The pros and cons of hair extensions

Hair extensions
Hairdresser applying hair extensions

When we read magazines, watch TV, surf the internet and practically anything else really, we’re confronted by a constant barrage of beautiful models and famous celebrities with heads full of flowing hair. It’s enough to make you green with hair envy!

This is one of the reasons why hair extensions are increasing in popularity. In fact, the number of British women using extensions has reportedly risen by 70% in the past five years so the overall figure’s now into tens of thousands each year.

For some of us, our hair just won’t grow past our shoulders or look voluminous, try as we might. For others, over-styling and over-treating has caused damage that’s not easily repairable. For others still, when special occasions beckon, we simply want our hair looking at its best.

Replicating billboard-ready hair can be achieved with hair extensions but, like all types of hair treatments, there are pros and cons. It’s important to weigh these up before you reach for the phone to book your hairdressing appointment.

Starting with the positives, here are some of the pros…

  • It fixes all multitude of sins. Extensions add length and can be used even if your hair’s very short (around 3 inches, to be precise). They can add volume if your hair’s fine, limp or thinning. They can add highlights of colour if you’re looking for an alternative to dyeing.
  • The application process isn’t painful. Methods include braiding, gluing, weaving or, most gentle, clipping. Whichever you choose, it shouldn’t hurt at all.
  • They’re not hard to maintain. Contrary to preconception, they’re no more difficult than other hair treatments such as dyeing. The trick is to keep an eye on them and plan for an hour at the salon for upkeep every six weeks or so.

All well and good, but now we turn our attention to the cons, of which there are a fair few…

  • They’re expensive. Costs vary from several hundred to over a thousand pounds, depending on the type of hair and bonding method used.
  • They require careful care. If you buy synthetic hair, styling options are limited. Even if you buy human hair, a softly softly approach is still advised which means, amongst other things, using a special brush, lighter shampoo and conditioner, cool water for washing, sleeping with your hair tied back and regular hairdressing appointments.
  • There’s an unethical side to human hair extensions. Britain’s apparently the world’s third largest importer. The hair trade is said to exploit poverty-stricken donors in some of the poorest countries to cut off their hair for as little as £30-ish or even for free if pledged in the name of religion. Hair’s even taken by force by gangs. The way hair’s processed too has a shady side, often exploiting cheap labour to untangle, smooth, sort, comb, tie, soak and dye hair ready for shipping overseas.
  • They can cause irrecoverable damage to your own hair. With the wrong application method and too-heavy extensions, you can suffer from hair loss called traction alopecia because too much tension’s placed on the roots thereby pulling out hair and damaging follicles permanently. If your hair’s in bad condition to begin with, it’s only going to get worse with additional strain on it.

So, if you’re thinking about extensions, seek a professional who’s undergone the right training and ask questions which allow you to make an informed decision about the best type of extensions for you. And, if you notice anything amiss, such as the beginnings of hair loss, address it straight away.

Best case, your hair will end up looking longer, thicker and healthier than it ever has before. Worst case, you may have a hairdresser claims situation on your hands for which you’ll need expert legal assistance.

See some of the latest celebrity hair transformations

See some of the latest celebrity hair transformations
Celebrity hair transformations in the spotlight

Every now and then, it’s nice to freshen up your image and the easiest, and most obvious, place to start is your hair. But not all of us are brave enough to undergo anything too drastic at the hairdresser’s. Even with the best intentions, it’s not unusual to get cold feet once you’re sat in the salon chair.

That’s one of the reasons we all love a good celebrity hair story. Where their hair’s concerned, celebrities are the lionhearted amongst us. For famous people, it seems that frequently changing their hair is practically a pre-requisite for the job.

Not only do we enjoy watching our revered actors, singers, TV presenters, footballers, WAGs and others forever in the public eye rocking new looks on a regular basis, it’s also a source of inspiration for our own potential metamorphosis.

Here we’ve rounded up a few of the most dramatic before-and-after photos of popular heads from across the internet. There are no claims against hairdressers stories here! View our gallery and click on the links for further details…

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner’s wavy new bob unveiled at Alexander Wang’s runway show.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez chopped her sleek, waist-grazing hair to just-past-shoulder length.

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart goes from brunette to bleached blonde and shaved for her latest film role.

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek swaps her natural dark look for shorter, rose gold hair at the Cannes Film Festival.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss’s dyed blonde bob revealed at the Met Gala.

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez had her Instagram followers fooled with this severe crop which, it turned out, was actually just a wig.

