Hello! Today I thought I'd write about my own personal experience with Micro Loop hair extensions or Micro Ring as they're sometimes called.
Micro loop extensions are basically individual sections of real hair with a plastic ring at the top/root. An equal section of your own hair is fed through the big plastic loop, then slid through the small plastic ring. The loop is then detached and the plastic ring is flattened with pliers. When the ring is flattened, it releases a bonding agent which holds it in place. They're fitted on the lower half of your head in rows, starting two inches in from your face and hairline so they're not noticeable when your hair is down or up. (Here's a video of the process)
Getting Micro Loop Hair extensions
I had mine put in by a hairdresser friend from school who had a mobile business. She charged £70 to put them in, and told me which hair extensions to order from a site called Hair Planet. As my hair is really thick, she told me I'd need 150 of the 0.8 gram extensions to match the weight and texture of my own hair. The extensions cost £110 including postage. I was worried I'd pick the wrong colour to match my dark brown/black hair, so I decided to pick a natural brown colour and dye the extensions using the same box dye I normally use. This meant that the colours and tones through my own hair matched up with the extensions perfectly. The whole process of getting them put in lasted just over two hours. It's not sore getting them in, but for the next day or two my head was really tender and I found it difficult to sleep on them. They felt quite tight to my scalp, so it felt like I was pulling my hair if I lay down. After a couple of days, my hair got used to the extra weight and it was fine. I also waited 3 days before washing my hair to allow the glue to set properly. Dry shampoo was my best friend.
Me with my hair extensions in July 2011 - excuse the eyebrows (..or lack of) please.
Looking after the hair extensions
This is probably the most asked question when people are considering hair extensions. I think people want to hear that they're easy to maintain but the truth is, if you want lots of extra hair on your head it's going to take a lot more time and effort to maintain. Washing the hair extensions wasn't difficult. I had a good technique of washing the top half of my hair separately then applying shampoo with the tips of my fingers to get right into the roots on the bottom half.
I couldn't live without de-tangling spray after washing my hair and it was important to make sure there were no tangles before drying it. It would take around half an hour to fully dry my hair. The longest and most frustrating part was drying the roots of the extensions as this must be done with cool air to avoid melting the glue. It's so important to make sure the hair is fully dried to avoid it becoming matted or tangled during the night.
Aside from the lengthy washing/drying process, I found it so easy to style my hair in the morning. I loved wearing it loose and putting a bit of a wave into it with my straighteners. Long, wavy beach hair is my favourite, ever.
How long did they last?
I lost around one or two individual extensions a week when they'd slide out as I brushed my hair or dried it. The hairdresser taught me how to re-loop the extensions and put them back in when they came out. All I had to do was re-open the plastic ring with pliers, thread my hair back through and secure it shut again. This definitely added at least a few weeks onto the lasting time. I decided to take my extensions out after 8 weeks as they'd become a lot thinner and I wanted to give my hair (and myself) a break. I felt slightly bald after taking them out and lasted a month before getting them again!
Did they damage my hair?
I heard so many people say how their hair was wrecked by extensions but I think it depends on the type you get. Micro Loop are totally safe on your hair if applied correctly, they slide out themselves and don't pull your hair with them.
When the hair extensions are put in at first, the hair dressers needs to cut into your own hair slightly to blend it in and make it look natural. So when these were taken out, my hair was uneven and had to be cut again which was a bit disappointing.
I've read horror stories where girls have had to have their extensions cut out because they're so matted - but in my opinion, this is completely avoidable if you take the time and effort to look after them.
Would I recommend?
I can't deny that I absolutely loved having my hair extensions. It's probably the only time that I've ever really loved my hair style. I eventually decided not to get my hair extensions back and concentrate on growing my own hair long. This was partly due to the cost of maintaining the hair extensions but also for time, it wasn't until I had them taken out that I truly appreciated how quickly I can wash and dry my hair. Since I've had mine, I've noticed a lot more people have taken the course and are offering to fit them. As you can see in the video I linked above, it's not super difficult to put them in, but personally I'd only trust a real hairdresser to do it. I don't think they'd look as natural if you don't have your hair cut slightly to blend them in. Overall though, if you're willing to fully commit yourself to maintaining them, I'd definitely recommend Micro Loop hair extensions!
If you have any questions about these, you can ask me via twitter on @MaisyMeowBlog and I'll get right back to you :) x
Why not check out my latest post at www.maisymeow.com here.