Review: Great Lengths Tape Extensions – Everything You Need To Know

Review: Great Lengths Tape Extensions – Everything You Need To Know

I never had great hair. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely woeful but my natural mane was definitely never one of my strongest features.

I have ‘fine hair’, but lots of it, and it’s slightly frizzy, with a natural kink and lots of fly aways – a Brazilian Blow-dry is still on my list.

A simple all-one-length style made a trip to the salon a simple ‘just a small trim all round please’ sort of affair, and colour wise after dabbling with hair dye in my teens I have come to embrace my natural brunette colour

Then, a few years ago I lost a lot of weight, too much weight.

Great Lengths Tape Extensions Review ericabracken.com

My body went into shock and what’s one of the first things your body stops nourishing when fuel is needed more urgently elsewhere? Your hair.

I began losing more and more when I washed it and the volume and condition took a major hit. I was forced to chop it into a bob and struggled to make it look presentable on daily basis.

Of course, what took a hit more than anything was my confidence.

I now appreciate the deep personal relationship between hair and self-esteem and how powerful a symbol of femininity our ‘crowning glory’ is.

Every time I looked in the mirror it was an instant reminder of how my health (and happiness) were at a low ebb.

Lacklustre natural locks plus a period of bad hair health meant extensions were a longtime consideration, and this year I finally took the plunge.

Thankfully, over time as I gained weight and restored my health (and happiness) baby hairs appeared, and my hair began the long journey back to its original condition.

So, all in all, lacklustre natural locks plus a period of bad hair health (during which I tried every thickening product and process on the market), extensions were a longtime consideration of mine and this year I finally took the plunge.

I am now a hair extensions addict and, I fear, there’s no going back, or at least it will take some capricious circumstances for me, or rather my scalp, to release its (very secure) grip.

Read on for all you need to know about Great Lengths Tape Hair Extensions…

Why I Choose Great Lengths:

Well, Great Lengths was firmly on my radar and top of my list following hours of researching brands online and repeated quizzing of girls with envy-inducing tresses IRL and on Instagram.

When the opportunity to try the new GL Tapes arose, I looked into it and was surprised to see how secure and discreet they looked.

Great Lengths Tape Extensions Review ericabracken.com

Plus GL tapes are so quick to put in (around 40 minutes) and out they were a perfect introduction to extensions for a newbie like me – if I found that extensions just weren’t for me and wanted to take them out I wouldn’t feel obliged to stick with them.

So, I booked an appointment at Cowboys & Angels hair salon on South William Street, Dublin 2.

Where Can You Get Them Fitted:

GL Tapes were brand new on the market when I looked into getting them, but thankfully the experts at Cowboys & Angels, run by extensions Queen Valerie Pattison (she’s been fitting extensions and training stylists for decades), were already up to speed in the application.

Most, if not all, GL-certified salons are now well trained in the process.

The Process:

First up a quick five minute consultation. Valerie cast her expert eye and a skilled hand through my hair and calculated how much hair to order and decided on a perfect shade match using a mixture of colours from the GL tapes collection.

When they arrived a few days later I got my first look at the GL tapes; inch-long strips of 100% human hair each with a tab of medical grade, hypo-allergenic and non-toxic tape.

To apply, the extensionist takes an inch-long strip of your hair about the same thickness as one GL Tape then secures a tape extension underneath and on-top by squeezing them together.

Once your full-head (30-40 strips) has been applied, they’re cut into shape to look as natural as possible.

To apply a full-head took only 40 minutes – other permanent methods can take up to four hours.

Apparently tape extensions are the Kardashian’s variety of choice as it gives them freedom to smoothly switch between hair styles – hence why they have long locks once day and a short, full lob the next.

The Results:

I couldn’t get over how great they looked, how bouncy and light they felt, and the instant boost of confidence they gave me. Hello long flowing princess hair of my dreams.

The quality of Great Lengths hair is second to none, and it’s double-drawn, meaning it’s just as thick at the ends as the roots.

Of course, they do feel totally different to normal hair, as with all extensions, but they lie discreetly, and completely flat against my head.

The Maintenance:

I personally find them very low maintenance. Just like natural hair, you can wash them, curl them, straight them, brush them (the GL Paddle Brush is my new BFF), whatever.

As I don’t get greasy roots I try to avoid washing them as much as possible, I feel the less I mess with them the less likely the glue is to degrade and the extensions are to slip and slide out.

I sometimes treat myself to a blow dry, if I have an event/holiday coming up, and this lasts me a good five days. Though be sure to go to a salon that are familiar with GL and inform them you have tapes. Heavy handed blow drying or the wrong shampoos can mess with the glue.

Otherwise, I just keep it super simple by washing in the evening, blow drying semi-dry, tying in two plaits and sleeping on them. In the morning I have natural, beachy waves, that always look better on day two or three.

Of course, they do feel totally different to normal hair, as with all extensions, but they lie discreetly, and completely flat against my head.

Forgoing brushing your hair close to your scalp is a small sacrifice you have to make.

They have a very small strip of shiny plastic at the top so up-styles can make those visible. I stick to low pony tails and buns and these go unseen.

However, since I got my set Great Lengths have launched a new version of tape hair extensions – the GL Tapes Plus. How they differ is that the little shiny plastic strip is covered with tiny strands of hair making them almost undetectable by sight.

Both varieties of tapes can last from six to eight weeks, towards the end of that time the tapes will gradually start to slip out.

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To remove, the stylist just drops removal solution at the root, gently rubs, and they just slide off with no damage to your natural hair.

You can then have them re-taped and re-applied up to three times, which makes them an affordable option of hair extensions.

The Cost:

The cost of the hair extensions themselves depends completely on the length and colour of the hair, plus the number of GL Tapes and time required to apply the extensions by the stylist.

Consultations are free however, so pop into a GL certified salon for a quote if you’re curious.

The Verdict:

Super-quick to apply and kind on hair, GL Tapes are ideal for extension virgins, hairstyle chameleons, for an upcoming big event (any brides to be out there these would be ideal for your big day and honeymoon), or for anybody who is looking for an affordable, low-maintenance, discreet hair extensions option.

After several round of GL Tapes I’m ready to take my relationship with Great Lengths to the next level. GL Bonds, I’m coming for you…

For more information visit greatlengthshair.co.uk.

To find a Great Lengths certified salon or stylist click here.

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