I agree! I wore Great Lenghts for only a few months and they were ok while installed...HOWEVER what was left behind after a gentle professional removal was VERY damaged hair! I went through 2 installs and removal of pierre diamond hair extensions and did not experience the same issue so thats all my stylist will use. Does anyone know if there is real glue in GL? I have no clue how this can be an issue especially considerinig the hair is pretty good while installed. Its scarey!
I had many types of extensions over the course of maybe 10 years. Great Lengths were by far the most natural looking, however they did damage my natural hair - not nearly as bad as glue-in types though. Some stylists will say that GL's won't damage your natural hair but that isn't true at all to me. Any type of extension will damage your hair. It is also VERY expensive.
It cost me anywhere from $1000 up to $2000 for application and the hair. Your cost will depend on how much length you want and how short/fine your hair is to begin with - as well as where you live. It can take awhile to put them in - it usually took about 4 hours. It didn't hurt to have them in but it did itch for a few days, and it may feel tight. You have to be diligent in taking care of them when you have these! I cannot express that enough. Otherwise you will get knots which can lead to hair loss and will lead to more expense (as it will be more work for your stylist). You always need to sleep with your hair in a ponytail and you need to brush and condition the hair. You need to find a quality stylist, you need to have quality hair (which can be up to $100+ per bundle, I usually needed 2-3 bundles of hair). I had a divine stylist in the Chicago suburbs who did an amazing job, however the upkeep just got to me as well as the expense. I took them out about three years ago once and for all and finally my hair is near normal and long on its own. I did have quite a bit of breakage because of them (and a combo of the other types of extensions) and when I first had them out I was miserable. My hair was so thin! I ended up using a clip-in until my hair felt more normal.
If I had unlimited funds and time I would do these again in a heartbeat. However, with school and work and a baby I just don't have either of them. If you get it done right it looks amazing!
Ok, here is my experience with Great Lengths extensions. I should say that I have only tried 2 types of extensions in my life, this and another glue-based one, which was much worse than GL, due to massive shedding (low quality glue).
Back to GL, the way they look is greatly influenced by who does them, how skilled he/she is, how they are placed in your head, the color match, and last but not least, how they are cut/styled.
I had these extensions for one year continuously, which means 4 sets, 3 months each.
Application can be tedious, I've had them done in 4 hours, but also in 2. The first time I put them in, the color match was dead-on. Noone could tell I was wearing extensions, even if they knew, they still asked to feel the bonds! The second set was bad, they were much lighter than my own hair, so I had to lighten my own hair to make it match, and still I wasn't happy with the end result. The other 2 sets were OK. Same goes for the placement - some sets were truly invisible, others were done too high and you could see a couple of bonds at the top of my head (yuck). As for the cut - the only way I could make them look natural was to put a lot of layers in them. Don't let the stylist tell you that they look amazing the way they are, without cutting them at all, because they really look like a mop!
Overall I loved the look, and I felt great, having waist-long hair. They were not that difficult to care for, I did use only salon products, but other than that, I cannot say I did anything special. I did put my hair in a ponytail while sleeping, so it didn't get tangled.
I could do anything to them, especially flat iron about 2-3 times/week. I have to say that because of that, I got lots of split ends (yes, the hair does split, like the hair that grows naturally).
There were 2 things I hated about the extensions though: first one, the way they felt after about one month, when my own hair started to grow. My scalp felt itchy, and I could feel the loose hair caught in the bond, getting tangled between the bond and my scalp. I always thought it was visible to everyone around me, although noone has ever told me they could see anything. And the second one - taking them out! That was a painful process, as usually the technicians never had the patience to really work the solution in the bond, so it could just slip out. There was a lot of pulling involved, and a lot of my own hair went in the garbage, together with the fake one.
Not to mention the cost for the upkeep - it's not that easy, having to fork out $1200 every 3 months... But it was addictive, as when the time came to take them out, I just couldn't picture myself not having the long hair anymore, and I wanted to have them put in again!
How damaging they really are? Well, they are damaging. The more you have them done, the more damage your own hair suffers. After one year, when I decided to quit the GL, I only had about a quarter of my own hair left... it was so thin, my ponytail was the size of my pinky finger... Obviously I had to have it cut short so it could regenerate, and so I could hide the damage - and it's not easy to go from long luxurious hair, to ... well, you get the picture.
