**all hair and styling was done by the hair queen herself, Sarah Grace Armstrong. I seriously couldn’t recommend her more, she is my go-to hair gal! She’s not only the sweetest human alive but is also extremely talented and always takes great care of my hair. :)
Let me start by apologizing for how long it’s taken me to write this post. It’s definitely long overdue but I guess better late than never, right? Without further ado, welcome to the blog post all about my hair extensions. I’ve had extensions for nearly two years now and if you’ve been a long time follower then you probably know that I’m extremely open about the fact that I have them. From my experience you would likely consider getting hair extensions for one of two reasons. First being for thickness and second would be for length. I got my extensions for length and styling purposes. Having long hair that looks good and curls well is ideal for me since I take photos for my blog almost every single day.
In the past I had always wondered how girls had such incredible looking hair. Little did I know that the secret was EXTENSIONS!! I began my extension journey by researching hair extension specialists in Birmingham. I knew that clip in extensions just wouldn’t be realistic for me and decided to go a more “semi-permanent” route. I found out that Forecast Salon in Homewood had an employee that was excellent with tape-in extensions and the next step was sitting down for a consultation. I had the tape-in extensions for about a year before I started hearing more about and researching the hand tied extension method. It’s been about four months since I made the switch to hand tied extensions and I am SO happy with them. I cannot recommend them enough! Hands down, it’s one of the best investments I’ve made when it comes to beauty. I’ve been asked to share a little about my experience with them so I wanted to touch on some of the basics. FYI- All photos on this post were taken with the hand tied extensions and NOT the tape in.
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COST: Cost depends on the length of extensions, the brand and how thick you want the hair. I decided to go with the Habit Hand Tied 24” length extensions and ordered 2 packs of hair for extra thickness. My stylist, Sarah Grace, matched the color to my natural hair and ordered them for me through her salon. My thoughts were that you can always cut the hair shorter but extensions don’t grow like your normal hair and can’t get longer. So in my opinion, the longer the better! The hair costs anywhere between $300-$500 for the hair alone. Not to mention an additional $650-$800 for the initial installment. Then every 6-8 weeks it costs $100 to get the extensions moved up. Definitely an investment but like I said, in my opinion they are worth every penny.
INSTALLATION: The first time I had my hair installed it took around 2-3 hours, which is pretty average. Now I only go in to get the hair moved up every 6-8 weeks and it only takes around an hour. Basically during the installation process your hair is divided up into tiny sections and separated by small beads. The weft is then sewn in or “hand tied” through the beads and attached to your head. The process didn’t hurt much while I was at the hair appointment, but I will say I am not tender headed by any means. Once I got home my head did get fairly sore and I definitely had to take some kind of pain reliever. It kind of felt like someone was pulling my hair the first few hours after getting the hair installed, very uncomfortable but not unbearable. I still get a similar feeling every time I have the hair tightened but definitely not near as intense as the very first time the hair was installed.
MAINTENANCE: My stylist recommends that I go in for maintenance to get my hair tightened every 6-8 weeks. It really depends on how fast your hair grows and mine usually grows extremely quick. I normally can only go around 6 weeks before getting them tightened. You have to get them tightened because your hair grows and the extensions start to get grown out as well. When I had tape-in extensions the hair lasted me for about a year before I had to purchase new hair, so hopefully it’s the same with the hand tied hair. Be expecting to pay for new hair annually. In terms of brushing, washing and styling my hair I’m extra careful around the roots and try not to pull as hard, but I really don’t do anything different than I would if I didn’t have them. It is real human hair so you can style it just as you would your natural hair! :)
TAPE-IN VS. HAND TIED: After trying both methods of hair extensions I can confidently say that I prefer the hand tied method over the tape-in. When I had the tape-in’s I noticed that sometimes the tape would stick out, especially once my hair started to grow out. It was also a lot more difficult to style my hair in ponytails, braids, etc. without the tape showing. Being that my hair is really dark and so are the wefts attached to my hand tied hair, they blend so much better into my natural hair and are way less noticeable. I also didn’t like how long the maintenance appointments would last for the tape-in. They had to remove the tape from the hair completely and usually the adhesive residue would stick to my hair post removal. After removing all of the hair, they then have to be washed and then new tape must be added… Safe to say it was a much longer process. Now that I have the hand tied the tightening process is so much more quick and easy. Neither method caused any damage to my hair, but remember that each persons hair is different so I can’t speak for everyone!