If you saw my excited Instagrams yesterday you will be well aware that I spent yesterday in the hands of Louise Bailey, the founder and director of Extension Professional. I first heard about Louise from my lovely friend and fellow blogger Ree, who had a couple of rows of extensions in her (already lovely) hair. Every time I saw Ree I was amazed by the quality and I’ve spent many an evening browsing the amazing before and after photos on their Facebook page. I felt like I was in very safe hands, as Louise specialises in extensions that blend seamlessly through the hair and cuts the hair afterwards to taper out at the ends as natural hair would, no blocky stringy extensions! The hair used is high quality Indian temple hair which means it is ethically sourced. Pilgrims travel to donate their hair in Hindu tradition and the money from the sale of it is fed back into the temple and the local community.
Before my extensions I had my washed out colour (see here) refreshed and darkened by the amazing Jenny from FOUR London. Yesterday was honestly the best salon experience I’ve ever had, everything from the atmosphere of the salon, the attentive and friendly stylists and the end result were top notch. Louise works alongside the FOUR stylists who are great at colour, and the whole time I felt totally at ease chatting away with no awkwardness, no miscommunication and no worries. They also have great snacks, which is a bonus. I always find it difficult to explain exactly what shade of brunette I like which usually results in me doing it myself at home, but Jenny knew straight away what I meant by a really rich brown, dark but not black in the light, not too warm and brassy but not too icy and flat either. She did an amazing job! Louise matched me to two shades of extensions, one darker and one slightly lighter, to both break up the colour and also ensure that any fading in my natural hair would be accounted for.
Initially I thought I only wanted my hair to be a couple of inches longer, but once Louise put the hair extensions in we didn’t end up cutting them too short simply because I thought the hair was so beautiful and soft and I fell in love with the length, after all once you cut it you cut it! We agreed that I would go home and curl it and see how I felt and then I can pop back for Louise to trim more off if I need to, which I might end up doing at some point. I’m channeling Rapunzel at the moment which for someone who has been trying to grow their hair forever is a lot of fun but I might have a couple of inches off to make it more manageable as time goes on. Louise has a strong client base of celebrities like Ellie Goulding, Caroline Flack, Vanessa White from The Saturdays, Josie Gibson and Stacey Solomon and her results speak for themselves with her clients raving about her work. She’s so easy to talk to and friendly which is one of the most important things for me when it comes to having a good stylist. They might be fantastic at doing hair but if there is no relationship there how can you ever expect to get the results you want? Salons can be an intimidating place and I’ve been to so many stylists who either boss you around completely or fail to advise you. Louise made sure I was getting what I wanted with no pressure, but was also great at giving me her opinion and expertise when I asked which was the perfect balance.
I loved having the extensions cut and finished by Louise because as she put it yesterday, installing extensions and then letting someone else cut them is like starting a painting and letting someone else finish your masterpiece. She has a lot of pride in her system and work and I’m delighted with the results. These extensions differ to other systems as they use a keratin and polymer bond that locks around the hair, and doesn’t mix into it. This means that removal (if done correctly and by Louise or her team) will leave your hair just as healthy as when you started. There’s even a video here of Big Brother star Josie having hers removed to show the zero damage. The bonds themselves are incredibly flat which allows them to sit against the head and not look bulky. My extensions should last about three months with the correct aftercare.
I will of course keep you updated on how I’m getting on with them and let you know what happens after the removal stage. You can find out more information about Louise Bailey here, Extension Professional here, and FOUR London here, I can’t recommend Jenny highly enough if you are looking for colour. As I mentioned, Louise is the founder and director of Extension Professional and is now offering hair extension training courses in London - one of only three courses in London with HABIA accreditation. She also offers volume-only extensions and prices start at £500.
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