I’ve never really thought I needed hair extensions.
Since my hair is long already (I do often get asked if I have extensions), I didn’t dream of ever pursuing to go longer with more hair put in. I used to have clip-ins when I was in my early 20’s (I would wear them all the time to the bar), but although I do think they are stunning, I just haven’t felt the need to invest in some extensions since then.
Then I got approached by Philocaly Hair to try out their product and I was super intrigued.
When the ladies first reached out to me on Instagram I totally thought they were talking about their clip-ins, which I figured, ‘hey why not, it’s been a few years since I’ve had them, I could wear them on special occasions’. Then they mentioned they wanted me to try their tape-ins, and I was like ‘okay, but you guys do realize that I have long, thick hair already, right?’
What I didn’t realize before actually getting tape-ins in that a lot of girls who have long hair already actually have them as well. So why do you need extensions if you already have long hair? Well, it’ll add a little more dimension in your hair (especially if you don’t want to damage your hair with chemicals but want to add a little more colour), and no matter how thick you think your hair is already, girl it can always go thicker.
So to sum it up, being one to never turn down a good opportunity, I was like why not, let’s do it! I ended up sending the Philocaly ladies (it’s three sisters in Saskatchewan who own the company) a couple images my hair and they shade matched a couple of their extensions, Beach Please and Champagne Kiss (their lightest blonde). Since I have long hair already, they sent the 22-24 inch version of Champagne Kiss (which you have to custom order), and the 18-20-inch version of Beach Please. They also offer 16-18 inch extensions as well.
Okay, so about the actual extensions themselves, the hair is real remy Russian hair, which if you aren’t familiar with hair extension lingo, that means that the hair comes from a single-donor Russian person (meaning that each package of their extensions is collected from one woman, not multiple women, so the hair flows better) and the cuticle is going in the same direction. If you get cheap extensions that aren’t remy that means that the cuticle could be at the bottom and the top, which usually means lots of matting and – for lack of a better term – nasty looking extensions. These are also ethically sourced, meaning that the hair comes from women who willingly sold their hair for a fair trade price, and the cuticle is intact, which makes the hair more durable. They also also virtually double drawn, so the short hairs are removed to give thickness from root to end, and they don’t contain any silicones or chemicals, which means that they will feel softer longer.
Like I said, I’ve had extensions in the past, but they were usually sourced from Asian or Indian women. Being caucasian, my hair type doesn’t really match those found in Asian or Indian hair, since it’s typically thicker. If you are caucasian like me, then I would look into Russian extensions since it’s finer hair, similar to my own natural texture. To sum it up, these extensions are no joke.
Each package of Philocaly hair tape-ins come with 30 tabs and 50 grams of hair (16-18 inch) and 60 grams of hair (18-20 inch). They recommend one package of tape-ins for added thickness and two to three packs for full application (honestly though I think two will probably do – I ended up with eight tabs left over from each pack – so 16 total). They also are billed to last eight-to-12 months with proper care.
As for the application, I ended up going to see Tanessa at Bob and Page salon who is certified in installing Philocaly hair. I was actually surprised how quickly it took her to put them in. In case you aren’t familiar with how tape-ins work, it’s a two thin strips of hair that is sandwiched between your real hair and then taped together at the top. She mentioned to come in with washed hair with no styling products in it so there is no extra product in your hair that would get in the tape. What I ended up with was naturally looking hair that matched my real hair colour perfectly.
As you can see in the photos, my hair got slightly longer and much fuller. It did take me a while to get used to them, especially sleeping and working out. I hate having hair on me when I’m sweating and since I work out so much, this is probably my biggest qualm with them (I was told not to put them in a super high ponytail). For sleeping, I just ponytail it slightly above the centre of my head and sleep with a silk pillowcase to keep them soft.
As for washing them, they recommended using silicone-free products. Philocaly actually has their own line of products, which they sent along as well. The Marc Anthony Bye-Bye Frizz Line actually came in at the best time, as I’ve been using that and been loving how they make my hair feel. I will note that the first time I washed them I did find the hair to be a little frizzy and dry, but every time I have washed them since then, the hair has been soft and natural looking. I recommend shampooing just the top of your head and then conditioning the ends. I like their Repair Mask (C$24), which you apply to the mid-shaft to the ends after the shower when your hair is towel dried. Leave that on for 10 minutes, then rinse out. After, I usually use my regular split-end tamer and then put in their argan oil (C$20).
I’ve also found that I don’t wash my hair as often, just because I don’t want them exposed to too much heat (I always curl my hair). Honestly though, even after a week of not washing them, they still look amazing (they hold style really well); it’s my roots that need some TLC.
It’s been just over two weeks and although I do have a tiny bit of growth, I still have weeks to go before getting them moved up. The ladies at Philocaly say that you should go in every six-to-eight weeks to get them adjusted (they take each one out, wash them, and put them back in – as you can imagine it’s a pretty pricey process as well). Because I have such thick hair though, they think I can get away with 10 weeks.
Like I said when I started this post, I really didn’t think I needed them, and to be honest, I still probably don’t. But hey, is there anything more luxurious than hair extensions? Also, these Philocaly ones have also changed my thoughts on extensions in general since when I had those clip-ins so many years ago, I did find that they often got natty and were hard to deal with. These are the exact opposite. Honestly, they match my natural colour wonderfully and when you feel my hair, it doesn’t feel like there is a difference at all.
Consider me completely hooked.
Do you wear hair extensions? What’s your favourite brand?
Please note, products provided by PR. All opinions are my own.
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