Something’s been looking a little different on me for the past few months… Yup, I got hair extensions!
Thanks to my stylist Alex Ferguson at Spirit Spa, I’ve been sporting my dream hair since July. I bit the bullet and got them two days before I left for Europe after mulling them over for at least two years. Who doesn’t want to look their best on vacation? It was the perfect time and I’ve been loving them ever since.
In this post, I plan to tell you as much as I can think of about having them, maintaining them, how much they cost, and more. Don’t hesitate to leave me any comments if any of your questions are unanswered! Special thanks to Alex Ferguson, not only for my hair but for helping me to answer many of these questions!
FAQs–from the like, two people in real-life who actually asked me:
What are tape-in hair extensions? Are they really taped in?
Tape-in hair extensions really are “taped” in! The individual wefts of hair are applied to your natural hair with medical grade adhesive and (for the most part) stay incredibly secure for at least 6-8 weeks. My extensions are by Babe. They are 100% Remy human hair and I have 3 packs of hair in my head. Each pack holds 10 wefts, and two wefts are sandwiched around each small section of my own hair. Essentially, the tape on each weft attaches to the tape on another weft with your own hair in the middle. This method of application allows for seamless blending, natural placement, and it feels weightless. The application is also incredibly quick–it only takes an hour for my hair to be applied!
What’s different about tape-in extensions vs. other methods of extensions?
I can’t really speak to this as these are the only semi-permanent extensions I’ve ever had, but I do know that they’re much less damaging than many kinds of glue-in, sew-in, bonded, or beaded hair extensions. In most cases, they’re also a lot less expensive (partly due to how quickly they can be applied). I have had clip-in extensions before, and I prefer these so much more. I always struggled with properly clipping the extensions in so that they didn’t show, and I really love waking up with beautiful hair.
Why might someone want tape-in extensions?
I get my extensions solely due to my desire for more thickness and volume. I’ve had very long hair for many years and my hair is currently at my desired length, but I’ve always had incredibly thin and fine hair. It’s actually gotten worse in recent years due to some medications and ongoing health issues, so I love that I’m able to have the hair of my dreams for a relatively low cost. Alex says that most of her clients get them for length, but many will get as little as 1 or 2 packs just to help to camouflage areas with breakage.
Alex says that typically clients will get 3 packs of hair for volume (like me) and at least 7 packs for length.
Who is a good candidate for tape-in extensions?
Alex says that almost anyone with a desire for longer and/or fuller hair is a good candidate for tape-in extensions, but she wouldn’t recommend them to someone with incredibly curly or thick hair.
How long do they last?
Between 6-8 weeks. I got a full 8 weeks out of mine after my first application before I felt that they were ready to be removed and moved up/re-installed after re-growth. After my second application, they needed to be re-adjusted after 6 weeks. I attribute this discrepancy to us trying out single-sided tape (one weft applied to one piece of my own hair as opposed to the sandwich method) that time around; I just didn’t feel like it worked as well on me. I prefer the two-sided tapes. However, single sided tape can be a good option for some other clients with fine hair, so don’t let my experience discourage you from trying this method.
One of the things that I love about them is that you can re-use your extensions several times before you need to buy new hair. I’ve used my hair 3 times so far and they still have a ton of life in them. Alex likes to get new hair after 6-8 months, but I believe that they can be re-used for up to a year. This is one of the things that allows the maintenance to be less expensive than other types of hair extensions and what allows them to be an affordable luxury for me.
How much do they cost?
This is going to vary widely between salons, stylists, and clients. My initial investment was just under $400. This includes buying the hair (3 packs) and having it applied for the first time. Now I pay roughly $150 (give or take) every two months for re-application. I take the hair out myself and drop it off to Alex for cleaning/prepping in advance of our next appointment, but you can pay for this service if you don’t want to do it yourself. (But you should if you want to save money, it’s easy).
What are your favourite things about them?
I love the boost of confidence they give me–they really make me feel glamorous and beautiful. I can achieve the hairstyles I’ve always wanted. I also really like how I can add more blonde into my hair without damaging more of my natural hair. My hair holds styles better, and I can actually go WAY longer without washing my hair. They actually save me time and keep my hair healthier (IMO).
What are your least favourite things about them?
Well… they’re yet another luxury that I now feel like I never want to live without! Truly, the only big con to me is how much longer it takes me to blow dry my hair–you DEFINITELY want to dry/style them after washing… NO going to sleep on wet extensions! However, it only takes about 30 minutes and (gonna be super honest!) I really only wash my hair about twice a week now, so no big deal…. #dryshampoolife
The only other somewhat frustrating thing is that they’re hard to get into a “nice” ponytail. What I mean by that it’s still super easy to throw your hair up, but you need to be intentional about camouflaging your tapes.
How do you style them?
Exactly like you do your natural hair!
How do you take care of them?
Plan to use high quality products, lots of hair masks and oils and good conditioners. Just be careful about not allowing moisturizing products to saturate your tapes as this could cause slippage and degrade the quality of the adhesive.
I love them! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for a way to glam up your hair and treat yourself. They’re incredibly comfortable and relatively low maintenance!