Hair Extensions, Should I, Shouldn’t I?
To achieve long, lustrous hair simply takes time. All too used to convenience and immediate results, hair extensions can provide a great solution for thicker, fuller hair. Celebs like Katie Price have made such styles famous, but are also famous for making tabloid headlines when they suffer the problems that can come with them. So to what extent does the quick-fix to length damage your hair in the long term?
Katie Price is reportedly suing her hairdresser for a botched hair extension job. But it isn’t all bad news for hair extensions. Hair extensions “provide an instant gratification for miserable looking hair”. Undoubtedly they can improve the look of your hair as much, and as importantly, as they way you feel. Hence the plethora of stars that have worked the look on the red carpet- from Britney Spears to Lindsay Lohan to Jordan.
However, is Katie Price the perfect example of the price some have to pay in the desire for improving the appearance of hair? It is well known that not all of Jordan’s assets are natural, her lengthy hair being no exception. Used to grabbing the headlines and filling up column inches, Katie Price’s hair has now been thrust into the spotlight. It is also not a complete surprise that she, like many others, may now unfortunately be suffering the consequences of this common hair fix, with reported bald patches.
As the Daily Mail recently reported, years of bleaching and use of hair extensions has resulted in bald patches, no doubt the very opposite look that those women using hair extensions try to achieve. It has also been reported that Katie Price is threatening to sue her LA hairdresser Lea Journo over a seriously bad hair day, after a reported £11,000 hair extension job. The reason- damaged, brittle hair, breaking off even during the procedure.
So what are the risks of hair extensions? A common method for applying hair extensions is for the hair swatches to be glue-heated onto the natural hairs. This can be uncomfortable, with potential irritation. The biggest potential problem, however, is traction alopecia (traction hair loss), and breakage, due to the pulling on the hair involved.
Another drawback? Simply shampooing. It is more difficult to do so with an extra load of hair extensions, and there is risk of tangling the weaved hair into the natural hair, leading to poor scalp and hair hygiene, and itchy, flaky scalps.
That is not to say hair extensions should never be worn- there is no denying they can look wonderful and used appropriately will not cause the drastic damage to hair health that others have suffered. However, it’s not always long before hair extensions begin to reveal their drawback, often due to over-using them.
What normally starts out as a desire for greater hair volume can be somewhat of a catch 22. Women with fine hair using hair extensions want to keep it thick, and end up with their own hair progressively thinner due to traction and breakage, thus need more hair weaved to make up for it. As a result, the natural hair ends up even worse.
The DHD does not believe that hair extensions should be avoided, despite the seemingly alarming consequences. But just to be aware of the potential results: they can completely change your appearance for the better, but generally it is not a good idea to leave them in for too long so as not to have an adverse effect on your hair and scalp health. Less can be more. Less frequent use will mean far less risk of damage, so you can use them over a longer period of time, with no need to sue your hairdresser!