Salon Review: Hair Extensions @ Lucinda Ellery
Review Jennifer Bonfield
This is a salon that is so hidden away i had to ask 3 shops the location, the 3rd finally telling me to shimmy up a near by side street and ring the door bell on the ‘secret door’. This sounded exciting! (A note to readers: get some solid directions before you leave and make sure your phone maps access doesn’t die on the train on the journey into Manchester!)
Once finally inside the ‘secret door’ i climbed the first flight of stairs to be be greeted with frosted Lucinda Ellery doors with no handle to access inside (wow this really is like embarking on an appointment with MI5!)
A minute or so later the second set of ‘secret doors’ swing open for my invite inside. (I’ve reviewed some of the most prestigious spas and salons in the country but all of a sudden i felt a little nervous) i wasn’t quite sure what id find inside. Rest assured though i had a friendly greeting and was whisked into the client waiting area, which was like a mini Parisian boudoir behind a sheer semi-draped voile curtain.
A few minutes later I was introduced to Tom the salon manager, who gave me a questionnaire. Once filled out we had a chat about what i wanted to achieve from my appointment; Volume or length, subtlety or dramatics?
For hair extensions there are options of length: 16 ins, 18 ins, 20 ins and 22ins. As I’m opting for the 18 ins, Tom suggested inserting 120 individual extensions to give the look i wanted to achieve (Rapunzel – hello!). There are also 3 options of hair extension type: Virgin Russian, European and Indian – quality of the hair being in that order. Most clients opt for the European hair due to the high quality and matching ability for previous chemically coloured hair.
Tom informed me the extensions are inserted using a special adhesive bond which is part honey-based glue adhesive mixed with a melted rubber compound. This is a kinder adhesive compared to the horror stories of extension applications using the tradition and immensely damaging hair adhesive glue which Tom described to as comparable to super glue, he assured me the honey glue and melted rubber compound adhesive is a much gentler way to attach the extensions and when it was time to remove the extension bonds acetone is applied which dissolves the bond allowing the extension strand to simply glide away from the original hair making removal painless, easy and non-damaging to your own locks.
After deciding on the hair type and length Tom inserted 4 extensions as a trial to remain in until my full extension appointment 2 weeks later.
The Extensions Application
We had a recap on the consultation and Tom set to work on creating my Rapunzel-esque tresses! several shade of blond tones were mixed for a bespoke colour match in each extension strand (this man is GOOD!) the strand was held in place near around a centimeter from the root and the bond applied. It literally took Tom seconds to apply each one. Around 3 hours later after lots of coffee, my 120 extensions were in place. Quite frankly they looked amazing! I was a little concerned my head would feel like i was carrying the mane of 10 horses, but the extra hair felt surprisingly light. I was advised to brush, brush, brush, to keep the extensions tangle free and my hair in good condition.
When it comes to washing and drying, use shampoo for oily hair or the special Lucinda Ellery formula’s and apply lashing of conditioner to your extensions as they gain no natural oils like your real hair does. This said it is super important to keep conditioners, serums and oils away from the bonds. I have to be honest the thought of washing this mane every day seemed ultra time consuming but once you have gotten used to the extra tresses (after a few washes) it becomes second nature.
I’m afraid to say this transformation has led me to be one of ‘those girls’ that walk down the street flicking their silky manes at every available opportunity. Sorry.
29-31 King St, Manchester M2 6BE
0161 832 2857