ASK THE EXPERT FEATURE
This week at Great Lengths HQ we caught up with Lou Lomax and Ferne Baker, two award-winning stylists from the Sally Montague Hair Group. Lou and Ferne have both won the ‘Best Extensionist Award’, an annual award which is sponsored by Great Lengths, and both stylists were eager to tell us why they love working with Great Lengths hair extensions…
Tell us about you and your experience in the industry
Lou: I’m a Master Stylist at Sally Montague Hair Group and I work at the flagship salon, The Old Hall, in Derby. I have been a stylist for nine years and have been trained with Great Lengths for the past seven years. In that time I’ve seen the demand for hair extensions increase massively. Now the majority of my clients request Great Lengths hair extensions to increase length or add volume.
Ferne: I have been a stylist for six years and qualified as a Great Lengths extensionist three years ago, I also work at The Old Hall which is a Great Lengths Gold status salon. As a Colour Specialist, and a member of the salon’s Art Team, I love using Great Lengths for creative work and our photographic collections.
What made you get into working with pre-bonded hair extensions?
Lou: I am constantly looking for new hair trends and products to provide our clients with and I was very impressed by pre-bonded extensions. As someone with naturally fine hair who has always struggled to grow it, pre-bonded hair extensions were the solution, not just to my hair woes but my clients’ problems too!
Ferne: I started working with pre-bonded hair extensions when I saw the amazing transformations that were taking place in the salon. I was desperate to get involved and completed my Great Lengths training as soon as possible.
Why do you think so many people are now choosing hair extensions to enhance their hair?
Lou: I think many people are now opting for hair extensions because it means they can have the hair they have always craved. Great Lengths range of hair extensions are affordable and effective, this is why I think they’ve grown in popularity.
Ferne: The hair and beauty industry are increasingly searching for dramatic and instant results. Clients don’t want to (or can’t) wait for their hair to grow, but they still want thick, fantastic quality hair.
(Hair by Lou Lomax)
For those readers who are yet to try Great Lengths but have always wanted to make more of their hair, what would your advice be?
Lou: People are often afraid of getting extensions because they believe it is complicated to maintain them. We recommend regular check-ups and using the Great Lengths After Care range. Everyone will handle their hair differently and they will find their own way of styling and looking after their extensions. Anybody can benefit from Great Lengths, whether it’s for volume, length or colour – the possibilities are endless!
Ferne: I would recommend to book a consultation with a certified Great Lengths specialist in your area. It’s better to have a one-on-one conversation to discuss your hair wish-list and see how hair extensions can work for you.
What’s the most common question you get asked about extensions?
Lou: I’m often asked about where the hair is sourced from. I explain that Great Lengths use ethical sourcing methods. I tell them that the hair is voluntarily donated to Hindu temples in India and is bought at a fair price. Clients always seem pleased that the payment for the hair is then used to help the local community by developing medical services and providing education.
Ferne: The most common question I get asked is whether pre-bonded extensions will damage your hair. All Great Lengths Stylists are highly-trained to apply and remove. It’s important that clients use the correct brushes and hair care to look after their extensions. We discuss aftercare in the initial consultation so all clients are aware, right from the start, of how to look after their extensions.
(Hair by Ferne Baker)
What do you think the next trend in hair extensions will be?
Lou: I think we’ll see a move towards dual colour bonds to create a softer colour palette. With holiday season nearing I think a lot of clients will be requesting lighter shades.
Ferne: I predict we’ll see a rise in using hair extensions for thickness rather than length and to add depth to damaged hair. We used extensions in our last Art Team photoshoot (image below) for this effect, and it worked really well.
What has been your favourite Great Lengths transformation?
Lou: One of my clients went from a short crop into a long bob. We did a full head application and it gave her an insight into what it would be like to have long hair. Every application is a transformation, and watching people’s self-confidence grow is incredibly rewarding.
Ferne: My favourite transformation was with a client who had hair just below her chin. She had struggled for years to grow her hair any longer. I added 30cm length extensions and she was absolutely blown away. Not just by the length but by the quality and thickness of the hair.