You’ve bought the dress and now you’re thinking about what hairstyle to opt for. If you’ve disliked certain aspects of your current hair for a while, this may be the right time to get your locks to a place where you love them. And to do so, you may be considering hair extensions.
However, with that decision comes many questions: Are they right for me? What styles should I avoid? Will they damage my hair? Step up the experts, who reveal everything you need to know about getting hair extensions before the big day.
Are there any top tips for wearing hair extensions on my wedding day?
“Get your hair extensions fitted at least two weeks before the big day,” says Sarah McKenna, founder of Vixen and Blush. “They look best when washed a few times and they also grow out a little bit, making them more comfortable."
"Wash your hair extensions on the morning of the wedding and not the night before," continues Sarah. “This will ensure that you can add body to the extensions using good-quality volumising products."
What should I do before choosing hair extensions for my wedding?
"Always have a trial run as this will allow you to get used to the new luscious hair for a while,” reveals Shane O’Sullivan, CEO of Easilocks. This will also allow you time to work with your hairdresser in finding a style that is what you desire and is comfortable to wear all day.
Are hair extensions the right choice for me?
It’s worth asking yourself if this is the correct solution to your problem. Sarah McKenna explains: “Most clients decide to have hair extensions after spending years being unhappy with their own hair. If you have been struggling to get your hair past your shoulders for 2/3 years, then hair extensions will solve that issue within a couple of hours." Similarly, hair extensions can deliver volume to thin hair and disguise damaged ends.
On the flip side, if you’re happy with your current hair then you need to think about what you want to achieve by adding extensions. “I would advise that you have a sample of hair fitted to see how it feels on your head,” Sarah adds. Bonded extensions require thorough maintenance and are a commitment, so don't take the decision lightly.
Which extensions should I go for?
Vicky Demetriou, extensionist at Larry King, reveals that this decision comes down to the style that you want. “If you’re having an up-do, micro extensions are a fantastic way of adding versatile volume, making it super easy to achieve," says Vicky. "However, for the boho summer look, a few tape extensions round the temples will completely transform the hair and help hold the blow-dry all day."
Clip-in extensions are another option for those who crave the results but don't want to commit after the big day, snapping in and out in seconds.
Is there anything that I need to be careful of?
While most people are able to have hair extensions, there are factors to consider. Simon Stainton, Zen Hair’s UK educator, suggests: “Have a thorough consultation with an extensions specialist, where they will be able to advise you on your options, colours and lengths."
The main thing to consider is choosing a style that suits your skin tone, frame and face shape. Simon also suggests choosing a colour either one shade lighter or darker than your natural hair colour.
Are hair extensions going to damage my hair?
A common misconception, extensions can actually counteract damage. If applied correctly, hair extensions can improve the condition of your hair and help it to grow.
Simon says: “There is proof that clients' own hair significantly improves while wearing extensions as it’s not put through such vigorous styling and heat damage."
Sarah from Vixen and Blush agrees: “We think damage happens when a client stops putting so much heat on their own ends. A lot of the time they say their own hair will not grow past a certain length, but this is because the ends are eroding rather than it's not growing.”
To achieve optimum results with your own hair, extensions should be thoroughly cared for by following your hairdresser's guidelines and using the correct products.
What hairstyles work best with hair extensions?
Sarah thinks that while most brides who use hair extensions wear their hair partly down because of their new-found volume, there are lots of new styles that you can now try including a range of up and down 'dos. However, she does admit that the classic half-up half-down look is still the most flattering and popular bridal style with hair extensions.
Up-dos are also growing in popularity among extension wearers, as Shane O’Sullivan reveals: "Technology now allows for extensions to be applied close to your roots, which means that you can tie your hair up and have a sleek up-do with no bonds on show."
However, Sarah recommends: "It is best not to pull your hair back in to a severe style while wearing permanent hair extensions. If you would like that kind of style then using padding is a better way to achieve a more voluminous look."