Intralaced: the Lucinda Ellery experience

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Whilst I know many people have had a really positive experience at the Lucinda Ellery salon and with the Intralace system, as I mentioned in my last post my experience was much more mixed.

When I went to get the system, my hair was very uneven, with some sections less than an inch in length. However I didn’t have any bald patches and my hair is naturally thick – which caused some problems.

My adjustments would need to be done every five weeks, and my realignment after five months, significantly increasing the cost of having the Intralace. As it turned out, within ten days of each appointment the mesh and my natural hairline were showing at the front, making me very self-conscious, especially on windy days!

When weaves go wrong: even supermodels aren’t immune

Because of the thickness of my hair (ironic given that my hair loss was at this point impossible to disguise), I had a lot of hair panels sewn into the Intralace, with my hair concealed under the mesh. This meant that as my hair grew, the system sat further away from my scalp, making it look less and less natural. It also made my hair almost impossible to dry and difficult to style.

Some of my hair was long enough to allow for extensions to blend in with the Intralace. These were attached with polymer resin bonds which were really weak and softened when I dried my hair, despite the care I took to only use conditioner on the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. The bonds would quickly flatten and widen, becoming more noticeable and frequently coming out, or shedding white flakes in my hair. As the sections used for the extensions were so big, as they came out they left noticeable gaps. The salon charged me to reattach each of these.

Both the hair panels in the Intralace and the extensions shed huge amounts of hair.  In the case of the Intralace this would quickly lead to bald patches on the mesh and I needed a new parting every five weeks.

I was worried about the hair loss and felt guilty that I seemed unable to get away from this cycle of shedding, damaged hair – whether it was my own or someone else’s. Every time I went to the salon there was a problem and I was told off and given a lecture on haircare which made me feel terrible. I had the hair examined in the end by an extension specialist who told me that this was a ‘poor quality hair weft’ and likely to be Chinese hair, rather than the Indian temple hair I had paid for.

This was backed up by what the staff at the salon had subsequently told me. I have heard from other salon clients that they have experienced similar problems and it does worry me that the salon weren’t completely transparent about the problems with the hair they use, particularly given the vulnerability of the clients. The prices they charge are at the top end of the market and the hair quality should reflect that.

After five months, I went to my realignment appointment and after a discussion with the team, they decided to increase the number of hair extensions I had and replace the Grade 2 Intralace I had with a smaller Intralace Minima, which would cover the front of my hair and the parting. I was so excited to be able to see some hair growth, although I still had – and have – a long way to go. I was really proud to be able to progress to a smaller system and no longer have the mesh which was so hard for me to disguise.

However, changing the system meant paying another £745, on top of the £2,095 I had paid for the Intralace system, as well as £250 every five weeks for the adjustments.

After two weeks, my hairline was again showing underneath the system and I was feeling very self-conscious. At this point, I decided to go and seek a second opinion. I went to see an extension specialist, who to my total surprise was confident she could help me, despite the varying lengths and quality of my natural hair. She works regularly with film and television studios, often working with male actors with very short hair whose hair she extends to fit the roles they are playing, so the system she has developed allows her to place very fine, unobtrusive extensions right at the top of the scalp.

I was nervous about the cost, given the amount of money I had invested with Lucinda Ellery but I decided at this point I had to cut my losses. The ongoing expenses with the system were so high: not only financially but also emotionally. I found the hair shedding traumatic given my history. I also dreaded each appointment at the salon. Each one uncovered a new problem, which I always felt I was blamed for.

A full head of extensions cost £895 and comprised around 200+ extensions. The hair quality is beautiful – much better than my own hair! – and will last 16 weeks, with no appointments required, or costs incurred, in that time. The extension bonds are very firm, and there is no charge to reattach extensions which do come out. Similarly there is no charge to cut my hair in between appointments, making this system far cheaper than the Intralace.

Best of all I now have one hairline and no mesh!

For me, this feels much more comfortable and natural than the Intralace and I am no longer measuring my life in five week bursts between appointments. But what does this mean for other people considering opting for an Intralace?

For many, I believe it offers a great solution to hair loss, to people with a wide range of conditions. I think it simply wasn’t right for my hair and an initial consultation with one of the salon staff would have confirmed this. (This wasn’t my experience as you can read here). To those thinking about the Intralace, I would still encourage them to consider it as an option.

Styled properly, it is more natural looking and certainly more secure than a wig. The financial outlay is considerable but the costs are transparent, so this is something you can plan for. As for the quality of the hair, for me this is the biggest issue but also something the salon staff should be able to work with you to resolve.

