Q: I really want to get hair extensions but my hair is dry, damaged and generally in a bad condition. Are there any requirements about the heath of my hair and what criteria do you use to assess whether extensions would be appropriate?

A: Hair extensions should only be applied when your own hair and scalp is in good condition. Applying hair extensions on damaged or dry hair will only aggravate the issue and will cause further damage. As part of the consultation, your hair extensionist should assess the condition of your hair and scalp and determine if your hair is strong enough to withhold hair extensions. Part of the assessment should include a “hair strand and pull test” where the Extensionist checks the elasticity of your hair and condition of your scalp. There are both in-salon and at-home treatments available which can help improve the condition of your hair and scalp. The length of time required to have these hair and scalp treatments prior to having extensions will depend on the level of damage and condition of your own hair and scalp. In some cases, where there is severe damage, we advise clients not to have extensions for a long while and refer them to the Philip Kingsley Trichology clinic in London for more intensive treatments.