For literally as long as I can remember I've wished for long hair. I actually remember I was about 5 years old and my mom took me to the hair salon to get a trim and I was looking at magazines and pointed to a girl with very long hair and said I wanted that. Obviously that wasn't possible, but pretty much since then I've been "growing my hair out". Sure over the course of a few decades I would cut it short, let it grow, and repeat. But I could never get it to grow past a certain length, it seemed like it just stopped a few inches below my collarbone. I had a stylist once tell me it was genetics, I had others tell me to try supplements, or don't wash too often, do this, try that, etc. Nothing seemed to work. Now, I will say, after March 2020 when I wasn't able to get my hair colored (and it had been about 7 months since my last session), my hair seemed to start growing out healthier. I was enjoying the natural color and getting a little length! But after about a year, it seemed to just come to a stopping point which led me to start considering extensions, again.
Yes, I've had extensions before. Besides the clip-in and halo styles that I personally don't care for, I tried tape-in extensions back in 2017. After about a month I took them out, they just weren't what I was looking for, but I'm glad I was able to test them out. So fast forward to summer of 2021 while visiting Dallas I had a hair appointment with Adriana for color and I talked to her about extensions again. She mentioned she had started doing NBR hair extensions and I was very interested to learn more! We casually discussed it and I told her I would think about it. I knew I was traveling to Dallas again in October, so I reached out to see if we could do a consult while I was there and come back in December to have them put in, and here we are.
What Are NBR Extensions?
Natural Beaded Rows™ Hair Extensions are an exclusive hair extension method created by Danielle K. White of DKW Styling. They are made from 100% human Indian Remy hair and custom colored to match your hair to ensure a seamless blend. The hair extensions are placed in rows in the hair by creating a “track” with an exclusive bead and string technique. Wefts are then placed on the track and sewn in. The extensions are then cut and blended to the clients’ hair to create a natural and beautiful look.
How to Care for NBR Extensions
When it comes to maintenance and caring for your natural beaded rows hair extensions, you want to make sure you follow the guidelines your stylist provides to ensure having the best experience with them.
Brush out extensions with a WET brush (the approved brush I use) before showering to prevent tangles & matting. Use sulfate free shampoo & conditioner. Shampoo GENTLY between rows (I divide my hair into 3 sections to do this). Use a leave-in conditioner + oil/heat protectant combo right after showering and before brushing out with brush. When brushing wet hair, start at your ends and work up to the scalp (you should really do this even without extensions). Hold hair in one hand (like a ponytail) and brush down. Rough dry you hair 80% of the way. No tugging on the extensions witha round brush. Just use your hands/fingers. Do NOT round brush your hair from start to finish.
Round brush + light tension to smooth your hair & extension hair the last few minutes of your blow-dry. If curling, run the extensions hair through the curling iron to smooth the hair once or twice before placing the curls for a more polished look, to close the cuticle, and prolong the extension hair.
Brush out extensions and place in a loose pony or braids (I like slip hair ties). To prevent matting, never sleep with wet hair.
You can live a normal, active lifestyle with NBR. Treat the extensions gently to keep them looking great. Keep the ends hydrated using a nourishing hair oil. Never let sunscreen or suntan oil touch the extension hair (ESPECIALLY blondes) since they can turn extensions PEACH. Excessive use of purple shampoo can turn extensions lavender.
Pros & Cons
Of course, as with nearly everything, there are both pros and cons to NBR hair extensions.
To me, the pros of natural beaded rows are the fullness, volume, and added length to my hair. I was able to get the natural, full, light-weight & comfortable hair I've always wanted, without the damage of traditional hair extension methods. I have also found that after I curl my hair on the first day, I only have to touch up the front pieces that frame my face. the rest of my hair stays curled for days! This has saved me time getting ready in the mornings. I've liked using the T3 1.25" curling iron for loose waves.
