Hair Extensions Reviews, Tutorials, News & Gossip

By A Virgin Hair Girl

Welcome to the UK Hair extension blog where I get into all things hair extension related. From hair extension brand reviews to the best hair extension application methods for different hair types. If you are considering hair extensions and wondering which kind to get you’ll find helpful advice and tips on the pros and cons plus I’ll be asking questions such as, which are the best Micro rings? Where can I find the finest virgin hair? & what are the best styling and after care products you can use on hair extensions to keep them looking wonderful?

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Virgin hair extensions in manchester
Virgin hair extensions in manchester

Virgin hair extensions in manchester

Bespoke virgin micro ring hair extensions

Following consultations I find hair that perfectly mimics my clients and cherry pick ponytails to match in texture, colour and tone..

I will be using 4 different sizes of Micro rings for my client after preparing this luscious raw hair & thought I'd offer my thoughts on them to anybody trialing different micro rings.  I selected this gorgeous ponytail for its soft wavy texture and its deep glossy brown. I then removed all of the short hairs from the loose ponytail  before tipping in  "italian keratin" poloymer . I'm making the extensions in bespoke sizes for a lady with thin hair in areas who needed less weight per strand in select areas. The lady is a doctor & will be tying her hair back a lot so she needs discrete thickening and 4 inches extra length with minimal weight in the sides.

I've tried loads of micro rings over the years & selected the four I prefer in the picture above. They are from 3 different companies, Simply hair, Viola & Beauty Works. I use different sized micro rings as i make extensions in varying weights depending on hair density in certain areas. I also have to swap brands based on colour too as there is no standard shade chart for micro rings. I don't use nano beads or rings for reasons I will go into another time.

In size order.

Viola's Mini copper tubes

Size : 3mm x 2.4mm x 3mm (outside diameter-inside diameter-length) for 0.5 Gram strands
500 £11 Plus P&P

Violas's Maxi copper tubes 

Size : 3.5mm x 2.8mm x 4mm (outside diameter-inside diameter-length)  for 1.0 Gram strands
500 £11 Plus P&P

Very small & slim, strong high quality copper tubes with paint that doesn't flake over 2 months. They are a straight tube with no flare I use for the thinnest areas at the sides & in the perimeters . I love them because they are super discrete & lie the flattest of any micro rings I have tried , the colour selection is pretty good too. The original silicone lined 4.5mm micro ring looks like the fat ugly cousin compared to these beauties.  I use them wherever possible & love that Viola do next day delivery.


Beauty Wrorks Copper tubes 

Size: 3.0mmx 2.6mm x 6mm for  0.8 Gram strands

500 £29.99 Plus P&P

They are the perfect match for the celeb choice range & their dark blonde micro ring  fills a gap in the shade chart no other brand has for me.The are longer than the previous two but lightweight and sleek which means extra hold for larger weighted strands .  They have a flared rim on 1 end for ease of fitting, i find useful when refitting strands that don't need fully re tipping. I use them to refit beauty works hair and my own handmade strands.


Simply Hair Micro tubes

Size : 4.0mm x 3.2mm x 4.5  for 1gram strands

500 £20 Plus P&P

I use these with larger handmade strands for there strength & discrete comfort. They are wider than the beauty works but not as long & a tad less pricey. They are slightly longer than violas and I find that extra 0.5mm flared rim helps me clamp & seal the tips in place. There's a good range of colors and next day delivery too. I favor these for the areas of the back middle rows where hair is typically denser.

I've found it's not always the case that a particular brands hair extension colours match their range of micro rings & because I make hair from natural shades iv'e had to experiment with different brands interpretations in tone. I've recently been looking into a shrink system as an option  because they are totally clear blending seamlessly, but do not stick to the hair in the same way fusion methods do. 

Another thing I'm really excited about is PRO Hair Live Manchester 2017 this Sunday, I cant wait to see whats new and will be sharing pics and reviews of the day on here so have a look, or Ill see you there!













Virgin hair extensions in manchester
Virgin hair extensions in manchester
Wavy & Curly, Textured Hair Extensions - Understated & Undetectable

Wavy & Curly, Textured Hair Extensions - Understated & Undetectable

When choosing virgin hair extensions, texture is the MOST important factor BEFORE colour

You’ve either been in them, or seen them, those faux pas hair extension pictures. Girls with bushy, bob length hair, sporting poker straight extensions down their backs. It’s a terrible, terrible look & it puts a more discerning lady off hair extensions. Nobody wants to look like Jordan circa 2010, not even Katie Price.

Jordan Hair Extensions
Katie Price Amazing Hair Extensions


Making Hair Extensions Cost Effective.

