In lieu of being blessed with the ability to grow waist-length strands overnight, we're turning to the professionals for a helping hand in achieving this seasons' impossibly long, luscious hair. That's right, we're talking a foray into the world of hair extensions. Not just any old hair extensions but the Rolls Royce of extensions: keratin bonds.
Many women opt for extensions before a special occasion, but for me, it was just good old fashioned vanity. I hadn’t switched up my hair in the last few years, and I need a fresh change. Of course, I had my doubts – would it damage my hair? Would they look real? Flash forward to eight weeks later, and I’ve got the full report: What did I learn between that fateful first day and now? And would I get hair extensions again? Read on for all the details of my experience.
After a consolation at Christopher Hanna Hair in Sydney, I decided on a full-head of Great Lengths keratin bond extensions. These are tiny strands of real, virgin (unprocessed) human hair. Generally, you'll come in for a consultation ahead of time so the stylist can match your colour and order the hair, but some salons have many shades on-hand, ready to be used same-day. The extensions themselves look like a small wisp of your own hair, but with a keratin-based dried "glue" at one end.
PRO TIP: If you have recently coloured your hair, Hanna recommends waiting a week or so before getting extensions as the dye can disrupt how the keratin bonds grip to your hair strands.
These extensions can be curled, straightened and styled with heat – everything you’d do to your own tresses. In order to attach them, your hairstylist will apply heat to fuse the keratin bond which acts as an adhesive to your own hair. The extensions are placed in rows so that they always remain strategically covered by another piece of hair, even if you wear a ponytail. As my hair was quite long we chose two different colours to create an ombre effect without having to dye my natural hair.
Keratin Bond vs Tape Extensions. What's the difference?
After having had both types, I can say both types have their pros and cons. Tape hair extensions are more affordable than individual keratin bond and can be re-applied. A full head might of tape extensions will cost up to $500 while keratin bonds can cost between $1000-1500.
Tape hair extensions are about an inch in width and have a 2cm strip of adhesive at the top, because of this if they aren’t positioned perfectly or you fine hair - you can see them. Whereas individual extensions are undetectable - when I show people my extensions they can barely spot them close.
Personally, my past experiences with tapes required a day or two of adjusting. My hair is so fine and it felt heavy for a while however the keratin bonds are completely weightless and so easy to style and manage. In my opinion, the difference in price is worth it. especially if you’re getting extensions before a big holiday and don’t want to have to think about whether your extensions are showing.
What You Need to Know
Unlike most salons, Christopher Hanna Hair has a full bar onsite. There's nitrogen espresso on tap, cocktails, champagne and bloody marys from a respectful 10 am. It’s a fun twist and the ‘50s style bar is highly Instagfamble because it’s 2019 after all. As I sipped on my espresso martini Hanna made quick work of placing individual extension about a 1/2-inch away from the root. Then, he used a tool to fuse it on. The process takes between one and two hours and finishes with a blowout and dry cut in order to ensure the extensions are layered or evened out to perfection.
My First Impressions
Wow, my hair looks amazing. I love that I can completely alter the overall colour of my hair without having to apply and damaging bleach. in short, my natural will never be able to like *this* good without extensions.
After My First Wash
Extensions = responsibility. If you’re a wash and go type of girl then you have to be realistic about how much care you’re willing to give your new tresses. Avoid brushing wet extensions as it will put unnecessary stress on your hair, planning your shower schedule to give yourself 10 mins to blow-dry your extensions will make a world of difference. As they aren’t attached to scalp they don’t get oily so you won’t need to wash your hair every day.
My best advice is to carry a soft bristle brush with you, this will stop the extensions from getting knotted which in the long run causes damage to your own hair. Also invest in a quality shampoo, conditioner, and treatment. Try, Evo mane tamer shampoo and conditioner ($40 each); a smoothing duo designed to cleanse and strengthen hair, adding softness and shine to unruly hair.
8 Weeks After My First Appointment
My hair is still in amazing condition, I've only lost one strand which I've been told is completely normal and truthfully you can't even tell. Given the opportunity, I would get these extensions again as they allow me instantly switch up my look without compromising my own tresses.
For more information or to book an appointment visit; christopherhanna.com.au.