Can You Get Tape-In Extensions If You Have Natural Hair?

It’s also not a great idea to buy tape-in extensions that match your curly hair in its natural state. Houston-based textured hair specialist Okwe Okolie says this can cause more tangling and subsequent breakage during the maintenance stage.

How to install tape-in extensions on natural hair

For anyone with natural hair considering tape-in extensions, the first step is to find a good salon. Tape-ins can be damaging to your hair and the breakage will be far worse if the wefts are not installed by a professional. “TikTok and social media normalize this ‘do it on your own’ mentality, but this is one of those styles you should defer to a hair professional,” says Houston-based, board-certified dermatologist Adeline Kikam, MD. “There’s just too much potential for tangling and excessive heat.”

Most tape-in installation appointments will include a wash and blow dry service so there is no need to worry about coming with your hair pre-prepped. “I just tell my clients to come detangled and I take care of the rest,” says Underwood.

Your stylist will start the actual installation process by sectioning your hair — first by parting it into rows, then segmenting those rows into even smaller sections that are about the width of your tape-in extension pieces. This is where it gets a little sticky. Your stylist will then carefully apply a weft above and below each of these smaller sections of hair. (Think of them as being sandwiched by your tape-ins.) This creates the seamless, ultra-flat blend that tape-ins are known for. The whole process typically takes about two and a half hours — so, you might want to bring a book with you.

Once all the extensions have been installed, the stylist will blow dry and straighten again to ensure your natural hair and the tape-in extensions are fully blended.

How much do tape-in extensions cost?

The service ranges from $400 to $1500 according to the experts we spoke to, but this does depend on your location and stylist’s experience — with the cost of the extensions ($130-$200 per bundle of which, again, you’ll need at least four) you’re looking at about $920 to $2300 for the whole thing.

How long do tape-in extensions last in natural hair?

Tape-ins can last four to ten weeks (experts say 12 weeks is the maximum) on natural hair. “At the 12-week point, you’ve had some hair growth, and now gravity is pulling and exerting more tension on the scalp,” says Dr. Kikam. That continuous pulling can lead to tension alopecia which is hair loss due to tension on the scalp.

After six to eight weeks you’ll need to have a new set of tape-ins installed — this is often referred to as a touch up. A stylist will remove the tape-ins, wash, condition, and blow dry the hair before attaching the tape-ins again. If you work out a lot, like to go for the occasional swim, or live in a very humid climate you may need more frequent touch-ups (every three to four weeks).

How to maintain tape-in extensions on natural hair

You can continue with your regular wash routine while wearing tape-in extensions with one caveat: avoid applying oil-based products to the scalp or base of the tape-in. This can break down the glue and cause your extensions to begin to slide out.

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