Just as natural hair is now a huge trend, hair extensions have also become a  hairstyling staple. Everyone wants to rock their natural hair (or at least, natural looking hair), but they also want it to look long, voluminous, bouncy, and they want  to be able to style their “natural hair” to the nines. This is why hair extensions have  now become super popular. 

There are so many types, styles, colors, and options to choose from when it comes  to hair extensions that if you don’t get direct recommendations, it can be pretty  confusing to take your pick. However, once you know what these types are and  what wearing and caring for them entails, you’ll be able to easily decide which  option is most suitable for you based on the condition of your natural hair and your  lifestyle. 

The 6 main type of hair extensions are: 

  1. Tape-in extensions; 
  2. Clip-in extensions; 
  3. Wefts (sew-in extensions); 
  4. Fusion (or pre-bonded) hair extensions; 
  5. Micro-link extensions; and 
  6. Wigs. 

In this series, we will be taking a look at how to take care of each type of hair  extension. This will help you to decide which maintenance process will fit best into  your lifestyle in terms of time and other resources available to you. 

Most importantly, all types of hair extensions need proper care to keep looking  nice, clean, and gorgeously slayed. The last thing you want is for your bundles to 

turn into a bird’s nest. So by the end of this series, you’re also going to have learned  all that you need to know about proper maintenance of your hair extensions. 

Tape-In Extensions. 

Tape-ins are hair extensions that consist of strands that are pre-taped with medical grade glue which can be fixed to your natural hair. They often come in sections of  hair between lengths of 1 inch to 1½ inch. 

Can you DIY your tape-in installation? 

Unlike with clip-ins, you can’t go DIY with your tape-in install. A hairdresser has to  install your tape-ins for you using a special “sandwich” technique to apply the tape ins to your hair. 

How long do tape-in extensions last? 

On average, tape-ins last anywhere from 1 to 2 months before you’ll need to  remove and reapply them. However, this also largely depends on how well you  maintain them and how fast your hair grows. 

How to Care for Your Tape-Ins. 

Before getting your tape-ins applied, you MUST wash your hair with a clarifying  shampoo. Also, conditioner should not be used during application of the tape ins. 

When you have tape-ins in your hair, you’ll need to maintain a daily hair care  and detangling routine. 

Brush your hair gently with a detangling brush every day. Hold the roots of your  hair down to avoid pulling the glue bonds. If your hair is extremely tangled, use  a wide-tooth comb to gently remove the tangles before brushing. 

Use hair care products that are recommended by your stylist—these will be less  likely to loosen the glue while still keeping your tape-ins in good condition. 

However, avoid using too much product in your hair as this can lead to build-up  and tangling over time. 

You will need to wash your tape-ins at certain points; for instance, when you  work out or swim, to remove excess sweat or chlorine. Always use a sulfate-free  shampoo and conditioner when cleansing your tape-ins. 

Do not brush or comb your tape-ins while your hair is wet. 

Never sleep with wet tape-in extensions.  

Wrap or braid your hair before going to bed to prevent tangling at night. 

When applying heat to your hair, use a heat protectant spray! And avoid  touching the tape tabs directly with heat tools or else this will weaken the glue  bonds. The more you style your extensions with heat, the shorter their lifespan. 

Do not apply conditioner, serums, or oils to your scalp when wearing tape-ins. These are only good for application from mid-length to the ends of your hair to  keep it healthy and shiny over time. 

After a month of wearing your tape-ins, begin to look out for when you’ll need  to have them reapplied to move the bonds closer to your scalp. 

Important: Tape-in extensions are not very ideal for those who have lost a  significant amount of hair due to any illnesses or for those that experience extreme  hair thinning. Instead, consult with your hairstylist for a better option if you fall  within any of these categories.
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