So I am 6 months into my journey with Natural Beaded Row Extensions (let’s jut call them NBR shall we?) so I wanted to do an update for you all on my experience with them! I did a post a few months ago here about all the different types of extensions that I have tried, but I wanted to do an NBR specific post for you all as well.
I get my extensions done at Mane Alley Color and Extension Bar, by this talented angel herself, Diana. Isn’t she the cutest? I am always so jealous of girls that can wear hats, I just look ridiculous in them.
It is about an hour and fifteen minute drive for me, and some of you may ask “why do you drive so far you crazy?”, well that is because all extension artists are NOT created equal, and she is insanely talented at color and NBR. It was really important to me to find an NBR certified artist, so make sure you do your research when looking into extensions.
So what are NBR extensions you ask? NBR extensions are the least damaging, most natural looking extensions out there. What initially attracted me to them was when one of my bridal clients (oh hey Maddie) had them for her wedding. I got to work with them hands on, and I was a believer. The extensions attach at minimal points on your natural hair with beads (no tape, bonding or glue!) so they do the least amount of damage possible. It is kind of hard to explain, so here are some pics of the process that Diana kindly let me use! This is not me, but you get the idea.
The beads are connected by a string, that the wefts of hair are then sewn onto. So follow me here, the hair is sewn to the thread that runs through the beads, not sewn to your actual hair. This ensures the weight is distributed evenly, and doesn’t pull in one spot more than another.
Another big perk of NBR extensions is that they are custom colored. At each appointment Diana custom colors my hair, and the extension hair, making the blend so seamless.
I had my extensions installed in June 2018, and I get them moved up every 6 weeks. I have used the same hair since the initial install, but will probably get new hair this next time. I was able to make my hair last 7 months, which was great. I only wash it about 2 times a week, and put this oil in it nightly, so I think that has helped with the longevity of them. Here is my before and after from my initial appointment. That’s crazy right?!
I had 18 inch extensions for the first four months, but then cut about 4 inches in October just to try a different length. I loved them both ways, but the shorter length is a little more manageable for me. They beauty of NBR is they are so customizable, and you can truly make them anything you want!
I put together my most frequently asked questions from instagram for you below. I hope this makes your list-loving-heart as happy as it does mine.
How often do you have to get them done?
I go every 6 weeks. I went 7 weeks once, and 8 weeks another, and I found I like 6 weeks best. They start to grow out a bit towards the end (naturally as your hair grows!) and I was ready to have them moved up at 6 weeks. When I go for my maintenance appointments, Diana takes the extensions and beads out, colors my hair, colors the extension hair, then puts them back in. The whole thing takes about 3-1/2 to 4 hours. If you have ever had other types of extensions, you know this is super short in comparison!
Can you wash them normally, and what does care look like?
Absolutely! You can wash them like normal, and they are actually really easy to wash and dry. I wash and dry about 2 times a week. I always brush with a wet brush before getting them wet, and that helps with detangling. I use this mask every time I shower and this oil on my wet hair, and again every night on my dry hair.
Can you wear your hair up?
If I couldn’t wear my hair up, we would have some serious problems. I wear my hair up all the time! The way the extensions attached makes it so your hair easily goes up without making it completely obvious you have extensions in. They sort of hinge on the beads, if that makes sense!
How does working out affect them?
Again, if I couldn’t work out in them then this just wouldn’t work for me. I work out about 4-5 times a week and I just pull my hair into a ponytail on top of my head with a scrunchie and it works great. Why a scrunchie you ask? Because I do wear them up a lot, I am trying to decrease breakage by using something softer to hold my hair. I usually take it down right after, and add this dry shampoo and blow dry. It works for me!
Can you tell a difference in your natural hair when you take them out?
This is tough to answer, mainly because I have only had them out for a few hours during my maintenance appointments. I will say that every time I have them out I am so sad, haha. My hair definitely feels thinner than with my extensions in, but thinner than it was before? I just don’t know? I don’t think so?
How much do they cost?
Ah yes, what do they cost. This is definitely a popular question. I feel like Diana recently said it best, and she said this:
“There is a reason I do not post pricing. Not because I’m trying to hide it, but because every client has different needs and goals so the price varies widely. This is why I have an application for you to fill out! The application not something I have you do because I’m trying to be all high and mighty… it literally arms me with some great information about YOU, your current hair reality, and your hair history so when we discuss your hair goals, I can give you a much more narrow price range for YOUR specific needs. Hand tied Hair Extensions are so customizable that I prefer to tailor an estimate for each and every client.”
Because NBR is so customizable, it is really best to have Diana estimate for you. It depends on so many things, how long you want your hair, how much thickness you are after, etc. I can tell you that I have two rows of 18 inch hair, with 6 wefts each, and the initial install was $1, 350. My maintenance appointments average around $400 (for the custom color, and removal and re-install of the extensions). Hopefully this helps you a little bit in your planning!
Discovering NBR extensions with Diana has been truly life changing. I know I know, it is just hair right? But it’s so much more than that. I have always had the thinnest, most fine baby hair ever. I think it’s hard for people who have decent hair to understand, but for me, this method is just incredible. The confidence it has given me and so many others is unreal! THANK YOU Diana (you magician you) for giving me the hair of my dreams!
If you are interested in starting your NBR journey, you can find more info on Mane Alley, as well as fill out an application HERE! You can also follow along with Diana on instagram here. She is always sharing NBR tips and tricks, and client before and afters.