Tape In Hair Extensions – My Experience
The two most important things to focus on if you want to look better or more ‘put together’ are flawless skin and healthy, shiny hair. Today’s focus is on hair, and what I suggest for those of us who cannot cultivate perfect hair by themselves!
Fine, Flat Hair?
If you have thin, flat and fine hair you might have faced some frustration. Trying all types of haircuts, products and salons in the attempt to get some volume that lasts. None of the above worked for me at all. I finally realised that hair extensions were the only way for me to achieve longer and thicker hair.
Over the years I have tried all different types of hair extensions. Tape in extensions are the only ones I feel work for thin hair, that are the least visible.
What Are Tape Extensions?
Tape in extensions are lightweight wefts of hair that are around an inch wide. Made from a super flat weft strip, each pre-taped piece is quickly applied and stays fixed for 6/8 weeks. At the top there is a tape which looks very much like a piece of double sided tape. Two of these wefts are applied to small sections of your own hair using a sandwich technique.
I find that the larger amount of your own hair being used to secure the weft compared to individual bonds causes less breakage. The small and light wefts are less likely to be visible once your own hair covers the join up.
Prior to having tape extensions I had two rows of weave hair extensions sewn in. While they did provide thickness and volume I found the top of the weft was too thick and visible through my own hair.
I like that tape in extensions do not pull on your own hair like other extensions do, nor do they get as tangled.
Are They Better Than Clip In Extensions?
I personally find clip in extensions to be too heavy. Any I tried were so heavy. No matter how much I back combed and applied hairspray, the clips slid out of my hair almost as soon as I had put them in. If you have fine and flat hair I do not recommend clip in hair extensions as your hair is unlikely to be strong enough to hold them in.
Other Benefits of Tape In Extensions
- They are really thin and invisible;
- The application of tape hair extensions is much quicker than other methods;
- They are flexible so they are easy to work with when you sleep, brush or wash your hair;
- When you wash and blow dry your hair they are MUCH easier to dry and take care of;
- The individual extensions I found stringy, tended to tangle, and the actual bonds were hard. The join of the tape extensions is flat, soft and flexible;
Tape Hair Extensions Maintenance
Tape in extensions are the easiest hair extension method to maintain due to their thin construction and 1 – 1.5 inch width. It is the easiest hair extension type to maintain.
I usually forget I am wearing tape in extensions most of the time because they are just that easy to maintain. Your first time, your hairdresser will colour match you, discuss with you what length you would like and order the hair for you. At your installation appointment your hair will be washed and if necessary to your goals, coloured. They then tape each weft in, two at a time with the sandwich method mentioned above.
Then after styling, you are ready to forget about them until your around one a week hair wash and your maintenance appointment.
At a maintenance appointment your hairdresser will remove your extensions with a solvent or oil based remover. Your hair will then be washed and dried and the extensions re-taped so they have fresh tape on them.
They will then be reapplied in the same way they were initially applied to your hair. A side note here it ensure you get good quality hair extensions. In the UK I would recommend the brands Beauty Works and Remi Cachet as I have used both personally. If you scrimp on the quality of the hair you will regret it as they will not last long.
Good quality hair extensions can last up to a year if you look after them well. You will save more by spending more in the beginning on high quality tape extensions. How? The higher quality tape extensions will not shed, matt or tangle and they will be reusable. As long as you use a good quality tape in hair extension brand, the maintenance will be easy and hassle free.
Where I Get My Tape Hair Extensions Done
I go to Lucia Farnesi’s hair salon which is based in Blackheath, South London. It’s easy to get to from anywhere in central London or North West Kent. I have always received the best service from everyone who works there and they use quality hair extension brands. They’re also just really lovely.
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Hair Products I Recommend For Tape In Extensions
You will need to find what works for you but I recommend buying either the products they use in your salon or professional brand products.
Spending a lot of money on good quality hair will be wasted if you use poor quality hair products to maintain them.
Some good brands to try are L’Oreal professional, Kerastase, Olaplex, Show Beauty and Bed Head by Tigi. I like the Beauty Works hair serum but I do not recommend their shampoo and conditioner. It started to dry out my hair extensions. Perhaps they changed the formula as I enjoyed their products a few years ago.
General Hair Tips for Perfect Hair
- Get rid of split ends! Lucia always has to remind me that it is better to have shorter hair under your extensions in top notch quality. Long dry hair with stringy ends is not a good idea;
- Always use a conditioning treatment to your hair, even if you only have 5 minutes to leave it on. Hair extensions can get very dry so I use it every time I wash my hair;
- Unless you are happy to invest money in your hair extensions, don’t bother with them. It’s best to only get hair extensions if you for top quality and take care of them as they are very delicate. If you can’t afford the upkeep then spend your money more wisely and pay for trims and conditioning treatments instead to make your hair look as best as it can.
- Getting a blow dry is the secret. Regular blow drying is damaging but it’s the only thing I have found that will make your hair look perfect. I only wash my hair once a week and pay for a professional blow dry once a month. The rest of the time I blow dry my own hair with a round brush and use velcro rollers for volume. I will use a hair wand if I am going on a night out. You can keep a professional blow dry looking good for nearly a week as long as you are careful;
- Try not to touch your hair too much and plait it back for sleeping and the gym. You can also wash just the top of your hair for a mid week refresh or after the gym to maintain the rest of your hair. I always blow dry my hair before each time I need to look decent and tie it up in a bun or a plait when I work from home, run errands or just go out casually. This ensures you aren’t using too much heat on your hair extensions too often.
- Invest in a good hair brush – And carry it always with you! Obviously I love my I Heart Cosmetics hairbrush and take it with me everywhere I go. I designed it as the bristles of other extension brushes weren’t long enough to go through all my layers. I felt like I was just brushing the top layer of my hair. Your hair will get tangled. Especially when it’s windy and rainy in London, so you need a good brush to liven it up;
- If you want to learn more about the I Heart Cosmetics hairbrush I wrote a separate post about it;
- Be gentle with your hair – Last but not least! No matter the quality, your hair extensions are delicate. Tak good care of them as that’s the only way they will ever look perfect.