Like men and horses all hair extensions aren’t the same. My hair is so fine that some hair extensions never look real. My wispy, curly mind of its own barnet is not an off the shelf look! Financially, virgin Russian hair is actually more cost effective for me because I like to keep my hair for years and trim it. I top it up from time to time and rework it, so I really get the best of it. If I buy hair in 22 inches it can last 5 years with trims! My hair extensions are about discretely enhancing & investing in myself. I know how much great hair extensions improved my self-confidence & sharing that is my dream job!

How To Choose The Right Hair For YOUR Hair Extensions.

Hair, in its structure, is as unique as each & every client & once you find a hair extension technician who understands this, the pain of expensive hair extension mistakes is over. When I am choosing virgin ponytails to make into micro ring hair extensions for my clients, I do it based on texture THEN colour. The density of the strands is the MOST important factor BEFORE colour. A ponytail’s movement when I pick it up tells me all the things I need to know, instantly.

You can colour TRUE virgin hair extensions, making them a preferable choice to colouring your own hair to match lower quality hair extensions. I shudder at the thought of girls doing this, especially if you are trying to grow out damaged strands with breakage, it’s just bad hair husbandry…call the RSPCH!

It can seem counter intuitive not to just colour match off the shelf, but wear the wrong texture of hair & they’ll never look natural, no matter how good the colour match or skills of your hair extension technician. In our British weather, in the gym, on the beach, dancing, when you’ve no time to heat style & whenever things get steamy, you need your hair extensions to match your natural hair’s texture perfectly.

When I first had hair extensions applied 18 years ago I was a victim of every bad extension cliché.

I’d wear the wrong textured hair extensions that didn’t mimic my own fine, wavy, frizzy hair’s behaviour. And this nasty, cheap hair was EXPENSIVE!! I’m very grateful smart phones weren’t around in 1999. I’d straighten the life out of my poor bleach ravaged hair to make it blend in with the poker straight extensions & lived in fear of rain, wind and breaking a sweat. Dodging moisture & humidity like the plague became a way of life. When it did catch me…. I’d look beyond awful. Think Brittany….think WHY! I was a jobbing actress at the time and would get screamed at by my agent for screwing up continuity.

How NOT To Treat Your Hair Extensions.

To disguise the difference in texture I’d slather my frizz in silicone loaded serums & heat style every morning & after every bit of drizzle or passionate snog, battling with my hair extensions & natural hair simultaneously. This led to me melting the silicone from the serum into my damaged hair…which of course, got worse, almost plasticised & broke off! The road to hair we love is seldom strolled without disasters, but if you’re reading this, you’re in the company of a person who has ruined their hair in every single way!

The RIGHT Way To The Most Amazing Hair Extensions.

But…I adore my hair everyday now, because I have a brilliant supply of Russian & European virgin hair & the knowledge experience to look after hair with the best possible products and practices. It took me 2 decades of hair hell to get this mane…but it was worth every second & every penny!

Top class bespoke virgin hair extensions give your natural hair a rest from constant abuse. They surround and cushion your strands, allowing them to recover from a chequered chemical history. Scraping back, ironing and swearing at your hair only to still hate it are a thing of the past.

I like these 18 inch brunette locks most the day AFTER I’ve washed them. For the past 8 weeks I’ve been using the best products I’ve ever had the pleasure to smear on my head, by luxury hair care brand Lanza. I have NEVER been so impressed with a professional hair care range and I’ll write about them in my next post.

Wavy & Curly, Textured Hair Extensions - Understated & Undetectable
Wavy & Curly, Textured Hair Extensions - Understated & Undetectable
Fabulong Fabulong Fabulong..I dream of you all day long!
Fabulong Fabulong Fabulong..I dream of you all day long!

Fabulong Fabulong Fabulong..I dream of you all day long!

These gorgeous Fabulong double drawn remy extensions & wefts have arrived in Manchester & Chester... and they are truly stunning!

Fabulong hair extensions are here in Manchester and Chester and they are LUSH! The new kids on the block are making waves with wefts and sandy strands. Oh my holy hair dreams Fabulong what are you doing to me! Fabulong Fabulong Fabulong oh how you tempt us so! Fabulong hair extensions are fast making a name for themselves in the industry and by the looks and feel of them will be massive in no time! There range of soft wefts and micro ring hair extensions are available to be fitted by me in Manchester and I'm about to blow your mind!

