From the obvious Kardashians and Ariana Grande, to the not so obvious mom blogger or girl next door with luscious locks, someone you know or admire has hair extensions. There are tons of options on the market these days from clip ins, halo, tape ins, keratin bond, microbead, and sewn in– there is something for everyone. Some people use extensions for length, others for thickness, and some for both. Over the past 12 years I have tried just about every type to no avail, until now, but more on that later.
Below you will see a picture of all my hair extensions over the years:
- My first experience was with clip ins was for my wedding (this was in 2012). They were so beautiful and I admit there is something to be said about being able to just TAKE THEM OFF! Clip ins are annoying because you have to put them all around your head and really can’t do high pony tails, pig tails, or any hair do’s that lift sections of your hair. The price range is pretty reasonable though, starting at $20 on Amazon or if you plan on using name brands like Luxy Hair, they can start at upwards of $150.
- I then moved on to Halo Couture extensions. There are many different brands, but I think that Halo is the original of its kind. It is a weft that sits on the back of your head attached to a clear fishing line type string. It lays on your head like a headband, or halo, and adds length without it being permanent or being too difficult. Love this option for the people that love the length or thickness but just cannot commit to anything permanent. Way easier to use than clip ins and I think more realistic. A downside (but also maybe not), is that you have to be fit by a salon professional who sells Halo. My girl Nicole, at The Beauty Hive Salon in Roanoke TX, happens to be a Halo Couture salon. Halo extensions can run around $500 and up depending on style and custom color.
- Fall of 2018 I became obsessed with Mermaid Hair by Katie Rogers @mermaidhairxo. I actually won a full set of Mermaid Hair via one of her Instagram contests! This was my first experience with a more permanent type of extension. Back then Katie’s salon, The Mermaid SEAlon, only offered bead hair extensions (they are now doing some sort of hand tied weft, but in thicker chunks and many more rows). They pride themselves in doing full, thick, and long mermaid hair so each chunk of hair is heavy and put on using a large metal bead that is crimped using a plier. If you look above, you can see that the tip of each “strand” is as thick as a shoe lace end! They attach these 100 TIMES ALL OVER YOUR HEAD. It was heavy, painful, and the hair tended to clump if I didn’t brush often. I only lasted a month with the full set, another month with half to 1/4th, and on Christmas Eve morning I begged my husband to remove the rest with pliers because I just couldn’t take the discomfort anymore! These specific types of beaded extensions cost anywhere from $1500 for the hair and installation.
- I have never tried, nor wanted to try, Keratin bonds. It is basically gluing chunks of hair onto chunks of your hair. Google it, it looks scary as it grows out. It also seems very difficult to get out without messing up your hair.
- I will admit that I have been tempted to try tape-ins. I feel like just about anyone can do them, because you literally just tape a piece of hair onto a piece of hair. From what I understand, consumers love them, but hair stylists don’t recommend them. If you want a more real look, where you can do a high pony tail or even move your hair around without worrying about seeing a tape in, then this is not for you.
- Fall 2019 I finally swallowed down my extension PTSD and tried hand tied wefts from The Beauty Hive Salon per a good friend’s recommendation. I am going to go more in depth about this process, because it is by far the best format I’ve ever tried. Pricing varies on how long you want the hair, how many rows you need, and if there needs to be any custom color. Look to spend around $500+.
A good friend of mine got hair extensions right after I got my mermaid hair in 2018. She has now had them for over a year and continues to love them. After I had my husband remove the last of the mermaid hair on Christmas Eve, I decided hair extensions weren’t for me. Not even a year later and I was super jealous of how gorgeous, long, and full my friend’s hair looked. I decided I should give extensions one last try, if she could do it, surely I could too. I went into The Beauty Hive to see Nicole (the owner), with a lot of PTSD. My first reaction was, “these beads are tiny!” Seriously though, compared to the mermaid hair beads, these really were micro. She assured me that we would only do one row of beads in order to place the weft. I was still pretty nervous, so Nicole even put in some beads for me to get a feel for it. I didn’t feel bad at all, I hardly felt a thing. We went on with my consult and she put in an order for my 18 inch wefts, that she planned on smudge rooting for a seamless ombre look. A couple of weeks later I came back for my install, and the results were fantastic. The little row of beads really didn’t hurt, it just felt like a small braid or corn row of some sort. She even suggested taking a pain reliever and loosened the beads up for me so that I would have the least discomfort possible. In total the install took about 45 minutes. Nicole and one of her employees, Adrienne, really just put that hand tied weft in like the pros that they are. There was some sort of needle and thread type contraption going on, and from what I understand they sort of sew the weft around the beaded part. As the hair grows it all moves down seamlessly, you should continue brushing the root and everything! After the install was complete, the ladies made sure that the roots were colored to match my natural roots so that no one sees that there is a weft when the wind blows! Lastly there was a blowdry, dry cut, and style. Oh and lucky for me, I even got a fancy braid done!! I’m scheduled to go in about 7 weeks to push up my hair and do any color maintenance necessary. I was able to sleep on my hair just fine, I put it up in a high pony today and it didn’t bother me, and brushing is super simple. All in all the experience has been easy and painless, and if I do say so myself, I think that the results are stunning!
I am so thankful for the Nicole and all of the super sweet ladies over at The Beauty Hive Salon in Roanoke Texas. They are perfectionists and professionals. I recommend this type of extension, and them specifically to anyone looking to get longer and/or fuller looking hair!
Rupunzel signing off,