My Hair Story: Extensions, Wigs, Bad Hair Cuts & All! - Nouchaline

Monday, October 2, 2017

My Hair Story: Extensions, Wigs, Bad Hair Cuts & All!



Growing up I never liked my hair. My parents always wanted to cut it short and I always dreamed of having long hair. Negotiations would take place when a hair cut appointment was on the horizon. One time, my mother allowed me to highlight one "khesle" (small, small section) so that I would get a coupe carre (remember the coupe carre's of the 90's, square headed kids everywhere?). As I grew older, I had more autonomy when it came to hair, but I soon realized that I wouldn't be able to have the long pretty hair I always dreamed about. The reality was that I had (and still have) sparse, fine, curly, and frizzy hair, that takes about 50 years to grow a centimeter. I know it can be categorized as a #FirstWorldProblem but I wanted long pretty hair dammit! Then, one day, I discovered something that changed my (hair) life forever: Hair Extensions. 


Natural Hair, straightened - December 2007


The first time I tried hair extensions was for my high school graduation. As the day to wear my cap and gown (and prom) approached, I started panicking about what to do with my hair. My mother took me to Paul & Mego and they clipped them into my hair for the first time. I could NOT believe that the reflection in the mirror of that girl with long hair was me, ME. I HAD LONG HAIR! The best part was that you couldn't (well kind of) not tell it wasn't my hair either! Unfortunately, I had to return the hair extensions two days later to the hairdresser, but I remember not taking them off that glorious weekend. Even though in hindsight my hair probably ended up looking like a birds nest after the second day, I didn't care, because it was long. 


Hair extensions from Paul & Mego - May 2008

As much as I liked the hair extensions, it was a "special occasion" thing for me at that point in time, until my sophomore year of university when I started visiting another hair dresser who suggested I clip in one line of extensions to give myself a little volume and length. I began to wear the clip ins every day, and once they were on their last leg, I upgraded to two lines. Two lines became three, and next thing I know, I had been wearing clip-in hair extensions almost everyday for around four years (late 2009 to some time in 2013). 

Clip in extensions - September 2010

Clip-in Extensions from Elio Constantine - sometime in 2011


One day as I was getting a blow-dry at the salon, my hair dresser mentioned that the area where I would clip in the extensions was getting sparse. I started to panic. I didn't want to have even more sparse hair, but I also didn't want to remove my extensions. After some period of weighing the pros and cons, I decided to give the clip-ins a break, I would only wear them for "special occasions". 

Clip in extensions - October 2013

Dealing with my natural hair was and still is a struggle. Although curly, it's not the Myriam Fares kind of homogenous curly that has volume and looks pretty, it's a combination of super curly in the back mixed with some waves on the top and two strands of straight hair in the front. Over time I learned to just go with it. I would fill in any area that showed sparseness with dark brown or black eyeshadow and I would use a shit-ton of oils and mousse to keep everything in check. 


Natural hair from my head - September 2014

Then I got bored. I wanted long hair again, maybe a different color. So, after taking a break for around five to six months, I headed down to Hair & More in Sin el Fil and I got a new pack of ombre extensions. From all the clip-in extensions I had tried, this was my favorite (and the most expensive, it was around $200). I wore them for a long time, and even got red highlights put into them at a L'Oreal Professionals. 


Clip in Extensions from Hair & More - October 2014


Clip-in extensions, as with all extensions, have a life-span though. You can't buy a set and use it for ever and ever, you need to take care of the hair you've got and make sure it lasts as long as possible, but the time will come where you have to say good bye to them. Once the time came to say goodbye to this set, I decided to take another break. This time, I started to enjoy my short curly hair. I wore it "natural" for over a year, and I was proud of myself for having finally learned how to deal with its natural, god-intended state. 


Natural curls from my head - March 2015


You have been reading for a while, but the story is not over kids. One day, while the best friend was getting her hair did at the salon, my hairdresser mentioned that he had gotten a new kind of extensions and that I should try them. Since I was on my "I love my short curly hair" high, I dismissed the idea but said thank you. 

Natural Hair from my head - June 2015


The next day, I don't know what came over me, but the high was gone. I called him, booked an appointment, and got my first set of tape-in extensions. Tape-in extensions are a more "long-term" commitment. You cannot put them in and take them out as you please. Tiny strands of hair are taped to your hair and at the end, you're left with a more cohesive look. You can swim in them (although, in my experience, not recommended), take showers, workout, bungee jump, sky-dive... you name it. As your hair grows out, the position of the tape needs to be adjusted and if there are any strands that fall out, your hair dresser can glue them back in. They have a life-span of around two to six months, depending on the quality of the extensions, the way they're put in and how well you take care of them. My first set lasted me from March 2015 to June 2015, and I took a break for almost a year. 


Tape in Extensions by Elio Constantine - May 2016

For an article that didn't end up making into Mondanite, my coworker and I went blonde for a day. This was my first experience with a wig. Juliano Asmar made us blonde for a day. They really do have fun. 


