Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Great Lengths Hair Extensions by HJ Exentions

Since the launch of my dress with Simply Be, I have had an influx of questions about my hair, how I look after it and whether or not I wear extensions as it looks much longer than in posts from earlier this year.  Today I thought I'd share with you the secret to my long blonde locks and that's Great Lengths Hair Extensions from HJ Extensions, the North East's premium hair extension specialist.
On set with Simply Be for my photo shoot wearing my gorgeous Great Lengths hair from HJ Extensions (photo rights to Simply Be)
Like many girls, I've always wanted to have long, thick blonde hair but my hair will only grow to a certain length and even then it is so pathetically thin it isn't worth bothering with.  The one thing I find is that if it is really hot my hair literally just sticks to my head and it looks awful and that was the main reason as to why I started looking into hair extensions many years ago.  I now wear hair extensions frequently to give me the hair and confidence I strive for.

I've tried two different types of bonded hair extensions in the past, both fitted by HJ Extensions owner, Hayley.  These were Cinderella Hair and Great Lengths.  I've been having them fitted, on and off, for the past five years and I always go by back to Hayley.  Since I've had them applied to my hair so many times, I really know what I like when it comes to my hair and my extensions and what works for me.  Now I'm going to pass on that knowledge to you and review Great Lengths as well as the HJ Extensions experience from start to finish.
The Consultation
When reviewing Hayley's services, I think it is important to let you know what happens from start to finish.  Well, the HJ Extensions service starts with a complimentary consultation with Hayley in your own home.  Since I've been having my hair extensions fitted by Hayley for YEARS now, I don't personally need the same consultation now as I did when I first started having my hair extensions put in because Hayley is really good at getting to know her clients, so she knows my hair, knows what I like and knows what would be the best for the health and look of my locks so unless I dramatically change my hair, I can skip the consultation now.  However those points are what she establishes in her consultation.

Hayley comes out to your home at time to suit you and finds out what it is that you are looking for from your hair.  She lets you know about her background in the industry and gets to grips with your hair, finding out what it feels like, how thick it is, what condition it is in and the history of your hair and any experience of hair extensions that you've had in the past.  From there, Hayley will the give you the options out of three types of premium hair extensions that she fits- Cinderella Hair, Great Lengths and Easilocks, and tell you all about them.  She specialises in these brands only as they are the only brands she can be put her complete trust in.  She'll also recommend which ones she thinks would be best for your hair but of course it is entirely up to you as to which ones you go for.
My hair before having my hair extensions fitted by HJ Extensions
Upon deciding which brand of extensions you want to have put in, Hayley will then colour match you.  She gets the colour spot on, every time.  Whether you're wanting to go for a mix of colours in your hair to create a natural sun kissed or highlighted look, an ombre style or a full block of colour, Hayley will make sure that you get the colour that is right for you, that will completely transform your hair but ensuring that it completely suits you and your style.  Also at the consultation, Hayley will advise as to how many packs of hair you will need to achieve your desired look, the personalised quotation and will answer any questions that you have.  She'll also give you a little sample of clarifying shampoo to wash your hair with on the morning that you're going to have your extensions put in.  She explains the next steps so that you know exactly what is going to happen, every step of the way.  I remember this getting me so excited to have my extensions fitted and every time I know that Hayley is coming to do my hair, I feel happy and excited with anticipation all over again!

The HJ Extensions experience sounds thorough doesn't it?  That's because Hayley really knows her stuff.


About HJ Extensions


Hayley is a qualified hair dresser with over 13 years of experience in hair dressing and hair extensions fitting in some of the North Easts top salons.  She is a fully qualified, registered and insured mobile practitioner of Great Lengths and Cinderella Hair extensions which you have to be a qualified hair dresser in order to be able to take the course and fit the extensions, and Easilocks Hair Extensions, the latest celebrity hair secret to hit the market.  She is the only salon in the North of England to offer all three of these market leading brands and she travels all over the North East to fit them and even has clients travelling from other areas of the UK and abroad (Ireland, Spain and Sweden to name but a few places) to have their extensions fitted by her.  This is because she has built up such a solid reputation for quality and fantastic results that makes her clients come back to her every time.

