By Vanilla Plum
Have you been wanting more length or volume, but don't want to make a long term commitment? Tape-in extension may be the perfect solution for you. Here, blogger Vanilla Plum tells us about her experience with tape ins and what she learned from interviewing Hairdreams Creative Director, Erin Hayden about the dos and don'ts of tape in extensions:
After years of struggling with my fine hair type and feeling self-conscious about my natural hair lacking that certain je ne sais quoi that some lucky ladies are born with, I started to use extensions and I never looked back.
My journey started with those hair scrunchies that make you look like you have a real top bun, then I graduated to tape-ins for years, and then moved on to a more permanent option with my nanos, which you can read about here.
Just for safe measure, I even tried Halo extensions for a month while I was on an extensions break. Let me tell you, I definitely have my favorites, but each application style has their advantages and drawbacks.
Though I think my low price tag strategies (like halos and hair pieces) are great to see if you like wearing extensions, but once you know you like them, I’d rather help save you time and money narrowing down what kind of extensions are best for you and your locks.
There are a lot of different type of extensions. Some more permanent, some less, and some you can take out and change daily.
Tape-ins are great when you’re ready for a commitment that grows out with your next haircut, but like to change up your look frequently. Tape in hair extensions have an easy removal process that can be cut, chopped, and colored with whatever look you want. They can also be reused.
I asked hair extension expert and Creative Director of Hairdreams USA, Erin Hayden, to explain the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to tape-ins so you can make the best choice for achieving your best hair look.
Let’s start with the basics: What are tape-ins?
Tape-in extensions are similar to a clip-in, but instead of clipping them in, there’s adhesive. Two pieces are sandwiched and surround your natural hair.
Are tape-ins permanent? Semi-permanent? Temporary?
In the extension world, we say semi-permanent because you don’t have to take them out to shampoo, but they do need to be moved up every 6-8 weeks.
Can I color my extensions?
Yes, but we always suggest you do color services before the extensions are applied. If you’re going to color your own hair, this should also be done prior to application.
What should we know about trying this at home since this application requires no tools, right?
Lots of clients think this is really easy to do, and it’s a common mistake. As a hairdresser who does extensions for a living, I would never apply my own extensions. You need to be very precise with the placement to not stress your own hair.
Incorrect placement could cause breakage as your hair grows out and that makes extensions uncomfortable to wear. Extension applications should only be done by a properly trained stylist. You want to make sure you’re getting a natural look and keep your own hair safe.
What kind of tape is used?
It’s a medical grade tape that’s wafer-thin and hypoallergenic. It won’t cause any irritation or allergic reactions. Tape-ins are also very flexible, making them comfortable to wear.
Can any hair type do tape-ins?
That’s a good question. Pretty much any hair type can wear tape-ins, but it ultimately depends on the look you’re going for, and if tape-ins can give you that look. It has to be the right texture to blend with your natural hair correctly. Any hair type will work, ultra-fine, fine or thick hair.
Since you know I have fine hair, how do I know they won’t pull out my hair?
We safely attach extensions to the same amount of weight as your natural hair, but you shouldn’t wear them longer than suggested. If you have fine hair, leaving extensions in too long could stress natural hair.
Do I have to do a full head of extensions? Can I just do some face framing or for volume?
Yes, of course! You can place them wherever needed for volume, a pop of color or to frame your face. Tape-ins are very versatile.
Can I take them out myself?
No, the removal is just as important as the application and needs to be done by a trained professional. In fact, most damage happens at an improper removal. You should always have a trained stylist remove your extensions.
How long do tape extensions last?
Typically 4 to 8 weeks. We usually suggest that you get each set repositioned twice for a total of three wears.
The burning question we all have: How much do tape-ins cost? $$
Every stylist is going to have their own application charge – similar to a haircut. It will differ depending on their location and experience. To get tape-in extensions you’ll pay an application fee and the cost of the hair.
The price of the extensions will vary with the volume of hair and the length of the hair used and the stylist’s application charge. So unfortunately, it’s difficult for me to give you an exact price. It could range anywhere from $250 upwards to a couple of thousand dollars depending on what you want. The price difference between face framing and the whole head is huge.
How can I explain my budget to my stylist and still get the look I want?
This is something my clients ask me all the time. Clients will tell me their budget ahead of time, then I review my menu of service and show them what that will give them. Most of the time, if a client is on a fixed budget, we can usually give them a thickening service where we spot thicken where they want their hair to have more fullness. And, this also gives them the appearance of having more length. Always have a consultation with your stylist about your budget and the look you want.
What about compared to other more permanent options?
At first, tape-ins may appear to be less expensive because the application doesn’t involve any tools. But, the maintenance fees for having them moved up starts to add up. If you account for the application fees, it could be higher in price than getting more permanent bonded extensions.
How long does it take to put tape-in extensions in?
It’s fairly quick and on average the entire application takes about 30 to 40 minutes
I like to take super-hot showers. Are tape-ins a good option for me?
Yes, but I always suggest a lukewarm or cooler temperature hair rinse to close down the cuticle of your own hair.
Can I still flat iron my hair like usual?
Yes, especially with Hairdreams tape-ins because it’s such high quality hair. You can use a flat or curling iron just don’t put the tool on the tape.
What about maintenance: Do I need a special brush? Can I roll out of bed and go?
Yes, and yes. We actually make a brush designed specifically for extensions. When you wash and blow dry your hair with extensions, it will take a little longer. But, your hairstyle is going to last longer. So, in the long run it really is lower maintenance.
Do I still need to use a heat protectant?
Yes, you should always use a heat protectant every time you use a hot tool, just to be safe. You want to protect your own hair and your extension hair because Hairdreams are made of 100% human hair.
How do I know I’m getting quality human hair that is responsibly sourced? Are there ways I can check?
You should always look into how the brand you’re selecting is sourced. This is something a lot of clients don’t even ask. I would always ask your stylist and check out the company’s website. Of course, Hairdreams is always 100% ethically sourced.
Lastly, we all know there are A. LOT. of extension brands out there, Donna Bella hair and Glam Seamless to name a few. What makes Hairdreams stand out, aside from being one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood hair? Sorry guys! I wish I could spill the beans on whose hair has graced Erin’s chair, but, I’m pretty sure those visits came with NDA’s. 😉
The main difference between brands is going to be the hair quality. Hairdreams offers multiple qualities and all of them are the best feeling hair I’ve ever felt out of any extensions. Honestly, our extensions are healthier than my client’s natural hair. Our manufacturing process is amazing. Hairdreams hair is hand sorted using a magnifying glass and tweezers. The health, quality and color is unsurpassed. I hear stylists complaining that other brands don’t have enough dimensional color. That’s usually a sign that someone is wearing cheaper extensions. I always tell my clients that with hair extensions, you get what you pay for.