MY NATURAL HAIR AT IT’S NORMAL LENGTH:
As you can see, my normal hair without extensions is still pretty long. I did a whole post on the color/care of this hair HERE if you are interested. When S proposed I knew I wanted to add a little length, fullness and volume before the wedding (which was 6 months from our proposal). I started experimenting with hair extensions around November 2017 and tried several different methods of extensions and brands of hair and ended up unhappy with all of them (i.e. tape ins, clip ins). *In my opinion* the tape-ins were uncomfortable, didn’t blend as seamlessly as I wanted, I wasn’t able to wear my hair in a high ponytail without them showing and I’m pretty sure they damaged my hair. The tape ins also showed growth really quickly and I was always self-conscious about them hanging out– yikes. I had my clip in extensions color matched to my hair and they worked great for photoshoots or quick things, but it was a hassle taking them in and out and after wearing them for a few hours they were super uncomfortable. SO after trying different types or hair, extensions and salons around town I started asking my friends who had pretty extensions what they were doing and that is how I learned about the magic of Naturally Beaded Rows.
MY HAIR APRIL-NOVEMBER 2018 WITH 18″ NBR EXTENSIONS:
I started researching NBR and salons around me that installed them and that is when I found my hair goddess– Diana at Mane Alley in New Albany, Indiana (right outside of Louisville, KY). The hour and a half drive for me is SO worth it because these extensions are not only comfortable and seamlessly blended, but she has also rocked my hair color’s world! I did a whole post about my first six weeks with NBR extensions HERE where I talk about 18″ cost, maintenance, at home upkeep…
NOTE: Diana is no longer taking color-only clients– only extension clients (where she will color your hair AND the extension hair for a seamless blend) BUT she has two amazingly talented girls in her shop that can do extensions (beautifully, I might add) and also takes color-only clients– Autumn and Kayla.
MY *CURRENT* HAIR AS OF NOVEMBER 2018 WITH 22″ NBR EXTENSIONS:
That leads us here– current day extensions! After seven months of NBR, I decided to take them up a notch and go for the 22 inch extensions! I still have two rows with six wefts in each row, for a total of twelve wefts (like I did with 18″)! We also went a little brighter and more blonde with this set because #whynot!
The 22 inch extensions are more expensive to install than the 18 inch extensions because there is a lot more hair– here is how the 22s are priced at Mane Alley:
*depending on amount of rows and color
The maintenance timeline for 22 inches is still the same as 18 inches– 6-8 weeks for a color touch up on both your hair and the extension hair and a move up. I have said it several times, but I want to note it again here– my hair tends to get super brassy and requires coloring after 6-8 weeks anyway, so this maintenance is right on par for my color needs.
A FAQ about my extensions is– what brand of hair is it? Mine is Bohyme.
Here are some the questions y’all sent in on Instagram:
- How do you sleep with extensions? Do you wake up with messy hair? Before I go to sleep I apply THIS oil on the length of my hair, which helps keep it moisturized and healthy BUT also helps it from getting too tangled at night. Since getting the extensions, I sleep with my hair in a loose side braid to keep it from getting pulled on and messy at night. I also sleep on THIS pillowcase that I am convinced helps keep my hair from tangling at night!
- Do the extensions damage your hair? I do think certain types of extensions can damage your hair, my tape-in ones definitely did… I mean applying that adhesive right on your hair… How could they not? But, if anything, my NBR extensions have made my hair healthier because I don’t have to curl my hair as often (the extension hair holds curl for days)! NBR also doesn’t use any type of adhesive, your extensions are sewn onto a row in your head on a hinge– this helps to keep the row hidden but also the pressure is evenly distributed so there isn’t any pulling/damage to your real hair. Best tip for any type of extensions to not damage your real hair is at home upkeep– don’t pull on them ever, hold them at the base of your neck when you’re brushing your hair to not stress the attachment.
- I also had a couple questions about damage to hair in general from heat/color and what products I use to combat them— I love THIS heat protectant before styling, THIS oil (which I apply every morning AND night to the length of my hair) and THIS hair mask when my hair is feeling a little worn out and dull…. NOTE: I never apply the mask or oil to the top of my hair EVER (extensions or not) so that I am not weighing my hair down and preventing volume at my roots when I style.