So, are you thinking about a hair replacement system, or do you have one already? Let me know your thoughts below.

64 thoughts on “Intralaced: the Lucinda Ellery experience

  1. It is sad that if you hadn’t confronted/stood your ground with the first salon, they would have continued to take your money. It is also a shame you didn’t find the alternative before you spent a fortune with LE. May I ask, did you ever consider just wearing a full wig?

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      1. Hi,
        Could you please let me have the contact details for the lady that eventually managed to sort your hair out for you please.
        Many thanks.
        Judy

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  2. I too have an intralace system and are not happy with the same reasons as you have stated above. i would love to see the woman you have moved to for your new extensions. would you be able to send me her contact details.
    thank you

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  3. Hi, found your blog on a google search. I have a question re: the removal of your system. Would be so grateful if you could email me – thanks!

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  4. Hi, I would love too to know the lady you’ve moved to for your new hair extensions. Would you kindly give me her contact details, please? Thank you so much.

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  5. Hi, I am looking into having the intralace system I had my consultation at Lucinda Ellery in Manchester and I just wondered if you can give me any advice. It does seem so expensive & I have been quoted £2040 for the system then all the extras on top of that, I have to travel 2 hours to the Manchester salon also. Any advice would be great as I think this is my only option at the moment. Thanks

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  6. Hiya, I have been wearing interlace system for some time now and unfortunately also experiencing same problems……really unhappy and hopeless about the whole thing. Would you mind giving me contact for that lady who fixed your hair, I would be so grateful x

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  7. Hi. Can you contact me? I have recently visited Lucinda Ellery and your blog helped me to decide the lace system is not for me. However I would like to know about the extensions. Look forward to hearing from you.

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  8. HI Can you advice please! I am looking to visit Lucinda Ellery in Birmingham and your blog helped to have a second opinion about the system. I am still not sure if the lace system is for me or there is cheaper option can you please send me the contact details of the lady for extensions ?

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  9. I have just become a client of LE and found myself with the full intralace system which is not what I could afford or originally enquired about. I’m sure the minima could have suited my purpose but, as I kept telling the team at the salon, I don’t know what to ask for or how it will turn out. I’m not the expert. If things go wrong then say “you agreed to have it” or “you chose it” but I didn’t feel that was the case. I was in their hands and when the final result made me look like a freak wearing a heavy wig I was devastated. They have addressed the situation and redone the system for me but I’m not convinced and only on day 3 of having it. I have a suspicion that it’s not for me and I’ve been over-sold.

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      1. Thank you. Yes I have and the whole system was redone, re-coloured and re-cut but I’m just not sure it’s for me. The team at the salon were amazing and couldn’t do enough to help but the problem is that you can’t know what it’s going to look like until it’s done and your money has gone. I have to put it down to experience and hope I learn to live with it.

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  10. I too would like to know about the lady who solved your hair problems, I have an intralace system and the cost is getting ridiculous, 2600pounds in 6 weeks!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya
      I have recently had hair extensions from a place in Newcastle and I think they are too heavy and thick for my hair. Please can you let me know the lady you have mentioned so that I can ask for help.
      The Ines that I have are pre bonded and every bond is a different size.
      I’m worried about the damage it may cause my fine but strong hair underneath.
      I have been to Lucinda Elbert and had extentions in the past and recently I visited them again but I could see a real money making side to them almost making my hair situation worse than what it is.
      If you can advise I would be grateful

      Roslyn

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      1. Hi Roslyn,

        Thanks so much for your comment and for reading my blog! I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having. I got the Connect extensions which I was really happy with. Is that helpful or is there any other info I can share?

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  11. Hi
    I read your post with great interest on one of the hair forums and followed your link to your own page.
    I have experienced similar problems to your own but thankfully on a less extreme level with Hairsolved. The fact that I couldn’t feel the water reaching my scalp through a supposedly breathable mesh really disturbed me as a clean scalp is essential to maintusung the hair you have left!
    I have genetic hair loss and have suffered from it from a painfully early age (16 😔). It left me so traumatised it upsets me to say it has defined me as a person resulting in me becoming a virtual recluse.
    Although initially for the usual reasons I loved my system the unhealthy nature plus the extortionate costs led to me having it removed.
    I am know on the lookout for something more natural and akin to the extension lady you mentioned. I would love for you to contact me to inform me further.
    Finally, thanks so much for your post. I know how hard it is to acknowledge to yourself and loved ones the pain of hairloss so for you to blog about it is very brave. I hope at some point to be in a positive enough place to be able to contribute to this topic in future also.
    Naz x

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    1. Hi Naz, I currently use LE but I am thinking of making an appointment at hairsolved, are they no good?
      Thanks
      Michelle

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  12. Hi Naz, Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your very moving and thoughtful post! I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been so badly affected by your hair loss. I found Connect Hair Extensions helped me in the end and I finally am starting to feel like ‘me’ again.