HJ Extensions feature in Accent Magazine
I always go back to HJ Extensions because I know exactly what I'm going to get- there are no hidden agendas, no inflated costs like in city centre salons and her service is super professional whilst being all in the comfort of my own home, meaning that I can get on with my work at my computer while she transforms my hair from drab to fab.  I tried Cinderella Extensions many years ago from Hayley, loved them, tried Great Lengths and loved them even more.  Perhaps I'll try Easilocks in the future but for now I'm really happy with the Great Lengths extensions I get put in.
I'm sure you've all heard about them before but if you haven't let me tell you about how great they are.
About Great Lengths
Great Lengths are one of the worlds most market leading brands of hair, loved by celebrities such as Cheryl Cole, Celine Dion and Kate Beckinsale.  They're the Rolls Royce of hair extensions and nothing else comes close.
The Hair
When it comes to hair extensions, Great Lengths are market leading, not just in the UK but in the whole world.  The hair that Great Lengths use is sourced ethically from temples in India and their money goes directly towards helping local schools and hospitals.  The hair itself is of the highest quality 100% human hair, similar to the true indian hair used by International Hair Company, which means that it can be styled just as though it were your own which is great as I love to use my straighteners and curling wand on my hair extensions.  The type of hair is called Indian Temple Remi Hair which is perfect for hair extensions as it is cuticle correct meaning that all of the cuticles face in the same direction from root to tip which prevents it from tangling.  The hair is in virgin condition so it has never been exposed to harsh chemical treatments.
Great Lengths extensions can be curled just as though they were your own hair
The Great Lengths hair feels so soft and very natural.  It doesn't get as tatty as other hair extensions and it wears really well too.  I make sure I look after my hair extensions even more so than my own hair and find that it stays in fantastic condition, lasting for months and months.  There are so many different shades available and Hayley always finds the right shades to suit my hair.  I tend to go for a mixture of blondes to create a really natural look.  The hair is also available in lots of different lengths.  Whether you're looking to add length, volume or a flash of colour, HJ Extensions can transform your hair with Great Lengths.

The Bond
What makes Great Lengths hair extensions different from the other extensions out there is the bond.  Often mistaken for glue, the Great Lengths bonds are actually made of keratin, which has a molecular structure that is really similar to human hair with the same properties and alterations.  The bonds hold the actual hair and are so small they are virtually undetectable in the hair.  You can't feel them in your hair and when your hair is down, you can't see them.  Depending on how you naturally wear your hair and the look that you want to achieve, Hayley will fit your hair extensions so that the bonds cannot be seen, for example, I like to wear my hair in a high bun or in a pony tail for the gym so Hayley cuts the bonds that are to be used around my hair line in half to create an even finer hair extension so that they cannot be see when I tie my hair up.
Super small bonds from Great Lengths fitted by HJ Extensions
The bonds act perfectly well in the water, sunlight and when using heat.  They expand and contract when your hair is wet and dry, mimicking real hair and the way that it moves and behaves.  Considering they apply such a strong hold, Great Lengths bonds area actually really gentle on the hair and leave the least damage of bonded extensions, they really are the crème de la crème.

I can definitely vouch for Great Lengths not causing as much damage to the hair as other hair extensions.  In the past I've worn clip in extensions and whilst they're great for a quick fix, because my hair is so thin I found that they placed too much weight on my hair in the areas where the clips are so my hair would snap, break and become really brittle.  When wearing Great Lengths, I don't have this problem as they're so much lighter on my hair as the hair is fixed to a small bond on a small part of hair so there isn't as much weight pulling on my hair causing it to snap.

