AGE: 27
PROCEDURE: Great Lengths Human Hair Extensions
PERFORMED BY: Anne Martins

*Patient name has been changed

ELEVATE: What made you decide to have hair extensions done?

MITRA: In the fall of 2010, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and my hair shed off within a couple of weeks after my first chemotherapy treatment. Last March, I completed chemotherapy and my hair gradually began to grow back. Since the process was so slow and drawn out, I decided to try hair extensions.

ELEVATE: Why did you choose Anne Martins as your expert?

MITRA: I visited quite a few salons before finding Anne. Experts at other places told me the two inches of hair growth I had wasn't enough for them to work with, and that my hair needed to be at least ponytail length for the extensions to hold. I was desperate for help and didn't want to give up when finally I saw an ad in Elevate magazine. During my consultation I met Anne and was told she'd take care of me and that I shouldn't worry. She found a match for my natural hair colour, we agreed on an appropriate length, and the process began.

ELEVATE: Is there any at-home maintenance required?

MITRA: Very little. My extensions are made from human hair, so you treat them the way you would your own. The only things you need to be mindful of are to brush carefully, to not use certain products, and to not heat the bonds when styling because it could make melt them.

ELEVATE: How do you feel about the results?

MITRA: I'm ecstatic and couldn't have asked for anything more! The extensions look very natural, have tons of volume, more than my natural hair ever did, and are the perfect length. I'm so happy with my decision and can honestly say that I've gained my confidence back because of this new look.

Ask the Expert

Stylist and Owner Unique Touch Hair Design & Tanning Studio, Toronto

ELEVATE: What extension process did Mitra undergo?

ANNE: When Mitra came for her consultation, I assessed her hair and saw that her length was enough that we could use Great Lengths to give her a drastic change. From there, going strand by strand, I bonded each extension individually with a heat element and keratin, a form of protein that's already in hair. Because we took her from pixie-short to long, the process took between five and six hours to complete.

ELEVATE: How long will these extensions typically last?

ANNE: It depends on the size of the bond used, which depends on the consistency of a client's hair. Clients can typically expect that their extensions will have a lifespan of between three and six months, as long as directions for home care are followed.

ELEVATE: What does home care involve?

ANNE: Great Lengths extensions need to be brushed with a specific, salon-provided brush in sections, and they should never be washed, conditioned or styled with products containing oil or glycerin, which can damage the adhesive bond. I also recommend that women sleep on a silk pillowcase to keep hair looking its best.

ELEVATE: What's the average cost of Great Lengths extensions?

ANNE: They typically start from around $250 depending on the person. We start with a complimentary consultation and discuss options from there.