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Common mistakes installing tape in hair extensions

Even though the application and care is relatively straightforward, there are some common issues that people face.

So that your experience with hair extensions goes as smoothly as possible, we have put together this blog highlighting the common problems people face with tape in hair extensions and how to solve them.

But before we get started, let us quickly explain what tape extensions are and how to install them correctly.

What are tape in hair extensions

Tape in hair extensions are a form of semi permanent hair extension. They are available in different lengths, but all work the same way.

The strands of hair are joined together at the top by a flat and long strip of glue. This adhesive is mild but has a really firm hold. The hair is stuck to this glue and can be washed and styled without fear of movement.

We have several guides on the site about how to select and install your tape in hair extensions.

Common mistakes and how to avoid them

  • not buying enough hair
  • poor installation
  • slippage
  • wearing them too long
  • hair loss

Not buying enough hair

While you only need one pack of hair for clip in extensions, tape require quite a few depending on the overall volume you desire. This drives up the cost, but if you skimp on the hair to save money the results won’t be great.

This style requires even distributing of hair all over the scalp for a subtle blend and no gaps in volume or thickness. Usually a bad extension job is down to too little hair so the difference between natural and extensions is as clear as night and day. For a full and voluminous look we suggest purchasing 4 to 6 packs of hair.

Bad installation

As with all extensions there is particular technique to get the perfect outcome. We always suggest that you go to a salon to get you hair done. For tape in hair extensions many women opt to install them at home after a few times at the salon. The problem occurs as each section of hair has to be sliced very thinly or the tape will not be able to grip on to all of the hairs. When the sections of hair are too thick, most of the hairs are not bonded strongly so the extension can easily come loose, leading to a potentially embarrassing situation.

It is always important to place the tape extensions evenly over the scalp. This can be difficult around the front hairline if you alternate between wearing your hair up or down. Always do your installation to match your most commonly worn style and adapt the others to suit.

While the method can be learnt, if a friend or family member offers to help you out, let it not be their first time. We all have people who mean well, but these extensions cost way too much to be handled by just anybody. If they insist on helping, ask them to hold the mirror while you work on the back. This way you get help and don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings.

We do suggest visiting the salon as with tape in hair extensions the placement is often customized to suit each individual. That means if you follow a video on YouTube or online, while you will grasp the technique, the overall look may not be exactly what you hoped for. This often occurs because the tape comes in smaller sections compared to other extension. While it allows for greater versatility, you can easily end up with gaps, thin areas or a clear distinction between your natural hair and the extension.

Once the installation is complete, take pictures of where each section is located so that if you decided to install them at home, you won’t have to struggle to remember where each piece goes. If you are anything like us then trips to the salon as essentially self care and always a part of the budget.


As mentioned above sometimes if the sections are too big slippage can occur. This also happens if the hair has not been thoroughly cleaned before installation and there is any oil or grease residue.

Before you use your tape in hair extensions, use a mild clarifying shampoo that will clear the hair of any build up and give you the perfect setup for a great hairdo. It is also important to make sure that while they are in your hair, especially the root are kept clean.

If your hair is oily, wash it slightly more often than you usually would. It may mean that you have to redo the tape more frequently but these are just the facts. Do not use any products on your roots, that includes conditioner, oils, styling products and hair sprays. They all have the potential to weaken the glue and leave you open to the hair falling out.

Wearing them for too long

Tape in hair extensions are on the more temporary end of the semi permanent extension scale. While you can get at least 1 months wear and often more. You will have to get the tape re-glued often. Most people will know when it is time for a redo as the tape will start to sag and feel looser than usual.

However some people try to squish every last day of wear but can actually cause damage. If the tape starts to come loose and are not tightened, stray hair can get caught leading to breakage.

The maximum amount of time we suggest you wear your tape in extensions is 6–8 weeks. It is ok to put them straight back in. However we do suggest that you don’t do more than three consecutive installs in a row.

Always take a short break every 4–5 months where you do not wear any extensions for a few weeks. I know if you are a diehard extension wearer, this is the literal translation of hell. But your hair will love your for it. Spend the break doing conditioning and strengthening masks. It is also a good time to change up your style with a fresh cut or color. However if you spend the whole time with a messy bun, we won’t judge.

Hair loss

This only occurs in extreme cases and is very easily avoided. The tape should be placed just below and not touching the scalp. Some people think that it makes the extension prone to slipping but it actually allows for movement and minimises the chance of any irritation occuring. If the tape extensions is placed too high. It caused a lot of tension on the roots of the hair. This will lead to redness, bumps and even hair loss.

Each tape should have ‘wiggle room’ they should all be able to move freely without any pain. If they feel tight, tell your stylist and ask them to adjust. Remember they are the professionals but you know your hair best so don’t be intimidated.

To make sure you get the maximum use from your extension follow these simple steps below


  • Sleep on a silk or satin pillow or tie hair back in a braid: This will fight frizz and limit damage to your hair
  • Keep your hair tangle free: Brushing regularly will reduce knotting and excessive shedding
  • Use the correct products: Try to avoid sulphate shampoos and oily products especially near your roots/the tape.
  • Experiment with new styles: With this extra length and thickness don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and try something new.
  • Have your tape in extensions removed and retaped every 4–8 weeks: Visit your salon as soon as you start to notice any slippage. Press the tapes together every few days to make sure they are secure.


  • Wash your hair or swim for 48 hours after installation: The tape needs time to settle and form a strong bond with your hair
  • Sleep with wet hair
  • Use conditioner or styling products on your roots: Apply them from the mid length and down to the tips


We hope that with these tips you will be able to style and wear your tape in extensions with ease.