A step-by-step guide to the hairdressing claims process

Step-by-step guide to the hair claims process

Even if you’ve instructed a solicitor previously, pursuing claims against hairdressers is a daunting prospect and it’s hard to know exactly where to begin. That’s why we’ve devised these easy-to-follow instructions to help you start off on the right foot in order to progress your claim successfully and ease the stress at this upsetting time in your life:-

1. Make a record of your appointment
Write down the date and time of your visit to the hairdresser. If possible, note the name of your stylist, and name and address of your salon. Whilst still at your hairdresser’s, find out and record details of the products used throughout your treatment. Other information could also prove useful such as length of time at the hairdresser’s and a roughly drafted transcript of your conversation when discussing what had gone wrong.

2. Gather supporting evidence
Next, take photos of your injury, and keep some strands of your damaged hair that may snap off or from your hairbrush in a clean plastic bag. It’s worth digging out some photos of your hair pre-damage to show the extent of harm done, maybe from a holiday or night out when your hair was in optimum shape.

It may be appropriate to visit your doctor and seek expert medical opinion. Again, document your doctor’s appointment (date, time, doctor’s name, and medical practice name and address) with a summary of your diagnosis. This isn’t a prerequisite to legal proceedings though. At Hairdressing Claims, we have a select group of medical partners, both doctors and trichologists, to support our clients.

3. Seek legal advice
Contact Hairdressing Claims who are specialist personal injury lawyers with particular expertise in suing hairdressers for advice. Our legal team happily undertakes free initial assessments at which point we’ll tell you if you have a strong case.

Once you instruct us to represent you, we’ll provide a case plan and guide you through each subsequent stage of proceedings. We’ll draw upon our years of experience in this field and involve our close-working partners comprising doctors, trichologists and barristers in order to increase your chances of success and amount of compensation.

Doctors and trichologists will assist with identifying cause and expected recovery from damage, thereby showing why your hairdresser is at fault. Your sample hair and photos are invaluable here.

4. Settle your case in or out of court
Our aim is always to avoid taking the case to court, because this is preferable for everyone, especially you. If an acceptable out-of-court settlement isn’t forthcoming, however, we’ll proceed to court and give your case the final push needed to achieve the compensation you’re worthy of receiving.

The outcome is largely dependent upon whether your hairdresser is insured. With an insurer, settlement is much quicker than without an insurer, as it’s the insurance company who tends to pay the compensation monies.

As an unregulated industry, it’s not unusual to discover that your hairdresser lacks proper qualifications and insurance isn’t in place but you can rest assured that, in these instances, we’ll pursue compensation directly from the hairdresser or salon concerned instead. That’s why one of our earliest tasks is to write a letter of claim and see whether an insurer responds.

Even in complex cases where court is necessary, the vast majority still tend to settle before trial commences.

5. Don’t undergo further hair treatment
As tempting as it might be to correct your hairdresser’s errors, and however persuasive your stylist may be in convincing you to have additional treatment, don’t allow anyone to apply more products until you’ve been given the medical green light. Otherwise, the damage may be even worse than it is now.

Another consideration is presenting the evidence. As upsetting as it is to keep your hair looking in such a bad way, by embarking upon further treatment you’re effectively covering your hairdresser’s tracks and reducing your chances of a successful claim. So wait until your hair’s been assessed from a medical and legal perspective, and photographed before you arrange any correctional treatment.

6. Start the hairdressing claims process today
Get in touch with our expert hair claims legal team by one of various methods. Complete our online enquiry form, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, phone 0800 970 9102 from a landline or call 0333 202 6560 from a mobile.

Predict your salon timings with this handy guide

Predict your salon timings with this handy guide

A trip to the hair salon is a real treat for most of us. Depending on your treatment and styling requirements, you could be there for a long time. Up to half a day if you’re having a full head of highlights, wash, cut and blow dry.

With those glossy magazines, and a steady supply of snacks and drinks on offer at your hairdresser’s, though, what’s not to love? Being waited on hand and foot, and a bit of quality you-time are the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable salon experience, right?

Well, apparently not! It appears there’s some disjoint between expectations and reality, because determining how much time’s needed for hair appointments is a tricky business.

Miscalculating and spending a lengthier period in the chair than anticipated is cause for huge disappointment as it’s deemed to have wasted your time unnecessarily. The reverse situation is equally annoying. A shorter visit results in feeling rushed and not quite getting your money’s worth.

That’s why we love this article on the Elle website. Titled ‘How long should you really be spending in the salon chair?’, there’s a list of popular hair treatments detailing the approximate length of time each one should incur.