    Please do let me know if you’d like to chat – I really do understand how hard it can all get.

    Thinking of you x

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  13. HI there, I am currently a client at LE and very unhappy having been a client for some 8 years. I am looking for somewhere else who do similar to an interlace, but without the excessive charges. Can anyone help? All seems very focused on the charging and original ethos of the place seems to have been forgotten.
    Rachel.

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    1. Hi Rachel, I’m so sorry to hear you’re so unhappy with your experience! I’ve heard of lots of people who’ve set up in competition to LE but not experienced them myself, so don’t feel confident recommending. Can anyone on here help with any advice?

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  14. I have been considering some extensions to thicken my thin hair for a while now and have been considering Lucinda Ellery. I read with great interest about the expert in extensions you went to. Really interesting that she could apply extensions to the top of your head. I would love to go for a consultation with her. Please could you let me have her details. Great blog!
    Kind regards
    Georgie

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  15. Hi, I too was considering an intralace system from LE but not at that cost! I have alopecia and slight balding on the crown of my head. I have looked at the connect extension link you posted and was wondering if you knew if these extensions can be applied to a bald area? My hair is extremely thin therefore I worry you’d be able to see the bonds within the extensions 😕

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    1. Hi – thanks so much for reading my blog! Extensions are just applied to the hair itself. It’s hard to say if the bonds could be concealed but you could always book a consultation to find out. There are also lots of alternatives to LE which offer hair toppers and replacement systems too – at varying prices. Feel free to contact me directly through the contact form too if you want to chat 🙂

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  16. Hi 20 years ago when Lucinda was in sulhamstead she had a salon in her house she did mono fibre her husband or ex I believe now who has opened her own salon in London. Lucinda was a miracle worker with thinning hair cost was never the main focus of her business a shame it is now. I have tried all systems out there and now wear a custom hand tied silk wig and have it sewn on nobody can tell in fact I went on a cruise recently and when to there spa on the boat to have my hair curled the hair styled did not realise I was wearing a wig her comment was you have beautiful hair my reply was thank you but it is not my own she was amazed. The wigs I buy of course are not cheap but if looked after last me a full year and would last longer but I treat myself to a new one every year. I sleep in it go to gym swim and have even taken saunas still not a problem stays put I have the wig taken out every 3 weeks and sewn back in which tightens it by an amazing lady in Oxford and all it costs is £30. I have been doing this for the past 5 years and am really happy although I do have hair but very fine. I have become some what of an expert on wigs trial and error so please do not hesitate to contact me should you in any info

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    1. Hi Elliese, could I ask where you buy your wigs from? I am a client at LE and have been for many years, but as I am now almost bald I’m wondering if a wig would be an easier option, if it looks real enough. Thanks Christina

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    2. Elliese thanks for giving me hope. I have frontal fibrosing alopecia and 4 weeks ago I was fitted with the intralace system at Lucinda Ellery. I cannot cope with the bumpiness, heavy front, dry hair and the time it takes me to remove the hairline tape. I didn’t realise how restricting it would be regarding style etc. Very disappointed Can you please tell me where you get your wig made and how it is attached etc. I am in Scotland but would happily travel to get a quality wig.

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    3. Hi Elliese I was so interested to read about your positive experience. Would you mind telling me where you buy your wigs and where exactly you have them sewn in. I do wear wigs but it would be great to have a slightly more permanent solution. It would make me feel more human somehow. Thanks for reading, Julie

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  17. Hi, I’m a client of LE currently, I’ve only had the Intralace system in for 4 months and the hair isnt manageable. Its so dry and keeps falling out the mesh. Could you please give me the details of who you use now?
    Thanks 😊

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    1. Hi Amber, Thanks so much for reading my blog and getting in touch. I’m so sorry you’ve been having problems. I got the Connect Hair Extensions – just shout if you need any more info and lots of luck!

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      1. Thank for getting back to me. Do they have a website or older they just on Facebook? What sort of bonds are they? My hair is thinning mostly on top. Would this help?

