Malcolm Murphy Hair in Leicester is celebrating after beating off nationwide competition to secure a place in the finals of prestigious hairdressing awards Most Wanted, presented by leading industry magazine, Creative HEAD.
Established in 2001, Most Wanted recognises the most accomplished names and teams in British and Irish hairdressing – the awesome talents collectively making our hair industry the envy of the world.
Having showcased exceptional skill and ambition, Malcolm Murphy Hair proved to be a front-runner in two categories, Best Salon Team and Best Local Salon, gaining a coveted place at the Most Wanted Grand Final on Monday 3 September at the iconic Natural History Museum. Here, comedian Katherine Ryan will preside over an occasion that sees 600 glamorous
A-Listers from the worlds of hair, fashion, beauty and the media come together for a night of Most Wanted celebration.
The Most Wanted Awards comprise 14 categories recognising creativity and success across a multitude of disciplines, from customer service to commercial innovation. This year’s entries were judged by panels of experts, including hair heavyweights Ken O’Rourke, Tyler Johnston and Nicky Clarke OBE, Get the Gloss managing director, Gemma Bellman, and the beauty and lifestyle director at Vogue, Jessica Diner.
So, what awaits the Most Wanted victors? Alongside the hairdressing industry’s greatest seal of approval – a Most Wanted Trophy – the champions will also receive a year’s worth of profile-boosting editorial coverage in Creative HEAD and its associated titles, websites and events, resulting in worldwide recognition.
Past winners have gone on to represent global brands, lead Fashion Week teams from London to New York and work with the world’s most coveted designers.
“Our Most Wanted awards salute the hair professionals who inspire, shape and influence not just the hairdressing industry, but also consumers’ lives. There will be an impressive level of ‘clout’ on display at the Grand Final, and we’re very happy to be able to showcase such great talents” – Catherine Handcock, Publisher, Creative HEAD
For a full list of finalists visit creativeheadmag.com/mostwanted.
Are hair extensions going to ruin my natural hair?
This is the most common question to be asked during a hair extension consultation as there are so many horror stories about how damaging they are and how they can make your hair fall out. Well, this is the 21st century and hair extensions have come along way since then! Over the years, hair extensions have developed and now you have nothing to worry about! As long as you make sure to follow the aftercare advice given by your extensionist, your own hair is sure to stay in perfect condition.
Since becoming a hair extensionist and working with Great Lengths I have always felt confident with answering the question ‘are hair extensions going to ruin my natural hair’ with a big fat no. When you think of how often you maybe colour, back comb, straighten or curl your hair without even thinking about the damage it may be causing your hair, having hair extensions is no different.
When it comes to hair extensions, Great Lengths are like the ‘Gucci’ of all extensions with their unique cold fusion bonding system which requires absolutely no heat, no glue and no heavy metal rings. This ensures that the hair can be fused to yours with tiny vibrations with no damage at all. The bond of the hair extension itself is made from a man-made keratin which is the closest thing to your natural hair and nail make up. These tiny bonds are roughly 5mm wide at full size and when applied to the hair, we take sections as thick as the bond so that there is an even distribution of weight, which ensures that there is no added pressure onto your hair. We are also able to customise the size of the bonds to suit each individual depending on your hair density, meaning if your hair is finer we can make the bonds smaller! I have so many hair extension clients, all with different hair types and densities and each client has always been pleased with the results of their hair extensions and relieved that it is true, hair extensions don’t ruin your hair!
A lot of people often ask me; 'where do Great Lengths hair extensions come from? I love Great Lengths because they are basically like fair trade hair extensions, no one is exploited for their hair and the hair extensions are totally traceable. Using the finest quality temple hair we can confidently guarantee the source, origin, quality and ethicality of all hair used in the process.
Great Length's commitment to ethical practice sees the proceeds from the purchase of the hair go directly back into the local communities from where it originates – aiding the development of temples, medical services, schools and many other charitable concerns.
Great Lengths continually monitor the sourcing practice to ensure no hair is obtained from exploitative or unethical sources. So there you have it, 100% gorgeous, guilt free hair!
When people think of hair extensions they think of extending the length of hair. However one of the most popular services I do in the salon is thickening peoples hair. Many people suffer from fine hair that lack volume and having hair extensions is a great solution. Simply put, you can fake thicker, fuller-looking hair. Many of my clients have a lot of hair but it’s fine and lacks va va voom. This can mean that that voluminou blowdry doesn’t last for long. But extensions, whether they’re clip-in, tape-in, or keratin-bonded, can fix all that.. Here is an example of a really subtle but effective hair extension transformation that I did in the salon. I used just 25 bonds to really amp up this clients hair.
You may have heard of Tape in hair extensions right? GL Tapes are special because they are at the premium end of Tape in hair extensions. GL Tapes are made by Great Lengths so the hair is luxurious right down to the ends. The strands retain their valuable cuticle layer from root to tip. Absolutely no differences in color are noticeable across the entire length. This enables GL Tapes to be easily integrated into your hair. The hair falls in a natural way and brushing is unbelievably easy.
GL Tapes are so versatile, longer hair, stunning volume and sensational color effects! GL Tapes can even work their magic on very fine hair. And because of Great Lengths – the extensions remain invisible. Only the desired effect is seen. It will last up to eight weeks – after which the GL Tapes can simply be reapplied.
Great Lengths offers the largest selection of colors and lengths. GL Tapes are available in four lengths – 25 cm, 35 cm, 45 cm and 55 cm - and create impressive color blends in more than 40 colours. Here is an example of a full head of GL tapes that I did in the salon.
