From the Fashion Week FROW to the Met’s iconic red carpet, hairstyles are turning heads like never before. And in the battle of the locks, a handful of celebs are going to extremely great lengths to come out on top. Whether it’s slicked back behind the ear, pulled high in a sky-scraper pony, or left loosely flowing in beach-babe waves, the hot-test hair styles of SS17 are the ones that go on. And on. And on.
NYFW saw Kimmy K’s signature dark tresses flow all the way down to her famous derrière, while sister Kourtney’s sky-high pony cascaded down her back Ariana-style. But when it comes to asking the mirror on the wall who has the longest hair of all, there’s only one image that pops up. And it’s Nicki Minaj strutting her stuff around Paris. The real life Rapunzel had locks so long they were described by Vogue to be in ‘ankle grazing territory’. Yes, ANKLE grazing.
Dreaming of Lusciously Long Locks
While hair-down-to-your-feet is a bit OTT for us everyday gals, dreaming of lusciously long locks is something we can all relate to. And with the long bob taking last season by storm, most of us are further away than ever from this never-ending fairytale look. The reality is, hair takes a long time to grow. And even if we achieved this long haired look the natural way, we’d soon face a heart-wrenching dilemma when a pixie cut becomes the new must-have. No, the only way to have all the fun of a barbie doll is to enlist a helping hand. And while many of these 32-inch trend-setters have the help of hair revolutionarie Chris Appleton, you can rely on the expertise of Lucinda Ellery.
Turn Up the Volume
Of course, hair extensions do far more than lengthen your mane. For decades, stars have been using them to create the fabulously voluminous Hollywood hairstyles that grace our TVs and magazines today. And using hair extensions to thicken what God gave us is becoming more and more popular off the red carpet too. Extensions are in-creasingly used to combat the appearance of hair loss, and they’re also a great way to play around with colour and style (without the worry of damaging your natural hair).
Hair extensions — also known as hair integrations — come in every length, colour, ma-terial and price-point you can imagine. It’s easy to get tangled up in it all — so we’re going to break it down. First thing’s first; the hair itself — human or synthetic? Well, when it comes to hair, you get what you pay for: 100% human hair (available in Euro-grade, Russian and Brazilian) is the most popular (and expensive) choice. While synthetic options are less natural than human hair, they’re still popular for one-off ‘fashion’ looks such as festival-favourite colour pop pastel strands.
The Appliance of Science
When it comes to the application of hair extensions, new technologies are ever changing and different methods are favoured by different salons. The original and most basic way to achieve the long-haired look is the old-fashioned clip-in. In within minutes, out within seconds; these are the original old school extensions. The downside to clip-ins is that they don’t move with your natural hair, so they’re not great for styling (and near impossible for high-ponying). If you’re looking for a temporary solution with less bulk than the clips, there’s the option of tape-ins. Which; as their name suggests, involves a high grade tape that attaches the extension weft to your own hair, achieving a longer lasting result that you can both sleep and shower in. Like clip-ins, they don’t move with your natural hair so they can be tricky to style and conceal. Another popular option is weaving (or sewing) the extension weft in. This attachment method tends to be more popular among Afro-Caribbean ladies (and anyone else lucky enough to have a thick voluminous head of hair) because the signature can appear bulky under finer, thinner hair.
If you’re looking for a true Rapunzel reformation, your best bet is to opt for high quality human hair, applied with semi-permanent polymer bonds or micro rings. While not as favoured as polymer bonds, micro rings are a popular purse-friendly way to achieve the long-lock look. They’re easy to maintain, remove and (most importantly) re-use; and we like to think of them as the new and improved clip-in.The limitations of micro rings are that the hair extensions themselves come in a limited range of colours, (unlike polymer extensions which come in thousands of colours) so depending on your own hair colour it can be tricky to find that perfect match. Also — as with clip-ins — they leave a much bigger signature, so they are not suitable for people with finer hair.
The polymer bonding process, on the other hand, is ideal for all hair types and colours. It involves using liquid resin to bond free-flowing strands of human hair to the free-flowing strands of hair on your head. It’s important to note that this is NOT the acrylic glue found in pre-bonded extensions; this resin has been specially formulated to ensure hair extensions are safe, non-toxic and 100% non-damaging to your hair. As they are bonded strand by strand they move with your hair and look entirely natural, making them the ideal choice if you want to keep your hair extensions your little secret.
So that’s it for the lowdown on the wild and wonderful world of extensions. With so many choices there’s something for everyone, and the Lucinda Ellery advisors are here to guide you through. Whether you’re looking to lengthen, thicken or conceal; we say fake it till you make it.