My Experience with Tape Extensions
BABES GUESS WHAT!! I’ve got my bitch blonde hair back! Well, not quite super icy yet, but it’s a work in progress to get back that level of blonde. Soon enough!
On top of going blonder, I decided to switch things up and try out 20 inch extensions to get that mermaid hair and let me just say, I am OBSESSED. All in, it took about 5 hours today. Good thing I really like my stylist, otherwise that’s a looong time to sit in someone’s chair.
We started out with blonde baby lights all over. This was the bulk of the appointment since we used probably a bajillion foils. Since my roots were so dark, we needed to take baby steps to bump them back to blonde while still looking natural.
After highlights, we washed, toned, deep conditioned and blow dried.
THEN for the best part - adding these horse tail pieces of hair. We used tape extensions which are the best for this type of length and volume. They are wefts of hair held together with incredibly strong pieces of double sided tape. Strands of your real hair are sandwiched in between to hold them in place. VOILA! Instant length and volume.
After meticulously placing them - it was time to cut and blend them out. V IMPORTANT step in the process. This helps them blend into your natural hair and look flawless.
Finished up with a nice curl and we were all set! And now, I think I’m addicted.
Why I Love Them
Extensions are a great way to change up your look. No matter if you’re growing out a bob, want to add some extra length/volume, or adding a pop of color - they can give you that fun easy way to do so.
They give that extra confidence boost. My motto has always been - if you leave the house with good makeup and bad hair, people will notice the bad hair. If you wear minimal/no makeup but have GREAT hair, you instantly look more pulled together. Think about it! Name a time you had a bad hair and felt cute? Doesn’t happen.
My hair holds the style SO much longer. Real talk - after my wedding ( I had tape extensions in, although a much smaller amount) my hair kept its style for a week after! Soft full curls and all. Extensions just hold every style way better, they’ve got a certain grip to them too for up-dos and fun braids. All those Pinterest hair inspo pics? 9 times out of 10 have extensions. Who wouldn’t want that extra oomph and “I woke up like this” feeling every day?
On top of less restyling (less damage!) I don’t have to wash my hair as much. For those who know me, I already barely wash my hair (2x a week at most) but with extensions I can easily extend that to 1x week, maybe longer. Of course still pairing it will my dry shampoo and baby powder combo!
Thinking About It? Make Sure to Consider…
The type - My personal favorite are tape extensions. They just look the most natural and are the least damaging. There are also beads, keratin bond and clip ins. Clip ins are probably the best ones to start with if you’ve never tried because they are the least expensive and no long term commitment.
The stylist - Make sure your stylist is an experienced extensionist, not just someone “who knows how to do them.” This is probably the most important thing! If you live in the Bay Area, highly recommend Amy Estrada at Cameron James Salon in San Francisco. She’s done my hair for 10+ years, she’s da best.
Where the hair is from - Only use 100% real hair, not synthetic. Synthetic hair can look unnaturally shiny and stringy, bleh. Also it’s important to be aware if the hair is ethically sourced. As with most things, you get what you pay for. Buyer beware for any hair that’s priced incredibly below market rate.
Long term cost - My girl Amy warned me way back when we first did these for my wedding that they I’d become addicted and never want to be without them. She was 100% right. I see them as an investment for sure and SO worth it, but nonetheless not a cheap hair ritual!
Maintenance - Most extensions last for 6-8 weeks with which you’ll need them properly taken out and reinstalled - not to mention a touch up on your color most likely! The hair itself is reusable for a few rounds but something to consider for long term use.
How To Care for Them
No washing or intense sweating for at least 72 hours. This will mess up the bonds of the tape, not to mention your fresh color.
No alcohol directly on the tape ever! Alcohol is what’s used to remove the extensions. Literally a few spritzes, then they slide right off. Some hair sprays and other products contain alcohol in some form, but as long as you’re not dousing the tape area with it you’ll be just fine.
Get yourself a good brush! I love my wet brush! Recommend this even if you aren’t wearing extensions, it’s super gentle on the hair and high quality.
Sleeping with a silk pillowcase. This will prevent tugging and tangles from forming on the hair - it’s also fantastic for your skin in preventing wrinkles!
Invest in good products. Extensions are real hair, so treating them with great products will keep them looking their best and lasting longer. I linked a few of my favorites below :)