Most people take one good look at Gigi Hadid's hair and practically swoon with envy. Long, thick, perfectly tousled at all times... How can non-super-models get Rapunzel-style locks like that??? Better yet, how can we get fuller, flowing hair for our wedding day?
Lots of brides try wearing clip-in hair extensions on the big day, particularly if they're going half-up/half-down and want weighty, trailing tresses hanging past their shoulders. But what if you want something less precarious, longer-lasting, perfectly colour-matched (and we mean perfect) and of fabulous quality – without damaging a single strand of your natural hair? That's where professional Louise Bailey steps in, armed with a fistful of Hairdreams® extensions at Four Salon in Mayfair (she also does home visits), delivering the best hair extensions in London. Seriously, this is hair extensions on steroids.
And if, like it did to us at the time, that still sounds too good to be true, have a read of our interview with Lou herself to find out exactly why she's so amazing.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up becoming a professional hair extensionist?
A. I've literally always wanted to be a hairdresser. I used to try and skip school when I was a kid, sneaking to the hairdresser where I had a Saturday job because I wanted to work there instead! They'd tell me to go straight back to my classes! So I started out as a hairdresser, but as soon as I got my hands on hair extensions and started practising on friends, I knew had a natural knack for them. And I love it. And now hair extensions are what I do.
Q. What sort of extensions are you using?
A. I'm applying a brand called Hair Dreams®, which is internationally recognised as supplying the best hair extensions in the world. We're using the brand's tape hair extension product called Hairdreams® Quikkies which, when applied correctly, is the safest, fastest method of applying hair extensions on the market right now.
Q. Will the colour match my natural hair?
A. Yes – you'll see, you won't even be able to tell it isn't your real hair. Even if I struggle to find matching shades, I can blend different tones so, when I apply it, it matches the client's natural hair colour perfectly.
Q. Will they damage my hair?
A. No, absolutely not – not when they're applied by a specialist or when such a high-quality product is used. It's not impossible for damage to be incurred by this type of product, but it’s all about finding a highly skilled technician to apply them, as well as choosing a good quality brand, like Hairdreams®. It’s also important not to leave them on the head longer than your hair extensionist advises. Booking a re-tape when they've started to grow out and having them moved up towards your roots is very important for looking after your natural hair.
Q. How do they stick to my head?
A. They don't actually stick to your head, but rather your hair. This is done with surgical tape, which is hypo-allergenic. It's very easy to remove these, simply by using a special oil which the glue slides off. It's quick (I can remove them in 15 minutes), painless and damage-free. Some tape products also leave sticky residue on the hair, so, again, it’s all about how they're applied, as well as product performance. Check out my video of a removal (below)!
Q. Are there other good types of hair extensions?
A. It depends on what you want to achieve. There are, of course, other good brands and styles but, for any bride-to-be, I believe Hairdreams® Quikkies are by far the best option. Clip-in hair extensions can work for brides who want to wear them for just one day, but they can look a bit bulky, blending less seamlessly into your natural hair. There's also single bond extensions, which last up to three months, but these can look a bit stringy. Tape hair extensions are lightweight and extremely easy to style, manage and, most importantly, look totally natural. And they sit completely flat against the head. Whether you want a bit more thickness or endless locks – or both – for the big day, this tape product can achieve it in less than an hour and will last for up to 8 weeks, depending on how fast your natural hair grows. What's more, unlike with single bond extensions (which you throw away after first use), you can re-use/re-tape Hairdreams® Quikkies up to four times after the first application. This hair is an investment which can be used multiple times after your wedding day.
Q. Can you wear them on honeymoon/holiday?
A. Absolutely. Even if it’s months later, we can refit them specifically for the perfect boho beach goddess look.
Q. So I can go in a chlorine pool or the sea while wearing them?
A. Yes! If you're buying a decent brand. Good quality extensions behave like real hair, so you can swim in the sea and in the pool. Just be sure to rinse them after. Rubbish extensions will turn peach when exposed to salt water and suncream, which is another reason why I only use Hairdreams® and other globally acclaimed brands on my clients. Real human hair will always lighten slightly in the sun, though. If you don't want this to happen, wear a hat or scarf or put it up in a high bun to prevent sun exposure.
Q. When should a bride-to-be get them put in before her wedding day?
A. Get them around 2 weeks before the day, so you can get used to them. Try to book your hair trial for after you've had them applied. I can move them/add more/take some away, free of charge, to suit whatever hairstyle you choose. If you want them for your hen party, get them applied for this and see how you feel in them, then you can have them out for a bit, before booking a re-tape a week before the wedding day.
Q. How should they be cared for?
A. The only no-no with these tape hair extensions is oils or conditioners on the area where the tape is attached to your natural hair. Otherwise, washing and styling is the same as with your normal hair. Tong the hair, blow-dry it, wear it up and apply products at will.