My Natural Beaded Weft Extension Experience
Hi friends - and welcome to my attempt at a guide answering all of your questions about my experience with natural beaded weft extensions! I asked you on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, “What Questions Do You Have About Hair Extensions?” and BOY did you not disappoint! So I’m splitting this into TWO posts because there is just soooo much to unpack!
This particular post is going to cover my natural beaded weft extension experience. The second post I have will cover general FAQs about hair extensions that I received on Facebook and Instagram —> THAT CAN BE FOUND HERE! If you are not familiar with hair extensions or are just starting to do research about them, I encourage you to read both posts thoroughly!
Before we jump in, I also want to preference that all opinions expressed in this are my own and all information that I am sharing is from my own experience. Everyone’s experience has the potential to be different and you should ABSOLUTELY talk with your stylist about what method is right for you and what your individual process will look like!
My Natural Beaded Weft Extension Experience
In August, before my wedding, my stylist, Sadie, and I took the leap and installed natural beaded weft extensions in my hair so that it would be full for my day-of wedding hair. The experience was an absolute breeze - my stylist coordinated it all, and I was lucky that the extensions matched my hair EXACTLY so no color matching was needed.
Where do I go?
I go to Sadie at Delphinium Salon in the Crossroads of Kansas City. (Check out her Instagram for some serious hair inspo! This is also where you can request booking with her!) I found Sadie on Instagram back in February on the Explore tab - I was just scrolling through mindlessly when I saw a photo of an absolutely incredible braid. I clicked on it and went through EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of Sadie’s photos. I started going to her for my hair while she was still in school and followed her to Delphinium. This girl is incredibly talented, ya’ll.
Natural Beaded Weft Extension Method
You’ve probably heard of natural beaded row (NBR) extensions - made highly popular by celebrities and Instagram Influencers everywhere. Well, the natural beaded weft extension method is literally identical, it just can’t be called NBR because of licensing rights. With both methods, your hair is placed in rows creating a “track” that is basically sewn into your hair using a bead and string technique. The hair extension wefts are then placed onto each track and sewn into it.
With this naturally beaded weft extension method, there is no glue, heat or tape that can cause a lot of damage to your hair used, meaning that damage is minimal (there is bound to be some damage with any method).
Why I Chose Natural Beaded Weft Extensions
I have pretty thin hair - when I was 15, I decided to remove meat from my diet (yup! I’m a vegetarian) and I experienced pretty severe hair loss over the next few years. Unfortunately, it’s never grown back and I now have about a third of the hair I had in my teens. :( It’s always been something that I’ve felt self-conscious about and, for some reason, something that people feel as though they can point out to me, which is really fun. So my goal for my extensions was volume, not length.
So I’ve been thinking about getting extensions for quite awhile, but wanted someone who was certified to do them. I also wanted to use a method that caused minimal damage to my hair (since it’s already thinner), doesn’t add time to my routine (I’ve used clip ins before and I wasn’t in love - read more about it in my Extensions FAQs post!) and wouldn’t slip.
The first step with natural beaded weft extensions is having a consultation. During my hair trial in early August, Sadie and I also talked through my hair goals, the process of natural beaded wefts, and the anticipated outcome. After our consultation, she placed the order for my extensions and we scheduled the appointment. A consultation should only take about 30 minutes and hopefully, when you leave, you feel comfortable with the process and feel as though you and your stylist are on the same page with the intended outcomes.
My actual appointment to place the extensions lasted about 3 hours, including the placement, blending and styling. Personally, the process of getting the beads put in and the wefts sewn in didn’t hurt at all. I honestly thought the sewing part was kind of relaxing - haha!
For my goals, we ordered one weft of 22 inch Laced hand tied extensions. We ended up using most of the weft, however I do have about one row left that we will use when one of my rows get damaged. When I left, I have one double layer on top for volume and one single row on the bottom. We ended up not cutting any off, just blending, due to the length of my hair.
After the Appointment!
During the first week, I’ll be honest, my extensions itched quite a bit! I started getting a little freaked out by it, tbh. But after doing some research, I found out that it is totally normal to have some itching or uncomfortableness for 48 hours to 1 week, depending on your skin sensitivity and especially for the first time having extensions! But after my scalp got adjusted to them, they really haven’t bothered me!
I know there are mixed sentiments revolving around wearing your hair up with natural beaded wefts. For the first two weeks, it was slightly uncomfortable to do so for me, so I tended to avoid it as much as possible. During week three, it became significantly less uncomfortable and I’ve been able to wear my hair up with ease since!
The Cost of Natural Beaded Weft Extensions
The cost of natural beaded weft extensions will vary for everyone, depending on your goals (your goals will determine the length and the amount of hair you’ll need to order), as well as your stylist’s prices. Total, I paid about $600 for my extensions and the process of installation.
How Long Natural Beaded Weft Extensions Last
There’s two timelines that you should be aware of. First, as your hair grows, you’ll need to schedule an appointment to have the extensions moved up. For me, this is ending up at about 7 weeks because my hair grows really quickly. But typically, this will be every 8 - 12 weeks, depending on your hair growth.
If you take good care of your extensions (be on the lookout for two care blog posts - 10 Tips for Taking Care of Your Extensions & The Products I Use to Care for My Extensions - coming out later this month!), they should last you anywhere from 6 - 12 months. This is completely dependent upon you, the products you use, the damage you do to your hair, and how often they will need to be moved up.
The Final Result
Overall, I’m so happy with my investment in my natural beaded weft extensions! I feel way more confident and I couldn’t be more in love with my wedding day hair because of them! They’ve been easy to care for (with the right products) and have been so fun to finally braid my hair with!
If you have extensions, or are looking to get them, make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you can get tips and tricks for caring for them and ensure yours last as long as possible!