That Time I Got Hair Extensions (aka I Got Bored with My Pixie)

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“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life,” goes the old adage by Coco Chanel.

When I chopped my hair back in May, I’m not sure if I was changing my life or taking control of my life. Maybe a bit of both. It had been a difficult 2021, to say the least, not to mention the collective sh*t storm that was 2020. Certainly big changes were coming — a move to Colorado with three kids and a geriatric dog among them — but I also felt completely out of control. I needed to take something back.

So I decided to start with my hair.

I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.
Pixie Cut May 2021

Change My Hair, Change My Life?

I had always wondered what I’d look like with short hair and, hey, you don’t know till ya try, right? It took some getting used to. I literally needed a full face of makeup for a week straight to feel “feminine”…but I don’t regret doing it. Cutting my hair forced me to reckon with our societal standards of beauty and all the different ways one can display femininity.

Plus, I like shocking my husband.

But, after a few months, I felt ready for a change. The reasons for chopping my hair were no longer there. I missed having hair I could throw up in a messy bun or curl for date night. Honestly, I missed hair that I hadn’t been able to grow since high school.

I also really wasn’t feeling the grow-out process, and the resulting mullet I was sporting. So, I turned to hair extensions.

I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.
I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.
18 inch extensions: Oct. 2021

What To Know About Hair Extensions

I’ve tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins…and honestly? They’re exhausting (and time-consuming).

So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons. Also because I hate small talk and foresaw 6+ hours in the chair trying to entertain my stylist (people pleasing issues). During my consultation, my hairstylist, Kara, informed me that it wouldn’t be the hours long process I anticipated because she uses tape-in extensions.

My skepticism must have shown, so she pulled out her hair samples (like paint samples for your noggin!) and showed me how the extension is glued together with medical adhesive and affixes to either side of a small section of my natural hair. “It’s a hair sandwich!” she exclaimed.

Gross, but also an apt metaphor.

I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.

Tape-In Hair Extensions: From Consultation To Application

The other part of the consultation was figuring out color/length. Since the extensions are made of real hair they can be dyed any color. I opted for matching my “natural” color (or as close to natural as I currently am to cover up the grays) and 18′ extensions, equaling 3 packs total. The number of packs ordered depends on your hair type.

The consultation is also the time to figure out if hair extensions are in the budget. Every stylist has a different way of charging, and it depends on the type of hair extensions, the stylist’s time, etc., Expect anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand. Once we had all that figured out, she placed the order and we scheduled my appointment.

True to her word, the actual application of the hair extensions took roughly an hour, then 10 minutes to straighten, 15-25 to shape and blend with my natural hair, and then 15-20 to curl.

If I didn’t need my roots done my guess is that it would have been roughly two hours, start to finish. The process was painless, a little hair tugging here and there, but truly the most painful part was the Joe Dirt mullet I sported for half of the appointment (tape in extensions are applied bottom to top).

I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.
Check out that sweet mullet

While I expected a laundry list of “dos and don’ts,” I walked away with only a small card with a few pointers on it: braid at night, never wear in a pony in the middle of your head (go high or low), avoid super moisturizing shampoo and rough dry the roots. Ok, that I can handle.

My next appointment will be in 8-10 weeks to move the extensions up. At that point I’ll have a better idea of tried and true tips, plus caring for extensions and will be sure to report back. In the meantime you can find me playing with braids and cosplaying as a brunette Ariel.

I've tried various fake hair products in the past: ponytails, at home clip-ins...& honestly? They're  exhausting + time-consuming). 
So I was a little hesitant about hair extensions for similar reasons.
Obvi. I needed a Little Mermaid moment

x, Meredith

If you’re in the Centennial area, check out Kara Peterson Hair Design. She is truly the best.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have dreamed of long hair my whole life. Unfortunately my hair is thin, fine and doesn’t grow past my shoulders. I have finally decided to try extensions for my wedding day, but upon closer examination I have learned that all hair on the market are not ethically sourced. In best case scenario, women donate their hair out of extreme poverty in worse hair is cut against their will. Could you please share how you were able to find ethically sourced hair? What brand?

    • So I did not buy my hair, but my hairstylist did. I’m fairly certain it’s Bellami, which from my research ethically sources hair. My understanding is women are paid to grow and cut their untreated hair and certain hair holds up better than others. You could opt for synthetic, but I have no idea how that’s produced and my understanding is that you can’t use any hair styling tools on synthetic hair and it doesn’t look/feel the same. It’s admittedly something I thought of a little late to the game and would like to research more. I also believe Bellami has their own factory and doesn’t outsource anything so perhaps more QC and better practices that way. Again, I definitely have loads to learn about hair extensions – real hair – and labor that goes into it.

  2. OMG, you look GREAT with long hair! I look forward to seeing what you learn. I’m not someone who can have something in my hair all the time, it just drives me crazy. I wish I could do it, because I love fashion colors and it’s a great way to change up your color without stressing your own hair.
    Rock that long hair, M!

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