Blonde wig from Juliano Asmar - June 2016


During this "break" I had the urge to dye my hair. I was browsing through YouTube and I came across "Wig Collection" videos. Next thing I know, I was adding a wig to my Aliexpress cart. This is where the "Girl With the Green Hair" phase began. The wig that I got was synthetic hair, so I knew it wouldn't be a long-term thing, but it was fun to have green hair for a month. Also it made getting ready in the morning a breeze! Just pop on the wig and out the door. 


Green Wig from Ali Express - December 2016


I got a second wig, this time silver/grey, but I ended up wearing it a hand-full of times because there was a problem with the cap and I could only wear it with a beanie or something covering the problem area. I still have this wig and I'll probably wear it for Halloween. 


Silver Wig from Ali Express - January 2017


Once the wig died (may it rest in peace), I took another break. It was a good long break and my hair wasn't looking too bad during this time, if I do say so myself. 


Natural hair from my head - April 2017


Four months later, I got my second set of tape in extensions. This time, I even added strands of blue, then purple into the mix. This, along with the green hair, was my favorite look. I felt like I was always meant to have colored hair. As someone who's too scared to dye her own hair, colored hair extensions were the best. I had this set in my hair from June 2017 to September 2017. 


Tape-in extensions by Elio Constantine - July 2017


Once I took them out, I decided to also cut my hair. This brings us to the present. I'm currently sitting at my desk with puffy-curly hair that doesn't even reach my shoulders in its dry state. Although it's not my favorite, and I had a bit of a drama during the extension-removal and hair cutting stage, I'm enjoying this hair cut.  Hair dressers will ALWAYS cut more than you tell them to, that's just the way it goes. With that said, my hair feels healthier. Washing my hair takes about four minutes, and it dries in under 15. Although it doesn't always do what I want it to do, I'm learning to love it. 


Natural hair, curled, freshly cut! - September 2017




TLDR + FAQ:
I like hair extensions and wigs. 



Where to get hair extensions from in Lebanon?
Most hair dressers sell hair extensions, and you can also find them at beauty stores. 
Elio Constantine Hair & Technics, Hair & More, Harout Berberian, Wadih Challita at Beauty Lounge Ashrafieh, Paul & Mego are all places that I (or my close friends) have tried. 

Can you order them online?
Yup, you can order the extensions online and have your hair dresser put them in. Try out 1001extensions.com and aliexpress.com

How much are hair extensions?
It all depends on the hair that you're getting. You need to consider all of the following: type of hair extension (clip-in/ tape-in etc), type of hair (synthetic, real, dyed etc), length of hair, pack's weight (how many grams you're getting). You also need to add the labor cost of putting them in. In general, it can cost anywhere between $200 to $600+ (they can go up to the $10,000 mark depending on the type of extension and where you get it done). 

How long do extensions last?
It depends on how often you wear them, on the quality of the hair, the way it was applied etc. 
Clip ins last long from my experience, because you don't sleep in them and you can take a break easily (so around six months to two years). Tape ins have a shorter life span, usually around two months to four months. 

Do extensions ruin your hair?
In my experience, wearing clip-ins everyday made the area where they're clipped in sparse. I also had to straighten my hair every time I wore them since my natural hair's curly and the extensions were straight/wavy. It didn't "ruin" my hair, but it wasn't good for it. 
As for tape-in extensions, I felt like my hair grew out really well while I had them in. I was straightening my hair less and using less heat. With that said, the having the weight of the hair and the glue in your head is not good for it either. You should check with your hair dresser and do research before trying them out. 

Where do you buy wigs from?
You can find them at beauty stores like Hair & More, or you can order online from websites like aliexpress.com, amazon.com and other specialized online wig retailers. 

What type of wig should I get?
Whether you decide to get synthetic or real hair, make sure it's a front lace wig. This means that it will blend with your hair line much better and it makes it look super natural. 

How much do wigs cost?
Synthetic front-lace wigs start around $50 and they go up based on quality of hair and all that jazz. Real hair front-lace wigs have a starting price of a couple of hundred. I personally haven't tried them out. 

How do you blend in a wig?
First of all, make sure to get your hair as flat as possible underneath. Wear a wig cap. Next, trim the lace based on your natural hair line shape. Use concealer on the parting area to make it seem like it's your scalp. Trip the hair to make it more flattering for your head shape. Spray dry shampoo on the hair if it's too shiny in order to mattify the synthetic hair. 

Can you make your hair grow more? What can you do to prevent hair loss?
You can take supplements and use Rogane (monoxidil), but there's nothing that will give your hair an instant hair boost, it all takes time. Visit a doctor to make sure that everything is going right. 

Why is your hair like this?
Because I was born with fine, sparse, curly hair, it's in za DNA. I also have PSO (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which does not help my hair growth case. 




What's your hair story like? 



You can ALWAYS hola at me on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Add me on Snapchat: shoelady123 

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