Hair Extensions: My Experience

by Courtney El-Ghoul

I am so excited to write this post. Some of you who have been around for a bit may already know I have hair extensions and I LOVE them. However, I don’t think I have ever really discussed how I got into them and why I am hooked for life!

So, I have naturally wavy, pretty darn thick hair. It has always been super long. Except for that one time, after graduating high-school, that I legit chopped it to my chin!!! I don’t know what I was thinking, haha. Oh my goodness, I hated it, so much. Once it finally grew back I swore that I would never cut it short again. Short hair ladies, I don’t hate short hair… in fact, I love it… on other people. It just wasn’t for me! Point being, I love my long hair. 

How Pregnancy Affected My Hair

The first trauma of chopping off my hair… was my fault. But then, not too long after finally getting my long luscious locks back… I got pregnant. I know, I know, a lot of women talk about how AMAZING their pregnancy hair was… NOT ME. My hair fell out like crazy during my pregnancy, especially towards the end. It was such an emotional roller coaster. Seriously, guys, it was coming out in CLUMPS. Yikes!!! I honestly never got to the bottom of it fully. We speculate that my being anemic might have played a role, and there is the possibility that just carrying two babies was part of it?? Who knows why… The only thing I knew was that they sucked the life out of my hair! HA! They were worth it, obviously, but I won’t lie and say I wasn’t beyond anxious to figure out how I was going to get it back to life. 

Before & After with the 24” Bellami sew in hair extensions
Another after with the tape-in before I switched to the sew in

So in a rush to find a solution… I remembered that when I was younger I had used clip-in extensions for fun. So, I tried that at first. With twin babies to attend too, I didn’t have the time to do them every day, but it was a start. I wanted something more permanent. My dear friend Nina, @beautymarkbynina, was like… “Court, why don’t you try the tape-in extensions??” She had used them for years and loved them. I did some research, put my fears aside, and decided to get them. Fast forward, 5 years later, I just recently switched to the sew-in option and I don’t foresee myself ever going back to a life without extensions, ha. 

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty… All the questions/concerns you may have about hair extensions!

  1. Does it hurt? I would say overall no. Of course, it would depend on how sensitive your head is, mine is in the middle. The actual putting them in part- not at all. The first night you may have some sensitivity, but after a day or two, I don’t even notice they are there.
  2. How long does it take to put them in– your hair length, method ( sew-in vs tape in) how many packs you get, whether you are getting hair color, all these things will come into play. If you are interested I would suggest talking to your stylist about your hair goals, and of course having a consultation to discuss these things. For me, I plan 3-5 hours depending on if I need color or not. My stylist, @jammiesuebeauty and I chat, a lot, so it’s typically 5 hours for me:) just make it a “you day!”
  3. How long do they last-  You have to get the extensions moved up every 6-8 weeks but you don’t need to replace the hair. You’ll buy the hair before you get them for the first time. I get one pack of @bellami – 24″. With good maintenance, the hair should last about a year. For me, this has been the case.
  4. Does it ruin your hair– Okay this is like the number one thing I get asked! For me, 100%, NO. If anything it brought my hair back to life. I say this because I wash it less, use less heat, and way fewer products. With the extensions, I don’t need to style it or wash it as often because I have so much extra hair it just blends nicely even if I let it air dry. Again, everyone’s case is going to be different. But generally speaking, if you take care of your hair, the extensions should not damage it.
  5. Can you still style it/put it up– Yes, you totally can! Depending on how you want to style it, the kind of extensions will come in-to play. With tape-in, you can still do low ponies, halfway up, and braids. Buns and high ponytails are challenging because the tape is so light it could pull them loose. With the sew-in however, you can for sure do the high pony, buns, or whatever really because they flip up and down so easily, and there is no worry of them slipping. This is one of the reasons I just switched to sew-in… gotta love a high pony. 
  6. Washing, brushing, styling- You can absolutely wash it. You won’t have to as often though, which is great. With dry shampoo, I can easily go a week without a real wash. Brushing, blow-drying, and styling are all doable. You want to be careful because you won’t want to brush too hard. Honestly, though, it will be easy to tell how cautious you need to be once they are in your head… same as natural hair, ha. But, yes, you can pretty much proceed as normal. When summertime comes around, you do have to be more mindful of the chlorine and saltwater. For me, I just try to rinse my hair before getting in and again right after if possible. This will just help keep the hair healthy… just like with your real hair.
styled with curls

I hope that was helpful:) I know not everyone’s experience is the same, but for me I love them! If you are local, my girl Jammie has got you covered. She is the expert, so reach out to her if you are interested, and have more questions:) She is AMAZING!!!

What about you guys? Have you tried them? My fellow mamas, did you, or are you struggling with hair loss post-pregnancy?

XO

Courtney

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