The Application Method
The application of Great Lengths extensions is often mistaken for gluing.  The extensions are not glued to your hair, nor are they weaved or knotted as such methods tend to really damage your hair.  The way that Great Lengths extensions are applied is much more gentle.  It uses a process called modulating which bonds each single hair extension strand to your own hair using the heated Great Lengths applicator.  Although heat is used, it is only as hot as a curling iron so it doesn't damage your hair to any great extent.
Hair Extensions Fitting
On the day that my extensions are going to be fitted, I wash my hair using the clarifying shampoo that I get from HJ Extensions.  This removes any product build up in my hair.  I then blow dry and straighten my hair to make it quicker and easier for Hayley to fit my extensions.
Rows of Great Lengths extensions expertly fitted by HJ Extensions
I usually wear around 125 bonds in my hair and this takes her around three hours to fit.  I don't mind sitting for that long as I'm in the comfort of my own home and I can get on with my work while Hayley fits my extensions- I usually sit at my dining room table on my laptop.  The application of my Great Lengths extensions isn't uncomfortable and it doesn't hurt at all.
After having my Great Lengths extensions fitted by HJ Extensions, this is a long, sleek look using 20 inch extensions in a mix of warm shade to create a multi tonal look
After they have all been put in, Hayley then cuts my extensions for me.  As a qualified hair dresser, she can create any style you would like.  You can just leave them as they are but I personally like mine to be shaped around my face and layered so that they blend in seamlessly with my own hair for a natural look.  Hayley also styles my hair after cutting it so whether I want a straight look, a flipped out style or loose curls, Hayley can do it all.
Great Lengths Hair Extensions Before and After
Hayley often takes before and after photos so it great to see the difference the hair extensions make in my hair.
This time I was having my hair extensions fitted specifically for my photo shoot with Simply Be!
After Care
HJ Extensions offer a complete aftercare service.  After having your extensions fitted, Hayley talks you through exactly how to care for your extensions, for example, not washing them for 48 hours after fitting, and what products work well with the hair and which ones to avoid.  Its keeping the bonds safe that is the main thing so she advises which ingredients to look out for on the packaging of products that may adversely affect the bonds.  Hayley is one of the few registered aftercare stockists for the Great Lengths range of hair products.  I often buy the Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti Tap products as well as the Great Lengths hair extensions brush directly from her but she is never pushy and never tries to force these on me.  She is very much aware that everyone has different budgets so she encourages looking after the hair to the best of your ability rather than pushing particular products on you.  This is what I love about HJ Extensions as Hayley operates with a great deal of integrity and I can trust her.

Great Lengths Hair Extensions Removal
My hair extensions tend to last for three to four months depending on how long I have them and what I do with them while they're in my hair.  When I want to have my hair extensions removed, Hayley comes to my house to take out my hair extensions.  This usually takes about an hour.  The removal process is pretty quick and painless.
My hair after having the extensions taken out, given a quick chop and my roots touching up.  Healthy, happy hair.
My hair is not left damaged and whilst it is in need of a good cut, I find that each time I have my extensions taken out, my own hair is actually in good condition and has grown.  This is actually my secret to growing my hair!  Hayley says that this is probably because when I'm styling my hair, I'm styling the extension rather than my own hair.  Either way, I'm happy!
Reusing the Great Lengths Extensions
Just after having had my Great Lengths extensions reapplied by Hayley
The good thing about Great lengths is that the hair can be reused.  When Hayley takes my hair extensions out, I get to keep the hair and then she reuses it the next time I want my hair extensions to be put in.
Hayley created soft Hollywood style waves in my hair after reusing the hair, trimming and restyling
Hayley usually recommends leaving my hair a couple of weeks between removal and reapplication so as to allow my hair to settle and to get any cutting or colouring done that I need to.  Then the process starts all over again.
Loose waves in my hair extensions, styled by Hayley of HJ Extensions
When I reuse my hair extensions, I usually buy a pack or two of fresh hair and Hayley cuts the extensions so that they all blend in.  This can help to create a different look.  In these photos I've added a pack of light ash blonde and a cool toned light brown to give my hair a cooler look than the warm multi tonal, almost subtle ombre style in the snaps above.
Great Lengths are my favourite extensions to have fitted by Hayley, she is excellent at fitting them, has been doing it for years and is so well rehearsed, she could put them in with her eyes closed!  When it comes to having Great Lengths extensions fitted, you need look no further than HJ Extensions as she has even been awarded the exclusive 'Gold' Salon status by Great Lengths as a mark of her high quality service and sales for the brand, there is literally no one better.
Simply Be Blogger Takeover Photo Shoot (photo rights go to Simply Be)
If you're looking for cheap, bad quality extensions that are poorly fitted and don't look natural then don't go to Hayley, if you're looking for high quality extensions that look and feel natural and are expertly fitted in your own home, then go to HJ Extensions.  I genuinely couldn't recommend her services enough!
You can check out the HJ Extensions website here, add HJ Extensions on Facebook here and follow HJ Extensions on Twitter here.
Check back tomorrow evening for an exciting competition where you can win lots of goodies....

