Happy Friday everyone!
This is a much anticipated post and one highly requested from my Instagram followers! Last December I got tape-in hair extensions and have been LOVING them ever since. I get a lot of questions on what type of hair extensions to get and how to care for them. I hope to answer most if not all of those questions in this post. And, give the deets on this super cute outfit that’s perfect for work and weekend wear! So, let’s hop to it!
But first, HOLD UP, are extensions even right for you? Extensions are not for the faint of heart. It’s true, they do make styling your hair a lot easier (I wash/curl my hair once a week now). BUT they require TLC on a daily basis. I’m not talking hours, but you should be prepared to comb them a few times, braid your hair at night and invest in quality hair products. Second, they’re not cheap. If you think eyelash extensions or getting a manicure is expensive, try hair extensions. This is an investment. And if taken care of properly, you can make them last upwards of a year!
PS, if you’re looking for clarification on what type of extensions to get (clip-in v. tape-in v. bonded v. braided etc), there’s a post coming on that! This post was more requested so that’s why I’m doing it first! So, we’ll be talking about how to care for tape-in hair extensions in this post!
Probably the most important thing you can do when you have tape-ins (or any semi-permanent extension) is to wash properly. This includes how often, the technique and products you use!
Products: As I’ve said before in this post, it is imperative that you use a shampoo and conditioner that do not contain sulfates or parabens. This goes for anyone, but especially if you have tape-in extensions. Sulfates and parabens are chemical detergents used in things like dish soap that are very harsh on your scalp and strip your hair of its natural oils. Tape-ins do not grow from your root, so don’t get the natural oil produced by your scalp. If you strip your extensions of their coating by using the wrong shampoo and conditioner you cut down on their life, dry them out and make them very unmanageable. I used this shampoo and this conditioner for years before extensions and, luckily, they are perfect to use with extensions as well!
You may also want to pick up a clarifying shampoo or scalp exfoliator. These will help remove any buildup between your bonds and ensure you have a healthy scalp. I use both – my exfoliator on my crown (above the first extensions) and the clarifying shampoo all over. Caution however, clarifying shampoo can strip color out over time. So use this one sparingly (I use it about once a month!).
Technique: Washing your hair with tape-ins is different from washing just your natural hair. You have to be meticulous. It takes longer, but you can do it less often! You should use shampoo everywhere you can. I often lift up my bonds, make sure they’re properly wetted and then gently massage shampoo in-between the layers. Don’t forget under your hair and behind your ears too! You’ll want to rinse the same way you apply – by lifting every layer. Rinsing shampoo from extensions takes about 2X as long as when you don’t have them so make sure to rinse in between every layer! For conditioner, make sure you apply it from mid-shaft down only. I then lightly run the remaining amount over my scalp and thoroughly rinse. Most people advise you not to do this with extensions, but, if I don’t do this, I end up with a tangled mess on top of my head!
Semi-wash: This is a hair hack my hair stylist Gina told me about. Since the extensions themselves take longer to get greasy, you can often get away with braiding your extension layers and just washing your crown in the sink. You then don’t have to deal with washing your full head, which can take quite a while (and saves on products too!).
Post-wash: Make sure to spray a detangler like this one throughout your hair and gently comb through it. I use this wet brush. You’ll want to wait a max of 30-40 minutes and then blow dry your hair. You always want to make sure you dry your extensions to avoid any mildew build-up between the layers (seriously, gross!). I generally blow-dry mine on a medium heat setting in 3 sections starting at the bottom and focus mainly on my scalp to ensure the bonds are dry. I let the ends from mid-shaft down air dry to avoid damaging them.
DO’s & DON’Ts
There are a number of do’s and don’ts when it comes to styling & caring for tape-in extensions:
- Use a heat protectant before any styling (the detangler I linked has one in it). I also use this one as an added protection just on my ends!
- Gently brush them several times a day using an extension brush like this one that won’t catch on your bonds.
- Braid your hair or put it in a low pony before sleeping to avoid tangling.
- Always dry your hair or use a good dry shampoo post-workout.
- Head to the stylist every 8-10 weeks to have them moved (generally when you can start to see them and they’re harder to hide!)
- Use non-damaging hair ties like these.
- Sleep with wet extensions because this can damage them!
- Use a regular brush on wet extensions
- Use oil based products near the roots (like argan oil or Moroccan Oil) because this can loosen the bonds.
- Let products build up between the layers or on your scalp – make sure to wash when you need to!
I hope this answers most of your questions about hair extension care! Please let me know if you have any remaining questions in the comments OR by emailing me at email@example.com! And, remember if you’re in the Twin Cities area, you can get 25% off any service with my stylist Gina at Evolution by mentioning me! Extension installation included!
Outfit Details: This wrap top is perfect for both work and weekend wear! It’s a classic, flattering style that comes in a few different colors. I got the black because it’s great to wear anytime of the year for virtually any occasion. It fits TTS (wearing XS). These jeans are staples for me! So comfortable and comes in regular, petite & tall sizes! Wearing 0short! And, this new tote from Hammitt is an essential for work, travel or weekend errands. The leather is SO soft and it comes in a gorgeous array of colors! It’s on the pricier end, but so well made that I know it’ll last for years. Plus, if you get a classic color like this ivory shade, it will never go out of style.
What are you all up to this weekend? I’m heading out to dinner with one of my best girlfriends who’s in town tonight. So excited to see her! I’m not sure where we’re headed yet, but I’m hoping it’ll be somewhere with yummy cocktails 😋! Tomorrow, Kev & I are headed out to do a bit of exploring and maybe head to a pop-up shop in St. Paul in the afternoon.
Have a great weekend everyone!
SHOP the POST
Millie Hue says
Thanks for pointing out that we must never use oil-based products near the roots since it will remove the adhesive of the extension. I will keep that in mind so that the extension will last for a couple of days. This will be useful since I will be using it for the event this Saturday, and there is another event on a Sunday night. So having those will make my look better.
So happy you found this helpful!!
Melissa Blevins says
Thanks for this detailed post! I have been researching and can’t seem to find information on working out with hair extensions. My stylist mentioned you need to only wash them once or twice a week, but other sites say that you have to wash them immediately post-workout to get rid of all of the salt from sweat.
You mentioned that you should always dry and/or use dry shampoo post-workout, but does the sweat break down the tape ins? How long can you go without moving up? 5 weeks? 8?
So I usually went 8-10 weeks between moving them! And I always just dry shampoo’d & would sometimes blow dry my bottom layers if they got extra sweaty 🙂 Otherwise you probably just want to wash twice a week if you work out heavily!
What’s the scalp exfoliator you use? It looks like the link doesn’t work.
I linked it here for you!!