Everyone dreams of flattering hair. After all, a person’s crowning glory significantly affects our entire personality, demeanor, confidence, and glamour. One of the more popular ways people nowadays experiment with their looks through the hair is using hair extensions.
Think of hair extensions as dolling up your hair the way you would when playing with your Barbie dolls. There are endless opportunities and possibilities to switch up your hairstyles with hair extensions, especially for people with shorter hair. You can’t grow your hair in a day, but if you want a long, flattering side curl hairstyle for that Prom Party, hair extensions are your best friends.
However, hair extensions can be tricky to manage and put on, especially if you’re not used to using them. Here, we share how to take care of human hair tape in extensions, what they are, and how to manage them.
What are hair extensions?
Hair extensions, or artificial hair integrations, hair weave, or fake hair, are patches of hair in various lengths, colors, and dyes sold at markets and salons to integrate into one’s natural hair to lengthen or volumize the hair. These could be artificial or natural human hair, processed to become hair extensions.
Hair extensions are not to be confused with wigs. While wigs are total head coverings made from human, animal, or synthetic hair, hair extensions are only small sections of hair attached to the natural hair in the form of clipping, gluing, taping, or sewing.
Different ways of putting on hair extensions
Hair extensions can be attached to the hair in a variety of ways, as follows:
Clip-in hair extensions
Perhaps the easiest to use of all, clip-in hair extensions come with clip pieces attached to the base of the hair through fabric or silicone. They are very straightforward to use as you can just directly clip them to a section of your hair, making sure they look natural, and you can do this all by yourself!
If you want a hair extension that’s not permanent and something you can attach and remove whenever and wherever you want, clip-in types are the ones for you. They’re easy to attach, only take you 5-15 minutes, and don’t involve any chemicals.
Sew in hair extensions
Sew-in or weave is usually applied by hair professionals as the application is very technical and challenging for an average person. These are generally used on people with thicker hair because they need to be sewed into the natural hair braided in cornrows first.
Tape-in hair extensions
Tape-in hair extensions are applied as they are called, through taping. Upon purchase, they came in sections with pre-attached tape and taped on sections of your hair. Unfortunately, you cannot do this yourself because taping the hair extension requires it to align to the roots and heat the glue.
How to take care of tape hair extensions
So, how do you take care of your tape-in hair extensions? There are numerous ways, including hair care and everyday routines, that you should watch out for.
Stay away from hair treatments on the scalp.
Taping your hair means you would want to make it stay away from serums, oils, deep-oil treatments, or heavy-oil products (basically anything involving oil) in the scalp. These products increase the likelihood of your tape-in hair extensions loosening their grip and eventually being removed. You can use these products at the ends of your hair, though!
Manner of sleeping
Before sleeping, you might want to put your hair on a loose ponytail or braid to avoid tugging at the wefts while sleeping, especially when you are a light sleeper who frequently moves around. Using a silk pillowcase also is a great help in avoiding tangles and knots.
Brushing and styling
Brush your hair and hair extensions only when the hair is dry and holding the roots so you’d avoid pulling off your hair extensions. Also, remember to use a heat protectant to lengthen the life of your hair extensions and avoid using heating tools directly where the tape is located.
Readjust your hair extensions
If you’re using hair extensions for volume, remember to ask your stylist to readjust them when you feel like your natural hair has grown over time. You wouldn’t want different and awkward hair lengths, do you? Make your hair extensions sync up with your natural hair by moving them ½ inch on each visit or in line with your natural hair.
Make sure to use hair conditioning from the middle up to the ends of the hair only. Avoid getting them near the roots as they will weaken the hold of your tape-in extensions.
When coloring hair, remember not to bleach or color them lighter when using hair extensions. You can choose a hair color that’s two shades darker as an alternative. Also, don’t try to color your hair on your own. Let a professional do it, so you don’t risk getting your tape-ins damaged in the process.
For the first 48 hours after installing the tape-in hair extension, allow the tape to be glued entirely before washing. Also, do not overwash! Overwashing leads to your hair being stripped of its natural oils and can also loosen the tape sooner than later because of the roots being massaged too often. Try dry shampoo as an alternative.
Benefits of tape-in hair extension
There are so many benefits to tape-in hair extensions as compared to other types of applications. While other applications take hours, tape-in extensions would only last you 40 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of hair extensions you need to be applied.
Tape-in extensions also look more natural because they tend to be flat. The base of these extensions is very thin, so they allow a more natural look when applied, as compared to those you sew. These are great options for people with thin and fine hair because as they are flat and thin, they can help add volume without it looking too awkward.
Tape-in extensions themselves, including the application, can range from $200 to $800, depending on the number of extensions used. They generally cost cheaper than sewed-in hair extensions or other extensions that are more complicated to apply.
When you have damaged hair, say, your hair is fresh from severe color or styling breakage, then tape-in hair extensions are your best friend. It is more difficult for stylists to damage your hair when applying for tape-in extensions. It is also difficult for regular people to cause damage to their hair using this method in their everyday routine.
How long do tape extensions last?
Tape-in hair extensions do not last as long as other hair extensions, even if they are taped or glued to the hair. They are considered semi-permanent hair extensions and would only last you about four to eight weeks before you would need to remove and reapply.
You can apply to brand new tape-in hair extensions, or if your current or old hair extensions are well taken care of and in good condition, you can tape them back again. How long tape-in hair extensions last would depend on how you’ve taken care of your hair and extensions in the process.