Your ultimate guide to hot hair extensions

Your ultimate guide to hot hair extensions – new techniques, cheap options and celebrity fans

Hair extensions: The history

Hair extensions were first used by the ancient Egyptians. Men and women donned wigs and hair pieces for fashion and to avoid the risk of head lice.

Throughout history, many cultures have used hair pieces to create stylish ‘dos. In the early 1900s, women piled fake locks on top of their head and embellished them with jewels in a style known as pompadour.

Extensions as we know them today were first used in the early 1990s and became affordable for most people in the 2000s

Hair extensions: The facts

You can add extensions to your hair even if it’s only 3 in long. Extensions aren’t only used to add length, they can also be used to create more volume.

Hair extensions can be made out of synthetic materials or human hair.

Human hair is sourced from countries including India, China and Russia.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Many celebrities use hair extensions to achieve a super-glamorous look.

The Saturdays singer Rochelle Wiseman has been spotted having hers put in at London’s Inanch salon.

‘I love the hair extensions because they are so natural and soft. They literally are as strong as my own hair,’ she says.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

TOWIE’s Sam Faiers is the face of Additional Lengths Hair Extensions and has also been seen having her hair lengthened Hair Extensions salon.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Selena Gomez has jazzed up her ‘do with coloured hair extensions from Hollywood’s Nine Zero One salon.

‘Change is good…My girls @ninezeroone take care of me always 🙂 LOVE,’ Tweets Selena.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Peaches Geldof once claimed that she’d only ever use synthetic extensions due to unethical human hair trafficking, but she’s since admitted to using real hair.

‘I decided to give myself a new look… I visited the Inanch salon in W1 where the lovely Inanch added  extensions… no more mullet moments!’ says Peaches.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Michelle Heaton has been a fan of hair extensions since her Liberty X days.

‘Rise and shine it’s hair extension time!! Whoop whoop! Xxx,’ she Tweets.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Nicola McLean likes to have long locks.

‘#FF to @InanchLondon for making me a happy girl & turning me back long & blonde with no damage to my hair AMAZING,’ she Tweets.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Paris Hilton has her own clip-in extensions range, Paris Hilton’s Hair Extensions.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Kimberley Walsh has had her locks lengthened , which has branches in Manchester and London.

Hair extensions: Celebrity fans

Lady Gaga once gave a hair extension away to a lucky fan after holding an impromptu contest outside a dance studio in New York.

TOWIE’s Lauren Goodger has her own range of Lauren’s Way hair extensions.

She’s also a regular at Hair Extensions salon.

TOWIE star Maria Fowler is open about her use of hair extensions.

‘Everyone on the show, we all like our fakeness but you have to do it properly. Shortcuts are never good,’ says Maria.

‘I think if you’re going to have hair [extensions] get clip-ins. If you do want bonds, make sure you get them done somewhere properly.’

Jodie Marsh isn’t a fan of synthetic extensions.

‘I use Diva Natural Hair because I know without a doubt I’m getting the best quality every time, no question,’ says Jodie.

‘The hair is totally natural, proper human hair so I can do what I want with it: colour it, straighten it, anything.’

Jorgie Porter has tried out hair extensions from Tatiana Hair Extensions salon.

Katie Price’s reality show Katie followed her all the way to LA as she sought out the best hair extensions on the market.

But Katie’s love of lengthening her mane has left her with serious damage.

‘I have bald patch at the sides. It’s awful. My hair is my life. Without it I feel disgusting,’ she says.

TOWIE’s Jess Wright chopped off her long tresses in late 2011 – but went back to her original style a few days later.

‘Pleased I cut my hair because it needed a chop to make it more healthy but it appears I’m back in @InanchLondon changing it… #indecisive,’ Tweeted Jess.

Jessica Simpson has teamed up with hairdresser-to-the-stars Ken Pavés to release her own clip-in hair extensions range.

Jennifer Aniston had a bad experience when she tried adding to her barnet.

‘After Friends I wanted a different look, so I cut my hair. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking clearly,’ says Jennifer.

‘So I decided to have a couple of extensions, never knowing you end up with 400 things in your head that cause your hair to break off.

‘Nothing destroys your hair faster than extensions. It’s taken a year and a half to get my hair grown out.’

Danielle Lloyd isn’t a fan of the natural look.

‘Getting my extensions put in again today by inanchlondon then off Bowling with @mrjamieohara & Family tonight can’t wait X,’ she Tweets.

Demi Lovato had an embarrassing moment in Kansas City when she pulled out one of her extensions on stage.

