Tape-in hair extensions! (Seamless hair extensions)

I just had my tape-in extensions removed today so I thought it would be fitting to do a full review!  So I started out in January with dirty blonde, fine, thin, very straight hair.  I was really looking for a change since my hair has been blonde for about two years now and very fine for my whole life.  In recent years, I was really looking to thicken my hair, so I delved into the world of hair extensions.  I immersed myself in all of the various types.  After reading several reviews online, I finally decided on tape-in hair extensions.  Since I found it fairly difficult to find a matching shade of blonde for my hair, I made the decision to dye my hair back to my native dark brown and then purchase dark brown extensions.  I went to Sally’s Beauty Supply, found the closest matching shade (of tape-in extensions) then took them home and dyed them the same color as my hair (with the same dye I put on my hair).  I then made an appointment to have them professionally installed. 

What they are: 

Tape-in (Seamless) hair extensions are a type of hair extension that is not sewn or clipped into your hair.  They are a type of semi-permanent hair extensions.  Each weft has two pieces that sandwich together with an adhesive on the inside (below).  A very thin layer of your own hair is put in between the adhesive at the root.  They are meant to lay flat against your head to create the “seamless” look and to avoid showing through.



What they do: 

Tape-in hair extensions serve two purposes.  They lengthen and/or thicken hair in a natural looking fashion.  I was attracted to these type of extensions because I wanted to thicken my hair.  I was absolutely amazed at how thick my hair felt after a full installation.  Here are side by side comparisons of the thickness I achieved with these extensions (below).


These extensions are absolutely amazing for both length and volume. 

Cost: 

These type of extensions have a very large range in price.  The cost does have various factors, however.  Since I bought the hair myself, from Sally Beauty Supply, the cost of one pack of 18″ Satin Strands (human) hair was $94.99.  Since I was just using the hair to thicken my own, one pack was enough.  I then messaged a girl I knew from high school who worked for a salon, and asked how much installation would be if I brought the hair.  It cost $150.00 to install the hair.  So my total cost to start wearing these extensions was just shy of $300.00.  The cost does depend on several factors.

  • Length – The longer hair you purchase, the more it will cost.  The 18″ [Satin Strands] are $94.99.  The 22″ [Satin Strands] are $144.99. (These are all based on prices at Sally Beauty Supply).
  • Number of packs – Obviously, the number of packs [of hair] you purchase to get your desired look will affect the cost. 
  • Type of hair – When the quality of the hair you purchase is high, the cost will reflect that.
  • Where you purchase your hair – If you purchase your hair from a salon, you are likely to pay more than buying the hair yourself.
  • Where you have your hair installed – I believe this goes without being said (but since I am doing a full review, I will say it anyway).  Where you have your hair installed will greatly affect the price.  If you go to a high-end salon, you will pay high-end salon prices.  

With all of those factors compiled, Tape-in extensions can cost you anywhere from $250.00-$1200.00.  The hair can be reused about three times for re-applications.  During these appointments (when you need to move the hair closer to the root) you will only pay for the re-installation and not the hair.  


One weft (above) 


One pack (above) 

Care: 

During your initial appointment you will need to show up with clean hair.  You need to wash it the morning of, or have it washed at the salon.  After they are installed you will be instructed to not wash your hair for 24-48 hours while the bonds set.  Once 24-48 hours have passed you are now able to wash your hair as often as you would like.  When washing your hair with these extensions in, you will want to be as gentle as possible by the roots of your hair where the adhesive strips reside.  When conditioning the hair it is extremely important to NOT condition the roots as it will weaken the bonds.  Keep all conditioners near the ends of your extensions and away from the root/adhesive.  Do NOT brush or comb your hair when wet (but if you are like me you will find a way around that)… If you must brush when the hair is wet, hold down the top of the weft (the adhesive part) against your head while you brush so it does not pull at the root (to minimalize any damage).  If you intend on reusing your extensions they should be stored in a clean dry place upon removal.  Most beauty supply stores sell cases to store your extensions. 

Removal and Re-installation: 

To remove the extensions you will need to soak the adhesive at the top of the weft with an alcohol solution to weaken the bond.  I’ve read that conditioner helps to weaken the bond, but trying it myself I did not succeed.  So I went to a salon, where they removed it by saturating the adhesive with alcohol to separate the sandwich.  Before re-installing you will need to remove what is left of the adhesive from your hair by saturating (with alcohol) the root of your hair where the adhesive was and comb it out (repeat the process until all of the adhesive is removed).  To re-install them you will need to buy new adhesive [tape] to reuse the hair.  You can get these at most beauty supply stores as well. 

Pros:

  • Great for volume and length 
  • Natural looking 
  • Easy installation and removal 
  • Minimal damage if properly taken care of 
  • Semi-permanent 
  • Can wash, blow dry, straighten, and style

Cons:

  • Can be costly 
  • When the hair grows out, the wefts can be seen 
  • Only lasts about 2-3 months 
  • Can pull at the root causing damage if not properly taken care of

All said and done:

Tape-in extensions are a great semi-permanent option for those looking to thicken and lengthen their hair.  They have lasted me from the beginning of February until today {April 18th}.  I was told due to the integrity of the extensions that mine should not be reused.  If I had taken better care of them along with my own hair they could have been reused about two more times.  They served me well for the three months that I did have them in.  It gave me the thickness that I have always desired in my hair.  All said and done I give them an 8/10 for their looks, purpose and function.  

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