If you’re planning to remove your tape-in hair extensions because they’re no longer the look you want, or because they simply don’t fit into your lifestyle anymore, then this article is for you. We’ll cover how to remove them safely and effectively — and even how to reuse them if you choose to do so.
1. Removal methods for tape-in extensions
Wearing tape-in extensions is one of the more popular methods of wearing hair extensions. The hair is attached to the wearers’ natural hair by using double-sided tape that attaches to the hair on one side and the extensions on the other.
The first step you need to take is to determine if they should stay or go. Take a look at the new look you’re going for, and take into consideration whether they will fit. The look may also matter when it comes time to decorate your home for next year’s Halloween. It’s well known that most people prefer a tidy, uniform look. If you’re going to have any extensions or given hair, make certain that when it’s time to rock the look you want, the existing hair is tied up and secured in a ponytail.
You might still have some of your old tape-in extensions on hand because you’ve only worn them for a short time and they aren’t damaged. Once you determine whether they should stay or go, there’s one final piece of the puzzle to consider. If you choose to purchase a new pack of extensions, consider what size and style you’re looking for to combine with the other smaller hair products you already own. You could hang onto some ponytails you’ve grown out of or take on some shorter ones to give yourself a sleek, uniform look.
2. What to expect when removing tape-in hair extensions
When you first take tape-in hair extensions out, it’s important to have someone help you. Hair extensions are attached to your hair with a special adhesive, and if you try to remove them by yourself you run the risk of pulling out your real hair along with the extensions.
Too many people have gone this route, and when they’ve done so, they end up missing out on tons of cool looks because their hair has ended up being all hangy and fake (read: frizzy). People might assume the extensions are in a set — they are not — so it’s really up to you to ask a friend to help you out.
Every time I do other people’s hair, I always ask what the feel for the hair to be removed, as opposed to pulling or tugging my own hair — because I play a lot of guitar music at quite low volumes, and when I play while wearing extensions, I get easily distracted and accidentally pull them out.
I also prefer not using any products to help with the process, as I’m not entirely squeamish. One of the easiest ways is to bring some rum and a few lip balm (or an equivalent) with you to the salon. The darker the colour of the hair, the easier it is to see the adhesive with your own eyes, which is kind of how I solved this dilemma.
3. Options available for reuse — and why you might want to avoid them
Recycling is the most common way to reuse, but there are lots of other options. Recycling is your best option, so do it. But when you can’t recycle, consider donating, selling, or just throwing away. Before you begin, make sure you follow Your Hair by Sarah Jacobs. This guide is a great place to start.
First, lubricate a cotton bud with either oil or a silicone gel. Then, take your finger and gently push and flex the product out. If you want to get really thorough, you can use a pair of tweezers or a Y-plane to do this. Use the tweezers to push the gel out as much as possible. It may take a few tries to get this completely out.
Once the hair product is all removed, gently squeeze the excess product from your hair. Freezing or heating can damage the adhesive, so don’t use those methods. If you’ve used something to repair hair either before or after removing these extensions, carefully rub or squeeze out any additional product that’s left — before applying another layer of adhesive.
4. How you can reuse your old tape-in hair extensions
If you’re a regular wearer of tape-in hair extensions, you know how expensive they can be. The hair itself can be expensive, but the glue that holds them in your hair can be even more expensive. If you’ve spent any amount of time reading hairstylist reviews online — or even just reading some of the stories I share in Sober Napper™ — you’ve probably seen the ridiculous prices we pay for hair extensions.
Our expense for extensions can add up quickly if you often use them, let alone if one or two of your extensions malfunction. In New York City, where my hair is long, repurchase prices can be as high as $3000 for a single braided hairstyle! Those are staggering numbers — even if you replace them every six to 12 months.
However, hair extension prices are not all bad news. Sure, they can be expensive especially if you’re a hairstylist or have a generalist or barbershop in your day-to-day life — but if you can work with the prices and find the right hair product that fits your budget and style goals, there’s a remarkably low risk for you.
Removing your old tape-in hair extensions can be a hassle, but you have options. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about removing and reusing them.