Free Installation of Fabulong Wefts

I need some great before & afters of Fabulong hair makeovers so I am offering FREE INSTALLATION OF FABULONG WEFTS IN MANCHESTER! I've spoken with Fabulong's founder Rosie & I am really pleased to say that although they are advertised as lasting 6-9 months they have a large portion of clients who are wearing them for 12 months plus with proper care.

I know!..Free Fabulong hair extension installation in Manchester and Cheshire? If you'd like to be involved and don't mind posing ;) be one of the first girls in Manchester to get Fabulong hair extensions fitted free of charge and only pay for the hair itself this March 2016.

This is an amazing offer that I am trialing because I want to give these beautiful Fabulong strands by this excellent company a go, due to all the amazing reviews their hair extensions are getting from girls and extension artists alike. I will be offering a select few ladies the chance to have Fabulong hair extension wefts & strands fitted using micro ring,  LA Weave method or my "no sew" micro ring application method. These techniques are faster than a full head of micro rings.

These beautiful Fabulong hair extensions can be yours for just the price of the hair! If you want an image overhaul with big hair or have a special occasion you'd like hair extensions for, but are a little strapped for cash, this offer is a brilliant opportunity to try the latest hair extension brand to make big waves & offer glorious results. Check out the Fabulong make overs here

Beauty Works Hair Extensions in Manchester

Beauty Works Hair Extensions in Manchester

Beauty Works was founded right here in Manchester in 2010.

Beauty Works was founded in 2010 by Penelope Cheshire right here in south Manchester! The city of Manchester has never been a shrinking violet in industry and Pen and the Beauty Works team are smashing the UK, European and US market. Beauty Works are now the hair market leaders in temporary extensions, building notoriety with quality hair and increasing their sales 20 fold since they launched just a few years ago! I think what they do is great and I love Beauty Works hair extensions because of their thick, glossy double drawn gold wefts and constantly updated ranges.

Featuring in Look Magazine, The Daily Mail, Glamour and Teen Vogue to name a few, Beauty Works hair extensions have been awarded Look Magazine’s “Best Hair Extensions” and crowned at The Hair Awards 2013, 2014, 2015.  Loved by extension artists, models, stylists, girls on the street and celebrities alike. Michelle Keegan, Dannii Minogue, Nicole Scherzinger, Olivia Palermo and Victoria's Secret models are just some of the heads they have enhanced.

When it comes to temporary hair lasting 6-12 months you really can't go wrong with Beauty Works. I love the transformations constantly uploaded by my fellow extension artists to Instagram, check them out for inspiration & the transformations Beauty Works hair extensions are capable of.

I've tried every hair grade out there from YAKI (horse/cow...i was duped... I was 16!!) to synthetic, to Indian REMY and I always wear virgin hair these days, but I'm a raw hair convert and may actually have a virgin hair extension addiction! I like a very subtle look day in day out that doesn't turn heads but just looks naturally healthy, as opposed to the look you can get with a Beauty Works Weft which is pure princess hair...that I'd really love on the weekend! For wedding or a special night out.

If you look at the price difference and the length of time the different hair lasts Virgin hair extensions do actually work out more cost effective in the long run, but it just depends what you prefer and that's why I offer both.

There are pros and cons to both types of hair extensions and I'll list some here to help you if you are trying to decide which kind of extensions to get.

Hair extension maintenance in Manchester

Hair extension maintenance in Manchester

How much should hair extension maintenance cost? How to get the most out of your hair extension maintenance.

Do I really need hair extension maintenance? Is hair extension maintenance important? Hair extension maintenance is vital to keep your extensions and natural hair in great condition. Contact us to arrange your hair extension maintenance appointment.

What is hair extension maintenance?

During maintenance appointments your hair extensions will be removed, re-tipped as needed and re-fitted in the original position nearest to the roots with a new micro ring or nano ring.

When using top quality virgin hair you will not discard your hair after a few installments so it will need to be re-fitted for you to prevent swinging & damage to your own hair. It is a good opportunity for me to make sure you are happy with your hair extensions and that you are caring for them properly & it gives you the chance to have any questions answered.

How often should I need hair extension maintenance?

Depending on how quickly your own hair grows; 6 weeks to 3 months. This is just a guide though and we will check your extensions for you after 6 weeks to see if you need maintenance or not. We will never charge you for maintenance if you don't need it.

A lady I know has maintenance every 2-3 months, i need it more often?

Girls with strong straight hair tend to be able to leave longer between hair extension maintenance appointments than curly haired girls. This is because straight hair has a circular follicle whereas curly hair has an oval follicle causing the middle to grow more than the sides of that follicle. This means curly and wavy hair is weaker and has an uneven growth rate. Due to this hair extension maintenance is needed more often. Unless properly cared for and maintained, neglected hair extensions will lead to tangled roots and matting. That is a nightmare for girls not aware of the need for different girls to have maintenance at different frequency.