We all know that when it comes to hair extensions, good hair is not cheap, and cheap hair is not good! If they are, there is probably a reason for that, such as poor quality! It is essential to care for the hair extensions correctly so you can get the most out of your hair extensions and minimise any damage during the duration of wearing your hair extensions. Here are my top tips for caring for your gorgeous new hair extensions.
1 - How to Wash Your Hair Extensions
Firstly be aware that washing and drying your hair will take much longer with hair extensions in. Don't try to attempt this for the first time if you are in a rush. So start by brushing your hair thoroughly before you wash it. We always recommend using a good shampoo and conditioner that does not contain any sulfates or parabens. Wet your hair and shampoo in a downwards motion. Massage your scalp in-between the bonds with your fingertips. Ensure that you rinse all of the shampoo out to prevent residue from building up. I would strongly advise not to wash your hair upside down, this could get you into a mess and make it much harder to brush through when it comes to drying your hair. Then add the conditioner through your lengths. Rinse the conditioner out, pat dry with a towel to remove excess water. Add a heat protector or leave-in moisture product if you are planning to blow-dry. Just avoid using any products that are too oily near the bonds as they may cause the hair extensions to slip out. I would also recommend not leaving your bonds soaking wet for a long duration of time as this can cause them to weaken.
2 - How to Brush Your Hair Extensions
Invest in a good natural bristle paddle brush or a tangle teezer. Separate into two sections left side/right side, start by brushing out any tangles by working your way up the hair to the roots. With the right brush you can brush over your bonds and I strongly recommend to do so! This well prevent any bonds from getting caught round one another and keeps them neat. Remember to brush your hair every morning and night, if you cannot keep on top of brushing I would recommend having your hair extensions removed.
3 - Sleeping with Hair Extensions
Before bed always remember to brush your hair and put it in a loose plait or ponytail to sleep. For extra brownie points you could even get a silk pillowcase which will help prevent matting because of the smooth surface. Just remember to never go to bed with your hair wet. As i said before leaving your bonds wet for a prolonged amount of time will cause the bonds to weaken.
4 - Styling Your Hair Extensions Hairbrush, crocodile clips, heat protection product, hot curling or iron wand, etc.
Method: Use heat protection products first to protect your natural hair and extensions from potential wear and tear and heat damage. Avoid using hairspray. Always ensure that your hair is 100 percent dry before applying any heat tools. Use clips to neatly work on individual sections at a time. Style as desired, curl, crimp, straighten, blow-dry etc…
Tip: Avoid holding heat near the bonds at the roots of your hair for too long.
At Malcolm Murphy Hair we specialise in hair extensions and do hundreds of hair extension consultations each year. This guide will help you maximise your consultation with your stylist so you can find out all the information you need. Our hair extensions last four to six months so it is a big undertaking, it's important you do your research before taking the plunge. So wherever you are choosing to have a consultation for hair extensions, make sure you arrive armed with questions.
Hair Extension Questions to Ask During a Consultation
Do you use REMY hair?
REMY is a process that ensures all of the hair cuticles are facing the same direction. This is very important and is a good indicator of the quality level of the brand of hair extensions you are using. Your stylist should also know about where the hair comes from and how it is processed. Don't be afraid to ask questions!
How are extensions applied?
Most salons more than likely will have a couple of options for application. If they suggest one above the other for you, ask them why. They should be at ease with discussing their preference with you – and that is a good sign. You want someone who is willing to take the time to make sure you understand what it is you are having applied, how to maintain it and why. Extensions are not an exact science. There are so many “moving parts” to consider. It is not unusual for us to use two or more techniques/systems on a client for a natural, comfortable and lasting effect. This is a LUXURY service and should be treated as such by your stylist. They should be interested and attentive in answering your hair extension questions.
The colour match is one of the most important parts of the consultation. A good stylist should understand that the colour of your “new” hair should not just match, but also complement. Keep in mind that extensions are an easy way to add high and/or low lights without using chemicals. Agreeing on colour choices before application is absolutely essential. Just make sure you give your stylist enough time to pick out the correct shades. In Great Lengths there are over 160 shades to choose from and all can be intermixed allowing for endless colour options.
How long will they last?
At Malcolm Murphy Hair we recommend that our Great Lengths cold fusion hair extensions can last four to six months. This will vary from salon to salon on what they recommend. This also depends on how often you shampoo, how fast your hair grows, and the length and density of the natural hair you are working with to cover the bonds. Some systems are reusable, which can prove more affordable with the correct maintenance, and IF you are a candidate. For example Great Lengths Tape extensions can be reused up to three times which makes it more affordable. With any application the general rule is, if you look after the hair extensions they will last longer.
What goes into the proper maintenance? Ask about shampoo and conditioner and recommended styling products to help with the manageability and longevity of your style. Ask about how to brush it out, how best to style it and any tricks of the trade, like what to do with it when you’re sleeping. There is loads of information on maintaining hair extensions on our website too!
Removal, Cost and Maintenance
Most damage can be done in attempting to remove the bond (and usually in a hurry) rather than in the application or wearing of the hair extensions. Make sure you find out all about the salons removal service and how much it will cost.
As for the cost of hair extensions just remember that you get what you pay for. Hair extensions are not cheap. Especially if you are looking for quality. Just keep in mind that someone had to shampoo and prep your hair, blow it dry, choose the right colors, apply it PROPERLY, without damage, cut it into your desired style, educate you on how to care for it at home, and consider what might serve you best for professional maintenance. Oh, and don’t forget – SOMEONE had to grow it! Don't forget that most salons will have options. The more hair you have and the longer hair you choose the more expensive it will be.
Now do your research and book that consultation. I promise you this when you find the right stylist and the right hair extensions you will NEVER look back.