What are your thoughts on hair extensions?  Would you like me to do a post on taking care of my hair extensions as part of my Hair Series this week?
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59 comments

  1. These look so good and natural! I love how everything just blends :)
    I wish this kind of extension was more affordable but I understand why it is more expensive of course! A girl can only dream haha.

    Sarah
    More Than Adored

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  2. Ive always wanted to have extensions fitted in my hair, i love long hair and absolutely hate clip in style ones, they just feel so uncomfortable on my head i usually end up taking them out, these sound like a really good idea for me, i will have to look into it :)
    Thankyou for the in depth post, youve convinced me :)

    Following you my love :)

    www.frankiebooxx.blogspot.co.uk

    xXx

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  3. Thanks for the informative post Laura :) I was thinking of having some extensions done for my birthday at the end of this month! xx

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  4. I would love to try extensions but the cost has always put me off if I am honest. x

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  5. I have the exact same problem as you! My hair just wont grow very long and is thin and boring. I'd love to get extensions but they're too expensive here in Iceland and the service isn't as warm as you describe the service you get. I'd definitely try HJ extensions if i was in the UK.

    Thanks for a great post, always fun to read your blog :)

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  6. I have the same problem as you do, my hair just wont grow very long and it's thin and boring. I'd love to try hair extensions but they're just too expensive here in Iceland and the service isn't as good and warm as you describe HJ's service. I'd definitely try them if i was in the UK.

    Thanks for a great post, always love reading your blog :)

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  7. I've tried hair extensions but only the clip in ones and wasn't a fan because they just didn't look very natural. My hairs quite thick and I always worry that its just going to look stupid with making it even thicker. These look incredible and I love that they don't damage your hair. Happy 3rd Birthday!!!

    www.nailthelook.blogspot.com

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  8. Ah they look fantastic! My hair's quite long so I only use clip in hair extensions for special occasions.
    Definitely agree about the price reflecting the quality and look!

    jennasuth@hotmail.co.uk x

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  9. I honestly have to say that I always thought hair extensions look cheap and fake. But after having read your post, seen the pictures, I have changed my mind. You look lovely and your hair looks beautiful. I am very fortunated to have long hair so not in need of extenstions but if my locks would ever look healthy and nice I certainly have an alternative to hand now. Keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your blog :)! xo Tini

    kristin.dreesen@uni-oldenburg.de

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  10. I have to tell you I envy you for your legs! I wish I could wear a short skirt without being self-conscious!

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  11. I am enjoying my short hair for now but I might have some hair extensions when I've got bored of it :-)

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  12. I love hair extensions they can completely change your look.... great for a night out

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  13. I have had short hair for as long as I can remember but it might be a treat to have hair extensions for a special occasion. Those extensions sure are good as I did think it was your natural hair! XX

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  14. I would love to have extensions but being that I have very curly (spiral curls) this is not a possibility.

    If it were I would love to have it waist length and quite big.

