The History of Hair Extensions

Written By Wilfredo Allen on Monday, May 5, 2014 | 3:00 PM


Hair extensions might seem like a new invention but in reality hair additions have been around as far back as the Egyptian times when both men and women work wigs. Since then hair pieces have been in and out of fashion ever since.

In 1800 fake hair was frowned upon and women left their hair to be natural until the Romantic era was in full swing when women wore elaborate Apollo knots. Come the mid Victorian era and hair pieces were used a lot more extensively. Then strangely in the early 20th century Edwardian women wore false hair additions to create the pompadour hairstyle which looked like a woman was wearing a teapot on her head. How that became fashionable I don't really know!

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Around the 1920's less hair was the big thing so hair pieces took a dive around that time and it wasn't until the 1940s when long hair came back into fashion and women starting indulging again. Then in the 1960's big hair was back with a vengeance. Coils were the in thing or the updo as better known to us were seen of many women, this was created by very extravagant human hair pieces. Wigs made from real or fake hair were commonly worn around this time too and carried on into the early 70's. Come the 80's and big hair was in but only natural hair. Famous singers wore wigs but that was about it.

In the 1990's hair pieces or wigs became a lot more affordable to everyone, not just the rich and famous. The famous spice girl Victoria Beckham has been credited for the latest fashion of human hair extensions. When she first got together with her now husband David Beckham it was a time when public interest in the couple was at a all time high and they were both photographed all the time and would be found on the cover or most newspapers and magazines. With this sort of publicity everything about the couple was scrutinised. At that time pictures of Victoria were on the front of every paper or magazine with many different hair styles on view. Some days she had short hair, the next she had long and it was obviously these styles were created thanks to hair extensions. She even spoke about them and explained they were created with natural human hair which caused slight controversy as to where the hair came from.

Since then the trend has become much more widespread with lots of different people using them for different reasons. Teenagers looking for long hair have extensions as do older women trying to replace thinning hair. And many women use them just for special occasions. There are many different materials they are made from including a whole range of fake synthetics ones to gorgeous natural European hair.

Permanent hair extensions can cost a few hundred pounds for each application and they only last up to around 4 months. There are lots of different methods of attaching the hair some safer than others. With permanent hair extensions usually a small group of hair strands are collected which the hair is attached to. There are different types of adhesive including wax, glue, or heat all of which are not that great for your hair. When it comes to removing the extensions chemicals are needed and these can often leave hair damaged. Another option is to have the hair weaved on. It is known as 'wafting' and is a much safer option as no chemicals are needed.

The clip-on hair extensions come in a variety of different colours and lengths are the best option for non permanent hair pieces. They are very easy to use and as long as you get the right hair colour and texture of hair, no one will know your hair is fake. In fact I have sat next to a work colleague for months not realising that her long hair was in fact clip on hair pieces. It was only whilst getting ready for our Christmas works do that she pulled her hair off! I was shocked to say the least as her natural hair was just shoulder length and I had no idea.

Blog, Updated at: 3:00 PM

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