[UPDATE 9/15 – I got the extensions taken out because they weren’t the best fit for me and they sort of itched my head a bit much. Plus, I just didn’t love having that much heavy-ness attached to my head if that makes sense? Additionally, I wanted to be able to wear my hair up (and half up!) without having to worry about whether or not my extensions were showing. So all in all, they’re great but you need to consider all aspects of them!]
Some of you might have missed me snapping and instagram-ing about it, but I got “permanent” hair extensions a few weeks ago. And I promised to answer ALL your questions about them and give you the scoop on what I’m thinking, how things are different with them, and how I’m getting used to them.
In a nutshell, I LOVE them! Personally, they work great for me and I absolutely appreciate the extra “umph” they’ve given me. Plus, styling my hair has been so much fun. I feel like these photos don’t do them justice because I took them in literally the WORST of conditions!
Not only was it 178% humid outside, but it was actually raining on me – quite literally. I had planned to shoot this look for this post on Friday, but the sky started falling and I had to reschedule for early this morning (aka last minute) and apparently the sky just never stopped. So image them looking way better (insert sassy emoji girl here! lol)
Outfit Details: Lace Trim dress (wearing size XXS, I’m 5’4″ for reference + it’s under $50!) // Single Strap Heels (wearing size 7, under $70, run TTS + but I alos LOVE these as well while we’re talking single strap heels) // Leopard Clutch (also available via shopbop if it’s sold out at Nordstrom) // Baublebar Nightlight Starburst Earrings (ON SALE for $26!)
For those of you who live in Dallas, I got mine done at FORM salon by Ashley Warnick (214-606-6844). If you’re serious about getting them, shoot her a text to set up an appointment (214-606-6844) and tell her I sent you and that I said hello! HERE is her Instagram account too if you want to see more of her work!
And if you want to now who does my COLOR, then check out this blog post!
Before diving into my personal hair extensions story, I figured it would be beneficial to talk about hair extensions in general and lay out the possible options you have when looking to get them.
Why Get Extensions?
I think extensions can get a bad rep because some people associate them with really long, fake-looking hair, but that’s not necessarily the case. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of your favorite celebrities have extensions and you’d have no idea! You can make them unique to you and aren’t obligated to add any certain amount or length. You could simply get some to fill out your hair at the ends (if it’s thinning), for volume, or of course for length too, but you’re not limited to any particular “look” – the sky is really the limit when it comes to what you can do with extensions.
What Are the Different Types of “Permanent” Extensions?
For the most part, there are 4 options or different kinds of “permanent” hair extensions you can get. For the sake of being thorough in this post, I’ll list them out (and what I know about each) below:
- Microbead – these are the kind I currently have, and basically, individual strands of hair are attached to your own hair by way of tiny microbeads. There’s no heat or glue used to fasten them.
- Tape-ins – I think these are the most popular form of permanent extensions and can look really great when applied well! I can’t say from experience though.
- Weft – I’m not too familiar with what these entail, but I know it’s one long piece of extension sewn in to your hair.
- Keratin bonds – These are similar to the microbeads except that the tips of the hair are attached by using a small keratin bond that is heated and applied to (or melted onto) your hair.
Why Did You Get Microbeads Over the Other Types?
I figured it might be helpful to explain why I chose microbeads over the other options out there.
For starters, Ashley specializes in them and thought these would be the best option for me. When compared to Keratin bonds, you’ve got a bit of a cost advantage with microbeads because you can use the same hair for longer. Unlike Keratin bonds, you can move up the hair with microbeads without having to purchase all new hair each time your hair grows an inch or so. Since Keratin bonds are “glued” to your hair, you have to purchase new hair, which can get pretty costly.
Also, the microbead technique is said to be the least damaging for your hair since no glue or heat is used to apply them. On the other hand, I want to mention that there are in fact benefits of the Kertain bond technique – they’re less bulky on the scalp and a less upkeep. I could be missing something? Feel free to weigh in!
What Is The Process & Maintenance?
Let me walk you through the process of getting extensions so you can know what to expect.
- Schedule a consultation – if you’re really interested in learning more about permanent hair extensions and thinking about getting them, make an appointment for a consultation to learn more about them and determine whether you’re a good fit. Like I mentioned above, I got mine done at FORM salon (214-369-2500).
- Schedule an appointment to get them put in – the first appointment is the longest and depending on how much hair you’re getting put in, it will take somewhere between 1.5 hours to 3 hours. For me, it only took about 1 hour and 15 minutes – Ashley is SO FAST!
- Get them moved up every 8-ish weeks – since your hair grows naturally and the extensions are connected to your real hair, you need to go to the salon every 8 weeks or so to get the “beads” moved up and closer to your roots. This appointment should only take an hour or so if you go every 8 weeks.
