Seven months ago I got invisible bead hair extensions installed for the first time. I took them out for a few months over the summer but I missed them so much I had them reinstalled last week. I love my hair extension so much I think I’ll die with extensions on my head. Why did I get them? Short answer: back in February I was bored. Nothing was going on, no one was going out, we were deep in COVID, and it was my feeble attempt to do something exciting for myself. My definition of excitement may not match yours but for me hair extensions are very exciting.
:: Why Get Hair Extensions?
Hair extensions weren’t on my radar until a few years ago. I was sitting in the chair at my hair salon complimenting my hair stylist on the length and fullness of her hair and lamenting about one of the many benefits of aging –my hair just isn’t as full as it once was. I’m able to achieve the length I desire with my own natural hair but the fullness of my youth has disappeared. She gave me a quick and easy solution: clip-in hair extensions to achieve the volume I desired. She helped me figure out the exact type of clip-ins to get, taught me how to install them, and trimmed them to the correct length to blend into my hair style once I got them. You can read my blog post on my clip-ins and how I install them. I wore clip-in hair extensions for several years — basically I put them in whenever I took the time to do my hair. Sometimes I would leave them clipped-in for several days because I liked having them in and I was just too lazy to take them out and reinstall them daily. Clip-in hair extensions helped me make the realization that an incredible head of hair didn’t need to be envied, it can be bought.
:: Where To Go For Invisible Bead Extensions
I would have happily continued with my clip-in extensions but fast forward a couple of years and with every Facebook and Instagram ad I saw I was becoming intrigued by the concept of a semi-permanent solution to my clip-in extensions that I would leave in too long. After complimenting a dear friend with an incredible head of hair she confided that she had sewn in hair extensions. I got the name of her stylist and started doing my research. My biggest worry from the social media ads I was seeing was that semi-permanent hair extensions would damage my hair which I definitely did not want to do at my age. Second, I was worried about the cost and maintenance.
Based on my girlfriend’s recommendation I visited Jyll at Revolution Color Studio in McLean, Virginia for a free consultation about Invisible Bead Extensions. Sewn in hair extensions are not right for everybody. I was glad that I had been using clip-in extensions for a few years prior because it really gives you a feel for the additional weight hair extensions add to your head. At the initial meeting Jyll matched my hair type to the different type of extensions available and made a recommendation on the number of rows and length of the hair to match my goal of achieving more volume. After the consultation I was comfortable that invisible bead extensions are different from the ads I had been seeing and ultimately would not damage my hair because the technique would allow my hair to grow normally while the extensions were in. As for cost and maintenance, after the initial investment in the hair — which can last about a year if you care for your extensions well — the investment is not unreasonable. Jyll is a master level installer of invisible bead extensions so her installation prices are higher than her associate at her studio who charges less for the install and maintenance move-ups.
:: How Are Invisible Bead Extensions Attached To Your Head?
The extensions are placed in rows in the hair by creating a row with an exclusive bead and string technique. Hair wefts are placed on the row and sewn in. The exact way this is done is a trade secret to Invisible Bead Extensions. It’s a specific method of installing hair installing hair extensions that minimizes damage to the hair root. No tape or glue is involved. The way invisible bead extensions are designed, your hair grows with the hair wefts. So about every six weeks you need to come in and have the wefts removed and reinstalled back at the scalp. At your move-up appointment you’ll be able to see that your natural hair is growing where your extensions were placed. On my first install, I got two rows of hair sewn in. On my subsequent appointments I opted for one row. It takes less time and I think it’s a better fit for my lifestyle. With one row I still get the volume I want but it’s not as heavy on my head as two rows were.
:: What Are The Extensions Like?
I have 18″ hair extensions by Covet and Mane. My natural hair length matches the length of my extensions. A question I get asked a lot is, “do they hurt?” My honest answer is the first time I had them installed I was aware they were on my head and there was the heaviness associated with it. It took 3 or 4 days and then I no longer noticed them. When I went down to one row they were less heavy and way less noticeable to me. After spending several months without them this summer when I had them reinstalled last week I did not notice them at all. I think having one row makes a big difference in comfort.
:: Can You Wash And Style Your Hair Normally?
Yes! There are some new techniques and adjustments you need to learn to care for your extensions but they are really easy. First, I brush my hair very well in the morning and at night because the extensions can get tangled and you definitely do not want that. Second, obviously you can’t brush from the scalp where your extensions are because your brush would get caught up in the row. So you start brushing just below where the row is installed. As for washing my hair, I haven’t been a daily hair washer for years. You can read my post here on my lazy girl hair routine. If you are a daily hair washer then invisible bead extensions would not be ideal — your extensions won’t last as long. I probably stretch my hair washes longer than I should but I wash my hair about every ten days. I use high end shampoo and products to care for my hair and my extensions as well as I should. I massage shampoo into my scalp above and below my row of extensions and do the same with any styling products I use. I blow dry and style my hair as I normally would. When I use a curling iron I’m careful to keep the heat to 310 degrees max to protect my extensions. Also, the extensions hold curl much better than my regular hair. Less hair washing, less styling, and, frankly, because my extensions don’t get frizzy as my normal hair does — I think I have less regular hair maintenance overall. My hair maintenance with extensions is condensed into the three hour move-up maintenance appointments. Finally, another question I am asked a lot about — yes! you can wear your hair up. The row is not visible at all (hence the name, Invisible Bead Extensions). Your hair and extensions move seamlessly. I’ve had them in and out at various points this year and no one has noticed them. I definitely notice the difference in volume and I love the way my hair looks with my hair extensions.
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