What are Tape in Hair Extensions? The hairdresser breaks down the pros, cons, prices and more
When it comes to hair extensions, there are a lot of them, many options.
The Last Obsession comes in cassette form.
Tape-in hair extensions are sections of hair that are pre-bonded with medical-grade glue by a licensed cosmetologist. This type of setup is perfect for anyone looking for extra length, maximum fullness and versatility, and minimum strain.
“I think tape extensions have grown in popularity because there have been more stylists promoting them on dark hair,” Dallas-based natural hair and extension specialist Jayla Hamilton told “Good Morning America”.
“There’s something about how you can stick extensions onto natural hair,” she said. “It’s very interesting to see.”
While there are thousands of saved videos on TikTok and Instagram, it’s important to know the do’s, don’ts, and best practices from the experts if you’re looking to give this type of extension a try.
Hamilton, who serves customers daily, explained what you need to remember when booking an appointment.
Advantages and disadvantages of getting hair extensions with tape
Available in a wide variety of hair textures, from straight to tight curly hair, one of the benefits of getting tape-ins is that you can get natural-looking extensions with length and volume, without any tension. “There’s no braiding, sewing or gluing,” Hamilton said.
She also pointed out that if you had to pull your hair back into a ponytail, the extensions would stay flat and seamless.
“The tape-ins really stand out because people are so intrigued by the fact that you’re literally sticking your hair on your head,” Hamilton said. “I know some of my clients are amazed that I can wash their hair without the tapes slipping. You can also reuse the extensions depending on the quality of the hair.”
As for the downsides, one of the biggest is that tape-ins are a temporary style – and routine salon upkeep is vital. “If your adhesive strips aren’t properly maintained, it can cause matting and breakage,” Hamilton said.
What happens during a hair consultation with tape-in?
“During a consultation, I always ask my clients what they are looking for when it comes to tape-in extensions,” Hamilton said. “My clients wear their hair slicked back, so I personally don’t match the texture with this setup, although some stylists do.”
“I ask my clients what they think about stretching their curls over time,” she continued. “Most don’t mind, but if they’d rather not have their hair straightened, I can’t do the installation. I tell them what the upkeep entails, the cost and when they must be removed.”
Who is a good candidate for tape in hair extensions?
The best candidate for a strip-in service is someone with enough hair to cover or disguise the strip, “at least the length of the bob,” Hamilton suggested. Fine or coarse hair types are safe for tape in extensions, but anyone with extreme shedding or scalp issues such as seborrheic dermatitis should not attempt this type of installation.
Hamilton also claimed that if you’re not willing to return to the salon for maintenance or follow your stylist’s home care instructions, tapes may not be an ideal option to try.
Tape installation process
Step 1: Tape-in hair services begin with shampooing, conditioning, blow-drying, straightening and cutting hair.
2nd step: A sandwich-like method is used on quarter-inch subsections of hair. The strip is placed under each section (not too close to the scalp), smoothed, and another strip is placed on top and smoothed.
Step 3: The stylist will tap the ribbon with a low heat hair iron to seal it before following this masonry pattern in rows around your head.
When maintaining your installation with tape, it is best to brush and wrap the hair daily. “I wouldn’t recommend oiling or greasing the scalp because it can cause the tapes to slip,” Hamilton said.
Pro Tip: If you feel like your hair is getting too dirty before your next appointment, use a dry shampoo to help reduce the greasy feel or look of your hair.
Tape-ins vs micro-ties
Last year, “GMA” reported on the craze for microlink hair extensions which are tiny sections of hair seamlessly bundled together and secured with a micro-ring or micro-bead using a hair clip. This installation has a similar result to tape-ins, but there are clear differences.
“Microlinks give you length and fullness while tape-ins give you length and volume,” Hamilton said. She also pointed out that microlinks will last longer than strip extensions.
How long do tape in hair extensions last and how are they removed?
Adhesive strips can last six to 10 weeks with proper maintenance and home care. To remove, use a tape remover spray, found at beauty supply stores or mass retailers like Amazon, to loosen the adhesive and make it easier to separate the natural hair from the tape.
Prices tend to vary depending on the treatments added and the number of strips used, but the typical cost can range from $300 to $600.
Customers with thin hair usually need 40-60 tape strips, medium thick hair needs 50-70 tapes, and thick hair needs 60-80 tapes.