People are always so surprised when I say that I have hair extensions. It’s not something that I bring up in conversation but I have absolutely ZERO problem admitting that I have them! The extensions that I have are microbead hair extensions and today I’m dishing ALL the details to help you decide if they’re the right option for you.
All About my Microbead Hair Extensions
A Little Back Story
I’ve had my hair extensions in for about 7 years. YES! 7 Years!
I am naturally blessed with SUPER thin hair. Thanks Dad. It always bothered me. If I curled it it looked like I had 1 curl on each side of my head. If I pulled it up I looked like I had the same amount of hair as a 2 year old. I could never get it to look good no matter WHAT I did.
SO, when I got pregnant with my daughter in 2012 I decided I wanted to do something to feel really good about myself. My friend Ashley who happens to be my stylist at Salon Tsunami suggested I try hair extensions.
The extensions that I have are called “Dream Catchers“. I’m going to break down how they are installed, how much they cost, what the maintenance is like and the pros and cons.
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Hair
Dream Catchers Hair is 100% Remy Hair and silicone free, unlike the glue-in systems. Remy Hair is real human hair and the hair cuticle is preserved unlike synthetic hair. Synthetic hair cant always take heat styling and also won’t blend well like the Remy Hair. The quality of Remy Hair is the best in my opinion and I’m sure your stylist will agree.
Dream Catchers also use an I-Tip System that allows your hair to lay flat against your head (picture below) creating a seamless look.
Dream Catchers offers over 40 colors to choose from and the hair can still be dyed with your natural hair. For example, I get the color that most closely matches my natural hair color but if I wanted to dye my whole head once they are in I can do so.
You can also choose between straight, wavy, medium curl or tight curl.
To install the hair your stylist will also need micro-cylinders. The micro-cylinders are what keep the hair in place. You need one pack of micro-cylinders per pack of hair. I personally use 4 packs of hair (25 strands per pack) but you can use whatever you need. I originally started with only 2 packs and slowly worked my way up lol. My natural hair is actually just as long as the extensions but I use them for fullness, not length.
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Process
The process of getting your hair extensions should go like this:
- Schedule a consultation. It will be impossible to get a real idea of what you need without one. Your stylist will help you determine if you are a good candidate and if so decide how many packs and what style you need to order.
- Have your Extensions installed. Depending on how many packs of hair you decide to put in this could be anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. It will all depend on how quickly your stylist likes to work.
- How is the hair installed? Each strand of hair slides into a microbead and the microbead is then clamped down onto the hair (see photo below).
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Maintenance
Every 4-6 weeks you will need to have your extensions “adjusted”. The extensions are attached to the hair at the scalp. As the hair grows the extensions grow with it. Your stylist will open up the bead, slide the hair back up to the scalp and close the bead back up. If you wait too long to have your extensions adjusted the beads start to twist and the hair between the scalp and beads can start to tangle aka dreadlock lol. You don’t want that.
If you get your hair dyed then you’re probably in the salon every 4-6 weeks anyway. On average I would say you can add about 45 minutes to an hour of salon time for the adjustments.
Products I Use Daily
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Price
Let me just start by saying this is not going to be EXACTLY the same from salon to salon. However, it is a VERY good estimate.
Ok so lets say you want 4 packs of hair. Each pack is $100 so that brings us to $400. Now you need 4 packs of microbeads (one for each pack of hair) at $3.75 each. That’s $15. Now factor in tax , which is roughly $31.50 plus shipping which is about $15. Lastly you need to factor in the cost for them to be installed. Generally, it’s $100 per pack. That’s another $400. So, overall your initial cost to purchase your hair and have them installed is about $861.5. Plus tip.
Now you need to think about the monthly maintenance. I personally have to get back into the salon within 5 weeks to have my hair adjusted. By 6 weeks they feel pretty far from my scalp and I don’t like that feeling.
It’s approximately $50 per pack to have your extensions adjusted. So if you have 4 packs in you’re looking at $200. Then of course if you color and cut (who doesn’t cut their hair? lol) you’ll start to see that number creep up pretty quickly!
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Pros
- You can add as much length as you want
- You can add as many packs for your desired fullness
- You can still use hot tools such as curling irons, straighteners, blow dryers etc.
- You can still pull your hair up in a bun, top knot, etc.
- They are much safer for your hair then other types of extensions.
Microbead Hair Extensions – The Cons
- They are more expensive than other extensions
- You have to keep up with the maintenance every 4-6 weeks
- You shouldn’t put conditioner on your scalp (I don’t do that anyway because my hair is so thin)
Favorite Styling Tools
Microbead Hair Extensions – Q & A
- Will my hair extensions ever fall out? The short answer to that is no, not normally. There are occasions where I will have a strand fall out but it’s not like you’ll be walking in the food store and it will just fall out. Generally, if a strand comes out it’s for a reason. For example it wasn’t clamped in tight enough or you put conditioner on the bead (which you should never do). Usually, before it falls out you will feel that it’s loose. If this happens, I normally just slide it out myself. (However, you can not just take these out yourself – only if a strand is loose you may be able to gently slide it off).
- Can I sleep like I normally would? YES! I do everything as I normally would. You don’t even know these extensions are there.
- Do I need to use certain products for my hair extensions? No, but I would suggest asking your stylist which products she suggests as you should stay away from shampoos with oils or too many moisturizing agents.
- Will it be noticeable to others that I have microbead hair extensions? No. The microbeads used are the same color as the hair you choose so everything will blend together. Depending on your hair there are also different ways your stylist can attach them.
- How long can I use the hair for? I use my hair for about a year before I buy new hair. It will all depend on how well you take care of it.
- What other types of hair extensions are there? Fusion, Tape-In, Sew-In (weave)
- Can I brush my hair like normal? Yes. You just need to be careful around your scalp. For the top of my head I usually just tilt a bit to the side and brush. For the rest of my hair I will usually just hold my hair at the nape of my neck and brush the rest. It’s very simple.
- Can I use Hot Tools on my hair? YES!!! I use a blow dryer and wand (favorite wand here!) several times a week and my hair still stays healthy. Lately I’ve also been using THIS Deep waver. It is AMAZING!!!
If you’re interested in other types of extensions my sweet friend Ashley over at Sass and Satin has the tape-in ones! Head over and check out her latest blog post on her review. Hopefully between the two of us you can get a better idea which system is best for you.
I hope you find this helpful. There are a lot of options for hair extensions and I know it can be overwhelming. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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