I’ve been wanting to try hair extensions for a while now, simply out of curiosity. Several of my former coworkers talked about maintaining their extensions, so it piqued my interest! I’m always looking to try new things to see if I like them. Also, I’ve been noticing a lot of hair strands on the bathroom floor, which may have freaked me out a bit that I might be losing hair, haha.
Getting Hand-Tied Weft Hair Extensions
Growing up, I always hated how thick my hair was, but now I’ve found that I love it and it’s not thick enough! It blows my mind because it takes a while to blow dry or curl my natural hair, yet here I am wanting to get hair extensions for more thickness. Seems very counterproductive.
Anyway, one of my former pageant sisters shared on Instagram that she recently learned how to do extensions. I reached out to her for the initial consultation and to walk me through the process.
Hair Extension Methods
There are many different hair extension methods, such as strand-by-strand (i-tips and k-tips) and weft extensions (machine weft, hand-tied weft, and tape-ins). The customization of extensions is limitless – I’ve also seen people do a mixture of strand-by-strand methods with weft extensions.
These methods all have their pros and cons, so it’s crucial to let your hairstylist know during your consultation what your hair goals are, as well as your current lifestyle. For example, if you’re a gym goer, then the strand-by-strand method might be better suited for you, as it’s easier to put your hair up.
Because I was mainly looking for volume and thickness (rather than length), we decided to do the hand-tied weft method using AQUA hair extensions. I got the 18-inch in dark brown. We did two rows of hair extensions – a total of 60 grams.
You can have hair extensions placed higher or lower on your head; I opted for placing them higher since I’m mainly looking for fullness on the top of my head. The only problem with this is that there’s less natural hair covering the extensions, so there’s a higher chance of people seeing them.
Cost of Hand-Tied Weft Hair Extensions
The main expense of getting hair extensions would be the hair itself, which typically ranges from $300-400 (depending on the brand, length, and thickness). I also did some personal research and looked into the pricing of hair. Note – I am a licensed nail technician and esthetician, so I was able to see what hairstylists pay.
Besides the hair, there is also the installation or move-up fee, which varies from stylist to stylist. Similar to doing nails, you can either do a full set or a fill. With hair extensions, you can get a reinstallation or an adjustment. While doing my research, I noticed that not a lot of hairstylists will offer the adjustment and will only do a full reinstallation.
Taking Care of Hair Extensions
So…after you get extensions, how do you take care of them? Hair extensions are pricey, and after spending so much money on them, you want them to last! Here are some things I do to make sure my hair extensions last as long as possible:
Wear your hair in a loose braid when sleeping.
With hair extensions, you want to make sure that they’re intact with not a lot of unwanted pressure or movement. I like to put my hair in a loose braid when I go to sleep; this helps prevent the hair extensions from moving around, which causes tangles (like a bird’s nest).
Don’t wash your hair too much, but also keep your hair clean.
Because hair extensions don’t produce oil like your natural hair, washing them too much can cause them to dry out. I’ve “trained” my hair to go without a wash every 4-5 days. The first few weeks of having hair extensions were such a struggle, since I tried not to wash them very often. My hair felt so dirty and gross, but once you get into the routine of washing it once or twice a week, it gets easier! I also try not to use a lot of dry shampoo, as I feel like this can cause a lot of buildup.
I would recommend trying to see what fits you, your hair, and your lifestyle. Additionally, I try not to use dry shampoo until the third day, which will give me an extra day or two without washing.
When washing your hair, you want to make sure that you’re also lightly washing in between your rows and rinsing well. I will also blow-dry the row placement because I find that when my hair is damp in that area it can feel very oily. When I wash my hair, I will make sure to blow-dry my roots and let the rest of my hair air-dry.
Use hair oil on your ends.
Since your hair extensions can easily dry out, you want to make sure you’re putting hair oil on them. I like to use Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil on my ends when I’m putting it in a loose braid at night and in the morning when I’m styling my hair for the day.
Pros and Cons of Getting Hand-Tied Weft Hair Extensions
Like with all things, there are both pros and cons. Here are some of my pros and cons to having hair extensions! Because I want to leave on a positive note, I’ll start off with the cons…
Cons of Hand-Tied Weft Hair Extensions
Other than the expense, a con of having hair extensions is being limited to how you can style your hair. Since the rows are pretty secure on your head, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to tie your hair into a high ponytail.
Another con is not being able to wash your hair whenever you want. Technically, you can wash it, but with hair extensions, you do want to try to prolong it as much as possible. I do extra planning when it comes to washing my hair (no more spontaneous Korean BBQ unless my hair is already near its washing routine).
A third con would be their upkeep and maintenance. You’re looking at a trip to the hair salon every 4-6 weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows. I personally go to the salon every 6 weeks. It does get slightly uncomfortable if your hair is super grown out.
Pros of Hand-Tied Weft Hair Extensions
Besides the obvious of having the hair of your dreams, extensions are very comfortable to wear. Hair extensions can feel very heavy for about a day after they are installed (and can even give you a slight headache), but that’s a small price to pay for thicker and longer hair!
Another great thing about hand-tied weft hair is that it can give you maximum fullness compared to other hair extension methods. I love how thick the two rows of hair extensions give me, and my hairstylist says with my natural hair, I can actually wear more if desired.
Lastly, hair extensions can make styled hair last longer! Because hair extensions don’t produce oil, curling lasts a bit longer than curling your natural hair. On top of that, because the hair looks fuller, you don’t have to style it all the way. You can opt for looser waves and it’ll still look good since the thickness is already there.
Keep in mind that it has only been 3 months since having hair extensions, so take my pros and cons with a grain of salt! Be sure to do your research and consult with your hairstylist for hand-tied weft hair. I definitely want to try i-tips hair extensions next!