How To Remove Tape-In Hair Extensions
While tape-in hair extensions are notoriously easy and quick to install when compared to fusion methods, for example, removing and moving up tape-in extensions still requires a gentle touch and a little bit of know-how.
We always recommend a licensed stylist perform removals, installations, and move- ups.
When Is It Time to Remove & Move Up a Tape-In Extension?
Right around three to six weeks after the initial installation, and you should have gotten a tape-in extension move-up appointment made with your client or stylist. While a move-up can be really easy, it also takes a lot of time.
Plan on spending about two and a half to three hours on a move-up appointment, and if you’re a stylist, let your client know so that they'll be prepared. Alternatively, if time is a factor, you could split the removal and re-installation parts of the move-up service into two separate appointments, with the added benefit of giving the hair and extensions an opportunity to recover.
Either way, it's important to be extra-vigilant with tape-in re-installation; a small error in the re-taping process can cause early slippage. Remember, there are no shortcuts to the process if you want the hold!
Use the Right Tape-In Bond Remover
A clear oil-based remover, like this one from Donna Bella, is specially formulated to remove tape-in extensions. These formulas sometimes get confused with keratin bond removers, which are alcohol-based. To help you remember, clear is for tape, blue is for bond.
Start by applying a good amount of tape-in bond remover to a single weft or a single row of wefts, depending on your preference. Do not saturate the whole head; if the remover is left for too long, it starts to disintegrate the tape and make it gummy. That being said, don’t be afraid to use too much remover on the section that you're working with. Using too little might fail to weaken the bond. If the bond is not peeling easily from the hair, simply add more remover.
Do not tug on the extensions. Once the weft is out, apply a little more remover to the natural hair to remove any of the old adhesive that may still be lingering, then use a comb to comb it out.
Use a Styrofoam Head
For an easier application, use a styrofoam head. As you remove the tape, place the old weft on a styrofoam head in the same location as where you removed it from the head.
Do this to save yourself time in the re-installation and re-blending process, so you won't have to figure out where the wefts initially went. Many of our top stylists highly recommend this as a time-saving tip.
This is the most important part of the move-up service because both the wefts and the natural hair should be 100% clarified before re-installation; you risk serious slippage, otherwise.
Wash the hair once with a clarifying shampoo. If there's still some stickiness left in the hair, add a little baking soda to the clarifying shampoo for a second wash, but only where the extensions were placed. The baking soda will act as a safe abrasive to help break down the remover and stickiness.
Shampoo the hair again for the third time to remove any traces of the baking soda. You may condition from the mid-shaft down to make the hair more manageable, so long as you avoid the roots and refrain from using any other products on the hair.
Clarifying the Wefts
Put a small amount of clarifying shampoo mixed with baking soda in a small dish. Remove the wefts one section at a time from the styrofoam head, wash with the shampoo, rinse, and then place them back on the styrofoam.
You can dry them with a blowdryer or place the head under a hooded dryer while you are working on the hair.
Make sure that you don’t have any product or oil on your hands. When you peel the replacement tape away from the card, only touch the very edge. Try to come in contact with the tape as little as possible. Make sure that you press it firmly to the extension weft.
The extensions are not meant to have any of the old tape on them before they are re-taped. If done correctly, move ups should only be necessary every three to six weeks.
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Tape-In Hair Extension Installation Guide