If you don’t know by now, I LOVE hair extensions. I always had long hair growing up, but after discovering the power of clip-ins during college, I was hooked. I think part of it was living in Dallas – you know, the higher the hair, the closer to God – but a simple clip-in combined with a quick turn on the curling wand always made the perfect beach waves.
After my experimental year of hair color (read more here), I learned wearing clip-ins every single day can cause breakage and bald spots in your hair when paired with coloring. Once I realized the damage of hair color and the weight of the clip-ins, I started 2017 off with a “chemical cut” – I had chin-length, thin, brown hair. I’m not talking about a cute lob or wavy bob – this was BAD. As a girl who has always had flowing locks, a thin chin bob definitely set off my panic mode. (Note: this was 30 minutes before my first blind date with my boyfriend. Thank goodness for the Halo – He had no idea)
My first solution to my hair catastrophe was the Halo. This was a complete life saver because it simply rested on my head by a clear string, so I knew it would cause zero damage. After 6 months of this, I was tired of having to “put on my hair (halo)” to feel like myself. This works wonders if you’re looking for an occasional solution, but not for everyday wear. Plus as a travel blogger, it’s so nerve-wracking wondering if your “hair” is going to fall off when you’re in the pool or ocean! It fell off. Awkward.
In between going on a weekend trip and forgetting my extensions to frying a curling iron day 1 in Europe and unable to “blend” my real hair with extensions via curling, I decided to get permanent hair extensions to simplify my beauty routine while my natural hair was on the mend. Since I’m constantly on the go, it’s nice to have one less thing to worry about.
Fast forward to last summer when I connected with Reid James – my hair lifesaver.
The trickiest part about getting hair extensions is finding the right person to do them. After reaching out to numerous salons, I was shocked to see how many places were completely gouging customers – one salon quoted $5,000 for extensions! No way.
I had met Dallas stylist, Reid James, years ago at a Lela Rose event and kept in touch via social media. I reached out, set up a consultation, and immediately decided Reid was my guy. Since my natural hair was short and I wanted long extensions, Reid suggested I start with three packs of extensions to make sure the hair blends naturally. Unlike having to curl my hair daily to blend my clip-ins with my real hair, I can roll out of bed and be good to go! Tape-in hair extensions have made my hair fuller and more voluminous, meaning less prep time in the mornings.
What I enjoyed most about the process was the transparency of his pricing. Unlike other salons that upcharge the price of the packs, I ordered the hair at cost through Reid. To make sure the extensions last for numerous sessions, he only recommends the highest quality hair. He then charged $150 to put in the extensions – and $150 to remove the extensions (so my touch up sessions are $300).
The maintenance of tape-in extensions is minimal! My extensions generally last 3 months between sessions, but they can last a little more or less depending on how fast your hair grows. The bonds are really solid, and I’ve never had an extension fall out or pull out my hair. Since tape-in hair extensions can be used numerous times, I can use the same three packs for at least 3-4 sessions – which is very cost-efficient!
How To Apply Tape-In Hair Extensions:
First Reid uses a clarifying shampoo on my hair followed by a quick blow dry. Next he sections off my hair into layers to apply the extensions. Each extension has a strip of tape across the top and he “sandwiches” two extensions around a small strip of my hair. This process is continued in numerous layers around my head until all of the extensions have been applied to blend with my real hair. The process is painless and relatively quick!
For touch ups, Reid removes all of the extensions. He then strips the old tape adhesive from the extensions and replaces it with new tape, then repeats the original process!
Benefits Of Tape-In Hair Extensions:
- They Are Less Damaging Than Bead Or Fusion Hair Extensions – The tape-ins haven’t caused any damage to my hair, plus they are keeping my hair full and voluminous while my real hair grows underneath!
- The Wefts Can Be Used Numerous Times, Unlike Fusion Hair Extensions – As long as you provide your hair with TLC, your tape-ins can last 3-4 sessions!
- They Are Quick To Put In And Remove – Unlike fusion extensions that can take hours, tape-in extensions take less than an hour to apply!
- They Are Less Expensive – Tape-in hair extensions cost about the same as quality clip-in extensions, so you get amazing extensions without breaking the bank.
- They Tangle Less Than Fusion Extensions – Since the wefts are thicker than fusion extensions, they are less likely to tangle AND easier to brush through.
How To Care For Tape-In Hair Extensions:
- Wait 48 Hours Before Washing Your Hair – Not getting your hair wet for 48 hours will allow the tape-ins to fully bond.
- Avoid Conditioning The Bonds – Too much conditioner and hair treatments can start to break down the bonds, so conditioning your hair from mid-shaft to the ends will help prevent this and make your hair last longer!
- Use A Wet Brush To Avoid Tangles – When I first got hair extensions, I was worried about brushing over the bonds thinking I would rip them out and damage my hair. This ended up causing tangles underneath the extensions – trust me, you do not want that! A Wet Brush is gentle enough to brush through the extensions and will prevent tangles! Doing this at least twice a day will prevent tangles and keep your extensions easy and stress-free. I like to hold my hair and start from the bottom and move to the top, that way I can control the amount of pull on my ends. Every so often, take a comb and brush each individual hair extension.
- Limit The Amount Of Times You Wash Your Hair A Week – Not only will this help lengthen the lifespan of your extensions, it will also make YOUR life easier! Hair extensions take a lot longer to dry, so limiting the amount of washes will help speed along your daily routine.
- Limit The Heat – Using a curling iron or straightener everyday can really break down extensions, so try to limit the amount of heat you use on your hair. I tend to wash and style my hair extensions 2-3x per week, since the curls hold for a couple days!
- Sleep With Your Hair In A Braid – Since tangles are the WORST with extensions, pulling your hair into a braid before bed will keep your hair tame and styled in the morning! Also, try avoiding sleeping with wet hair.
If you’re interested in tape-in hair extensions, I highly recommend Reid James! He has been absolutely fantastic. Click here to follow Reid on instagram or text/call him at 972-953-8280. Visit Reid James Hair to learn more.
Keep scrolling to see more “after” shots of my tape-in extensions!
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