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      2. I think it’s just Facebook but there may be other salons that offer the same system. They use glue bonds which are very very fine so they can in theory go right up to the hairline. If you ask for a consultation they will be able to tell you if the system is right for you. Lots of luck and let me know how you get on!

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  18. I have in the last month had a system enhancement fitted as i suffer from alopecia areata. I did lots of research and asked lots of questions before taking the plunge, given the financial commitment. Initially I was thrilled with the system, however mine is blonde and curly (like my own hair used to be) and I am having great difficulty washing and styling it as it just seems to matt and tat up, overnight despite sleeping in a hairnet and on a silk pillow. I have now been advised that I will need to saturate the lengths (not the top parting which is stitched down) every day and detangle it with conditioner on and then style it which takes approx 1.5 hours due to the amount of hair. This is clearly not manageable on a day to day basis. The lady who fitted the system (mine is only the second one they have done and is the first curly one) is very loathe to put layers in the hair which i think may solve the problems, (my own hair was shoulder length and layered and never matted up). Can anyone out there please advise if they have any experience of this and what would be the problem with layering it? After spending so much I am loathe to give up on it so soon but its just unmanageable as it is. I am in the north of england where options for this solution are limited and I gave up on Hair Solved as I am still waiting for them to come back to me after my initial consultation on April 8th! I don’t know if it is the lack of experience on the part of the salon or if it is just me? Any advice would be gratefully received thank you

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  19. I am so pleased to have found a blog that talks about hair systems and the issues associated with them. Thank you SplittingHairs. I have recently had an LE intralace fitted and am currently working through the issues. Or not. I’m not ready to give up yet, but I have to say that I am so far disappointed with the effect. Maybe my expectations were too high?. It has been an extremely emotional experience for me, not really helped by the service at LE. I will update my comments as my contact with LE continues. Good luck everyone.

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    1. That sounds similar to my experience with LE. I have recently managed to find another supplier who can actually deliver the hair I want without the extortionate price tag so thankfully it’s goodbye LE after 18 months of bad hair days.

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  20. I am a client of LE in the states. I have had the infra lace system on for almost a year. I have had similar problems as many of you. The biggest and most heart breaking thing is the volume of my own hair I have lost. When the system was first put on it had so much hair on it and I was not used to that since my own hair was very fine and thin. After the 2 or 3 visit I asked to have the hair thinned out so it would be more manageable and I wouldn’t have to wear half of it back cause so much hair would just fall in front of my face. Well I’m not the “expert” in intralace so I was not thinking of what could possibly go wrong when they thinned out the panels of hair. At the 6 month appointment when they removed the system I had a shock!! I actually had to excuse my self and went in the bathroom and sobbed. My own hair was nothing like it was when I first had the system done. The volume of my own hair was non existent. Also the front fringe of my hair broke off to prob a couple inches. When I asked one of the stylists to come and look at my hair, she saw how upset I was and said let’s look at your original pics. As we were looking at them she went on to say it doesn’t look that different then before. Only she agreed that my fringe had broken off. I was not gonna make a scene but I’m pretty sure I know what my hair was like before the system and for her to tell me it didn’t look any different was very disheartening. I am now in the process of going with another facilty where they custom mold my head and make a custom prosthesis to go right over my hair. It takes 3 months to make and it pricier then LE but I have learned from this and feel that I have found a much better alternative.

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    1. Mimi, I’m so sorry to hear about your experience and thanks so much for sharing it. I’m so glad you’ve found an alternative which works for you and hope your own hair is improving too!

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    2. That is a very similar story to my own. LE employees are probably all trained in how to respond to a customer in the same glib way! The company is a commercial money-making machine and the clients are victims on many occasions.
      I now have a custom-made piece from a small enterprise. It’s not quite right yet but it’s way in advance of the archaic, uncomfortable, freaky LE system.

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      1. I’m so sorry to hear that so many women suffer from this nightmare and I hope that most of you didn’t let this become the most of you just like me, that have been affecting me so much as well with depression that I actually don’t go out not ever to put the bins out..
        So, I have been looking for help and treatments since then and nothing works and this week I end up booking a online consultation (due to the current word situation) with LE, that straight way acesse me with intralace G4 and I’ve been told that I can book for next week. I’m so desperate to fix my hair and be able to look in the mirror after shower without cry that I’m about to jump in this insane expensive “solution”, but I’m scare and also after read that so many women have not been happy with the results I’m really having second thoughts, especially for the money invested.
        Could somebody advise me a help in UK (I’m live in Solihull) so I can have a second opinion about this invisible extensions if I would be able to do it. I’m not sure with the quantity of hair I already lost I would be able to do it, but I’m really desperate for a second opinion as the consultant from LE told me that I wouldn’t be able to do the “medi connections”.
        Have someone had the extensions with a big quantity of hair loss?
        Or maybe somebody who knows where I can have the braided wig as I could consider as an option as well.