But the singer impressed fans when she carried on with her performance.

Frankie Sandford has spoken about using extensions to get a new look in the past.

‘I liked having shorter hair but it’s always good to have a change,’ she says.

In 2011, she debuted a super-short pixie crop but stepped out sporting a much longer fringe 2 days later…

Chantelle Houghton adds to her hair with natural lengtheners.

‘Loving my extensions I had done yesterday @inanchlondon using @greatlengthsuk my hair looks amazing! applied by inanch herself, thank you X,’
Tweets Chantelle.

The cost of Cheryl Cole’s hair extensions is rumoured to be around £4,000 a year.

‘Cheryl has wavy extensions to give her volume. She comes in once every three months for the extensions, and every six weeks for a tidy-up,’ says her hairdresser Julien Guyonnet.

Amelia Lily doesn’t like having to wait for her barnet to grow naturally.

‘Thankyou soo much @addlengths for my amazing remi cachet hair extensions! Love them!!x,’ Tweets Amelia.

Amelia Lily doesn’t like having to wait for her barnet to grow naturally.

‘Thankyou soo much @addlengths for my amazing remi cachet hair extensions! Love them!!x,’ Tweets Amelia.

Extensions devotee Ashley Tisdale made the decision to ditch her fake locks last year.

‘Proud to say I’m extension free!!!! rockin the shorter hair for fall,’ Tweets Ashley.

Britney Spears was left red-faced when one of her hair extensions fell out on stage during her Circus tour.

In the video for I Wanna Go, she rocks coloured clip-ins.

Oddly, Courtney Love says lengthening her locks worsened her sex life.

‘The whole time I had hair extensions, I was dry as a bone,’ says Courtney.

‘Sex is like a good meal and fine wine. It has to be done.’

When Rihanna stepped out with a longer blonde ‘do in 2012, she admitted it wasn’t all hers.

‘Bleach + weave #WERQ,’ Tweeted Rihanna.

Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards was treated to some hair extensions from The X Factor hairdresser Jamie Stevens during her time on the show.

Michelle Keegan says hair extensions are her biggest beauty indulgence.

‘I’m not one for fake nails, eyelashes, glittery boobs. I’ve been given a stick-on vajazzle but I haven’t tried it on,’ says Michelle.

‘The most high-maintenance thing about me is just my hair extensions because I like having thick hair.’

Abbey Clancey’s long extensions were heavily criticised by Janice Dickinson on her reality show Beauty And The Best.

Afterwards, she took them out – but has since had them put back in again.

‘To have my hair back in amazing shape feels fantastic,’ says Abbey.

Stacey Solomon’s favourite part of her appearance is her long mane.

‘[My hair extensions] are so good in fact that when my baby is due in May, I really don’t care what state I am in so long as my extensions look good!’ Stacey admitted in 2011.

Hair extensions: Techniques

If you make the decision to get hair extensions, there are a number of different techniques to choose from.

If you go to a salon, you can either buy your extensions beforehand or let the hairdresser choose them for you.

The micro rings technique involves extensions being attached to copper rings and then clamped into the root of your hair.

The rings are covered with plastic, providing a comfortable cushion against your head.

Micro rings take 2-3 hours to put in and will generally last between 3-4 months before they need maintenance.

With the bonding method, extension strands are fused to your natural locks with keratin bonds. These are then sealed with either an ultra sound machine – known as cold fusion – or heat connectors.

The extensions can last for up to 5 months if kept in good condition.

The braiding system involves hair extensions being plaited to your natural locks.

With this technique, extensions will last for around 3 months.

With bonds, braiding and micro rings, single strands of hair extensions are attached at the root.

With a weave, a long strip of hair with a seam at the top – known as a weft – is either sewed or glued directly to your head.

Glued-in weaves are most suitable for a temporary change because they can be easily removed after a few weeks, although they can last for up to 3 months.

Sewn-in weaves are applied by attaching the weft to a plait at the root of the hair.

The technique is most suitable for those with Afro-Caribbean locks which can withstand the strain of the heavy braid.

Sewn-in hair extensions will last between 2-4 months.

Clip-in hair extensions are perfect if you want to lengthen your hair for a special occasion or if you prefer to change your style from day to day.

They’re reusable and easy to fix into place during your morning routine.

Hair extensions are now more versatile then ever.

Great Lengths produce dip-dyed human hair extensions which are suitable for bonding, while Beauty Works sell two-tone clip-ins.

Hair extensions can also be used to add interest to your ‘do.

Clip-in buns, ponytails and fringes give you an instant style change.

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