Tape Extensions: Prep, Installation & Removal

Over the last few years, tape extensions have really grown and gained high popularity within the hair extension industry because of how easy, affordable, and fast they are to apply. Unlike some other hair extension applications, tape extensions are considered the least damaging of the permanent extensions. Another great thing about tape extensions is that they are reusable. Great for the client who has a limited budget. 
You can find so many videos online today showcasing different ways to apply them and even though tape extensions are the easiest to apply, many hairdressers are finding themselves confused because of conflicting information given to them. It is always best suggested to take a proper training course with extension professionals before booking any client. This step by step post of Preping, Installation & Removal will assist you on everything you need to know.


Before any extension installation including tape, the number one and most important step is to wash the clients hair with a clean removal shampoo. This type of shampoo is different than other shampoos as its sole purpose is to remove all residue and natural oils from the scalp and the hair. This first step cannot be stressed enough as if there is any oils, product or residue left on the hair and scalp, can cause failure to the hold of the bonds which will cause them to slip and fall out. It is recommended to wash the hair twice, possibly three times prior to installation. Do NOT use conditioner on the hair. You want the hair to be squeaky clean (literally). You need the tape to stick to the hair with no product in between.
The second most important step is to make sure you blow dry the hair completely.  There cannot be any moisture of any kind left on the hair. With damp or moist hair, it can lead to failure of the tape bond causing it to slip and in rare cases, mold growth in between the bonds. 
The last two steps before installation would be flat ironing and texturing the hair. Flat iron the hair in sections. This method will insure you are installing the tape extensions to flat straight hair. This also assists by keeping odd fly-aways from becoming stuck to the bonds which can be painful to the client when installing to a particular section of hair.
The last step BEFORE installation would be to texturize the ends. You have to make sure the extensions blend in. If you skip this step, you will see the line from the extensions. Just explain to your client, you are just texturing the ends so it all blends in properly. 


After you have prepped the hair, you are ready for the installation. Placement of the extensions on the head can make or break the finished product. It is very important to have the correct amount of packs for your client's head as well. Is your client looking for length? Maybe they just want thicker hair. With INFINITUDE hair extensions, it is suggested that 2 full packs of extensions is a proper comfortable amount for the client who is looking for both. 

When you start your application, make sure you have very clean lines and clean sections. Make sure to separate the hair into sections to make installation easier and more efficient. 4 different sections is the easiest. (2 in the front and 2 in the back)

In any application, you will start from the bottom and work your way to the top. During any installation, you must take note of the "VOIDED" section when applying tape to the sides of the head. This voided area starts behind the ears. Measure the distance behind the ear with a tape extension. This area will now become your voided section. The reason to not apply extensions here is, the extension could rub against the client's ears which can cause irritation as well as the extensions can also be seen if the client wants to wear their hair up in a bun or ponytail. 

Once you begin the installation, you will apply the extensions in a brick laying pattern starting from the bottom and moving up the head.

When applying tape extensions, take a metal tooth comb to measure out your sections. It is important to only select a small amount of hair for each extension. This hair will be sandwiched between the two extensions and if there is too much hair, the extensions will not stick properly and leave room for air pockets where water and product will get inside and cause the tape to become defected and slip out. Too little hair, and the hairs will not have the strength to hold and could break. How do you know if you have selected the right amount of hair? You should be able to see the metal comb through the back of the hair you have selected for the extension. Try to make sure you absolutely do not get your fingers on the tape tabs.  Any oils will cause the tape to become un-sticky which could make them become defected and cause them to slip out of the clients head. 

Applying the tape extension to the underneath part of the selected hair with the sticky part facing up is the most efficient way to apply the sandwiches. You then finish with another extension sticky side facing down and lined directly on top of the first piece you placed in the hair. Make sure you press down firmly after making a sandwich with the extension. It is recommended to press firmly from the center to the ends a few times to get out any air bubbles. You can also clamp firmly again a few times with extension pliers to really seal the bond.

Absolutely do NOT use heat on tape extensions. Tape extensions are a "Cold" fusion system. Adding heat to the bonds will make it almost impossible to remove them without damaging. It will also leave a very heavy duty glue residue on the hair strands making it a longer sitting time for your client. When placing extensions beside each other, make sure to leave a little space. Just enough so the tape extensions are not overlapping each other. Overlapping each other can cause pain to the client when they grow out.


When it comes to removal, you must take extra care to not hurt the client or damage the hair. When removing tape extensions from your client's head, make sure are using the proper remover products that co-inside with the brand of hair. Doing this, will be less painful for the client and less stressful for you. 

All hair extension companies have their own chemistry within their products to work together for easy removal. Not doing this can cause more of a mess which in turn, longer chair time for the client that can become frustrating. If heat was applied to the tape extensions,(which should never be done) during installation, once applying the remover will cause a gooey sticky mess which will be very difficult to get out.

When taking out tape extensions, apply a large amount of the remover to all the bonds starting at the first one and move around the head.  This will give the solution time to soak into all the bonds. After you have applied the solution to all the bonds, start back at the first bond you soaked with the solution. Take a metal tooth comb and soak the bond again.This should help loosen up the sandwich just enough to push the comb into it to assist in breaking the seal. You should be able to start to pull the sandwich apart.  Do this slowly and make sure you are not pulling the clients hair. If it is still sticky, apply more solution. Use as much solution as needed.  The more you use, the easier it should be to separate the bonds. 

Once you have removed the bond, there will be residue left on the hair. Comb out as much as you can. After all the bonds are removed and you have combed out as much residue as you possibly could, you will now have to use the clean removal shampoo two even maybe three times again on the client's head. This will strip any remaining oils and residue that was left in the hair.


The great thing about tape extensions is that they are reusable. You may have a client who has a certain budget and re-taping is a money saving solution which gives you and the client more options. Once the extensions are out of your client's head, you can remove the old tape and replace with new. There are hair extension companies out there that promote you can just apply new tape over the old but for health reasons such as bacteria, mold etc..as well as making sure you have the most secure hold to your bond, it is always recommended to remove all existing tape and re-apply new tape.

There are different ways to remove tape from the hair extension but the most common and well known is by rolling it off. Most companies tape is made of the same constancy so you should with a little finger and thumb strength, be able to roll the tape right off into a ball. 

Once there is no tape left, you can now start to apply the new double sided tape.  Most companies like N.H.E. supply you with the option of purchasing it in a roll where you cut to your desired length or pre-made tabs for your convenience. Take your new tape piece and apply it slowly and evenly to the top of the extension where the old tape was. Press firmly and that's it!. 

NOTE: Depending on you, your client and your time, it is suggested to have your client come back the following day so you have time to re-tape the extensions. You don't want them waiting around. If that cannot work for either of you, another suggestion is when you first book your client for the extensions, when you order the hair, order extra packs of the same colour so when you are replacing the extensions, there is no wait time for re-taping. Once they leave, it gives you time to re-tape for the next time they come in.

Tape extensions are the extensions that are taking over the industry. With the proper knowledge and products, you will have happy clients with repeat business you can count on for many years. Leave your clients happy with the fastest permanent extension application that will have them coming back time and time again!


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