Hair is a high priority for every bride and there are now more ways than ever to achieve the length and volume you want on your big day. To learn more about the hair extensions which are currently all the rage among Irish brides, Ann Cronin sat down with founder and owner of Long Hair Studio and Academy Monika Rakoczy.
Upon entering the Long Hair studio in Limerick, I was met with the familiar fragrance of fruity-scented products and hair treatments that every woman is more than familiar with. Clients and stylists were engaged in friendly chatter about upcoming occasions that warranted a hair touch-up, and I was quickly reminded of the post-salon feeling you get after you’ve spent a few hours being pampered and cared for by professionals, leaving feeling confident and enhanced. Monika and Long Hair Studio specialises in extensions. More specifically, the notorious Easy Xtend extensions which are renowned for their natural look and durability.
Monika was first intrigued by the hair extension speciality when she got the Easy Xtend extensions fitted on herself in Poland years ago. “I originally did house calls for about four years and then I opened the studio, so I have been fitting extensions for about nine years now,” she says. Since then, Long Hair has gone from strength to strength as the studio’s team is now joined by full-time hair dresser Charlotte Buckley and two part-time staff, Denise Mulcahy and Donna McSweeney.
It’s easy to see why Long Hair’s extensions have become a popular choice among Limerick brides. Often, brides wish to add a little length to their hair to ensure they feel like an A-Lister on their big day. Similarly, if you have any insecurities around your hair being thin, fine, limp or damaged, extensions can be a great way of giving your locks a new lease to life and layers of volume you never thought possible. Extensions can be the key to filling you with the confidence every lady should have at her wedding, and Monika says this is their area of expertise.
Long Hair specialises in the Easy Xtend extensions which are fitted with copper rings. This means that no glue or harmful resins are used in the hair, preventing damage to your natural locks. The bonds are very flat and secure, thus making them practically undetectable even on very thin hair. “We actually had a bride-to-be in this morning to get extensions in to add volume to her hair. We recommend brides get extensions fitted at least two weeks before their wedding to get used to them, but many brides will get their first set fitted a few months before the wedding to see if they like them.”
There are two different kinds of extensions which Long Hair tends to work with – Russian and Indian. When asked which she’d recommend to brides, Monika says it depends on each individual client. “Usually, for long-term maintenance or special occasions like weddings, we recommend the Russian hair extensions over Indian ones as they’re better quality hair and easier to manage. The Indian extensions are still very good, it just depends on the individual bride and what she wants from her extensions.”
This is why Monika recommends all brides book a consultation with Long Hair prior to getting extensions fitted. “Consultations are free of charge. It is better to come for a consultation and talk to us about what you want because every bride is different.”
Possibly one of the most appealing aspects of these extensions is that they are reusable and can be refitted. “You pay for the hair so you can reuse it. The refitting process takes about two hours. We remove the extensions, brush them out and refit them. We can wash, colour or bleach the client’s natural hair in between as well,” she adds.
The fact that the extensions are fastened into the hair by rings rather than glue is a huge bonus for the quality and health of your natural locks, and the extensions can even prove to be beneficial. “The extensions grow with client’s hair without damaging it. Some clients will come into us with damaged hair from bleach or glue extensions, and after a few months of having the Easy Xtend extensions fitted, we see their hair is in better condition than it was when they first came to us,” Monika says.
The evidence of Monika’s success can easily be seen in the number of regular clients she has, and the fact that she has fitted over 8000 extensions in her time. “Even some clients who I used to do house-calls to years ago still come in here to get extensions refitted. That’s probably why we’re so busy all the time!” With this success, it’s no surprise that they are finalists in The Irish Hair and Beauty Awards 2018, an achievement which everyone in Long Hair is thrilled about. “We’re proud to be finalists and that most of our votes would have been from pleased clients, we don’t even mind if we don’t win.”
Although Long Hair is very busy, it is not difficult to book an appointment with the notorious studio. Booking an appointment, consultation or other services can easily be done on the Long Hair website, or through their Facebook and Instagram pages. For more info on how Monika and her team can help you achieve your wedding grúaige dreams, check out their website and social media pages.
Long Hair Studio and Academy,
12 Thomas Street,
Image: Donna McSweeney, Monika Rakoczy , Charlotte Buckley and Denise Mulcahy.