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FAQ's #6: I’m desperate for longer, thicker hair for the party season. Help!

The quality - and therefore ubiquity - of hair extensions had skyrocketed recently, mostly because technology has improved vastly over the last few years,” says Priya Patel, head stylist at SHOW Dry. “They no longer look obviously fake, nor do they just add length - now they can solve so many needs from adding volume to trying out a fringe and experimenting with colour, hence most celebrities often sporting temporary and permanent clip-ins.” But hair extensions are not created equal – here is everything you need to know about the best quality ones, the most natural placement, and when to use clip-ins.

Pick the best.Human hair, although is more expensive than synthetic hair, is the better investment as it lasts longer and has a more natural finish. Our choice is Hair Lingerie, which was born out of the demand on photo shoots for healthy hair as opposed to “extension hair”. Models and celebrities alike now use this brand to keep their hair healthy, long and thick.

APPLICATION:Here’s the drill on getting these fitted: you’ll have a brief consultation to determine your needs (including a colour match) and the extensions are ordered. Once the hair is at your salon, the application process takes a mere two hours, compared to the eight to ten hours other methods demand. Once on, these will lie flat so you needn’t worry about having a bumpy scalp, and there’s zero damage to your natural hair provided you wash with an oil free gentle shampoo and conditioner.

COST: This is one of the most cost-effective hair extension systems out there: A full head starts at £950, and half head starts at £475.

To book a consultation with a Hair Lingerie Specialist at SHOW Dry in Wimbledon Village/Notting Hill, call 0333 006 8888.

Colour Match.For an incredibly natural result, have the extensions coloured both before and after application. Patel recommends getting your base or highlights done before the extensions are put in, then returning to your colourist for some finessing and glossing afterwards.

Natural Placement.If you have fine hair and need extensions to add volume, focus the thickness at the back of the head at the occipital bone. On longer hair the application should be below the ears, though if you have short hair the extensions will have to start higher up on the head.

How to care for your extensions.Extensions require regular maintenance: yep, even once they’re in you won’t have perfect hair days without putting in the effort. Gently brushing every morning and night will make sure they don’t knot up - don’t worry, brushing won’t weaken the bonds unless you are rough with the brush. It’s also important to keep extensions clean and separate, so use SHOW Beauty Premiere Dry Shampoo, which will absorb oil and refresh your scalp.

Clip-in Hair.Clip-ins won’t damage the hair and, as long as you take care of them, they should last for around six months. When it comes to styling it is easier to curl clip-ins before you apply. Before you steam ahead, make sure they are made out of natural hair or they will melt. Once you’re ready to go, spray Sheer Thermal Protect through the lengths as you would your natural hair and smooth through Couture Curl Enhancing Lotion before using the tongs leaving out the ends. Curl your hair too or the extensions will look obviously fake. As for adding to the bulk of hair for up dos, you want to incorporate a few extra pieces to the base of a ponytail or a chignon to make them thicker. If you just want to try something different, get your hands on a fringe piece - they’re realistic now too and celebrities are known to try them out for weeks before committing to the chop.

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