What if I chose not to have hair extension maintenance?

This is the worst idea since people used glue to fit hair extensions! The painful truth is that your hair and extensions will start to break and the micro rings would pull on your hair.

In the short term this will lead to breakage and in the long term if hair extension maintenance is neglected it could even lead to traction alopecia.

Sable & Lock charge very reasonable sums for maintenance so you will not need to leave it over a time limit that is safe for your hair for financial reasons.  We are always willing to remove your hair, give it back to you and see you again when you have put cash aside for re-application of your hair extensions.

We will travel to you for hair extension maintenance in south Manchester and Cheshire  & carefully remove, re-tip & re-apply your hair extensions, so that you never have to be without your extensions. We will trim and blend your extensions again so that they look and feel as amazing as the first time they were fitted.

How long do hair extension maintenance appointments take?

Hair extension maintenance appointments can take between 2-5 hours because great care is taken when re-tipping and re-fitting. You will notice that our hair extension maintenance prices are well below that of local salons. This is because we do not believe virgin hair extensions should be the reserve of the uber rich and know how off putting high maintenance fees are for ladies considering extensions.

What is hair extension Re-tipping?

Re-tipping is the process of renewing the keratin tip that holds the individual strands of the extension together. Quality virgin hair is far more durable than the keratin tip that holds the strands together. Over time the extension tip deteriorates due to the natural oils from your scalp, washing and heat from your dryer. Re-tipping is important because without it the extensions will begin to shed strands and you will loose volume and body. Re-tipping is carried out at maintenance appointments before the extension is re-fitted.

What if I don't have time for a full maintenance appointment?

We also offer a postal hair extension re tipping service whereby special envelopes will be posted to you and recorded delivery returned. Re-tipping of our hair extensions and good branded Beauty Works, Great Lengths and Remy Cachet Elegance is charged at £20 per hundred strands. Please be aware we only re-tip and re-fit good quality hair. We will then make a separate fitting appointment that will be approximately half the time of a full hair extension maintenance appointment

Your hair extension maintenance fees so reasonable compared to salons in Manchester, why?

Having worn hair extensions our entire adult life we know the ongoing cost! Hair extension maintenance is vital and we feel it is unfair and unreasonable to charge huge sums of money to ensure they stay safe and beautiful. Maintenance in local salons offering virgin hair of a similar quality is into the hundreds!!! This means if you are a normal woman who is self conscious about her thin hair you are forced to either wear them only for a few months and throw away your hair (which the salon will keep by the way!) and all the money you invested in the beautiful hair is gone too.

Can you cut my own hair at maintenance?

Our hair extension maintenance fee includes a conditioning trim to your own hair with ultra sharp scissors so as not to damage your own hair with blunt blades. When we have re-tipped and re-fitted your extensions we generally use a razor to blend them in because it is the best way to achieve a perfectly seamless look between your own hair and the hair extensions. Hair extension maintenance fees include this service.

Will my extensions be cut & end up shorter?

The tip is around 1cm long and we use a high quality keratin to seal the virgin strands together. If you follow the advice to keep heat away from this tip & your hair clean then this tip should last through 2 or 3 maintenance appointments so you will not loose any length over that time.

When re-tipping is needed we will very carefully remove as little length as possible (1cm) and re-tip the hair extension strands before re-fitting your bespoke hair extensions.

This means the hair will get shorter over time?

The thing to remember is that when you spent your hard earned money on our virgin hair extensions you invested in the highest quality hair available in the world. You don't throw away a pair of Louboutins or a Belstaff leather jacket because you've had it a year and you wont want to throw away your beautiful hair either!

I have consecutively worn my current hair extensions for 3 years, have dyed it 4 times! I curl it 3 times a week & straighten it a lot, I trim it when it needs it and once a fortnight use a really good protein pack that you will be given free of charge when you purchase our extensions. Although my extensions are about 3 or 4 inches shorter than when I first made & fitted them I still adore them, their beautiful shine and natural silky bouncy movement.

So remember that proper hair extension maintenance is vital and appointments are good chance for a proper sit down and a natter about all things hair extension related for us both. We are always trying to go the extra mile for our valued clients and will even come to your office if you are desperate!

We offer weekend and late night appointments to fit in with every schedule, so there is no excuse for neglecting your hair extensions on our watch :).

How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?
How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?

How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?

The hair extension market is awash with fraudsters and fakes. Good hair isn't cheap hair!

