It seems like tape-in extensions are all the girls have been talking about lately. I won’t lie, I’ve been on the hunt for a solution to my extension woes. I love the length and added body that extensions offer but I hate the restrictiveness of sew-in weaves, wigs, and clip-ins are damaging. After hearing such great things about tape-in extensions and doing a ton of research, I finally decided to give them a try. Keep reading to see my honest tape-in extension review and everything you need to know.
My Initial Reactions
I have to say that I was both excited and scared to finally be getting tape-in extensions! For years I’ve been frustrated with the restrictions of traditional weaves. So to finally find extensions that give me the freedom and versatility I’ve been desperately seeking feels great. But deep down I was freaking out because I really don’t want to damage my hair. But I’m happy to report, so far so good! I literally have been treating my extensions like I would my hair. My natural sisters will understand… wrapping your hair at night, using minimal heat, and avoiding too much tension. I will say that since this was my first time having tape-in extensions installed, I know what to expect for the next go-round and do plan to have them positioned a little differently. Other than that I am extremely happy with my decision!
Everything You Need to Know About Tape-in Extensions
If you’re considering giving tape-ins a try, here are some things to keep in mind.
There’s Something for Everyone
Tape-in extensions come in all types of different lengths and textures ranging from Type 1 to Type 4 hair, so take your pick! To get the most out of your extensions, I suggest purchasing hair that matches your go-to style.
The Installation Process is Pretty Simple
You’d think it would take a long time to install each tape to your hair, but I’d say the installation process is pretty easy. It took my stylist a little less than two hours to install and style my hair from start to finish. Maintenance takes about two hours as well. That involves washing, drying, and styling my hair.
You Can and SHOULD Wash Your Hair
I’m not afraid to admit that this was the one thing I was worried about. As a natural, I was so worried about my roots and getting this hair to blend with mine after it gets wet. Like how was my stylist going to press out my roots with extensions right there? I took all of my concerns to her and she really educated me! You can and should wash your hair regularly. The maintenance and upkeep are surprisingly simple and I’m so glad.
Tape-Ins Will Add Weight to Your Scalp
This was the one thing I neglected to understand prior to getting my extensions installed. Do they hurt? No. But can I feel the weight of them on my hair? Yes. That said, in order to avoid damage I’d avoid any added tension by pulling on them too tightly (ponytails and such). In fact, for the first week, I only wore my hair down because I didn’t want to overwhelm my scalp and cause too much tension.
They Last Pretty Long
Depending on the quality of the hair, you can likely reuse your tape-ins to be reinstalled. I know that’s what I plan to do. Now as far as installations, professionals say that they can be redone every six to eight weeks. Depending on your rate of growth and texture.
Dry Shampoo is your Friend
If you have an oily scalp like me, believe me when I say that DRY SHAMPOO IS YOUR FRIEND! Here’s the thing, your tape-ins will be pretty sturdy and stay in place, but it’s key to keep the taped area as clean as possible. This will help minimize your extensions slipping out or sliding. My hair normally gets oily after day 4. So to make my hair last and keep that oil under control I spray my scalp and hair with dry shampoo then carefully work it in.
Here are some dry shampoos that I have tried and love!
This is not a PROTECTIVE STYLE
Before I had my extensions installed, my stylist was very honest with me about what to expect. That said, depending on your hair goals, this may or may not be for you. All of your hair will be out and exposed. Just something to keep in mind.
Tape-Ins Can be Costly
Ok, I just had to put this out there. For my first installation, I spent about $1,000. About $500 for hair and $500 for installation. I know… I am cringing. But since I plan on reusing this hair I don’t anticipate spending that much in a long while. That said, I do get my hair washed and styled every 2 weeks which cost me roughly $140 (this includes tip). So before you commit, be mindful of your budget. Because I this leads me to my next point.
Leave it to the Professionals
I know all the girls on TikTok are going to want to tussle but hear me out. Although tape-ins are the LEAST damaging extensions out there, they can still be damaging. This is not a style that you should be DIY’ing. There is a specific process that goes with safely installing, maintaining, and removing tape-ins. Yes doing it yourself may save you a few dollars, but are you willing to sacrifice your hair? Quality trumps all else. Find a stylist that knows how to properly install tape-ins and look at this as an investment.
I created a TikTok sharing my install, see it here!
Get the tape-ins! Of all the extension options out there, this is by far the best option out there in my honest opinion. Do you have any other questions about tape-in extensions? Let me know in the comments below!