We asked leading hairstylists from around Ireland about their top tips for caring for hair extensions.
The following women were recipients of awards at the inaugural Great Lengths Hair Extensions Awards, which recognises hairstylists and specialists at the top of their game in Ireland.
We picked their brains to find out what their experience has taught them about caring for longer locks.
1. Brid Dempsey - Winner of Classic Colour Category
"Aftercare is very important for hair extensions and using specialised shampoo, conditioner and products is key," Brid says. "I personally find that using a specifically designed brush also prevents damage and matting of the bonds."
"My extra tip for a fabulous glossy shine is to use a small of amount of a light serum through the hair," she adds.
Brid works at Plush Hair & Beauty, Carlow.
2. Chelsea Kearney – Winner of Fashion Creation Category
"My golden rule is to use a specialised hair extension brush at morning and night. And use a small amount of styling oil in the ends then tie hair in loose plaits at night going to bed for soft wavy locks in the morning."
Chelsea works at Blown Away, Charleville Co. Cork.
3. Valerie Patterson - Winner of Classic Colour Category & Classic Volume Category
"It's all about the brushing, brush before bed and before washing to avoid naturally occurring tangles from wind or friction. Never brush hair when wet as its when hair follicles are at their most vulnerable."
Valerie is the proprietor of Cowboys & Angels, Dublin 2.
4. Donna Brennan - Winner of Bridal Creation Category
"My top tip would be to use Anti Tap water solution. This maintains the PH balance in the hair and will prolong the life of your extensions. Always remember to attend your free scheduled maintenance hair check with your salon too."
Donna works at Studio One Hair & Beauty, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.
5. Pamela Laird - Winner of Classic Length Category
"To make sure you’re caring for your extensions you must brush them regularly. Keeping your extensions and natural hair tangle-free with a soft bristle brush will ensure you get as long as possible from your set of extensions."
"My top tip is to brush thoroughly before you wash your hair. Hair is three times weaker when wet, so it's important to treat your extensions carefully while wet, getting all your tangles out before you wash will help avoid split ends and breakage.
Pamela works at The Beauty Parlour Teranure, Dublin.
For a list of Irish salons which specialise in Great Lengths hair extensions, see here.