Catherine tries out hair extensions

I like hair. Long, short, straight, curly, wavy, I like it all. In all honesty I do not think I’ve actually seen my natural hair colour since I was 13.

I first dyed my hair in the 90s, I put two red streaks at the front of my hair and I loved it. In hindsight it was a serious crime against fashion, but I was 13.

Since then I have gone dark red, bright, red, probably a bit ginger, bleach blonde, light brown, dark brown, the list is endless.

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So when I found out a new hair extension salon was opening in Ampthill I was rather excited.

I jumped at the chance of having TOWIE-style hair extensions. I have been trying to grow my hair as long as I can for the past two years, and it was fairly long but not long enough.

Samantha Hartup has opened the salon Arabella Hair Extensions within women’s boutique Bows Ampthill in Church Street – the family business of the stars of Ampthill, the Atacks.

Samantha has been doing hair extensions as a business for the last three years, but when she was made redundant at the end of last year she started to think about running her own salon.

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She said: “I have about 400 clients on my books, so I was running a successful business from home and visiting people at their homes. Losing my job was the push I needed to open up my own place.

“It is quite rare to have a salon just for hair extensions. They have a few in Essex but none round here really so I thought it would be great to have my own place, and I knew my clients would come with me.

“We’ve been open for a couple of weeks and it’s going well.”

Samantha, 39, attached the Silicone Micro Ring Weft Extensions by strips with silicone micro rings, which took around one hour to complete. I went in with shoulder-length hair and came out with gorgeous smooth flowing locks.

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They only cost £100 and they can be put in while you’re on your lunchbreak - it’s that simple. You are then required to go back for maintenance every four to six weeks.

Samantha added: “These are by far my most popular. They are so much cheaper than the individual ones, and you don’t use any glue, which can really damage your hair.

“It’s so quick and easy, people can pop in on their lunchbreak and go back to work with long hair. I wanted to offer my clients something that is affordable, because spending £500-600 like celebrities do just isn’t realistic.”

Samantha also sells TOWIE star Lauren Goodger’s line of fake tan called Lauren’s Way and other various hair accessories.

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And in the future she is looking to do Tantrum Locks, which are individual extensions put in the hair with copper tubes. They cost around £500.

To find out more about Arabella Hair Extensions email [email protected] or go to www.

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