Going to Great Lengths
Sharyn Lowe is a regular contributor to woman with drive and the woman behind many of the beauty and travel road tests featured on the site.
Many of us have fantasised about having a longer, thicker mane of hair – while swooshing our hair from side to side like a Pantene model. But for many women, longer, thicker hair becomes impossible as we age. Hair extensions look like the answer to our dreams so I decided to road test Show Pony hair extensions.
When I was young I had long blonde hair and at about 16 years of age, after my first heartbreak, I decided to cut those long locks. Now at 47 years old, I wondered what it would feel like, and look like, to have my long hair back.
My natural hair is now quite thin and shoulder length. I straighten my hair each morning for a professional look and leave it with natural waves on the weekend.
I visited Nadine Bonello, owner of Kodo Salon in Melbourne who recommended Show Pony tape hair extensions. The effect was to add length and volume. Tape hair extensions are adhered to your hair with a double-sided tape. They last about three months before needing to be removed and reapplied. Show Pony also offer a beaded extension that connects the hair to your natural hair via small beads, encased in a cylinder. There is also the option of woven hair extensions, however Nadine does not recommend this as it can cause damage to your real hair.
Nadine coloured my hair to match the extensions and I decided on a full head of extensions for maximum effect. It was amazing how quickly they were applied – around 30 minutes.
Once applied, you can feel the tape in your hair, but they blend in creating a very natural appearance. It was an instant glamouriser and I couldn’t believe how much younger I looked (or thought so anyway!). I decided to keep the extensions at full length, although you can choose to cut them shorter.
Maintaining the hair at home was very easy. You wash your hair as usual but make sure your shampoo is sulphate and paraben free (Kevin Murphy has some suitable products). It’s ideal to let it dry as much as possible naturally. Left on it’s own, the hair has a natural wave or you can use a hair straightener. The Show Pony Moroccan oil is a must to keep the hair in good condition without any yellowing (for blonde hair). A detangling brush will make sure the extensions stay in place as long as possible. Plaiting your hair before bed also helps to keep the hair looking great.
If you need to get your hair coloured more frequently that three months, then it’s best to just get your roots coloured every second time. Nadine also advises to have your hair trimmed each time you get the extensions reapplied to keep your natural hair in good condition.
I am enjoying my long locks and having fun experimenting with hair accessories and the curling iron. I’m not sure if I will have hair extensions as a permanent feature of my look, but it’s going to be fun for a while.
Prices range from $150 – $1000 depending on how many extensions you want, and at Kodo, prices also include a cut, application and style.
Look out for Sharyn’s next road test – cosmetic fillers and botox
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