I’m one of those who succumbed to the ‘I think I’ll chop off all my hair because it’s currently on trend’ phase that happened in 2014. And it’s safe to say there are days when I’ve kicked myself for doing it, but it’s just hair…it grows back, right? Yes it does, but ridiculously slowly. So this year I decided to try Great Lengths hair extensions for a fast track to my former glory. Not being funny, but my old hair was actually gorge and I feel like that’s fine to say since it’s gone; long, long gone.
I do wish I’d gone back to Kazumi for their 12 week blow dry before having my Great Lengths, because my natural hair is so bloody frizzy and the Spanish hair extensions were pretty damn perfect. So, personally, I could notice the difference, but I think that was just me scrutinising my own head of hair and I doubt anyone else picked up on it. At least any time I was away on sun & sea trips and let the Great Lengths dry naturally, people were always surprised when I told them it wasn’t my “real” hair. Or my real hair. Whatever.
I went to Wilde salon in Donnybrook for my Great Lengths consultation where I explained what I was looking for (some length, but mainly thickness at the ends) and was colour matched. They ordered the hair in and I went back a few days later to have them applied. The entire process took about four hours which included washing, drying, cutting and styling which really wasn’t that bad at all considering I’ve spent that long in the hairdressers just having my colour done.
Each individual piece of Great Lengths hair is bonded to your own with keratin, which I was told wouldn’t cause any damage. The first week of having the extensions was a bit uncomfortable as I got used to the weight and sleeping on the bonds, but they soon loosened up and didn’t cause me any grief after that.
I have to say, when it comes to my daily routine, I am not a high maintenance kind of gal. I’d much rather use a bit of dry shampoo and throw my hair up in a hun bun to get out the door faster than I would washing, drying and styling it. So, I had to accept the fact that the Great Lengths did require a good bit more attention than my own hair without extensions. Mainly because there’s just more hair so it takes longer to dry and style, but you also need to make sure you look after them by using the right brush and keeping the roots tangle free.
When I did go to the trouble of taking the time to properly style the Great Lengths, they did look pretty phenom, BUT that was a rare occasion. To be honest, I’m just too damn lazy! When I looked at the girls who are willing to put in that effort on a day-to-day basis and I just couldn’t get hair envy at their perfectly coiffured dos – because I knew what was involved and I could have it too if I just got out of bed earlier.
You can have your hair cut and coloured as normal while wearing the extensions, which is exactly what I did when I wanted to change up the style a couple of months in. I went to Lorna in Newcastle Hair & Beauty who is a Great Lengths educator and has been working with the brand for over ten years so she really knows her stuff! She took some weight out of my extensions, which definitely helped with my at-home styling and perfected my balayage, seamlessly blending the new hair into my own. She’s a real pro!
Some people leave their Great Lengths in for up to six months without any issues. When I went back to Wilde to have mine removed after about four, the stylist told me I could easily get another couple of months out of them with the right care but I was itching to get back to my more low maintenance (aka lazy) routine, knowing full well I’d miss the length and thickness but it was a toss up between the two and a sacrifice I was willing to make. You can’t have it all!
I was pretty afraid that, even though any of my friends with Great Lengths told me otherwise, my own hair would be damaged at the root when they came out. But after about an hour and a half of the extensions being removed one-by-one I realised that my fears were completely irrational. I’d been looking after them, so apart from a bit of tangling which was easily rectified with some oil and a tail comb in the salon, the part where the extensions were attached was completely normal with no thinning or anything like that. I’d been imagining bald patches like a total drama queen! My natural ends were quite damaged from the excess styling during the four months, but usually I’d have had a trim in that time so they would’ve been all cut off anyway.
Would I recommend Great Lengths hair extensions? Yeah, my hair looked great for four months and there was no lasting damage. Would I get them again? Probably not, I’m just too damn lazy.
More info about Great Lengths here.
(Non-Instagram) Images: Michael Vanarey Photography
This post was not sponsored. All views, as always, my own.