Ever since I was a little girl, I had thin hair – curly and frizzy and thin. It never grew past my shoulders. I was super insecure about it; envying all those girls that had beautiful, thick, long mermaid hair. Then, as I got older and found myself in the throws of an eating disorder, my hair started to shed – and shed some more – which then sent me on a journey to a million different doctors’ offices, in search of answers and perhaps even a magic trick to regrow my hair.
You name it, I tried it. Biotin? Check. Scalp exfoliators? Check. Rogaine? Check. Even though I am now over 5 years recovered from my eating disorder, and healthier now than I’ve ever been, my hair is still extremely thin, fragile, and there are a few patches that could use a little scalp concealer, if you know what I mean. Wink wink.
Sure, sometimes it does! I am human! But just because I have an insecurity (or ten!) doesn’t mean that I also don’t love myself. There is a misconception that if someone gets hair extensions or botox or plastic surgery, that they must completely lack all confidence and sense of self-worth. The argument is, if you truly love yourself like you say you do, you shouldn’t feel the need to change any part of yourself. Live in your natural state, don’t change a thing.
But I disagree. I believe that you can love yourself completely and want to change parts of yourself. Why? Because sometimes change is fun, feels good, and makes you happy! It all comes down to the why behind what you are doing. And in my opinion, as long as you aren’t doing things to fill a void, I say why not! Enjoy your damn life!
For me, that comes in the form of hair extensions. I have had hair extensions for 2 years now, and gosh, I can’t even imagine my life without them anymore. For the first time in my life, I have the hair that I always dreamed of – full, shiny, long mermaid hair, that’s actually super low maintenance.
First things first. To a certain degree, there will always be a tiny amount of damage, because no matter what you are doing, there is tension on the scalp that wouldn’t otherwise be there. However, the installation method you choose is the absolute key – you need to find the right type for your unique head of hair to minimize the damage.
And by installation, I mean, the method used to attach the extensions to your hair. There are many different methods, such as tape-in’s, bonds (essentially glued in), Natural Beaded Rows, Invisible extensions, and more! There are so many different kinds.
When I first got extensions, I opted for the keratin bonded extensions. This method was the wrong method for my particular hair type, and severely damaged my hair. Essentially, it pulled too much on my already thin and fragile hair, and because so much of my own hair was coated with the keratin bond (a glue of sort), there were multiple points of contact. I regret getting those hair extensions; but I trusted my hair dresser and didn’t think much of it. Shame on me, but live and learn.
After those were removed, I cried and cried. My hair was super thin. So I waited a few months to do more research on different installation methods, while continuing to grow my own hair. One day, I saw my friend Erica’s Instagram post, talking about her NBR (Natural Beaded Rows) extensions. I immediately started researching and scheduled a consultation with her gal, Michaela, from M Styling Boutique. I sent Michaela pictures of my hair and talked to her on the phone before she would even schedule an appointment with me. She was convinced that NBR was the way to go for me, and that I could have the hair of my dreams with very minimal damage. Why? Because with NBR, there are very few points of connection between the extensions and your head, and there is no tape, glue, or heat involved.
And so, my life has been changed. While my own hair is still fine and thin and recovering from those damn keratin bond extensions, I am happy to report that it is also growing!
I am glad you asked! In fact, I get this question all the time when I tell people on Instagram that I have hair extensions. Can you feel them on your head? Of course you can. If you touch your head, yes, you feel the rows. And if you are dating someone new and plan to get hot and heavy, you might as well be up front and tell them you have extensions, because your partner is bound to touch your head at some point!
But even though you can feel them, it’s not bad at all! You get used to it and they feel very light on your head. You can wash, dry, curl, and otherwise treat your extensions like your own hair, but you do have to be much gentler with them!
With NBR extensions, I can go about 7-8 weeks between visits. When I return to the salon at the 7-8 week point, my hair gets trimmed and colored, and then the extensions are reinstalled on my head and styled! Because I purchase quality hair, I’ve only have to replace the actual hair (purchasing new hair) once each year.
Hair extensions are a big expense, but to me, it’s worth it. I forgo a lot of things for my hair! 🙂 Priorities, priorities, people!
You have to treat your hair like baby hair! I think this is where many people cause damage because they forget they are wearing extensions. IT IS NOT YOUR OWN HAIR, PEOPLE. Go easy on it. Linked below are the products that I use for my hair – both to ensure that the hair extensions last a long time (quality hair can be reinstalled several times without having to purchase new hair), and also to protect the integrity of my natural hair. As you can see, it’s a few simple things that are always on repeat!
I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below!
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Hi! I’ve been searching the internet for days about something like this article. I think I have the same type hair as you. Curly and fine and never grew great past my shoulders. I got keratin bond extensions for my wedding a year and a half ago and I just got a partial set put in but I feel like my hair is damaged beyond repair. It’s keeping me up at night and I have so much anxiety about it. Can I ask you what are you using to try to repair your hair while your nbr extensions are in? And have you noticed your hair coming back to it’s original state? I’m crying as I’m typing this because of how much anxiety I have over my hair. I regret ever getting them. Thank you so much for your response and writing this post!