Ever since I had my hair extensions put in back in January, I have received so many questions about them so I figured it was time to put together a blog post that walks through all of the nitty-gritty on what type of hair extensions I got, how to maintain them, the pros and cons and my overall thoughts on them now after having them in for almost five months [whoa, time flies when your hair looks good ;)]
If you recall, my whole desire to get hair extensions stemmed from some really horrible hair days. I had lost a ton of hair last year so between some awkward really thin spots and a ton of breakage, well, let’s just jump ship back to the last photo I had posted of my hair the week before getting my extensions.
I still don’t know what was happening there. Needless to say, with a photo shoot that was quickly approaching for the Gibson x Living In Yellow line I knew something needed to happen. Thankfully, one of the girls on the team [special shout out to Hannah here] recommended I look into hair extensions, not necessarily for length, but to fill in the gaps. I didn’t even know this was a thing as I had always associated hair extensions with that long wavy mermaid hair that every legit fashion blogger has 😉 While I knew NOTHING about extensions, Hannah pointed me in the direction of a local girl [who I had actually met years ago] who is a certified Natural Beaded Row installer, Amy Nedderman Hair. I made my appointment without having any idea of what I was getting into, just high hopes of walking out with a better head of hair than what I was walking in with and well, thankfully she did not disappoint. Before we walk through my process, let’s get a few of the facts out of the way:
- I do have Natural Beaded Row Extensions [also referred to as NBR’s]. It is real hair that comes on wefts and is exactly what it sounds like – beaded into your natural hair. To see a little bit better of an idea of what the process looks like of having them “installed” watch this quick little video.
- You want to make sure to go to a certified stylist which you can find broken down by state here!
- Price – they are expensive, there is no getting around that point. The more pieces [or rows] that you have the more expensive it is going to be. I had one row installed which goes around my entire head and my first appointment for the install was around $1,000 [which included color/cut]. If you have two rows put in [done for longer length and even more volume], the cost would be $1,500 or higher. As far as maintenance costs go, it is recommended to have them moved up every 6-8 weeks which cost me around $300 I believe. Additionally, if you fall in love with them [like I did] and want to continue to have the extensions long-term, you do want to get new hair put in every six months or so which would go back to that initial install price. I absolutely understand that this is an investment, however, I can fully stand behind the amount of confidence it brought back into my life when it came to my relationship with my hair and was personally worth every dollar.
I’ll walk through all of the maintenance and some other items later, but for starters let’s show the initial install appointment and how that went. I have been asked how long it takes to have them installed – for my initial appointment it was around four hours and that included getting my hair colored, extensions put in and cut. ps. If you are local, absolutely check out Amy Nedderman Hair as she is crazy talented. Here’s what my hair looked like pre-extensions and color. As you can see, it was thin on the sides and had a few gaps where my hair was begging to be filled in.
After deciding on a color that we were doing for my hair, she colored each section of the extensions to match perfectly before the install. Say hello to my new locks… It really didn’t take that long to get the extensions set and beaded in, I was shocked how quick that process seemed to take. The quickest thing in this whole process though? Deciding that mermaid hair and I will never be friends. Woof. A little chop, chop and I was back to my normal-ish length, but suddenly had a denser, thicker more luscious head of hair. I couldn’t believe how light the hair felt on my head and that even straight, you couldn’t notice that I had just had a whole row of extra hair attached to my head. I should note that while the hair felt light, by the end of that first evening I could feel the tightness of the beads but took an Advil and was back to good and never bothered by it again. A little curl and some hair products [I’ll highlight below] later and this hair was done. Awkward gaps be gone suckers. Fast forward to today and I can absolutely say that I have LOVED my extensions every single day. I can’t imagine not having them at this point – here are a few reasons why I love them:
- My hair routine hasn’t had to change really at all and the things that have changed have been for the better. Before extensions, I washed my hair every single day. Now that I have more hair, I can easily go three days without having to wash it which is a nice time save in the morning. When I do shampoo and condition it, nothing has changed [I still do it just like I always did], brushing isn’t a problem at all and blow-drying/styling is all the same. It literally hasn’t hindered me from doing anything that I did before.
- You can’t see the extensions when my hair is straight or pulled back in a ponytail, meaning I can style it all of the same ways I did before without a problem. Here is a picture that shows my hair straight pre-extensions [on the left] and now a picture of my hair straight with extensions [on the right]. As you can see the only difference is that on the right I have a thicker, more voluminous head of hair. And for my hair back, here you have it.
- There is no worry about the extensions slipping or falling out. The extensions grow naturally with your hair which you will see here. I just took these photos tonight and my last install was a month or so ago so you will notice they aren’t right up to my scalp like they first would be but again, you don’t even notice them in your hair after you’ve worn them awhile. In another few weeks, I will go in to have them moved up.
- Speaking of having them moved up, how the process works for that is that they simply cut them out and then place them higher and bead them back in. It’s pretty quick to have this done and no, nothing hurts or is ruining your hair in this process.
- . I’ve had a lot of questions on if they are damaging to your hair – I haven’t noticed an ounce of damage or change to my hair since having them installed. I am not sure if that would happen once you totally take them out, however, I do know that it is said that NBR extensions have a lot less damage to your than other methods. So far, totally fine!
- When it comes to styling, there are a few products that I would highly recommend, extensions or not. I will say that it is important if you do have extensions to use Moroccanoil(R) Treatment as you want to keep the extension hair hydrated. Here’s my normal product routine:
- I wash and shampoo with literally whatever is in my shower at that moment. Right now it’s Head & Shoulders [maybe not the most awesome choice] but it works 😉
- After showering, I put in three squirts or so of the Moroccanoil(R) Treatment into my damp hair.
- I brush it through with my favorite Wet Brush Original Detangler Hair Brush.
- Blow-dry using my John Frieda® Full Volume Dryer
- I then spray some Moroccanoil(R) Perfect Defense Thermal Protection Spray before either taking a straightener, curling iron or beachwaver to my hair.
- Once styled, I spray my favorite Moroccanoil(R) Dry Texture Spray to add some texture and grit to my finished look.
- To keep it all hydrated, I finish with one squirt of the Moroccanoil(R) Treatment that I rub into my fingertips and just run through the ends of my hair for extra hydration.
Easy as that!
Long story short, I would absolutely recommend Natural Beaded Row Extensions at this time to anybody who is looking for a way to fall in love with their hair all over again. Whether it be for added thickness or if you do dream of that long gorgeous look, they have been so beyond easy to maintain, haven’t given me one problem and have only made me feel awesome and so much more confident about my hair game. Huge shout out to Amy Nedderman Hair for her magical works of art.
If I didn’t cover something, feel free to ask away in the comments below or on social media and I’ll do my best to quickly respond! Hope this helps just a little bit! Cheers to happy, hot lookin’ hair my friends!
My every day tried and true hair favorites —