The biggest cons of natural beaded rows are the cost, maintenance, and upkeep. Its a commitment to continue to go to the salon every 6-8 weeks and have the extensions adjusted, which gets costly, as well as maintaining them at home on a daily basis to have the best experience with them. Before I had hair extensions, I would wash my hair 1-2 times a week. Washing/drying/curling my hair would take no more than 45 min. Now, I only wash my hair once a week, but washing/drying/curling takes about 1.5 hours. So the time has doubled, but I make it a point to only wash once a week, so its about the same if I were comparing to before when I would wash/style 2 times a week. This dry shampoo & texturizing spray helps to prolong washes!
NBR Hair Extensions FAQs
How long do NBR hair extensions last?
For me, I can go 10 weeks before needed to get them adjusted. It just depends the speed at which your hair grows. On average, NBR hair extensions last 6-8 weeks before needing to get them adjusted and the hair should be replaced after about 12 months (depending on how well they are maintained).
How much do NBR extensions cost?
Hair extensions are not cheap. It is a big commitment but you should be confident that your stylist is committed to making sure you're a candidate for NBR hair extensions first with a consultation. At that time, you will discuss your personalized needs to get the hair you want. Each salon will vary, but you should expect to invest $1,000 to $2,500 depending on the stylist/salon. This may or may not include color/cut/styling. Make sure to confirm with your stylist during the consultation.
Do NBR extensions damage your hair?
As a rule of thumb, the more areas you attach the extensions to, the more damage you experience, regardless of which method you choose. When NBR hair extensions were created, the end goal was to find a method that delivered more fullness, with less damage. I'm going to speak to this only from a personal experience, everyone is different and everyone may care for their NBR hair extensions differently. So far I have noticed zero damage to my hair; when I had tape-in extensions, I started noticing damage after about a month, which is why I had them removed. With NBR there is no glue or taping. I'm beyond pleased with the experience I've had so far with natural beaded rows.
Can you wear your hair up with NBR extensions?
Yes! This was a MUST for me. I love wearing high ponytails and showed my stylist how I wear them to make sure 1. I could wear my hair in a high ponytail, and 2. that the NBR hair extensions wouldn't be visible.
Can you wash and style your hair like normal with NBR extensions?
I have had no issues styling my hair exactly the same way as I did without NBR hair extensions. Of course it does take longer and I never really did anything super fancy with my hair before, but yes, I can wash/style my hair like normal with NBR hair extensions.
Do the NBR extensions hurt to put in?
No, it doesn't hurt to put natural beaded row hair extensions in. I am not tender-headed, so I really didn't have an issue at all. You might feel a slight headache from the weight of the extensions and tightness of them for the first 24-48 hours, but nothing beyond that.
How long does it take to install NBR extensions?
The great thing about NBR extensions is how quickly they are installed! In less than 3 hours I was in and out of the salon! That included color/cut/styling. If you've had hair extensions before you know this is a huge pro! And when it comes time to having them adjusted 6-8 weeks later, it only takes 5 minutes to remove them since their is no glue or taping with natural beaded rows hair extensions, and then the process starts over, with the same hair.
Where did you get your extensions done?
I went to Adriana Martinez at Revel Workshop in Dallas. Adriana has been doing my hair color for nearly 8 years and she is the only one I trust with my hair! I don't have plans to find a new stylist in Nashville, I'm loyal to Adriana!
How many rows and what length did you get?
Because I was looking for lower maintenance and I just wanted a little volume and length, we did one row of three 18" wefts. Most people who get natural beaded row hair extensions get two rows. But Adriana suggested we start with one row, see how I like them, and then adjust if needed the next time. Personally I don't think I would ever get two rows. I have fine hair, but a lot of it, so just having one row is the perfect thickness for me. Now, if you have shorter hair, you probably won't be able to get away with just one row, you would need two rows to be able to blend seamlessly. I got lucky and had enough of my own hair to blend everything out.
NBR Hair Extensions Review
While my experience with Natural Beaded Rows has only been 5 weeks, I can truly say I LOVE them. Yes, there are pros and cons to NBR Hair Extensions, but overall I have had a great experience and they are worth it to me.
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