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 problems admitting that I have them!
The extensions that I have are Dream Catchers 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 8 years. YES! 8 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 hairstylist suggested I try hair 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
What are Dream Catchers hair extensions?
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.
You can choose from over 40 colors 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:
1.) 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.
2.) 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). The placement of each strand will be at the discretion of your stylist and can be moved based on where it makes the most sense and is the least visible.
Microbead Hair Extensions – 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. 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
What is the cost of microbead hair extensions?
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 let’s 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 Pros & Cons
- 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 than other types of extensions.
- 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
- Do microbead extensions 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, if the extension it wasn’t clamped in tight enough or you put conditioner on the bead (which you should never do) it could fall out. 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).
- How long do Dream Catchers hair extensions last? The Dream Catchers website says hair will last up to 2 years if properly taken care of. However, I find that after about a year I need new hair. After about a year the hair starts to become dry and the adhesive on the ends which keeps it in the bead becomes unusable. How well you maintain it will also have an impact on how long they last.
- Can I sleep like I normally would? YES! I do everything as I normally would. You don’t even know the extensions are there.
- Do I need to use certain shampoo & conditioner for my hair extensions? No, but I would suggest asking your stylist which products she suggests as you should stay away from shampoos with sulfates, oils, or too many moisturizing agents. Milkshake makes great products that are safe for hair extensions and they smell amazing.
- 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. However, if your hair is exceptionally thin, your hairstylist might recommend another style of extensions such as DonnaBella.
- 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 a wand (favorite wand here) several times per week and my hair still stays healthy. Lately, I’ve also been using this 3 barrel curling iron. If you do use hot tools though, I recommend using a heat protectant spray. This one is sulfate-free.
- Are microbead extensions bad for your hair? I have personally found these extensions to cause ZERO damage. The unique system was specifically developed to avoid hair damage.
- How do you wash your hair with microbead extensions? I wash my hair as I normally would. The only difference is that you should stick to only applying conditioner towards the bottom half of your hair. You never want to put conditioner on your roots (or the beads).
- How do you sleep with microbead extensions? I sleep the same way I would without them. There is no special way you need to treat microbead extensions. Other extensions might require you to put your hair in some sort of wrap or keep it braided. This is another huge pro to the microbead method.
- How often can you wash microbead extensions? Every day! If I wanted to wash my hair 3 times a day it wouldn’t affect them.
- What’s the best brush for hair extensions? A wet brush is the best brush to use for hair extensions. I recommend brushing it as soon as you get out of the shower. If I curl my hair and want to brush out the curls I use the XL ionic antimicrobial, but never directly on the roots.
- What length do microbead extensions come in? Dream Catchers offers hair in 20″ and 24″ lengths. You can cut them to whatever length you’d like.
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 of which system is best for you.
If you’re wondering which microbead hair extensions are the best, I would 100% recommend Dream Catchers. Find a certified Dream Catchers stylist in your area (there is a specific certification for this exact type of hair extensions) to set up a consultation.
I hope you find this microbead extensions review 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 [email protected]
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