I just got mine “moved up” last Friday and I took this photo right after. It only took Ashley about 45 minutes for reference and I can barely feel it. Also, she was able to reattach the ones that slid/fell off over the past 8 weeks.
What about cost?
I can’t really speak to specific cost directly because there are SEVERAL variables that will play into how much your new “hair” will cost. But what I can say is that it’s definitely an investment. I’ve heard the price range can be anywhere between $400 and $3,000 in overall investment – it really just depends on your hair and what look you’re going for.
Additionally, to give you a little more perspective on the cost, I can break it down into 3 cost components:
(1) the cost of the actual hair – with the microbead method, you’ll need to purchase actual hair (the most expensive part of getting extensions) about once a year, depending on how well you take care of it. Unlike Keratin bonds, you can visit your stylist every 8 weeks or so and get the same extensions “moved up” as your hair grows rather than having to buy a whole new set of hair each time. The amount of hair you purchase will depend on a number of factors – such as the density of your current hair or how thick you want it to look – and obviously, the more hair you have to purchase the more expensive it will be.
(2) the cost of getting them put in (the skill) – For this component, you’re just paying for the stylist’s time, skill and experience. I wouldn’t recommend going cheap here – you for sure want someone who know what they’re doing or else your extensions might not look natural.
(3) the cost of upkeep – Like I mentioned in the first cost consideration, you’re going to need to get the hair “moved up” closer to the scalp as your hair grows; but it’s important to mention that you’re also getting them tightened as the little clip things (no clue what they’re called) tend to get loose over time. Typically, you’ll get them moved up about every 8ish weeks. The cost for this service is around the same price of getting a haircut. Again, you’re paying for your stylist’s time
What do they feel like?
There are two ways I could describe what they “feel” like. On one hand, I could talk to what the hair itself actually feels like and on the other hand, I could address what it feels like to have them “in.” I’ll address both.
For the first, I’ll say that they LEGIT feel like real hair. My hair is naturally on the oily side, so in comparison to my natural hair, the extensions feel somewhat dryer. But personally, I really like that! I’ve found that it curls easier than my natural hair and since it’s mixed in with my natural hair, it sort of helps my hair KEEP a good curl by adding a little more texture. It also helps my hair stay styled when it’s super humid outside (I know that sounds strange, but it seems to make a difference for me!).
And to address the second part of the question, I’ll say that my hair just feels a little heavier (obviously since I now have MORE hair up in there!). I also want to mention that they really irritated me at first and bothered my scalp a little bit, but Ashley warned me of this. So just keep in mind that they take some getting used to! I’m not sure if this was just MY personal experience, but my scalp sort of itched (for like 2 weeks) until my hair grew some. I’ve had them for 3 weeks now and my hair has grown a tiny bit, so NOW it’s perfect. They don’t bother me at all.
For the most part, I’d say that they feel normal and whatever “weirdness” is involved in having them is there is totally outweighed by how amazing it is to have longer, thicker hair!
Can you brush your hair like usual?
To answer this most directly, I’ll say that no, you cannot brush your hair like you did before you had them. You have to be more mindful of them and a slightly more gentle. If your hair tangles easily, I would keep that in mind as well and maybe ask Ashley or your stylist about how to best manage the tangles.
For me, my hair doesn’t tangle easily, but I’ve noticed that it’s been more prone to tangles since getting extensions (which I sort of expected to be honest). You especially have to be careful when brushing your hair while it’s wet since it’s (obviously) going to be a bit heavier.
Can You Style Your Hair The Same Way or Is It Difficult?
Ponytails & Top Knots – It’ll be pretty difficult to wear your hair on top of your head. Ashley doesn’t recommend putting your hair on top of your head but instead to just wear lower ponytails. I’m bad and still wear my hair up and do my same top-knots, but I will say that I DO have to be careful when putting it up – to make sure you can’t see the little beaded strange
Half-up/Half-down hair styles – wearing your hair half up half down – again, same issue. You have to be careful that when you pull your hair back, you’re not showing the extensions on the side of your hair.
What makes a good candidate?
I’m sure this could be answered in a few different ways and that there are many things to consider. But I asked Ashely what she thought made a good candidate and she listed off the following things:
- if you have hair that won’t grow past your collar bone; it’s typically for hair to grow to this point and then break off (she said this is super normal and happens to a lot of people)
- if you have thick hair on top of your head but it starts to look a little stringy towards the ends and you want to even it out
- if you want to add a little length to your hair but are happy with the thickness
- if you want to add a little thickness or just get a little extra volume so you can do more with your hair
What if I don’t have one color hair? She can use up to 3 or 4 colors. Ashley is good at the blending, but in a nutshell, it’s not an issue if your hair has lots of different colors mixed into it!
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