- How do you get so much volume at your roots? This has everything to do with how you wash, blow dry and prep your hair and nearly nothing to do with styling. A lot of people apply too much product (including shampoo and conditioner) and end up weighing their hair down. I use a quarter size amount of shampoo all over my head and maybe a half dollar size of conditioner on the length only and that’s it! I also am not a huge fan of applying products to wet hair. This makes your hair heavy and textured, making you want to wash it more regularly. My hair does it’s best on day three and four, which is hard to get to when you’ve over applied products day after day and your hair has product build up weighing it down, making you want to wash it. I also blow dry the top of my head upside down to give it a fluff. So my top two tips are: 1. Don’t get so focused on products giving you volume, you’re just weighing your hair down and 2. blow dry it upside down while brushing it.
- How long do you go between washes? How do you train your hair to go so long between washes? I wash my hair once a week, maybe twice in the winter to try and combat the static. Training your hair to last between washes goes right along with the previous question– don’t apply too many products to your hair (wet or dry) until you absolutely have to! Once you’ve trained your hair, you can use things like a texturizing spray very lightly when you need a little grip, I love THIS one. Just start extending the time in between washes a few days at a time… if you usually go two days, try making it four and keep doing that until you get up to once or twice a week. The winter time is a great time to train your hair because you can just throw a beanie on when you’re getting a little greasy. This all goes for dry shampoo, too! I try not to use it for at least the first three or so days so that I’m not getting a buildup of that, I prefer THIS dry shampoo when I need it though! Any product buildup on your hair WILL make it feel gross and WILL make you want to wash it sooner than you need to. I promise your hair WILL catch on!
- I had a couple questions about styling dirty hair– I actually prefer to style my hair when it’s a little dirty, the curls hold better! If its like real dirty and you’re trying to extend your wash, I would either wear it up in a cute, messy topknot or throw on a hat/beanie.
- Another question was extending your wash when you workout a couple days a week– same here, girl. I don’t sweat a lot around my hair line but I also wear a SUPER tight topknot so that none of my hair is down near my face/neck in case I sweat. If you sweat and it’s in your hair, then just wash the part of your hair around your face to freshen OR run straight home and blow dry that sweat into your hair and throw in some dry shampoo– talk about volume! YES MA’AM!!!
- What do you tell your stylist to achieve your hair color? I did a whole post on what I like my color to look like HERE, if you’re interested. At the end of the day though, I always suggest showing an inspiration pic and leaving the rest of the fancy lingo up to the professionals. To answer your question, Diana says my hair is “baby lights with a smudge and a glaze after they are rinsed out”. Coloring your hair is different for everyone… what works for my color, might not have the same outcome on your hair. Just show your colorist my hair (if that is what you are trying to achieve) and I am sure she can come up with a plan to achieve that color… NOTE: color doesn’t always reach the goal shade the first time. To keep your hair healthy, don’t be afraid to let you colorist gradually change your color.
- I also got the question– how do you keep your blonde so bright between colorings? Well, my hair has a natural brass color to it (rude) so I have to combat that with products. I swear by THIS purple shampoo… the purple fights the brass and keeps your blonde bright. Beware, the blonder you are and the longer you leave it on, the more likely your hair is to have a sliiiiiiight purple/silver tint to it… which I sometimes enjoy, especially if I’ve let it get super brassy. If you have extensions and you are using purple shampoo, be sure to test it slowly and don’t leave it on the extensions the whole time you leave it on your real hair until you know how the extension hair will take to the purple! I usually separate my hair off and leave it on the extensions about 5 minutes (they don’t get very brassy) and my hair on the top of my head like 15 minutes. This is a good bath night routine versus standing in the shower and doing all of this.
- How do you keep your hair from being dry from coloring your hair? How do you keep your real hair healthy? I keep my real hair and the extension hair healthy with the same products, healthy extension hair is KEY to natural looking locks and this means adding some moisture DAILY and using revitalizing masks from time to time. Back to THIS oil I use AM and PM and every time my hair is feeling a little extra dry I do THIS mask.
- How do you curl your hair? How do you get it to look the same every single day? Check out THIS post on my curls and I get them to look the same everyday because I curl them the same every day and I have for years… so I guess just lots of practice! I also have a story highlight showing you my curl routine… its called “my curls”
- What tools/products do you use to get your curls? They are all linked in detail in THIS post. But again– try to only use your products when absolutely necessary and let your hair do it’s thing. When in doubt, a little bit of THIS texturizing spray and THIS dry shampoo should get you the volume you’re looking for.