What are Hand-Tied Extensions?

Hey! How are you hanging in there?? The world is a bit upside down right now. I’m SURE you’re just a little bit stir crazy, I know I am! With that being said let’s see if I can distract you a bit with my first ever blog post 😆

Sometimes I get carried away with all our hairdresser verbiage and forget that maybe not everyone knows what the hell I’m talking about. Especially when it comes to hair extensions. There are SO many different methods, techniques and types of hair and brands out there, keeping it all straight can get confusing. So I’m going to try my best to explain some differences for you.

For the record this is all my personal opinion and what I’ve learned through my experiences. I believe every artist has their own preference of brush, paint and canvas, so there is no right or wrong. Just art 🖤

I-Tips / Beads

I’ve worked with extensions since 2010. At the time the new cool “it” method was I-Tip Extensions installed individually with beads. Roughly 150-200 pieces would be installed. Super versatile and could wear it in ponytails and messy buns. But what I found with this method was that no matter how well I clamped the beads, different types of beads and hair brands, occasionally pieces would slip out. I wore them personally and had quite the technique when I’d be walking through the mall and would happen to notice one starting to hang low and slip out. I’d snag that bad boy out so quick and swoop it into my purse before anyone could notice.

Tape-In Extensions

Then came Tape-Ins. Quick to install, usually a budget friendly option. Inch and a half long pieces of weft with tape on the back. I’d install by sandwiching a small slice of the clients hair between two pieces. I was a really big fan until it came to move-up time. Removing the tape and the sticky was a looong gooey process. Again, I tried different brands and types of removal and none it made it better or worth it in the long run. They’re pretty high maintenance to wear. You have to be EXTRA careful with conditioner and oils at the scalp, make sure they’re hidden and don’t grow out too far where they begin to twist and matte. Absolutely no swimming. That was a hard pass for me. 

If you know me at all, you know I like to look high-maintenance, but live the low-maintenance lifestyle. Snooze is most definitely my favorite button. I began the hunt for something new for myself and a client of mine who at the time was wearing tape-ins. That’s when the “hand-tied” buzz started blowing up. I had to know more. I flew out to Scottsdale, Arizona to shadow a stylist and later took a small class here Nashville. Both gave me a great base to launch from.

You ever get that feeling someone is listening? My damn phone is always listening to me! Beyond creepy but annoyingly helpful at times. HARPER ELLIS began blowing up my feeds.

My boyfriend, Spencer and I drove out to Fort Smith, Arkansas over my birthday weekend to learn the newest tips, tricks and techniques from Terra Harvell, CEO of Harper Ellis and owner of Salon 504.

Hand-Tied Wefts

Let me break this down. When I say “Hand-Tied” I’m referring to the type of weft that holds the hair together, not the action of me sewing the wefts onto the head. Other common types of wefts are machine and hybrid. What’s really nice about the hand-tied wefts is that they are so thin and low profile I’m able stack many wefts per row. Getting the max amount of thickness without the bulk on your scalp. 

Concealed Bead Method

Hand-tied wefts are also key to making the install concealed! Which leads to the other half, how extensions are installed. I place beads in two horse shoe shaped rows around your head. Then I get to stichin’ the hand-tied wefts onto the beads. I place a couple wefts below the beads and a few more on top completely concealing the beads between the wefts. So whether your hair is up in a pony or down styled, you’ll never see how the hair is attached, it just is…Magic 🌟

Other benefits of the concealed bead method:

🖤Instantly comfortable to wear 

🖤Placement is ideal for those who wear glasses

🖤No slip, No sticky 

🖤No fuss

🖤Quick removal and move up, no mess

How did I do?? Did that help clear things up a bit? Leave me a comment below to let me know you read it and if your have any questions.  I’d like to put together a Q&A post. If you’re interested in extensions don’t hesitate to drop me a line or fill out my online application to see if extensions are right for you!


Randi-Rae 🤘🏼

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