy Christmas

🙂