Some of you may already know this by seeing photos of myself but I have some loooooong, blonde hair goin’ on right now. There’s a method to the madness though and that is in the form of tape-in hair extensions! I’ve had them for almost 3 years now and I’m very obsessed. Like, really obsessed. I actually can’t imagine getting rid of them, so beware and read this blog at your own risk! If you decide to get them, it will become a habit that is hard to break. First off, I’ll quickly give you a little background on why I decided to get extensions before I jump into the do’s and don’t of them.
I’ll be blunt- I started getting hair extensions because I have a kidney disease, (condition? disorder?), that has caused my hair to stop growing and has weakened my natural hair so much that it is SUPER thin. Instead of moping around and longing for long, healthy hair again, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find a solution! I did a ton of research and kept hearing over and over again that tape-in extensions are both affordable and the least damaging type of hair extension around. I ended up going with that and I’ve been hooked on them ever since.
Like, literally addicted. One day, Morgan might have to stage an intervention. Someone call TLC for that, please. This is also a PSA that if you get extensions, you’re not going to want to stop.
Before I go deeper into my thought process on all of this, let me show you my before and after photos…
This is my natural hair without my tape-in extensions. Here is the back view of it.
Here is my hair with the extensions put in.
Quite a difference, ammiright?
What are tape-in hair extensions, might you ask? They are hair extensions that use patented tape to bond hair extensions to your real hair. Two wefts of extensions sandwich tiny sections of your real hair and everything is taped together near your scalp. The cool thing is that you can’t see them at all unless the extensions have grown out! Most people are shocked when I lift up my hair and they see the pieces of tape. Throughout the years, I’ve had a ton of different types and brands of tape-in hair extensions. Whether it be Great Lengths, Babe, Cinderella, Hotheads, HALOCOUTURE… you name ‘em, I’ve had ‘em. From experience, my favorites have been Babe and HALOCOUTURE. I hated the tape used for Hotheads, (as it was ridiculously sticky and hard to remove from my hair), and I thought that the Cinderella brand of tape-in extensions had the worst texture of hair. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into the pros and cons of tape-in extensions. Ready, set, GO!
The pros of tape-in extensions:
1) They are comfortable
You can’t feel the tape at all! The extensions are light, comfortable and I always forget that they are even in my hair. The only time you will feel them is if you’re trying to brush your hair or run your fingers through it. I should note that you have to use a special soft brush to prevent snagging the extensions when brushing your hair. (FYI- slightly off topic but I’ve heard that tape-in extensions are much more easy to handle than the fusion or beaded hair extensions. Those types of extensions are more tedious, finicky and will actually ruin your natural hair. Team tape-in extensions all the way!)
2) Changing your hairstyle is easy
When you purchase the extensions, they will last about 10 months to a year if you care for them properly. I love this timeframe because I routinely get bored with my hair and this allows me the opportunity to change the color and the length of my hair once a year.
3) They hold curls really easily
When you straighten or curl the extensions, they HOLD! I always use a little bit of hairspray as a precaution but I’ve found that my curls stay throughout the entire day. It’s great. It’s life-changing. It’s the key to a perpetual good hair day. You heard it here first, folks.
4) You will get constant compliments on your hair
I have so many people approach me asking what I do to have such long, gorgeous hair. (More often or not, it is in a Target. Is there a trend here I should be aware of?) I’m always very honest that my hair isn’t real because I’m not interested in being a fraud and I always try to be a very transparent person. 🙂
The key to having quality hair extensions that are compliment worthy is getting Remy hair extensions! Remy extensions are the highest quality of human hair that is available on the market. It is basically ensuring that you’re having real hair put in your head instead of fake, artificial, hair. (I went with a brand once that gave me the fake, chemical hair. It was horrible! It was thicker, coarser and looked terrible. If you’re getting hair extensions, please, please make sure it is Remy hair. Most quality extension companies provide this).
5) They help make life effortless
I’ll dive into an in-depth analysis of the salon sessions in a bit but know that once your extensions are moved up and maintained, life is easy for the 8-10 weeks that they last! I usually can just wake up, brush my hair and go. If I’ve curled my hair the day before, the curl will usually hold for the next few days as well. Life is a breeze. I’m not complaining.
6) Tape-in extensions save you money on coloring/cutting your hair
I don’t have to get my hair colored or cut nearly as much with these bad boys in! This ends up saving me so much money throughout the year. I’m lucky in that my natural hair color is a pretty neutral blonde that grows out very easily. I never get color on my roots and I choose to get hair extensions that are a shade or two lighter than my natural hair, normally. These lighter extensions blend seamlessly into my hair once I get a slight balayage on the ends of my real hair. This allows my hair to have a natural ombre and grow out effortlessly. The maintenance for the color of my hair is ridiculously easy with tape-in extensions and I rarely have to worry about coloring my hair. IT’S THE BEST. IT’S TRULY THE BEST.
7) Your natural hair isn’t damaged as much
When you have tape-in extensions, your natural hair is sandwiched between the two wefts of fake hair that are taped together. Because it is covered, when you use heat products on your hair, they barely touch your natural hair. I’ve actually found that my real hair is growing longer now that I’ve had tape-in extensions. (The texture is just very weak and wispy still).
