GL Tapes, The latest innovation from Great Lengths.
Ever wondered how Kylie Jenner switches her hair from Pocohantas-style length to a short hairstyle like a bouncy bob and back again - all in the same day? Kylie (and countless other stars) swear by tape extensions. Since leading hair extension brand launched their back in January, there has been an incredible response, with bloggers like expressing their love for them on Instagram. We decided to find out whether they really are all they're cracked up to be and tried them out. The extensions are dubbed 'the ultimate luxury hair extensions for the time conscious'; here's what we thought of them...
Chelsea Hughes, Picture and Multimedia Producer
Unashamedly, a full-blown hair extension addict, I've tried out a range of methods from clip-in and micro-rings to nano-rings and * shudder * synthetic hairpieces. Some I've had done professionally, most I've roped my poor little sister into doing for me, and others I've applied myself.
WHAT I USUALLY LOOK FOR IN EXTENSIONS
My hair is naturally quite thin, so volume is one of the main factors when choosing hair extensions. For someone busy (and lazy) like myself, I also look for something low-maintenance that feels and looks as much like natural hair as possible. A lot to ask for, right?
I've heard the term 'tape extensions' being flung around the beauty industry for a while, but I always dismissed it thinking that nothing could be better than my loyal companion, the nano-ring. When I had the opportunity to try , I looked into it and was surprised to see how secure and discreet they looked. So, I booked an appointment at Daniel Hershesons salon in Mayfair.
I had been feeling a colour change and new hairstyle for a while, so decided to go all-in for balayage, too. The salon offered to remove my current extensions, carry-out the colour, and apply the all on the same day. This was perfect as I didn't have to go a single day without having my beloved hair extensions in.
Once my nano-rings were removed the colourist (Lily) and the extensionist (Jordan) worked together to create the perfect shade match to suit my skin tone. My original colour was a very dark brown, and I wanted to get a little closer to my natural colour; a much lighter shade. Lily whipped up a gorgeous caramel balayage in no time; I barely had time to eat my smoked salmon, egg and avo on sourdough toast (yep, that's a thing at Hershesons - boujee AF).
Jordan then matched my new shade with a mixture of colours from the GL tapes collection. I usually prefer 22-inch length so there's plenty of room to have them cut into shape. The only length available on the day was 18-inch, which was a little disappointing, but I'm always up for a change so I went for it.
The GL tapes are inch-long strips of 100% human hair - medical grade, hypo-allergenic and non-toxic tape. The extensionist takes an inch-long strip of your hair about the same thickness as one GL Tape, then sandwiches it by applying a tape extension underneath and on-top by squeezing them together. Once your full-head (30-40 strips) has been applied, they're cut into shape to look as natural as possible.
I wasn't sure how they were going to look and feel, as they're totally different to what I was used to. I was super surprised and relieved that they lay discreetly, completely flat against my head. However, as with all extensions, they do feel totally different to normal hair. If you're an extension-wearer you'll know that brushing your hair close to your scalp is a sacrifice you have to make, but worth it for long, thick and bouncy waves.
GL Tapes are by far the quickest method of extensions I've ever had. To apply a full-head took only 45 minutes - nano-rings or other permanent methods can take up to four hours, so this was super impressive. For this reason alone, I'd definitely go for tapes again.
Initially, I was disappointed with the 18-inch length, but the quality of Great Lengths hair is THE most amazing I've ever had. It's double-drawn, meaning it's just as thick at the ends as the roots, and feels so bouncy and light that the length is no longer an issue.
behave just like natural hair, so you can wash them, curl them, crimp them or do what the hell you like with them. Although, they do have a very small strip of shiny plastic at the top, it just means you have to be careful putting them up to ensure they're not visible. Unless you want endless comments of 'I can see your bonds, hun'.
But, Great Lengths have recently launched an even more impressive version of tape hair extensions - the . These are very similar to the standard GL Tapes, but that little shiny plastic strip we mentioned doesn't exist. It's covered with tiny strands of hair which makes them almost undetectable by sight. We tired this version out at salon in Chelsea. The lovely Sonia fitted the at the sides and front of the head. This is where you'd usually be able to detect any extensions by pulling your hair back or tying it up, but the lie like a chameleon within your own hair.
They can last from six to eight weeks if they're applied professionally. They're super easy to remove, the stylist just drops removal solution at the root, gently rubs, and they just slide off with no damage to your natural hair. You can then have them re-taped and re-applied up to three times, which makes them a much more affordable option of hair extensions.
Affordable, low-maintenance and super-quick to apply; how to I sign up for a lifetime supply? I already can't wait for my touch-up appointment * hair flick *.