        (Sorry for the big comment, hope it’s ok to post)

        Thanks in advance, and stay safe!! 🦋🌷

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  21. I’m having an issue with hair-solved at the moment. I wouldn’t recommend them for the same reasons as most of the post’s above..not true advertising by any means.

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  22. What issues are you having with hair solved, I’ve just had mine fitted and need to talk to someone who has had one about the feeling of tension does it go away as I am suffering badly with this at the moment (only just had it fitted) but feel it’s pulling on my hair so much. The front hair line looks awful and I can feel all the extensions and bits of netting to the sides meaning I can’t really tie it up, is this normal, oh and there are 1/2 inch sections of hair sticking up where the hair panels are is this normal?
    Thanks in advance if anyone can offer me any help/guidance
    Lisa

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    1. Hello Lisa I’m sorry but I am a Lucinda Ellery client having chosen them over HairSolved. I am replying just to reassure you that the tension (and pain!) does diminish in my experience as your head and scalp get used to the new arrangements. I strongly recommend you go back to your supplier if you are dissatisfied or unhappy. It took me a while to do that when I first had a new system and I would have saved myself some heartache if I had gone back much sooner. I do hope you are able to feel better

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  23. I’ve come to realise LE is an absolute farce of a company, built of falsely positive reviews. Realistic concerns are hushed. Emperors new clothes syndrome for sure!

    LE clients have been asking to set up a Facebook group for YEARS so that we can get moral support from each other. LE Lovelies was set up during lockdown and was really beneficial. It was great to finally be able to share tips and stories. However LE quickly shut down the group when clients started expressing their true feelings or mentioning costs. We were basically told stay positive or don’t say anything at all. What kind of support group is that where we are told to behave in a certain manner? We were told comments were being turned off as a temporary measure but they’ve still not been turned on. We were treated like naughty children for expressing our true concern.

    I’m looking at having my system removed so can give honest opinion now. Yes your hair looks like a wig. Yes it is super bulky. Yes it damages your natural hair. Yes the costs are extortionate.

    As a side note, we are now practically forced to give tips through the card paying system. It pains me to tip this 20 year old that has spent the last 2 hours planing their night out with colleagues and not shown any professionalism. But when you’re given a card machine with an expectant looking manager, you worry you’ll look like a Scrooge by clicking no gratuity. My particular clinic has high staff turnover which means unfortunately clients are left with inexperienced staff that don’t know how to style the system properly. They need to look into why they can’t retain staff as it’s the clients that suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are spot-on with everything you have said! I managed to free myself from the burden of LE nearly 2 years ago after 18 months of coping with their rubbish intralace system, service and extortionate charges.
      What little hair I had left was destroyed by them but I was lucky enough to find an independent hair replacement specialist who now looks after me and I am able to feel comparatively normal again. I never knew about the Facebook group but it doesn’t surprise me that it was silenced.
      I strongly suspect the only reason that LE has any support is because those clients do not know that there are alternatives to be found.
      I couldn’t help laughing about the reference to the staff planning their nights out – It sounds as though you attended the same “salon” as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I would never go back to LE, they lead vulnerable people into debt. I have been going to Lox of Luv in County Durham for the past 3 years, and I am so happy with the service I receive.

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  25. Thank you Roslyn for letting us know of your alternative supplier. Sadly, I’m in the South of England so cannot reach Lox of Luv. Can anyone share recommendations for suppliers “down south” please? I would be interested in Elliese’s wig option too as I have lost so much hair permanently it may be a better option.

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  26. Hello. I started going to LE at the beginning of this year after considering the system and researching for about 8 years! I knew that once I took the leap, I would be tied in to visiting every few weeks and living over 2 hours from nearest salon be a huge commitment in time and money. I had my first system fitted just before lockdown so visits since have been very different. I have had one negative appointment but I expected the adjustments to be uncomfortable. I now request a particular technician who is great. I have the Minima and am pleased that I chose this option over the full system. I had Racoon Hair in Recovery prior to this and would highly recommend these extensions if hair is very fine. I know there are negatives to having any type of intergration system or extensions but in all honesty I would rather have my Minima than return to life before having it fitted. I will, however continue to search for anything in the South East that may compare. I’m so pleased to find this post. 🙂

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