    Yours look great! and Great Lengths are a trusted brand which I have been associated with for many years due to Miss England and it's competition.

    lshafik@yahoo.co.uk :)

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  15. Your extensions look so natural -- I'm really impressed. I've never considered them but maybe I would in the future.

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  16. The extensions look amazing so natural! Love the last photo you look stunning! xxxx

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  17. amazing extensions!
    if i have one i'd make a lot of hairstyle!
    email: the_umbrella_of_glass@hotmail.com

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  18. I think that they really suit you. Extensions can be a fun way to change your look and try something different. janetwnsn @ gmail.com

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  19. Beautiful, with and without the extentions, but they are a fun way to compleatly change you rlook, id lov e to giv them ago someday :) its just the sitting still thats the problem lol

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  20. They really suit you! I've never had them but the experience sounded good :)

    rebeccajlsk@gmail.com xo

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  21. I'm always tempted to get extensions. I love the look and my own hair is so fly away. I've got lots of it but it's very fine. Decisions, decisions!

    cjf3534@hotmail.com

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  22. The thing that I love about hair extensions is that they can transform the way you are your hair looks within minutes/hours depending on which hair extensions you do get. I love that they can make thin hair look instantly much thicker and like it has more volume, that is what I use my clip ins for! Also there are extensions available for everyone and that will fit your price range. I have only ever had clip ins and they are great but the great lengths ones look fab as you will wake up with amazing hair rather than having to put it in every day. Laura you look amazing as always and your hair looks gorgeous :)

    Chantellejones1991@hotmail.com xx

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  23. They look beautiful! I have always heard extensions cause major damage, so I'm scared to try them. I also have naturally curly hair (aka: naturally frizzy) and am worried my texture would be difficult to match.

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  24. I love extensions! I have such fine hair so i need it for volume as opposed to length (my hair is quite long anyway) but it makes things like a messy bun, a doughnut and loose curls look so much better with a bit more volume. Ive always just used clip ins, but I did want to take the plunge and go for bonded ones and you might have convinced me - I would love to see another post after they come out comparing your hair before and after to ensure there is no damage, that is my main concern :)

    Great Giveaway :)

    Steph

    stephie.mcdaniel@gmail.com

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  25. I'm surprised at how natural these look! I've always wanted to try out extensions, but I'm always been a little scared about whether they would look natural or not, but in these photos, I really can't tell at all! They totally blend in with your regular hair! Do you feel them weighing down on your hair?

    leyajacob@gmail.com

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  26. I would love to try hair extensions as my hair is really thin,but they have always been really expensive,and have never be able afford them

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  27. Oh wow you look so sassy walking down the street! Your hair was pretty before though. The color is spot on and looks lovely. I had not seriously thought about getting extensions as my hair is already semi thick and long (about as long as yours) but my mom would benefit from them. She has hair similar to your natural hair. Great post
    Bonnybonbonbomb@gmail.com

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  28. I love the final result, I would have never imagine it's not your own hair. I always had a long hair, but If I didn't I would definitely go for it.

    lorisayoub@gmail.com

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  29. I really didn't notice the difference between your hair and the extensions. Really well done! <3
    My hair is long right now but I have a couple of friends who would benefit from the extensions.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    kumarablog(at)gmail.com

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  30. I'v thought about trying hair extensions but i'm such a lover of short hair that I would need to really think about it!

    Cool giveaway!!
    Email: midnight.sight@hotmail.com

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  31. You look amazing! I think extensions are great! Especially for someone who wants to try a different look for themselves! :D

    jasmine.thomas116@yahoo.com

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  32. I think extensions sound really cool but I'm not sure if I'll like the feeling of them in my hair :P

    Entered the giveaway (:

    Email: limzhuoyuen.bis@gmail.com

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  33. Your extensions look great and so real!
    I haven't tried extensions yet, but I've been thinking about it.

    email:beautyandthemist@gmail.com

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  34. Wow what a difference you extensions make to your look! Im like you, I'd probably curl them for even more volume! Rrecommends@hotmail.com xxx

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  35. I think that brand was a good choice, ive been told my hair is just to thin to hold extensions :( but i think if i was to ever try them then id go for these one they do look natural and very very well done.

