For years I have envied the hair of celebrities from Cheryl Fernandez Versini to Jennifer Lopez and tried to emulate their luscious locks, but due to my fine hair failed miserably every time.
Over the years I’ve heard so much about Great Lengths Hair Extensions, so many celebrities have them and they look fantastic but I was always afraid to take the plunge. What if they don’t suit me? What if I don’t like them? What is they are too hard to manage? I have naturally curly hair so I literally ‘wash n go’ with no maintenance whatsoever, so was really worried about trying to maintain them.
I met with Cathriona Rohan, hairdresser to the stars (namely Miriam O Callaghan) and owner of Cathriona’s Hair Salon in Tralee and Castlegregory and she totally put my mind at ease.
Cathriona talked me through the process and what makes Great lengths different to its competitors on the market. Great lengths are in Cathriona’s opinion the best extensions in world. The hair is 100% human hair and is donated from ladies in India. The hair is tied in a ponytail which keeps all hair in same direction while it is being transported, this is really important as the cuticles are all in same direction reducing tangling and making sure it keeps its shine. Other extensions from other brands are often coated in silicone to flatten the cuticles that are going in all different directions which fades after a couple of washes and the hair loses it shine and begins to tangle.
I met with Cathriona a week before to match my hair and order my Great Lengths extensions. As my hair didn’t match any of the samples exactly Cathriona ordered a few different colours to mix together in order to get the perfect match. She is a genius, and managed to achieve a perfect colour match.
A week later I arrived at the salon in Tralee which is absolutely beautiful and extremely girly to get the Great Lengths applied. The attention to detail in the salon couldn’t go unnoticed as the extensive dinks menu, vintage décor and comfortable foot stools adds to an overall relaxing and enjoyable experience. The girls are so friendly and gave me a cup of tea and a delicious cupcake while I was waiting which was a very nice touch. I was also offered a glass of prosecco which made the experience that little bit more exciting and special.
I wanted Great Lengths for volume more so than length so we decided to go with the 30cm extensions. Overall the process took approximately 4 hours to complete. The Great Lengths are attached to hair with keratin bonds, these bonds are the kindest to hair and cause no damage as our own hair is made up of keratin.
I was blown away by the transformation when Cathriona was finished, it was exactly what I wanted, and I finally had my luscious locks like the celebrities. My hair felt a little bit heavier but this feeling passed within an hour or so when I got used to them. The Great Lengths bonds are tiny bonds which means they don’t poke through your hair and are ideal for tying up or styling hair in an up-style.
Cathriona gave me Great Lengths brush to use along with Great Lengths Shampoo in order to keep the extensions in the best possible condition. Great lengths usually last 4-6 months but can last longer once you follow the aftercare instructions and depending on how fast your hair grows. A month later, I am still absolutely loving my hair and can’t stop ‘swishing’ it any chance I get.
I understand that the price may put people off (the price varies depending on the person, and what result you want, length, volume or both? A free consultation with a Great Lengths Hairdresser will give you a rough idea of what your cost would be) but for me it’s definitely well worth the money.
Nearly 3 months later and I’m still loving mine 🙂
Top Tips to help maintain your Great Lengths
Brush Brush Brush! It is vitally important that you brush your hair when you have hair extensions in. Start at the ends and work up until you reach the roots of your hair. Then brush right up against your scalp. Make sure to brush your hair well as this will keep the hair from knotting & tangling.
The easiest way to wash your hair extensions is in shower with your Great Length shampoo only. This is very important, never use any others shampoo, as the Great Lengths shampoo keeps the hair perfectly clean and won’t erode the keratin bond. It’s ok to use different conditioner.
When washing your hair, do an up and down rubbing motion from forehead to nape of head, not from ear to ear so that you are not pulling on the bonds while washing.
Never put your conditioner on bonds, keep it for the ends of your hair.
When brushing out after shampoo use your Great Lengths brush and start on ends and work your way up to the roots (this brush is amazing, you’ll always use it even when you don’t have your Great Lengths anymore as it’s so nice on the head and brilliant for brushing your hair)
Never leave your bonds wet .The reason is our own hair swells when it soaks in water during shampooing so the bond has to swell also to give way to hair otherwise the hair will become damaged, so because the bond has swollen to give way to hair if you don’t dry it after there’s a possibility it could slide of the hair. Always dry your bonds with cool heat on your dryer.
Don’t tie up your hair in a towel turban when hair is washed as this puts pressure on bond when it’s wet so pat hair dry and blast dry off the bonds
When blow drying and styling your hair, dry off your hair using your Great Lengths brush and style as you wish, don’t use a GHD or other heat on your bonds as they will melt them, so keep down from bond when styling.
At night when you’re going to bed tie your hair in a low pony tail or bun so it’s not getting caught or tangled during the night.
Great news – Hair can be coloured when you have your Great Lengths in just make sure to go to a salon and avoid any home dyes.