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Tried and True: A NBR Experience

Hello, beautiful people! This is Li, the salon coordinator at Intentions Salon. This month I’m taking over! I am going to share my personal extension experience with you, because also as a licensed hair artist with fine hair I have rocked extensions through out most of my life, with most recent being Natural Beaded Rows, of course!

Before I jump into each extension method, I wanted to take a moment to talk about my natural hair. Yes, it’s fine. Also, when I grow my hair past my shoulder that I get kind of a modern day mullet. That is where I find the back of my head grows hair thicker and much fast than the sides. Basically, without hair extensions my hair is flat, stringy and lifeless.

This is my natural hair. No extensions, and old highlights.

Okay, moving on to the true problem. My hair color. If we haven’t had a pleasure of meeting in person (which we must change!), you should know I am a loud & proud natural redhead, or a true ginger you may say. If I do say so myself, it’s a very pretty color. It definitely compliments the pale skin and freckles I rock on a daily basis. Unfortunately, having hair extensions has had me fight with my natural color in order to achieve longer more luscious hair I have always wanted. For some reason, that I kind of understand but it annoys me, natural red hair colors are not at the top of hair extension companies list. They tend to be more focused on blondes and browns. In order to get hair that matches MY hair, I would always have to drastically my hair and at least tweak the extensions. So, I always had to be blonde or a very red brown to have extensions, etc.

Basically, I have not been able to achieve both aspects of my dream hair, until very recently. (spoiler!) I have experienced 5 extension methods in my life. Clip ins, Fusion/Keralink, Beaded, Tape-Ins and Natural Beaded Rows, in that order. I also rated my experience on comfort, blend, and my overall expeirence.

Clip-in Extensions:

Just like most of you who have any experience in extensions, I first dabbled with clip ins. These were probably my most short lived extensions I ever had. I had to both color my hair and my extensions to match, to particularly a color I didn’t want at the time. But, I choose longer looking and thicker hair over a color that suits my skin color.

The biggest problem was time. Time to curl, style, than install and blend into my hair every single day was something I was not into doing. Which meant that some days, I had nice longer hair, but other days time wasn’t on my side and I would be forced to just go natural. I’ve always been a firm believer that extensions should not be noticeable enough for people to know what you are doing differently. But obviously with the amount of time to install, I had to explain I had clip ins and so forth. Also, talk about heavy AF. Clip ins are not for the sensitive scalp, or anyone who lives in a windy area, that’s for sure.

Comfort: 1/10

Blend: 1/10

Overall: 1/10

Fusion/Keralink Extensions:

Fusion extensions, sometimes called Keralink, are individual strands of hair pieces that a hot tool is use to attach to your hair. These tend to be more customizable when it comes to color and placement, but my biggest peeve with this extensions was the damage on my fine hair after removal. Each time I had fusion extensions, about 100+ pieces were placed in my hair. Removal was typically 6-8 weeks after each installation, which was a painful process of putting a remover that basically is acetone onto each hair strand. It is then rubbed in, soaked and then removed with a plier. Usually the removal would take out a nice little chunk of my own hair at each strand, with hair that still had the bulb intake.

I wore fusion the longest although it caused me that most damage. They lasted the longest in my experience, because those little babies held on for dear life onto my hair, which of course caused more damage than good.

Comfort: 5/10

Blend: 6/10

Overall: 6/10

Beaded Extensions (Microlink/Nano bead):

Beaded extensions are very similar to fusion extensions as they are individual strands, but instead of a hot tool (basically a glue gun) being used to attach the strand to my hair, a bead was used. I enjoyed these about as much as fusion extensions, and can confidently say they were more gentle on my hair, but if you got any product build up under those beads, be sure you don’t run your hands through your hair in public. I once pulled out two strands while talking to a group of people who had no idea I had extensions.

The embarrassment was enough for me to resort back to fusion extensions, and further

damage my hair.

Comfort: 5/10

Blend: 6/10

Overall: 5/10

Tape- In Extensions:

After a few years of mostly rocking fusion extensions, tape-in extensions took center stage. The installation was much quicker and honestly, the blend that could achieve was better than any other method I had previously tried. The removal was still similar to fusion extensions, as they had to use a remover to get the tape in sandwiches off of my hair, but unlike fusion, globs of tape glue would be stuck in my hair for WEEKS. Honestly, I hated getting them removal because it made my hair feel so much thinner because for a few days between installation. I also would be finding these globs then having to pull them out.

They were also the most temporary of all three of semi temporary methods I had tried, which also meant that once they started really growing out, you would inevitably see the

sandwiches under my very thin hair. Not a cute look at all!

Comfort: 6/10

Blend: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

Before I get into Natural Beaded Rows I should touch upon somethings…

As a blanket statement, in none of these methods, was I able to wear my hair up. Clips ins hurt to much, and for fusion, beaded, and tape in- you would see EVERYTHING. I wanted luscious hair, but I also wanted to keep it my secret how I got it. I also don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but none of the above methods matched my natural hair color and still gave a natural blend. Heavy, heavy work would have to be done to adjust my color.

So that leads us to now- with Natural Beaded Rows:

I just had my first move up with Julia last week for my two rows. Kristen installed my natural beaded rows at the very end of February. And girls, it rocked my world. Natural beaded rows is unlike any other method, and trust me I know (see my experience above). All of the problems I have had with my previous extensions methods are no longer.

Let’s start with hair color. When the girls were game planning about what color to do for me, I figure I would put myself out there and pursue them to stick to my natural. I know the game, being a stylist but also someone who has had extensions that red hair is a B-I-T-C-H. But I figured I worked for the best, so I’ll hope for the best.

Of course, they took on the challenge head on. Yes, my natural hair color had to be tweaked a little. But I mean a LITTLE. It was probably my most subtle change I’ve ever had. A signature money piece was added and some copper brightness was just enough. The installation was one of the quickest and then BAM- I had two rows of natural beaded rows.

So let’s talk about my every day life with natural beaded rows. Instead of being fearful to wash my hair, like with all other methods because god forbid I just brush the extensions out, I wash my hair once to twice a week just because I CAN. My rows hold it’s style pretty much all week, just with me adding minor curls every other day. I barely think of my rows as extensions, as they feel and look so natural in my hair, that is literally just that, MY HAIR.

I can wear my hair up, down and swing it all around with no fear someone’s going to find my little secret. It is also the most comfortable when sleeping or working out. I wish I had found natural beaded rows sooner, as it would’ve saved my hair some almost a decade worth of extension and color abuse.

Comfort: 9/10

Blend: 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10

I spend 8 hours a day watching women at all stages of life some in and out of the Intentions Salon studio, getting their Natural beaded rows done by the master, Jules. And I get it, especially since I have natural beaded rows. It’s money well spent, to look and feel your best. It is priceless for me to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and feel relief not a burden when dealing with my hair.

If you are like me, and think you have tried it all- well buckle up and check out our website and fill out our Natural Beaded Rows application. Get ready to finally haveyour dream hair.



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