How to Sew In Hair Extensions Without Braids

As the hair industry evolves, so do the traditional methods of how we once wore our hair or even install extensions. Traditional sew-ins use braids as the foundation to attach extensions, but now, what was once the gold standard has met its match!

If you’ve gotten your extensions done by a professional stylist within the past few years, you’ve probably heard the mention of a braidless sew in. This method has become very popular for the way sew in extensions are done today. While it can be a bit pricey to get them professionally done, I will explain just how you can do them at home.

My name is Lauren, and I have worn and installed extensions for over half of my life. As a hairstylist and lover of weaves, I am constantly educating myself on the new innovations in the hair industry.

With that being said, I will go over the best ways to achieve sewing in your hair extensions without braids. With these techniques, you will be able to master the braidless sew in and maintain them.

Find out how it’s done below!

2 Best Ways to Sew In Hair Extensions Without Braids

Here are my top methods for how to do a braidless sew in.

Method 1: Threading Knots

Now, to sew in hair extensions without braids, you can try the threading knots method that is the least common and less expensive. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Clips
  • Scissors
  • A curve needle
  • Nylon thread
  • Rat tail comb

Before Starting

Preparation is always key and very important before you attempt to try anything new. So having some things in order first will save you time and energy.

You want to make sure that your natural hair is washed, completely dried, and free from any products. If you have dry hair, it is best to use a conditioner and follow up with any hydrating products after you have installed your braidless sew in. If you have curly or kinky hair, you can consider blowing it out, but it is not necessary.

Make sure that your extensions are also washed and dried. You can straighten them with a flat iron before installing them if you plan on wearing your hair straight or straighten them afterwards. Now you are ready to install your extensions by following these steps:

Step 1: Insert a long length of thick thread through the loop of your curved needle and make a double knot at the end. Cut off the excess thread.

Step 2: Create a horizontal ear-to-ear parting with the end of your rat tail comb. Clip the hair above the parting out of the way.

Step 3: Firmly hold the loose hair and gently pull downward to tighten the hair at the roots. Create an even base for the track. 

Step 4: Take your curved needle and loop it under about a quarter-inch of hair at the left of the parting, close to the roots as you can.

Step 5: Pull the thread under the section of hair and don’t let the knot pass underneath. 

Step 6: Now you will pass the needle back under the same section of hair and pull it up inside the new loop of thread tightly to create a knot around the hair.

Step 7: Repeat these steps. Working from left to right, create a row of tight, knotted hair. Tie off the last knot tightly and cut the excess thread.

Step 8: Sew in the first track and work along the parting from left to right. Secure the track along the foundation base.

Step 9: Create another parting an inch above the first and parallel to it. Repeat the whole process. Continue through the hair in this fashion until the desired result is achieved.

You can now style your hair as you wish. Keep in mind that wearing your hair in a ponytail or in an updo is doable and should be considered as long as the sew in isn’t too tight.

Method 2: Micro Wefts

For another method to sew in hair extensions without braids, you can try using the micro wefts method that is very common and a bit more extensive. Here are the tools you will need:

  • Clips
  • Scissors
  • A curve needle
  • Nylon thread
  • Rat tail comb
  • Microbeads
  • Loop needle tool
  • Pliers

Before Starting

Preparation is always key and very important before you attempt to try anything new. So having some things in order first will save you time and energy.

You want to make sure that your natural hair is washed, completely dried, and free from any products. If you have dry hair, it is best to use a conditioner and follow up with any hydrating products after you have installed your braidless sew in. If you have curly or kinky hair, you can consider blowing it out but it is not necessary.

Make sure that your extensions are also washed and dried. You can straighten them with a flat iron before installing them if you plan on wearing your hair straight or straighten them afterwards. Now you are ready to install your extensions by following these steps:

Step 1: Start at the nape of the neck and create a horizontal part with the end of your rat tail comb. Clip the hair above the parting out of the way.

Step 2: Take your loop needle and preload it with five microbeads.

Step 3: Starting at the left side, install your first bead by sliding it onto a small section of hair. Continue along the part, placing the beads a half inch apart from each other. 

Step 4: Take your pliers and slide the bead up toward the scalp to be a snug fit but not uncomfortable. Press down firmly enough to secure the bead, but not so tight that your needle won’t pass through.

Step 5: Clamp in the direction of the hair growth as you don’t want to tighten the plier while holding the hair up, but instead while holding the section of hair down.

Step 6: Insert a long length of thick thread through the loop of your curved needle and make a double knot at the end. Cut off the excess thread.

Step 7: Now, starting from your left, string the thread through the beads like a clothesline. This will help to reduce the risk of beads sliding down by providing extra support.

Step 8: Measure and cut the hair as needed. Taking your curved needle, triple stitch the first section of hair onto the first bead. 

Step 9: Continue stitching through the weft and bead until you are at your last bead.

Step 10: Triple stitch the last corner bead to increase the longevity of the installation. 

Step 11: Repeat the whole process as you move up towards the crown of the head. Continue through the hair in this fashion until the desired result is achieved.

You can now style your hair as you wish. Keep in mind that wearing your hair in a ponytail or in an updo is doable and should be considered as long as the sew in isn’t too tight.

FAQs

Here are some common questions that you should know when it comes to sewing in hair extensions without braids.

How long do braidless sew-ins last?

Braidless sew ins can last up to 3 months or more with the proper care and maintenance. How fast your hair grows is also a determining factor, especially when it comes to the micro wefts method.

As your hair grows with micro wefts, the beads will need to be pushed up and tightened again. The process is relatively simple and involves unclasping the beads and sliding them up. Once you’ve tightened them, you are done.

Threading knots can last 3 months for sure. However, with hair growth, you will need to take down the extensions and start this method again from scratch.

What are the best Microbeads?

If you’ve been researching braidless sew ins, then you’ve probably seen or heard a thing or two about microbeads, or rings. Microbeads link your hair to the extensions and provide a sturdy base for installing braidless sew ins.

Silicone beads are by far the best and are used for micro wefts because they have a soft hold. The flexible mold aids in the reduction in bead slippage. S​​ilicone coating on the interior of the bead protects your hair while preventing any excess slippage. 

You can find them in different colors to match your hair color and to blend in easily with your wefts. Microbeads are a great addition to use for installing your hair extensions because they provide less damage to your natural hair.

How long does it take to install a braidless sew in?

I recommend setting aside a full day to do a braidless sew in, especially if you’re doing it on yourself. This will account for breaks, eating lunch, and just resting if you need to. Professional stylists take 2-3 hours to do extensions and that’s if you get a good one.

How long it will take also depends on how full you want your hair to be and styling if you want to tackle it all in the same day. There are also other options like doing sections of your head instead of a full head install. 

Dedicate a few hours to doing your braidless sew in if you are a newbie. It will take time and patience in the beginning, but will get better as you improve.

Wrap Up

The braid less sew-in eliminates the look of bulky braids throughout the hair, leaving no lumps or bumps, and giving you more flexibility with styling. You can put your hair up into an updo style and a high or low ponytail without any trace that there are extensions hidden in your hair. Because your hair is not braided down, you have more breathing room for the scalp, which allows for thorough cleansing when washing your hair.

Have any suggestions for other braidless sew in methods? Share below in the comments.

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