From a good trim to complicated hair extensions, Elle’s timing advice will help you predict more accurately the duration of your next visit. If you’re in for the long haul, at least you can be prepared and take along anything that’ll make you as comfortable as possible and use your downtime to best advantage… such as your favourite book to do a spot of reading, laptop to catch up on some work and, even, lunch to keep those hunger pangs at bay!

With a bit of pre-organisation, there’ll be no hairdresser claims disasters for you! Just a relaxing time in the salon worth repeating over and over again. After all, your hair does have a tendency to grow!

Katy Perry tells hair damage story on American chat show

Katy Perry's hair disaster story
Image courtesy of YouTube

No one is immune to the damaging effects of over-processed hair. Even celebrities. In fact, some would argue that famous people forever in the spotlight are more likely to fall victim to over-application of hair products such as hair dye, bleach and straightening treatments in their quest to keep their hair paparazzi-ready at all times. And, for pop stars, who regularly change their hair dos for their latest music videos or live concert performances, are more vulnerable to over-processing than most.

Enter Katy Perry…

The American singer appeared as a special guest on a chat show recently brandishing a newly cropped hair style which she revealed had been instigated by irreparable hair damage from over-bleaching.

Katy said, and we quote: “I don’t know if you’ve ever dyed your hair blonde and too blonde, but sometimes your hair falls out when you go too blonde so that’s the way I handled it. This was the destination I showed up to. At first this was just to salvage my hair and then I was like, I really believe that the universe has a plan for this.”

Watch Katy chatting to Ellen on YouTube.

To digress slightly, over-processing occurs when the same or similar products are applied more than once, or several different products are used simultaneously, either at one hairdressing appointment or over a short period of time. The end result is weak, dry, brittle and unmanageable hair that can typically only be fixed by being cut off and left to grow back from scratch. Obviously this process can take years, depending on the rate of hair growth.

We can’t comment on how much this hair disaster might have cost Katy in terms of hairdresser’s fees and how much it may have affected her relationship with her hairdresser, but we can guess probably a lot for both.

As Hairdressing Claims experts, it’s our role to help individuals who find themselves in a distressing situation such as Katy’s. If you’ve experienced a similar fate, get in touch to find out what you can do in order to claim compensation for your hair loss. To contact us, simply complete our online enquiry form, email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk, phone 0800 970 9102 from a landline or call 0333 202 6560 from a mobile.

5 vital styling tips

Heat protection spray

Following on from our earlier ‘6 essential hair care tips’ post, we’re back with more hair-related advice, this time focusing on styling.

Even if you’re aiming for the natural look, the likelihood is you’ve styled your hair to within an inch of its life in order to achieve it. Styling might be good for your confidence but it’s bad for your hair. Brushing, drying, straightening, curling and general over-pruning causes no end of damage. But, with due care, you can still get creative with styling your hair at the same time as protecting it.

Here’s how:-

1. Assist hair recovery
Referring back to our previous advice, repair damaged, dull and frail hair with intensive rescue treatments. Browse the hair aisle at your local supermarket or ask your hairdresser for product recommendations.

2. Keep hair nourished
Treat dry hair just as you would a delicate plant. Give it plenty of nourishment. By replenishing hair-conditioning lipids, it’ll flourish. Use conditioner after shampoo and consider other products such as hair oils and deep conditioning masks. Again, shop around and ask your hairdresser for the best solutions.

3. Apply heat protection
Before using your hairdryer, straighteners or curling tongs, spray on some heat protection. These are widely available from chemists and supermarkets. Plus, use a low heat setting and avoid over-application of heat on any particular section of your hair.

4. Comb gently
Brushing your hair when it’s wet can cause breakages and frayed ends, so enlist a wide-tooth comb at this stage instead. It’ll detangle your hair without snagging. Only use fine-tooth combs and brushes on dry hair. And make sure you buy the correct bristle type for your hair.

5. Choose the right hairstyle
If you’re out in the sun, wind or other hair-damaging weather, protect your hair by tying in a bun, chignon, braid, plait or other knot. Aim for a loose style, don’t over-brush and use products that are gentler to your hair. Elastic bands are a definite no-no!

Where your hair’s concerned, it’s the little things that count the most. Not only should you follow these tips, your hairdresser should too. Be mindful of how your hairdresser’s styling your hair because if damage is caused, you may have a hair claim on your hands.

Our team of expert hair lawyers are happy to discuss any potential claim on a no-obligation basis. Get in touch via the usual methods. Call 0800 141 3682 or email enquiries@hairdressingclaims.co.uk.