Inevitable beauty tricks: Male hair extensions?

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As society becomes ever more image-conscious, we begin to focus more and more on the inevitable beauty tricks and routines which allow us to enhance what we naturally have. From facials to non-surgical procedures, we all want to look younger and fresher. Most of all, we want to feel more confident, and we turn to these beauty tricks to help us out.

These days many women will have honed a perfectly regimented daily routine of skincare, make-up and hair, but it isn’t just women who are making adjustments to their routines. One product in particular that’s crossing over the fiercely policed beauty gender divide is the good, old-fashioned hair extension. More and more men are opting for these for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a look at a few of these.

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The clear benefit of hair extensions for some men who may have thinning hair is that body and volume can be added by means of various extension techniques – from bonds to micro rings. Of course each treatment should be carefully considered to take into account the individual’s hair type. You should start with a general consultation to ensure the treatment will have longevity and will work for you.

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From Jared Leto to Harry Styles, hair is now just as important to a man as it is to a woman. Often men with thinning hair are subjected to jovial taunts, which can hamper their confidence over time. This is where extensions can be used to create a fuller head of hair.

If you have hair on your crown and front of the head, then hair can be added to give a fuller appearance. Of course, extensions have to attach to existing hair, so if you have no hair at all, then you can’t attach extensions in the normal way (with clips and hooks).

If you have the skill, hair extensions can, with the judicious use of spirit gum or wig glue, be adhered directly to the scalp for styling, with many drag queens using this method to create mohawks, mohicans and ponytails on otherwise smooth skulls. But this isn’t something for the uninitiated, and the look that’s created won’t be subtle – but for flamboyant club kids, it might be just what you need.

Last June I decided to abstain from haircuts in a bid to grow out my locks and achieve the greatly emulated man bun look. With my hair reaching to my jawline after Christmas I decided I wanted it longer and consulted hairdresser Adelle Smith to see if this was possible. After a thorough consultation, we came to the agreement that keratin bond extensions would be suitable for my hair type. With naturally thick hair, I was the ideal candidate for extensions (though this did mean poor Adelle having to stand for quite a while as she added more and more hair).

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Thankfully, Adelle specialises in keratin bonds. In simple terms, a keratin bond is a glue-like substance that contains keratin. Keratin is a natural protein found in our own hair and it helps the bonded extensions to gain structure and a robust yet natural bond. The process takes a few hours, however, so be sure you can sit comfortably.

In my case it took just over three hours. The wait was more than worth it, though, as I went from having hair to my jawline to having hair that fell a full 16 inches in length. Upkeep is the key to maintaining the longevity of the hair and bonds, so Adelle made sure I was aware of this information and was extremely professional in her techniques and after care.

Her key tips are:

  • 1. Avoid washing the extension hair more than two to three times a week or it can cause excess shedding and matting.
  • 2. Avoid shampoos containing alcohol and citrus-based formulas, as these can weaken the keratin bonds and cause them to slip.
  • 3. Brush the hair a few times a day to avoid tangling and knotting – this is something I do very often and it makes a huge difference. Always brush from the roots down towards the tips.
  • 4. Ensure before you go to bed you tie your hair into a loose ponytail or plaits to avoid tangling in the night.
  • 5. Try to avoid over-styling with heated appliances.

Aftercare is of the utmost importance if you want the hair to last – and if looked after right, it can last for up to four months. Adelle checks my hair regularly to ensure I haven’t lost any bonds (this is natural over the course of the extensions’ life). My one tip to add to Adelle’s own is to be prepared for some discomfort when getting used to sleeping with the small bonds pressing against your newly sensitive scalp. This will usually subside after a couple of days, and then you can whip your hair with pride!

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For further details or to book an appointment with Adelle, please contact: Adelle8926@sky.com. Adelle is highly trained in hairdressing and is also available for consultations about new cuts and colours.

About Craig Lomas

Well where do I start? At the very beginning, like Julie Andrews taught me.I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design in 2009 and have since set up my own bespoke clothing label.Currently working full time as a costume designer.My main passion is buying things I don't need... I WANT!