Hair Extension 101- My Personal Experience with Tape-Ins

Hey friends!

Ever since college I was always interested in getting hair extensions. My hair was already decently long (about boob length) but I wanted that Pantene commercial look and my hair just wouldn’t grow past this certain length…ughh 1st world problems right? ha.

I would go to salons and get complimentary consultations to see how much each salon would charge me, but then after getting price quotes upwards of $900, I would pass up the treatment and continue along with my real hair.

After moving back to Dallas and getting a big girl job (in which I am eligible for monthly bonuses) I finally decided to take the plunge and go through with some tape-ins, using my first earned bonus money!

Here is my hair transformation:

                                       Pre-Extensions       With Extensions                 Post-Extensions                          

Although I wouldn’t say I REGRET getting them, I wouldn’t ever do them again. I’m one of those people that needs to do something myself before determining if it’s worth-wild or not. And let me tell you… it was not.

Quick Disclaimer– I have a friend who has bonded extensions and she LOVES them. She has gone back to get them re-done a few times now, and she looks awesome with them! So everyone is different.

This route (bonded) is more expensive than tape-ins, but last significantly longer between sessions. You are paying a much larger fee up front, but then you only get it done every 6 months- which is pretty convenient.

On the other hand, tape-ins are quite a bit less expensive and you can re-use the same hair over and over again, but you have to pay the salon fee to get them re-taped every 6-8 weeks.

Side Note: When choosing which option is for you- the salon will try to tell you that neither method is damaging to your real hair- THIS IS A LIE. Both will damage your hair. Bonded more than tape-ins though.

The bottom 2-3 inches of your hair will likely be very brittle after removing either Tape-Ins or Bonded Extensions. Not saying this is the end of the world, as you can just get a hair cut to remove the dead ends and put the extensions right back in… but definitely something to consider.

I chose the tape-in route for fear of completely ruining my real hair with bonded. After $700 of hair and service fees, I was left with a VERY heavy and itchy head.  

I actually cried the first night I had them because I felt very fake and like I couldn’t do anything with my hair for fear that I would pull one of them out.

Yes, you do get used to the weight eventually (give it 4-5 days) and the tape will get softer, therefore making your head less itchy. But the inability to put your hair in a perfect ponytail will never go away.

For some people this is no big deal at all, but for me-this was HUGE. I workout 6x a week so not being able to put my hair in a sturdy ponytail was so aggravating.

Skip forward a few weeks (they are supposed to last 6-8 weeks) and one by one strands of the hair kept coming out so I had to go back in to the salon to get them re-taped several times. Again, to some people this is no big deal…. except when it falls out in public!

I never had any totally mortifying experiences with hair strands coming out, but I did have a very close call once when leaving one of my accounts (bars).

I was waving goodbye to the buyer and turned to put my purse on my shoulder and it somehow yanked out one of the tape-ins. Luckily I had my back to him already and was able to discretely shove it in my purse and walk out the door. Ha. But it could have been much worse. I’ve heard stories of girls losing one on the floor and being so mortified to go pick it up that they just leave it and take the loss (thats like $20 of hair right there!)

So before deciding which method to go with (or to get them at all) do keep in mind that you will always have to be cognizant of someone pulling them out.

About a month ago I decided to remove them myself (its easy) and then went to the salon the next morning to get a totally new do (at a different salon then where I got the extensions). My hair felt much thinner after removing them, but it’s hard to know if this is from true damage or from me getting used to the weight of the extensions. Whatever the case, I decided to take a risk and change up my look by getting several inches cut off, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

My hair is very blonde so having super long locks can sometimes lead people to pre-judge me (this is a very sad truth). Cutting off a few inches has definitely helped me look a little more professional and reduces the “ditzy blonde” cliche a bit.

So all-in-all, I don’t necessarily regret getting the tape-ins done because its something I’ve always wondered about doing.  But-my advice to you would be to do your research and get several price quotes from different salons before deciding on one.

And even better- if you know anyone who styles hair or is semi-competent enough to trust with your hair, HAVE THEM DO IT (if you choose tape-ins). I honestly believe that my sister-in-law, who has no hair experience, could put them back in for me if I wanted. There are SO many you-tube videos these days teaching you step-by-step how to do it.

Comment below if you have any questions or if have some personal experience with hair extensions and can offer some advice to anyone else!



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