How to Wear and Maintain Tape-In Extensions
There’s nothing worse than not being happy with your own hair: wishing it was longer, thicker, or a different color. Thankfully, the hair industry found a solution (for girls like me) who go through phases of self-hair-loathing and turn it into love for my hair. Tape-in extensions are an effective way to make your hair visibly longer and thicker. However, there is cost and maintenance involved. I’m here to review what going into the process with you.
As a stylist who has been giving clients tape-in extensions for years, I’ve also been a tape-in extension wearer for many years too. So not only am I experienced in knowing how to care for them, I am familiar with practicing the maintenance myself. In this post, I’ll be going over all your burning questions about tape-in extensions: cost, maintenance, and care.
How Much Do Tape-In Extensions Cost?
This is probably my most frequently asked question. My honest, blunt answer to begin, they are not cheap. Good hair will cost you a good penny. The two factors that will determine your price is the length of the hair you’re trying to achieve, and the thickness of your current hair.
You must purchase enough tape-in extensions to perfectly blend with the hair on your head now. Extensions typically come in packs of 10, and my most common purchase for clients is 4 packs. However I wear 5 packs, and I’ve had clients need to purchase up to 6 packs, and some as few as 3.
My two favorite brands of extensions are Donna Bella Hair and EasiHair Pro. I used these two brands pricing to give estimates on tape-in extension hair here. Both brands of tape-in extensions use 100% real remy hair which is the only kind of tape-in extension hair I recommend. Synthetic hair cannot hold up in long term use for tape-in extensions. These tape-in extensions come in many lengths, but the most common are: 12in, 14in, 16in, 18in, 20in, and 22in. Currently, I am wearing a blend of 16-18in. Pricing runs roughly as follows:
- 12-14in: $60 – $90 per pack
- 16-18in: $80 – $110 per pack
- 20-22in: $115 – $140 per pack
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To determine how much hair you need, it is best to consult with a professional as it is too difficult for me to give an accurate gauge of that in a video when every head of hair is unique. You will also need a professional to instal and remove your extensions for routine maintenance. Routine maintenance should be done every 6 to 8 weeks as your tape-in extensions begin to grow out and loosen. Most stylists charge around $100-$150 per hour and typically take 1 hour for a first application, and 3 hours for a removal, retaping, and reapplication.
How to Wear Tape-In Extensions
Tape-in extensions tape together like a sandwich, directly over very thin sections of your own hair, as close to the root as possible. This is done in a pattern throughout your head that evenly distributes the hair to look natural, but also conceals the wefts so they are undetectable as you wear your hair down. Some hairstyles will be off limits with your tape-in extensions in, such as half-up/half-down, and high ponytails. These styles would make it impossible to conceal the wefts of tape from being visible. When necessary, low ponytails and braids are best.
How To Care For Tape-In Extensions
The first and most important subject to cover with tape-in extension care is products. You will need to avoid products containing oils, as oils will loosen and release the tape bonds of the extensions. Be careful when purchasing moisturizing shampoos as they often contain oils for nourishment. My best recommendation of shampoo is Matrix’s Length Goals, which is specifically formulated for extensions or anything comparable free of oils and sulfates.
Extensions will dry and damage much quicker than real hair. When you wash your hair, it is best to use a protective leave-in conditioner to coat the extensions, detangle, and protect from heat styling. My favorite that I use is Bumble and Bumble Bb Glow Bond Building Styler. Secondly, never sleep on tape-in extensions while wet or without securing. Always blow dry whenever possible and use scrunchies for low ponytails and braids to keep from getting tangled when doing any activities such as working out or sleeping. Always use a thermal protectant before curling or straightening with an iron. My favorite that I use is Bumble and Bumble Bb Glow Thermal Protection Mist. Detangle gently, with no ripping through (especially wet hair!) starting from the bottom of the hair, working your way up toward the root. Do not run brush or comb along the scalp when detangling for risk of snagging the tape wefts. Use a gently detangling brush or wide tooth comb. I recommend the WetBrush.
Scheduling A Professional
I recommend finding a professional you are comfortable with by researching their portfolio/pictures of their work and how often they do tape-in extensions. Begin by scheduling a consultation (usually free!) with your preferred stylists to get exact quotes on pricing, how much hair you’ll need, color matching, and length choice.
I offer extension services in my salon, however I charge slightly differently for the service since most of my clients are loyal long-timers, but require consulting before providing any extensions services. For more information on extensions with me, see my Hair by Kayla page and schedule an in-person consultation with me at my salon.
Stay tuned for a further post on how to manage some of the easier extension maintenance at home and cut down on salon costs! Coming soon.