WHEN it comes to experimenting with her hair, Kim Kardashian has pushed her locks to the limit over the years.
The natural brunette has had edgy cornrows, been bubblegum pink and has gone so blonde, it'd make Daenerys Targaryen look dark.
But as any hairdresser will tell you, endless experimentation comes at a cost if you don’t invest in the health of your locks too.
When the A-list influencer, AGE, was spotted on her daughter’s TikTok last month sporting her natural hair, it was obvious over-styling had taken a toll.
Kim’s crowning glory looked flat, brittle and colour-damaged.
But she's not the only celeb who had pushed their locks to breaking point, we've seen Britney do the same and many of the TOWIE stars have had scalp trauma from extensions.
And rather than keeping up with the Kardashians, it was superstar Britney Spears who Em Sheldon, 29, wanted to emulate when she started wearing clip-in extensions 12 years ago.
She would leave them in her bleached blonde hair 24 hours a day.
“I was known as the queen of extensions – I was addicted to having them in,” says the Yorkshire-born Instagram influencer who lives in West London with her boyfriend, Matt, 28.
“I wouldn’t be seen without them, and I would sleep in them, even though it used to kill my scalp.
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“But I didn’t really care at the time as I thought I looked great.”
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After three years of use, Em noticed she didn’t have as much of her own natural hair above her ears to clip the extensions to.
She also saw more of her own locks breaking off at the roots and even multiple strands being pulled out by the weight of the clip-ons.
Desperate to maintain her glamorous look, Em had hot-bonded extensions fitted by a hairdresser.
But they resulted in her hair becoming matted when she left them in for over a year, not the recommended three months.
“Another hairdresser had to use acetone and straighteners to burn the bonds from my hair to force them out,” she says.
“I was left with bald patches, knots and weak, damaged hair.
“I was told I’d caused reactive alopecia – that my hair wasn’t growing anymore. What was left was thin and felt like straw. I felt sick to my stomach.”
Em was “banned” from using extensions by her hairdresser in 2015.
She cut her hair shorter to lose the dead ends, and for a year, swapped dyes and extensions for regular repair masks and treatments.
“I cried so many times, it was such an emotionally painful time,” she says.
“I always tied back my hair in an attempt to hide the damage, and was conscious of people noticing it when I went out.
“First, the right-hand side of my hair started to grow back and then my hair started to feel thicker.
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“I was told clip-in hair extensions wouldn’t ruin my hair, but it turned into a disaster. If I could turn the clock back, I would never have worn them.
“I’ve learned to appreciate what I have, rather than chasing a fake dream.”
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