For those of you who follow me on social media (especially Instagram), you may have noticed that I seemed to grow about a foot of hair overnight. There’s no magic here-I decided to get tape-in hair extensions. I had been toying with the idea for awhile, and finally caved. I wanted to write about my experience so far, the pros and cons, and what goes into actually having them.
I’ve always been a long-haired type of girl. From about the time I was sixteen I was that girl at the hair salon that just wanted “a trim” aka don’t cut my hair. Just as my hair about touched my waist, I decided I was #overit and cut it all off into a long bob. A few questionable decisions later and I had a half-shaved head of fire-engine red hair (I know). I kept it for a few months, and then decided that I wanted long hair again. Because I’m in a salon and can’t leave my hair alone for anything I went blonde, which didn’t help matters. But I still desperately wanted long hair. So after turning the idea over in my head, I finally caved and let my amazing, talented, magical co-worker Olivia install HotHeads Hair Extensions.
The transformation was ridiculous. I went from having short, kinda meh hair to long, Barbie doll, luscious locks. I was obsessed, Rohan was obsessed, everyone was obsessed (ok-exaggeration, but you get the picture). They looked so real, and the color matching was incredible. We went for the 20 inch set, mixing two colors to get the perfect match to my hair. Because my natural hair was so short, but also thick, we used about 4.5 packs of extensions to make sure it all blended. I was absolutely astounded.
That being said, there are definitely pros and cons to the extensions, so let’s talk about that.
- Long hair that looks super real. Most people can’t even tell that it isn’t my hair and are genuinely surprised when I tell them.
- Pretty comfortable to wear, after the first week. I generally don’t really “feel” them during the day. During the first week or so my scalp seemed kind of sore, like when you wear a high ponytail for too long, but now I’m used to it.
- Heat style friendly.They keep their shape really well. I can curl them on a Monday, and only have to maybe touch up a bit on Wednesday. Just make sure to use a heat protectant!
- Re-usable, so big bang for your buck. You can re-install them several times depending on how well you upkeep them. They last about 2-3 months before you have to retab the adhesive. If you play it right and are really careful and take good care of them, they can last as long as a year.
- You can use them as a makeshift scarf when it gets cold out. Seriously-it’s a lot of hair and it keeps you warm, which I guess could be a bad thing, but I’m going going with a plus for this.
- Pretty easy/seamless to install. It did take some time, but no longer than it generally takes to do my hair anyway.
- Hella time consuming. You shouldn’t make a habit of leaving the tabs wet, because they won’t last as long (I’ve done it twice cuz you know, lazy). It takes me about 45 mins-hour to blow my hair out with them. Because my natural hair is wavy and I suck at blow-drying my own hair, I usually have to flat iron them, which takes another 30 mins. So give or take about and hour and a half to do my hair…ugh. Although after the initial styling, they are easy to maintain until I have to wash my hair again.
- Expensive. Each pack (of mine, others may be different) is about $85, multiplied by 4.5, that’s about $383. Most salons charge an installation fee, of around $50, so once it’s all said and done it’s around $432. Not cheap, but most salons let you split up the charge between the consultation and installation so it’s not all at once. Also, you get about a year’s worth, so it works out to about $36/month.
- Limited options of hair styles. Now I think this has more to do with how short my natural hair is, which affects the placement. But basically I can wear my down (straight or curly), in a low ponytail, braided, or carefully pinned half up. Because of how mine are placed, I’m not really able to do a top knot, or a true updo, which can be a little annoying.
- Washing my hair is the worst. It’s kind of hard to get in between the layers of hair to wash the scalp, and really scrub it when the hair is all wet and heavy. I find it feels a lot more clean and fresh when someone else washes my hair. Obviously that’s not a as much of a problem for me because I work with hairdressers, but for the average person, that’s not really a feasible option. So basically I just don’t wash my hair very often and I wear hats a lot to hide the grease.
Overall I really like them, and I’ll be reusing them until I can’t anymore! Though they are a lot of work and upkeep, I don’t mind. For me, it’s worth the confidence boost and I genuinely feel like I look a lot better with long hair. For anyone considering them, I’d say to definitely consider your budget, and lifestyle/time. I think those are the things that are most important to think about. If you’re a jump out of bed, shower, air-dry kind of person, these probably aren’t for you.
Have you ever thought about/tried tape-in extensions? What do you think? Do you have any tips/tricks? Let me know in the comments below, as well as any questions you might have! As always, thanks for reading and stay golden!