Of all the beauty concerns plaguing women, hair loss is more common than you think. In fact, according to the American Hair Loss Association, women make up to 40 percent of those experiencing hair loss in the United States. And while some women are able to correct their hair loss through medical treatments, others seek out ways to add fullness through hair extensions.
For many, hair extensions are a quick way to regain confidence after experiencing hair loss—an issue that’s been known to create great emotional distress. “I felt as if my identity had been stolen,” explained Karen, a middle-aged woman who developed hair loss as a side effect of lyme disease and lupus. “Prior to lyme, I had thick, long, red curly hair, but after it fell out, it was dry, damaged, and I kept it short.”
After being persuaded to give extensions a try, Karen realized the emotional impact that these new extensions had on her was dramatic. After a few weeks of researching products and stylists, she got her first set of Great Lengths extensions. “When I got home from the appointment, I looked in the mirror and cried,” said Karen. “For the first time in seven years, I looked healthy to myself—gone was the short, damaged hair; I had long, thick beautiful hair again.”
The transformation was life-changing and Karen no longer saw the reflection of a woman battling a disease. “I’d felt so bad about myself physically for so many years that it was a joyous treat to feel good for a change,” explains Karen. “It spilled over into other areas of my life, casting my attitude a bit brighter.”
Considering the positive effect that extensions had on Karen’s life, it’s understandable to be curious about trying out extensions on yourself. Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the hair-boosting product.
How are Great Lengths hair extensions made?
The brand Karen used to improve her hair, Great Lengths, sources real human hair from different Indian Hindu temples, where it then transfers to Nepi, Italy to undergo processes necessary for the hair to be turned into extensions.
The processes that the Remy hair undergoes is as follows: First, the elasticity of each strand is tested to determine the strength and integrity of the hair, then the hair is bathed in an oxidant solution to extract natural pigment without the use of harsh chemicals. Pigments are then added to tone the hair color to the desired shade, and finally, the strands of hair are carefully hand-blended together in order to create the most natural and beautiful color possible.
The brand offers two types of extensions: Great Lengths Pre-Bonded Extensions and Great Lengths Tape Extensions. Pre-Bonded Extensions are the most popular and use individual keratin-tipped strands that are fused to your natural hair using heat or ultrasonic technology. The Tape Extensions use medical-grade adhesive that is designed to avoid causing any tension on the hair, allowing them to feel completely flat against the head. Both options look incredibly natural on the wearer.
How long do extensions last?
Great Lengths Pre-Bonded extensions can last between four to six months with proper care, while the tape-in extensions last around three to five weeks.
How do you find the right shade?
It’s important to schedule a consultation at a salon that specializes in Great Lengths extensions in order to discuss your hair goals and be shade matched. During your appointment, your stylist will recommend the ideal type of extensions for you—either tape or pre-bonded—and will determine which shade will look the most natural with your hair. Also, for a subtle finish, correct placement is vital which is why a consultation with a certified stylist is necessary and will help achieve the ultimate result.
Do hair extensions hurt or cause damage to the hair?
When applied correctly, extensions should not hurt or feel uncomfortable while wearing. “Quite a few people told me wearing extensions might damage my hair but that’s never happened,” said Karen. “A skilled Great Lengths stylist makes all the difference in how long you can wear your bonds, how easy they are to care for and how healthy your own hair is once the extensions are removed.”
How can I get my own Great Lengths hair extensions?
For a consult and professional application of Great Lengths hair extensions, check out the Great Lengths salon locator page to find a provider near you.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty “Top Beauty Doctor” Near you