The Low Down On Hair Extensions

I am a girl who has been using hair extensions for nearly 9 years now. I always have them; I will sacrifice buying clothes, or credit or even food so that I can get new extensions every couple of months. Anyone who has an interest in going down the long lock illusion route will know that there is SO much information at your fingertips online. Here is my experience, broken down for you.

Glue Extensions:

These were the first extensions I got and it was way back when they were still a novelty that only Christina Aguilera was rumoured to have. Rolls of hair (the origin of which I shudder to think) was painted to my head with dark, sticky glue that resembled tar if I’m honest.

I was only delighted that I finally had some length in my thin, lifeless locks but at what price? My head was constantly itching; bits of tar glue would come out in clumps and bits and get stuck under my nails and on my pillow. My boyfriend would find it on HIS pillow. It was disgusting.
The quality of the hair was worse. My own hair was sleek, glossy and shiny, under it was a wiry mess of Jack Sparrow pubes. I ended up having to remove this with my own bare hands! Picking out the glue and with it, clumps of my own precious hair. Nightmare.

Clip Ins: 

My next experience which lasted the longest was the old clip ins. These, I recommend to anyone who wants to try extensions but just can't commit. As with any hair extensions, you get what you pay for, the expensive hair is an investment and this is especially true for clip ins.

These, you can wear every day and they don’t ruin your hair. They look real (the good ones do) and when you’re going to sleep, you just pop them out (and hide them away from anyone who doesn’t know the truth!)

Hair spray  is the place to go for these babies; they’ll fit you with the perfect colour and amount of hair, layers and all!

Micro Beads:

The wonder bead! These miracle invention supposedly cause the least amount of damage to your hair, I had to give em' a go, naturally... They are attached by a small bead that is wrapped around a thin strand of your hair, plus the extension and clamped on with no heat or glue. Great! Great? Not really.

They cost me €400 (for HALF a head) and fell out all OVER the gaff. No mystery beauty here, I left a trail of hair extensions wherever I went. When they fell out in public I’d just try and discreetly shove them into a pocket. A very funny moment was when a friend of mine borrowed my jacket; out for a smoke and she reaches into the pocket only to pull out a long lock of brown hair, jumping and shrieking the entire smoking section into a fit of horror.  ‘Oh! PHEW! It’s only fake hair!!’ ...Just smile and act natural. The salon in which I’d had them done told me that if any fell out I could get them put in again at no charge, but at this rate I’d have to be going in every morning! They weakened the part of the hair on which they were attached so I all in all, I wasn’t sold. They're also very obvious, putting your hair up is virtually impossible without them on show. Not ideal.


These are what I’m sporting at the moment and they are excellent. I'd heard so many good things about Heavenly Hair, I had to try them out and I was not disappointed. Here, the hair is attached by a heat applicator that is folded around the root of your hair. I couldn’t believe how quick the whole experience was. Naomi, the lovely girl who did my hair, uses 100% human hair and is incredibly professional when selecting your colour and applying the extensions. I was left with a full head of beautiful hair that only cost €195 (the most you will pay is €295) which is an absolute steal when it comes to this kind of quality. These would definitely be the pick of the bunch, the best extensions I've ever had for the best price.


So! A few tips if this is the root you want to take. No bun intended.

  • SPEND the money. Trust me; I’ve bought hair extensions on Mary Street, Georges Street arcade, eBay and even amazon. Hair only has to have 3% of human hair to say that it’s human hair. If you think it’s a bargain, it’s not. The hair will look great for the first hour and then it will turn into a knotty, rough looking mess. Save up and buy the quality, they will look a HELL of a lot better and really last.
  • If you’re going to get them, you’ll need to buy a brush to go with them. I did without one for years, just used the standard yolk until my sister bought a ‘hair extensions brush’ A hair extensions brush you say? But isn’t it supposed to be the same as your own hair? Yes, but bare in mind, your own hair is attached to your head. All those nutrients you’re getting from foods are going into THAT hair, not the extra shtuff. You need this magic brush, it will make a difference. Trust hair extension Yoda. Learning, you are.

  • If you have permanent extensions (i.e. not clip ins) make sure to brush it and tie it in a plat before you go to sleep. 8 hours of you rolling around and knotting that shit up is quite the damaging.
  • Lots of people have hair extensions and I can spot them a mile away. If you have really, really blonde hair, I would suggest you keep it just over shoulder length. Everyone knows that blonde highlights really damage hair and so the chances of it growing anything over nipple length are slim to none. With any of my hair extensions, I’ve always cut them to about nipple skimming area, it makes them look way more authentic and it’s much easier for people to believe that they’re real.
  • Buy yourself some oil specifically for your hair, it makes a huge difference to the quality. Hair extensions don't get any of the natural oils that go through your hair to keep it shiny so you need to replace them.
  • Hair extensions will damage your hair but, for me, it’s worth it. The added confidence they give is important in every aspect of my life so it’s a small price to pay.

So that’s it! That’s all I know. Good luck on your search for length and also on your search for great hair extensions.

Kate Breslin

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