8) Tape-in extensions are immune to humidity
I don’t know about you but I grew up in Texas which is sometimes like a full-blown swamp. When humidity was sitting at a solid 100%, I used to avoid going outside so that my hair wouldn’t blow up like a lioness. Tape-in hair extensions are great because there is no natural oil in the fake hair and humidity doesn’t affect them(!!!) You only really have to worry about the top section of your natural hair getting frizzy and your extensions will come in clutch/look perfect when the weather is just begging for you to have a bad hair day. TAKE THAT HUMIDITY. YOU ARE EVIL BUT CAN BE DEFEATED.
The cons of tape-ins:
1) You can’t wear your hair in a ponytail
By a ponytail, I mean a high ponytail. You can still make a low ponytail happen and this is what I do everytime I go to the gym now. If you want to wear a high ponytail, you will need to put a headband or bandana around your head to hide the tape! They will pop out and be seen if not properly hidden. 🙂
2) Getting them moved up is time-consuming
This is my least favorite part of having hair extensions. The salon appointment to get the tape moved up to the roots of your hair again is absolutely exhausting. I’ll very quickly walk you through the process so you can get an idea!
When you show up to the salon, they will have to use a special oil to break up the bonds of the tape and to remove the hair. This is usually a delicate process and does involve some hair pulling. It is also key to have quality tape put in your hair when getting extensions because if your salon uses a cheap tape, it will stick to your hair and have to individually be scraped out. Take it from someone who has had this happen to her before- you do not want this to happen. Go to a quality salon who knows what they are doing before getting these put in.
Once the fake hair is successfully taken out, each piece has to be washed and blow dried. During this process, your own natural hair has to be properly washed and shampooed as well. This isn’t a normal hair wash session, by the way. It has to be clarified about a thousand times as it is essential that every piece of tape and oil is out of your hair! Your hair must be sparkling clean before getting the extensions put back in your hair.
Once all hair is clean and dried, the fake hair is straightened to make it smooth again. It is then put back in your hair. This is a tedious process as small pieces are done at a time. Generally, the stylist will make a crown of tape-in extensions from the bottom of your hair and build up from there. Once this is done, your hair will most likely need to be cut, shaped and styled, based on what length you are wanting!
This whole process generally takes about 3-4 hours. Depending on the salon and how experienced they are, it can take even longer. I once had a hair extension session that took 6 hours! It was a doozy. I advise you bring a phone charger, some snacks and a good book. You’ll need it. 😉
3) The tape will eventually pop out and show
When your hair extensions start growing out, (which is generally around the 6-week mark), the hair extensions will start popping out. I’ve seen that this most often happens on the sides of my head first. When this starts happening, it’s a good sign that it’s best to make your next hair maintenance appointment! I usually just bobby pin down the piece of tape that is sticking out if I have a week or two before my next appointment. It’s an easy fix. Throwing on a hat is also a good solution as well.
4) Scrunchies are essential
To preserve the quality of your hair and to keep it from making a rats nest, you’ll want to sleep with your hair in a loose scrunchie or ponytail holder every night. There is nothing worse than forgetting to do this and waking up with your extensions all tangled. Trust me – just do it. Embrace the scrunchie life. The 90’s are cool again now anyways, right?
5) Say goodbye to using conditioner
All shampoo you use when washing your hair must be sulfate-free to prevent the bonds of the tape from breaking. You also can’t use conditioner on the roots of your hair, as this damages the tape as well! If you do so, the extensions will fall apart and your hair will slip out. (You can, however, still use conditioner on the ends of your hair).
6) They’re expensive
I’ll be blunt- it is a pricey lifestyle and is not for everyone. I personally always budget and fit tape-in extensions into my finances because I know that I’ll never have good hair without them! (Do I sound like a valley girl, or what right now). They also save me so much time and effort that I find them worth it. I personally love waking up right before work in the morning and minimally having to style my hair.
However, be prepared to spend some money if you decide that this is the lifestyle you’re wanting. I’ve found that purchasing the extensions can cost anywhere from $400-$700 (depending on the quality and length you’re wanting). Stylists usually charge per hour as well for your maintenance appointments.
7) You can’t dye the hair extensions
Once you’ve picked the color of the hair extensions, you’re stuck with them unless you buy a whole new set! You can’t highlight or dye the extensions. Also, if I’m wanting my natural hair touched up, I have to have it colored during my maintenance appointment when the extensions are removed. It’s key to plan accordingly for things like this!
8) They’re addicting
Once you’ve become Becky with the Good Hair, you just can’t stop. It’s hard to imagine life with short, wispy hair again! (I can’t do it). Actually, scratch that. In the wise words of Selena Gomez… I mean I could, but why would I want to.
This song has been stuck in my head all day. I couldn’t resist.
That’s it! Hopefully, I broke this down easily enough for anyone who stumbles upon this blog. If anyone has any questions about tape-in hair extensions, feel free to comment below and I’ll get back to you! While the con list might seem like a lot upon reading it, I want to note that the pro list far outweighs it! I truly can’t imagine life without my tape-ins and I’ll never look back. The obsession is real okurrrrrrrr.
Thanks for reading!