Hi, I'm Heike and think I'm probably one of the "pioneers" with hair extensions and wigs. "Pioneer" not because I created any of this, but I'm among the first to use them - extensively.
Born as a little mousy brown haired girl in Germany, I've always dreamed of having long blonde hair. I don't know why I was so obsessed with long hair I don't know as no one in my family had long hair to start with and I had my hair cut really short from young on. My grandmother (bless her) preached to my mom that someone with fine hair like me needs to have it cut down frequently like our lawn in the garden - the more you cut it off the thicker it may become one day.
Unfortunately, this is actually not true. Hair is not like a lawn and doesn't seem to become thicker and stronger from cutting it constantly.
I still remember my first day at kindergarten. The kindergarten teacher ask the whole class to draw what will we want to "become" when we are older. That was the topic and I must have missed something as I drew a woman with long blonde hair in a pharmacy.
I also remember the teacher holding my picture up and looking confused, probably because she looked down on this brown haired little girl with the "Mecki"-haircut. The Mecky haircut stemmed from a cartoon hedgehog called Mecky, which made my father often call me by the nickname "Mecki". Well, you guessed it: I had a Mecki haircut, the haircut of a hedgehog. And hedgehogs are not known for sporting long tresses...
My mom was not into make-up or hair, she was a practical person who worked a lot around the house and in the garden. She herself had short wavy black hair and I remember her always in gumboots and with rubber gloves. There were many weeds she was ripping out to make the garden look nice and tidy.
I would be with her in the garden looking for worms. So my hair dreams were something that needed postponing until I was in my teenager years. I started with applying make-up early, way too early for my mom's and my grand mother's ideas.
From there my journey went into experimenting what to do to get my hair lighter and somehow back then lifting the color was difficult. I usually ended up with a reddish dark blonde which never really suited me. I tried out perms as well. Still remember my brother trying a perm as well. It didn't really go too well with him.
Yes, I was a girl of the Eighties, you guessed it right. The Eighties definitely are the time that I have the most memories about. In the photos above you see me as young brown haired "Mecki" with a transition to teenagerhood with brown hair at age 18 and then finally, the self dyed (box dyed) platinum blonde look which I loved so much.
I was 24 when I first found hair extensions. Back then they were synthetic ones that I could afford and that also was really expensive. When I got them installed they were very shiny, but after washing they kind of looked ok.
I was glad I had found the extensions as they offered me the experience of long hair. And the transition into blonde, finally. And I did it myself as no hairdresser back then wanted to take me on. At that time going blonde was seen as extremely hard to do. They didn't have Olaplex and the like and blonde meant damaged. Yes, it was true as well. My hair was constantly damaged, but I didn't mind at all. Better damaged and my dream color than having my "Mecki" style.
From there my path got more adventurous in the field of color and style, although most of the times I had bob length to very long hair (with extensions as my hair was damaged, fragile and fine).
Later I experimented with pastel and bolder colors, which often didn't go well. Colors stick to damaged hair more so than to healthy and the result was often patchy and awful.
By that time thankfully wigs got into fashion, which was a great thing for people like me. Additionally human hair extensions became affordable for everybody and I dived into this, of course.
So I am definitely someone who a lot of experience with all sorts of hair extensions, permanent and temporary.