Every single time I cut my hair short, my mum says: “You’re going to regret it” and every single time she says that I say: “No, I’m not.”
This time, my mum didn’t say anything. And this time, I regretted it more than any time before.
To give you some context, it’s not uncommon for me to get a “crisis haircut”.
Break up with someone — get bangs. Change jobs — chop my hair. Global pandemic — why not go the shortest you’ve been in years?
Each and every time someone put the scissors to my hair, the doubt starts flying in. No matter how good the haircut, I just don’t feel like “me”.
For my most recent cut, which I got in the first month or so during iso, I went just above the shoulder, however, rather than painfully admit to mum that she was right, I decided to get my haircut reversed, opting for some hair extensions. Very foreign for me. I’ve only ever seen them IRL on the heads of reality stars — and they didn’t look good.
Nevertheless, I decided to give it a go. But, I had questions.
How does the hair stay in? Will it look real? Will it feel like hair? Will I be able to style it on my own? The answer to the last one is “probably not”, but it’s worth a try.
I enlisted the help of Mariah, owner and founder of Cole Hair Studio who specialises in hair extensions and let me tell you, she has hands of a magical wunderkind hair fairy.
The transformation took 90 minutes from start to finish and the end result was pretty breathtaking.
Before on the left (obvs) and after on the right.
At the time of publication, it has been four days since I got them put in and I’m still amazed at the result. Even after the first wash the extensions fit seamlessly into old my old cut, and the colour is matched perfectly.
The only con is that my hair feels considerably heavier and when it’s up in a ponytail or when I’m trying to go to sleep it can feel a little uncomfortable.
What are the benefits of hair extensions?
“It’s really life-changing. You feel really fresh and like a completely different person with hair extensions,” Rota said. “You can do it for so many reasons. You can add them in for thickness, for length, to change the colour, fix hair cuts — they’re very versatile.”
“People often get them done because they don’t want to damage their hair with colour, so they put in a few extensions to add some brightness to their hair or they want their blow-drys to last just so they can get a little bit more grip on their hair.”
What type of hair is used?
“We use 100% Remy human hair,” Rota explained.
Cole Hair uses human hair which means that the cuticle is intact and the hair is placed with the cuticles all facing the same direction.
The benefits to this are no matting, tangling or short hair returns.
What method was used to put them in?
“There is an adhesive backing which is a medical-grade tape which sticks to your hair,” Rota said. “And that’s how it’s able to blend together with your other hair.”
The process only takes 60-90 mins, however, it depends on how much you’re adding. This also includes hair being cut to the desired length.
How Long Does The Hair Last?
“These ones last about nine months and you can reuse them,” Rota said before adding: “You can re-tape them, reuse them, take them out and then leave them off for six months before putting them back in again.”
How do you colour match your hair?
“There are 40 different colours which can be combined to make 1000 different colours and so colour matching is pretty easy,” Rota said.
What do you need to do day-to-day to maintain the extensions?
“We recommend getting a blowdry at least once a week to maintain them and we also recommend an oil, just to keep it healthy on the ends because it doesn’t get natural oils. You’ll also want to use a conditioning mask just to keep it nice and healthy and shiny.”
Are you able to easily straighten or curl the hair?
“I would always recommend a heat protector before styling it, even on your natural hair. But yes, it is just like doing your own hair when it comes to straightening and curling.”
Do the extensions cause damage to your own hair?
“They don’t do any damage to your hair, however, it depends on how you treat them at home. So, if you’re rough with your hair, then it can pull.”
How much does it cost?
“It’s $300 a packet, so depending on how much hair you need, will determine the cost.”
NB: I had six packets go into my hair, which is $1800 worth.
“For the upkeep, it’s $200 each time you come in to retape the full head, however, everywhere is slightly different.”