The Truth About Tape-In Extensions: Are They Bad for Your Hair?

We know you’ve been stalking Instagram and looking at flawless installs of tape-in extensions. Your biggest question at this point is whether tape-in extensions are bad for your hair? Listen, we understand you want to know if tape-ins are worth the hype before you invest all of your coins. 

With the increasing popularity of tape-ins,  thousands of women wonder the same thing so you are not alone. Thankfully sis, Go Sleek is here to answer all of your questions. We are here to breakdown the pros and cons of tape-ins, how to prep your hair for installation, and hair care maintenance for this style. 

Pros of Tape-In Extensions

  • Provides natural look
  • Light-weight and does not cause tension
  • Versatile styling options, tapes are flexible and blend with hair well 
  • Can be worn and last longer than clip-ins

How Tape-In Hair Extensions Work

Tapes are a semi-permanent hair extension method. The adhesive used on tape extensions is a gentle medical-grade glue. Recommended to be installed and removed by a licensed professional, tape-in extensions have adhesive bonds that attach them to natural hair, making them secure. They lay flat and blend with the hair if installed properly.

Installation Process

Installing tape-in hair extensions involves a meticulous process that a trained professional stylist should ideally carry out. Firstly, small sections of the natural hair are partitioned and gently backcombed to create a secure base for attaching the extensions. Adhesive tape is applied to both sides of the weft, sandwiching the natural hair in between.

The key to a flawless installation is ensuring the tape-ins sit slightly underneath the parting of the hair. Do not place the tape-in extension too close to the parting to allow range for the hair to move freely, which also prevents pain from tension and snagging.

If your hair can pass the ponytail test once installed, that is a good sign the tape-ins lay flat and most likely are installed correctly. 

Types of Hair Used in Extensions

Tape-in extensions can be made from either human or synthetic hair strands. Human hair extensions look and feel natural as they can be treated like your own hair which we 100% recommend at Go Sleek. Our Tape-In Collection comes in a variety of human hair textures to an array of natural hairstyles from Kinky Curly, Body Wave, and Deep Curly.

On the other hand, synthetic hair extensions are typically more affordable but may have limitations regarding styling options. 

Cons of Tape In Extensions

  • Meticulous removal process
  • Tedious installation process, with numerous tapes for a full install
  • The concern of traction alopecia
  • Potential allergic reaction to the adhesive used for tape
  • Careful styling and care once installed to prevent the adhesive from being compromised

Potential Risks and Concerns

One of the primary concerns associated with tape-in hair extensions is the potential risk of developing traction alopecia; gradual hair loss caused by continuous tension or pulling on the hair follicles. Improper installation, excessive weight from extensions, and failure to follow appropriate maintenance practices are the primary causes of this condition. If you are currently suffering from traction alopecia, you may want to consult with your stylist on if this style is the right option for you. 

Sometimes you may experience scalp irritation or allergic reactions due to contact with adhesives used in tape-in extensions. This can manifest as itching, redness, inflammation, or discomfort around attachment points. If this happens, alert your stylist and of course, consult your doctor immediately.

Choosing the Right Salon and Stylist

Selecting a reputable salon, like Haus of Go Sleek, and a skilled stylist is crucial when considering tape-in hair extensions. Take the time to research salons in your area that specialize in extensions, ensuring they have a good reputation, positive client reviews, and successful installations via vidoes on their social media. Pay close attention to if the stylists provide tips and maintenance recommendations to clients as well. 

If possible, although not required, look for certified stylists in tape-in extension applications as this demonstrates their expertise and commitment to proper techniques. 

Questions To Ask Before Getting Tape-In Extensions

Before deciding, you must ensure you're well informed about the process and potential outcomes of getting tape-in extensions. Some critical questions to ask a professional include:

  • What type of adhesive do you use for attaching the extensions?
  • How long does the installation process typically take?
  • Can you provide examples or before-and-after photos of previous clients with similar hair types?
  • What is your recommended maintenance routine for keeping natural hair and extensions healthy?
  • What precautions do you take to minimize damage or risk during installation and removal?
  • How many grams of Tape-In Hair Extensions Should I Buy?

Pre-Installation Preparations

Before undergoing tape-in hair extension installation, schedule a consultation with a professional stylist. During this consultation, the stylist will assess your natural hair condition, discuss your desired outcome, and determine whether tape-in extensions suit you based on hair texture, density, and overall scalp health.