Right now, almost one year later, I'm glad I gave them up. My hair is in a fairly good shape, has grown some, and most importantly, it's my own. I would not have the extensions done again, but I don't regret the experience. I guess moderation is the key, have them done once or maybe twice, then stop. They are fun, they are addictive, but at the end of the day, they are just an illusion.
I am finishing my second month with Great Lengths extensions. At first I didn't like them at all, they were too long and didn't blend in with my natural, fine hair.
After about a week I cut it to just below my shoulders and layered it quite a bit more. I LOVE IT NOW! My suggestion is this: If you think you want extensions because you don't have a lot of hair and it doesn't grow very fast, go ahead and get them. But don't try to make it long and luxurious or you will just be disappointed. Miracles can't always happen, BUT you can have LOTS more fullness and add a couple of inches.
I can honestly say that I finally have the hair I've always wanted.
The downsides: They are expensive. Around 1200 for a full head here in the midwest. Also, I have lost about 20% of the strands, however I have not noticed it in the overall style of my hair. And finally, use an iron on them! Whether it's a curling iron, a flat iron, or just a big barrel to turn ends under, use an iron! You will be glad you did.
Take care of them and be gentle!!
I bought four bundles at $300.00 each (you can do the math on the total amount I spent) and my hair was gorgeous for about 3 months. I took emaculate care of these extensions...used the great lenghts solution faithfully, used delicate products like pureology, brushed them with a gentle brush religiously, kept the bonds separated and wore my hair in a scrunchie every night. Again, gorgeous for about 3 months but don't let your stylist tell you they will last for up to 6 months. At 6 months you will want to cut them all out...they're shaggy, tangled and thin creating an inconsistent look all throughout your hair. You can never tell which ones are going to fall out, or where...or where they're going to start shedding the most.
If you're willing to invest in this product for a wedding or a special occasion, it's probably worth it for the sake of photos. Again, this hair is very natural and with the right stylist it will create a gorgeous look. But just for fun, or everyday wear....it's painful to spend that much money just to watch the bonds fall out or shed.
In summary, these extensions are gorgeous. But they are high maintenance, costly and TEMPORARY. If you get them, make sure you get a good stylist who doesn't ruin your hair when these extensions are taken out. My stylist used olive oil to losen the bonds. DO NOT let a stylist put any type of chemical solution on your hair to remove these bonds, it can be very damaging to your natural hair.
So far, this is my favorite hair extension line. I took off one lippie, because at this time, they only use Indian hair, which is a little thick and wirey, IMO. I wish they had an option to get Russian or European.
I already have long hair, but sometimes I just like to get one bundle put in to make it a little fuller and thicker at the ends. I have very thin, fine baby blonde hair that is damaged from the bleach, so my ends can look a little thin and damaged sometimes.
These extensions are little strands with a protein bond at the top. They use a heated tool to melt the bond and fuse it into a little clump of your hair strands at the root. The bond is not visible unless you do them on the top layer of your hair, in which case you will look like Britney Spears. This hair comes in a variety of colors, I get the lightest ash blonde. I have also gotten the funky colors. I do NOT reccomend them, they are very expensive, and they use the left over scrap hair (and the pink colors are bizarre and ugly), so the quality is garbage. There are other similar lines, that have way better funky colors.
I constantly see people with these extensions, and let me tell you, if they are not done perfectly by a very skilled stylist, they can look very piecy and obvious. The cut is really important, a lot of stylists just cut them bluntly and don't blend them perfectly, so you can tell someone has extensions by the way the ends look.
I go to a really great, talented stylist in BH, and she specializes in extensions. She splits all the extensions in two, so they are much smaller and there isn't too much weight tugging on the roots of the hair. Because of this, I really haven't had an issue with breakage. This also makes for a better overall look. Sometimes they take a couple days to get used to, but after that you can't really feel them. You just need to be a little more careful, especially when brushing and shampooing. Make sure you don't use a brush with those little nobbies at the ends of those metal bristles. The cost varies depending on the length of hair that you get. I believe there are 12, 16, 18, 20, and 24? inch lengths to choose from. If you go over 18, you will probably look like a stripper. I think the cost can range from about 200 to 300 per bundle. Most people like to get about 4 bundles, but if you already have long hair and just want to make it thicker, I reccomend 1 or 2.