Tape-In Hair Extensions: 101
Tape-in hair extensions are one of the most popular hair extension methods on the market, and there are a lot of reasons why. Between installation time, appearance, and reusability, tape-in extensions offer a lot of unique benefits that you just can’t get with other methods. What are tape-in hair extensions? How are they different from other methods, and how do you install and remove them? We’ll try to break down all of these questions and more.
Want to see our collection of Donna Bella Tape-In extensions? Click here!
What Are Tape-In Hair Extensions?
First off, what is the tape-in method all about? It’s actually a slightly newer method of applying hair extensions, in which an adhesive (usually medical-grade) tape is used to attach the extension to the natural hair. It has rapidly become one of the preferred methods for both customers and stylists alike, because of some of the key characteristics of the tape-in method.
Tape-in extensions come in wefts, not strands.
Tape-in hair is sold in wefts instead of individual strands. Since there is more hair on each weft, each piece covers a wider area of the head. If installed correctly, it has a flat, seamless finish that clips and beads can’t always accomplish.
Further, the wefts cause less overall strain than individual strand extensions, which makes them particularly great for thinner, more easily damaged hair. Installation time is also significantly less than fusion or beaded methods.
Not all tape is created equally, but great tape is durable and strong, but also easy to remove without hair damage or a big mess. The benefit is the avoidance of beads, glue, or heat that can be tedious to install. Donna Bella, in particular, uses a latex-free medical grade tape, as well as a tried and true removal method, to try and accommodate all types of hair for cosmetologists and clients alike.
How long do tape-in hair extensions last?
If tape-ins are cared for properly, they will last a year or longer. We recommend moving the hair up every four to six weeks. The hair can be reused two to three times which gives the client three to six months in between replacing the hair.
Tape-ins can be reused up to three times if removed and installed correctly, and although it’s an easier method than some of the others, it’s best to have a professional stylist install and move them up.
How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions
Again, while this is an easier method than others, we recommend having a professional stylist do it for you. Some important things to remember about the installation of tape-in extensions are:
- Start with clean hair. No conditioner from the midshaft down before or after installation!
- Determine how much hair you need ahead of time to avoid overspending or worse, not having enough hair to blend for a natural look.
- Don’t take off the tape backing until you’re done sectioning the hair.
- Avoid touching the sticky parts as much as possible so oils from your hands don’t weaken the adhesive (this leads to slippage).
Removing Tape-In Extensions
Just as important as installing the hair is removing it properly to avoid damage or general unpleasantness. Move-ups are more time consuming than the actual installation, since you have to clarify and re-tape before installation. We recommend having two appointments each time you move hair up. One to remove, and one to reinstall.
Some things to keep in mind when removing and moving up tape-ins are:
- Use a clear oil tape-in bond remover (not a keratin bond remover!).
- Use a styrofoam head to hold your tape and remember where the wefts go.
- Wash and clarify, but again, don’t condition.
- With clean hands, use replacement tape to re-apply the extensions.
How to Care for Tape-In Extensions
The rules of caring for tape-in hair extensions are the same as most others (as well as natural hair), but there are definitely some pro tips to keep in mind to make sure you get the most out of your new style.
- Wash & condition with sulfate-free products only!
- Whether it’s a treatment, shampoo, or anything else, apply it from the middle down to avoid weighing the hair down or any of that dreaded slippage.
- Try to air dry whenever possible, and use common sense when brushing. Go from the bottom up, use the right brush & leave-in conditioners, and try to avoid brushing when wet.
- Keep your buns and up-dos loose.
- Always use a heat protectant before straightening, curling, or using any form of high heat.
What are you waiting for?
Tape-ins are a fantastic, time-efficient, and fragile-friendly hair extension method that can help avoid damage and turn hair into pure, unadulterated #beautygoals. To see the colors, lengths, and styles of our tape-in extensions, and experience the Donna Bella difference, head over to our tape-in page!