To ensure you don't have any adverse reactions or allergies to the adhesive used in tape-in extensions, your stylist may conduct patch tests or sensitivity checks before proceeding with the installation process. This involves applying a small amount of adhesive to an inconspicuous area of your skin and monitoring for signs of irritation or allergic reaction over a specific period.

Properly prep your natural hair before getting tape-in extensions to improve results and minimize potential damage. It's recommended to wash your hair thoroughly using a clarifying shampoo before the installation appointment to remove residual oils and product buildup that could compromise the adhesion of the tape-in extensions. 

Additionally, avoid using heavy conditioners or styling products near the root area where the extensions are attached as they can interfere with adhesion quality.

Tape-Ins Maintenance and Care

It’s vital to follow specific care instructions provided by your stylist when caring for your tape-ins. Now is not the time to DIY it and leave things to chance. Use recommended shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that won't damage the adhesive of the tape-ins or compromise the integrity of your natural hair.

After the initial application you should refrain from working out, swimming or washing your hair for 48 hours to allow the adhesive to settle.

How to Shampoo Tape-Ins

Proper shampooing techniques are essential for maintaining the longevity and appearance of tape-in extensions. Using sulfate-free, extension-safe shampoos that are gentle on your natural hair and the adhesive bonds is recommended. When washing, avoid vigorously scrubbing or rubbing the extensions; gently massage the scalp with your fingertips to distribute shampoo.

After rinsing, apply a lightweight conditioner to the hair's mid-lengths and ends, avoiding contact with the adhesive area of the tape. Rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue remains.

Read the full details on How to Shampoo Hair With Tape Ins

Removing Tape-in Hair extensions

Again this is something you want to leave to the professionals. A solution is used to properly break down the adhesive of the tape for careful removal. In addition, several shampoo sessions may be needed to ensure all glue is removed from the hair.

Avoiding Damaging Products and Practices

It's crucial to steer clear of damaging products and practices that could compromise integrity or cause tangling/breakage:

  • Avoid using heat styling tools excessively or applying high heat directly onto the adhesive areas.
  • Minimize exposure to chlorine from swimming pools by wearing a swim cap or thoroughly rinsing hair after swimming.
  • Steer clear of oil-based products near attachment points, as they can weaken adhesion over time.
  • Brush gently using a wide-toothed comb or an extension-specific brush to minimize tugging on bonded sections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Tape-In Extensions Cause Permanent Hair Loss?

If installed and maintained correctly, tape-in extensions are generally safe and don't cause permanent hair loss. However, improper installation techniques or excessive tension on the natural hair can lead to traction alopecia.

How Many Grams of Tape-Ins Should I Buy For A Full Head?

If you want a natural look after installing your clip-ins, you will need about 60 pieces or 150 grams. The higher the grams the more bulk you will have upon installing. Again, it is best to consult with your stylist depending on your hair texture and density. 

How Much Maintenance Do Tape-In Extensions Require?

Tape-in extensions require regular maintenance for optimal results. On average, they need to be repositioned or moved up every 6-8 weeks as your natural hair grows out. Additionally, following your stylist's care instructions is essential when it comes to shampooing techniques, product usage, brushing routines, and avoiding activities that may damage the extensions.

Can I Use Styling Tools on Tape-In Extensions?

Yes, you can use styling tools such as straighteners and curling irons on tape-in extensions; however, caution must be exercised to prevent damage. Applying heat-protectant products before using hot tools is recommended.

Are Tape-In Extensions Ok for Thin Hair?

Thin hair vs. thinning hair is a huge difference. Tape in extensions ARE NOT recommended for individuals experiencing any hair loss, breakage or thinning. 

Tape-in extensions can be suitable for thin hair; however. Careful consideration must be given during installation to ensure there's enough existing hair density to support them without causing strain and prevent visible attachments from showing through fine strands.

During the consultation, a skilled stylist will assess your situation and recommend whether tape-in extensions are appropriate for your hair type. They'll be happy to suggest alternative methods like micro-link or clip-in extensions if necessary.

Overall, Are Tape-Ins Bad for Your Hair? 

Overall, tape-in extensions are not bad for your hair when installed with care by a professional stylist with great experience in extensions.  As with any style, how you choose to maintain the care of your hair extensions daily will be the biggest determinant of damage to your natural hair. 

Are you still curious about tape-in extensions and their impact on your hair? Look no further than Go Sleek, for premium quality hair extensions and our salon in Atlanta for a trusted licensed professional. Our extensive collection of tape-ins offers an exciting opportunity to enhance your style while maintaining healthy hair.