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Page last updated at 08:41 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 09:41 UK
Dodgy hair extensions on the up
By Hannah Morrison
Newsbeat reporter


Find out how hair extensions should be put in by an expert.

People are being warned about salons offering dodgy hair extensions that are not applied properly and end up damaging the scalp.

A major hair company has revealed they're seeing more and more botched jobs with painful consequences.

And a leading hair specialist says he's seen an increase of women who are now suing salons over their extensions.

Around half of the UK's 31,000 hairdressing salons offer extensions. There's been a 500% rise since 2002.


Aimee, 23, handed over 130 for a half-head of extensions but after only 24 hours her new style was causing her pain.

"It gave me headaches, I found it so uncomfortable to sleep. Then two of my extensions came out and took my own hair with it," she said.

Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham often experiments with hair extensions

"It was really uncomfortable and sore. I had little broken bits of hair all over my head and little tufts coming out."

Aimee had to have the extensions removed after just a week because they were causing her real hair so much damage.

In her case it grew back, but for others it can be more permanent.

Barry Stevens is a trichologist or hair scientist and has seen a lot of women who've gone bald in patches because of extensions.

"Traction alopecia is what it's called, where the whole hair shaft has been pulled out. It's major damage to a very delicate structure," he said.

"You may get away with having your hair pulled out that way a few times but eventually the follicle will shut down."

Mr Stevens says he's representing more and more people in court who have successfully sued their hairdresser over damage.

Hairdressers can charge hundreds to fit the extensions but don't legally require any training to do it.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears had hair extensions after she shaved her head

Bad experiences

Ann Fegan teaches people to apply them and says it's dangerous to go to someone who hasn't been taught how to do it properly.

"As long as that stylist has been educated in to how to use that hair and the correct way to apply it and the client's been informed on how to do the maintenance, then there will be no problems," she said.

Racoon International, one of the main suppliers of hair extensions in the UK, has had more women coming to them after bad experiences in other salons.

Eva Proudman, managing director of the company, said: "The gulf between good quality hair extensions and the lower end of the market is widening.

"We are definitely seeing a rise in the number of young girls who have experimented with cheap, do-it-yourself extensions, that have damaged their hair and who come to Racoon salons to sort out the mess.

"Once these are applied to the hair the damage is done. We always advise people to talk to a properly trained stylist before they spend their money."

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