Is it just you, or does it seem like more and more clients are asking about tape-in hair extensions? The reason behind the sudden interest might be the many online testimonials and photos revealing the ease and flexibility of improved tape-ins. On Sunny’s we went from selling Tape Ins about once a month to it being our top-selling product. Bohyme and Le Prive Tape In Hair Extensions last about six to eight weeks and are available in a gorgeous array of colors including ombre and rooted colors.
Tape-in hair extensions have long been an ugly step-sister to the more well-respected keratin or Strand by Strand extensions. Often sold at local beauty supplies, these cheap, synthetic strand tempt clients into "do-it-yourself" styles that not only look terrible but also cause breakage and bald spots when removed. If you've been advising clients against tape-ins for that reason, it's time to take a look at how they have changed over the past few years.
At the root of all hair extensions is the bond that keeps them in place. Stylists can be very particular about the type of bonds they use, aiming for a strong, long-lasting bond that is easy to put in and take out.
Heat-bonds - also known as keratin bonds - have ruled over tape-ins for so long because the tape and tabs couldn't compete with the strength of the heat-bonded keratin adhesive. Even though keratin-bonded extensions are expensive and time-consuming to apply, their durability, comfort and safe removability have made them the stars of the hair extension show.
But every star eventually has a curtain call, and it might be time for keratin extensions to move backstage. New technologies have improved the application of tape-ins, and their popularity is growing at light speed.
Unlike the heat-bonded extensions that latch onto linguine-thin strands of hair, tape-ins are attached to a tab about one-hair-inch wide, pressed flat against existing hair and - in some cases - warmed with a heat iron. Once in place, the tape-in is covered with a section of the client's real hair. Layering a head with 20 to 30 tape-ins might take only one hour, whereas a keratin session with the same number of bonds could take twice as long. Tape-ins usually last about six weeks and can be removed with safe organic solutions, and most brands are reusable.
As more stylists put their faith in tape-ins, the market continues to grow and a wider range of colors, waves, lengths and textures is available. If you've been working with keratin bonds and are wary of tape-ins, it might be time to reconsider. You can find educational courses on tape-ins at salon academies, hair shows and we offer classes at our retail locations and in NYC on how to work with the new and improved Tape Ins.
With tape-in extending options for the hair extension client, as a stylist you should be ready to consult clients on the advantages and disadvantages of both techniques. Most important, of course, are results. Stick to Bohyme or Le Prive you want a brand that is obsessive about quality control and color, that matches the client's own color and texture.
Next, assess the reason why the client wants extensions. Has her own hair thinned dramatically due to aging or psoriasis? Does her hair grow slowly? If so, traditional keratin bonds might be a better route because they last longer. Alternately, a client who enjoys salon visits and is diligent about keeping up with her tresses is a better bet for tape-ins, as is a client looking for a temporary change in the thickness or shape of her style.
All clients should be instructed to use proper hair care and styling products and to brush and blow-dry gently after extensions have been put in. You want to make sure that the products that they use have absolutely no citrus ingredients in the products. The citrus acid slowly eats away at the bonding agents of tape in hair extensions. We are loving the product line Good Hair Days, a line specifically designed for color treated hair extensions and tape in hair extensions. Braiding hair loosely before sleeping is another way to keep the bonds secure.
Not only are tape-ins an easier option for stylists, but they are also less expensive for clients. Add tape-ins to your skills list and your schedule might fill up fast. Then it will be time to Instagram and tweet out new photos of lustrous, shiny waves that will make your social spaces sparkle.
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