TEXT: MICHELLE BROWNLEE SMITH, PHOTOGRAPHY: ELFORD/DE LA FORÊT AT AGENT EMMA
Beauty Director, Michelle Brownlee Smith, tries out tape-in hair extensions. Here’s how it feels to go instantly long.
I’ve been trying to grow my hair for years. Literally. But hair only grows about 15 centimetres a year. Then, I trim it every six weeks to 12 weeks which – because I colour and heat style my hair – it’s essential to keep my ends healthy. Plus, my hair is fine which means that, when long, it tends to look stringy – not thick and full like I dream it will be.
But enter extensions: the promise of full, voluminous, Rapunzel-long hair.
Invited by Easipro Hair, I headed to Cape Town’s Spoilt hair salon where stylist, Adele Ross, did a consultation to colour match the pieces and determine how many extensions and what length I would need. Adele ordered three boxes of 12 inch hair for me – each box costs around R1500 and contains six pieces each.
Once the hair extensions arrived, Adele washed, blowdried and texturised the ends of my own hair to help blend in the pieces. The extensions were applied throughout my hair in sections. To transform my bob into princess locks only took 40 minutes!
I loved the instant fullness and the natural-looking effect. Many complimented me on my look but couldn’t quite define what I’d done differently. I also loved that I didn’t need to wash my hair as regularly as my style stayed in place longer.
The cons? I wish the hair was my own! I do find that some styles reveal the bonds so I have to consider my hairdos carefully. I can still wear a high ponytail but wearing it loose is the prettiest. The hair is sourced from China, which means the texture of the extensions is different to my own (frizzy) hair. It can be quite a challenge, in rainy Cape Town to keep my own hair as smooth and sleek as the extensions.
DO replace the tape on tape-in extensions every six to eight weeks. The cost for replacing is about R550 per box. The hair itself lasts up to a year so they can be re-used.DO dry off the extensions well – especially at the root area to make sure the bonds have longevity.DO wash your roots with shampoo but keep your conditioner to the ends. Moisture is the enemy of these bonds.DO feel free to heat style as normal.
DON’T try this on ethnic hair unless you’re totally committed. Adele explains that by nature, ethnic hair needs moisture, and with these extensions you need to avoid moisture on the roots.DON’T use hair products containing Argan and essential on the bonds as these will make the tape non-sticky.
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