How much do hair extensions cost? The cost of hair extensions varies greatly with the biggest determining factor being the quality of the hair, followed by thickness & length more often determined by weight. The price can range from £25-£4000 Depending of the quality of the hair used, how much hair is fitted and also how honestly the hair has been labelled before it is marketed under the name it is sold. Raw virgin hair is expensive...pound for pound the same as gold and its very easy to sell bad quality hair as good quality hair to individuals who haven't been trained and don't know what to look for.

Virgin Russian Hair Extensions

The Holy grail of hair? Virgin Russian hair extensions, the top end product, with a wear life of up to 4-5 years with the right aftercare. But as with all things, getting the real deal is the rub and girls often end up with cheap hair labelled as virgin Russian that instead of the 5 year wear life lasts merely months. Genuine Russian hair is lush & strong with a breaking strain of copper wire of the same diameter, I have smoothed waves with straighteners in my current hair extensions every other day for 2 years and it’s still utterly gorgeous, healthy and shiny.

The truth is the hair trade's largest exporter is China, Asian hair which is chemically treated to break down the cuticle to make it more like European hair in texture. Then it is lightened from its natural black to achieve lighter browns and blondes and then boiled to seal it and make the uniform curl patterns you see for sale in packets, where you can pick particular curls and waves. Then …it’s basically not even hair anymore. Its cuticle is gone, which is equivalent to the enamel being fried off your teeth. So to make it shine the manufacturers coat it in silicone (it’s in all hair serum, it makes hair slippery and shiny but it seals & plasticises your hair if you use straighteners past its boiling point!…its evil stuff!...see my next article). Once the coating wears off the hair is less than useless and it is very upsetting if this is fitted to your head and you’ve spent a lot of money.

Indian Hair Extensions

Indian Hair is the 2nd largest export, collected from temples in a ceremony called Tonsuring) Hindu men, women & children sacrifice their ego to the gods & symbolise this by shedding their locks. They are more holy folk than I! Personally I love Indian hair because it matches my own light curly wavy texture is dark brown & has a long wear life of 3 years or so. In its raw state it comes in dark browns & black. It can can be slowly & gently lighted by myself with great care and patience which preserves the integrity of the cuticle and means I am able to blend & match my clients tones exactly. This tinting process will decrease its lifespan, decreasing depending on the levels of lightness we need to reach, but because Indian hair is more cost effective than Russian it is a great option for men and women with textured hair.

How To Spot Good Quality Hair Extensions

A trained eye can determine the quality of hair by skilfully testing strands with age old techniques. When I buy hair, I cherry pick quality bundles to ensure my client satisfaction. I have been wearing hair extensions & buying hair for 18 years…I was ripped off so many times…but happily you don’t have to be…so that’s my good hair Karma sorted. If you’ve ever asked yourself why is my hair so dry? Then you might like my next post about the long term effects of silicone in hair serums and conditioners. I LOVED serum and the way the silicone made my hair feel, but it ruined my natural hair. So if you’ve tried every conditioner under the sun & still have dry hair then it could be the culprit…..but help is at hand. Happy Hair Days.

Happy New year!  Happy New Hair Extensions?

Happy New year! Happy New Hair Extensions?

Should I get hair extensions? Are they safe? Are they practical? And other musings...

I am so happy to be launching Sable & Lock hair extensions! I've been wearing, researching and training for years and bring all that experience to mind when meeting with, creating and applying my client's new hair. I'm utterly obsessed with hair, I always have been...if my hair looks good... I can deal with anything!

I decided to start my own hair extensions business in Manchester as I was having difficult finding consistently good hair, service and maintenance appointments at a reasonable price with the salons and mobile hair extension artists who were available. I decided if people doing a half-hearted job could make a living, then with my passion I could deliver what was missing.

"We love long hair and want you to look amazing, because if you do...we do too!"

I wanted to make girls feel special and valued as customers whilst delivering a top draw product...the hair of their dreams. My training, plus 18 years of trials with other extension artists and salons up north, are the perfect background in knowing the joys and pitfalls of the hair extension market.

If you've been looking into hair extensions for a while, you'll know that bespoke blends of raw virgin hair, applied with micro rings are the best hair extensions you can get. They look completely natural, are long lasting and are totally non-damaging to your own hair.

RELATED: How much do hair extensions cost?

Everything you need to know about hair extensions is right here!

If you are just beginning your research, you have come to the right place. I can tell you all the things I wish somebody had told me 18 years ago and why I have chosen to specialise in traditional raw hair preparation and Micro ring application. I offer free no obligation consultations where all of your questions can be answered and your hair & scalp assessed to ascertain if hair extensions are a good option for you.

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