    I have long hair but its thin and flat so i cant do much with it, but if i had good lonf hair id have to have a curl to it....kinda like yours does.

    Email : Fab.la.icious.nails@gmail.com

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  36. It suites you great! They look natural and you're so pretty!
    I would like to have some, for volume :) Kisses!

    http://diana.doubleweb.ro/aztec-print-scarf/

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  37. They look natural on you. I don't need them because I already have long hair.

    e-mail: adriana_toma2007@yahoo.com

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  38. The extensions had a really great quality, it doesnt look like an extensions

    e-mail: klika_lollypop@yahoo.co.id

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  39. I haven't tried hair extension because I've got as long hair as you had after you did the extension. And I love wearing it in fishtail braid and sometimes with curly ends, like the one you have in your picture. It's so cute and elegant.

    my e-mail: vamos.zsuzsi@gmail.com

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  40. Looks very natural on you! And you look great in that dress!
    lie-ying_wu@live.nl

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  41. they're great!
    katnatasha(at)gmail.com

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  42. Wow! With the right color choice, hair with extensions could look so natural!
    anneadona@gmail.com

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  43. I haven`t used hair extensions but if I do I`d definitely make the hair curly.
    email- mecheto_r@abv.bg

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  44. They look really great and natural on you, but I wouldnt wear hair extensions because I already have long hair :)
    kkemesic@yahoo.com

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  45. Your hair extensions look really nice and natural! I have never tried hair extensions but I'd love to get ones that look just as natural as yours.
    And I like how the extensions look curled!
    elenat86 at gmail dot com

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  46. I'd create a big curly wave look, my hair has always been too short and fine to pull this off! It looks great on you! xox katiexlou@live.com

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  47. Wow! I'd never thought about the fact that having hair extensions could actually help your hair grow, but given Hayley's explanation it actually makes a lot of sense! :)

    xx

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  48. Your hair looks great :)) Fab shoes :)

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  49. ok, so i asked a question about your hair in the giveaway post, but woah, you look like a doll and you look so cute! i would love to have long hair. and i also i wanna tell you that i am brown, i am from south asia, so we usually have dark brown plus black hair, and i was wondering would the extensions give me same effect like you got. i mean you weren't kidding that your hair look fabulous!

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  50. sooo cool! the hair extension suits you! you look great with long hair. HJ Extensions is so awesome the fact that you can reuse the hair extension and also you said that its painless when removing it. so great

    odeza.arra@yahoo.com

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  51. Awesome!! It really looks real. It's like your natural hair.


    lanie.pregoner@gmail.com

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  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  53. They look really great - I'd love to have them put in professionally, but am intrigued to get an idea of the cost?

    I'm a bit funny about it being human hair, the thought of wearing someone else's hair is a bit weird :-)

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  54. I just LOVED this post, you have given me a whole new outlook on extensions.
    My hairdresser has often proposed me to put them on, but I always refused because I considered extensions unnatural, and, most of all, I got frightened by a girl I saw on TV, she was so much obsessed by extension that she glued them direcly on her scalp with SUPERATTACK and she had lost all her natural hair! But you look very natural and sexy!!! Probably quality and professional work really makes the difference!

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  55. Love love love long hair!! I would probably use extensions to create a "game of thrones" look or something elvish...

    email: fanouria20(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  56. nair_symh@hotmail.com
    I didn't experiment extensions yet, but one day I would like to try it. You look nice, and very natural with them!

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  57. amazing!

    fb John Mspt
    trelocat(at)gmail.com

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  58. Love it,and it sounds like something I might check out
    cookiesmasher5@yahoo.com

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  59. They look fabulous.. Very long & natural looking locks! Glad to see some fantastic quality coming from the UK!

    Suzi - www.cocolocks.com.au

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