Tape-in vs keratin hair extensions is very popular amongst women, especially those suffering from thinning hair, which happens to at least a third of women globally. (1)
Having the right length and thickness of hair can be difficult to obtain since there are many factors that affect natural hair growth.
Although a temporary hair extension method, like clip-in hair extensions, can be used for a special occasion to give you fuller hair, permanent hair extensions can also be applied by an experienced stylist for everyday styling.
Permanent hair extensions come in a variety of styles however, among all these, tape-in and keratin extensions are two of the most popular.
READ MORE: Why Are Keratin Treatments So Expensive?
Tape-in Hair Extensions
Tape-in extensions are one of the popular options used by experts. These use panels of hair attached by trained professionals to the client’s hair using medical-grade glue and adhesive strips. (2)
Many make use of quality hair — human hair — that can be styled using heated tools.
They come in different kinds of hair textures, including coarse hair and thicker hair. They come in a wide range of choices that can even match your hair color.
This type of extension is comfortable and quite painless.
Tape extensions can last up to six weeks (2). Glue remover is used to take them out when you need to replace them. This is done painlessly without resulting in much hair damage.
Keratin extensions are also known as keratin fusion extensions. The method of attachment is through beads of keratin glue at the tips of a piece of extension hair.
This is placed approximately 1/2 inch away from the root using a heating element. This is done in a hair salon, preferably by someone who has experience with putting in extensions.
Since these are made of natural hair, they can be maintained and styled in the usual manner. This means that these can be straightened using a hair iron, curled, or even colored in the same way you would your own hair.
Care should be taken, though, when styling these types of extensions since excessive heat can melt the keratin bonds and cause your extension to fall off.
How To Choose Between Tape-in or Keratin Extensions
Just like most things under the sun, the use of tape-in and keratin extensions have their pros and cons, so you may want to discuss with an extensions specialist what among these two types of hair extensions will be best for you.
Here though, are some things that you may need to know about these two types of extensions to help you choose and make the right decision.
1. Appointment Time
The average application time for tape-in extensions is around 40-60 minutes compared to keratin extensions which take around 4-5 hours to apply.
Keratin extensions use a strand-by-strand method, so you’ll need a lot of extra time if you want to get these done.
Keep in mind that washing your hair or getting it wet from excessive sweating is not allowed for keratin extensions until 48 hours after application, so the bonds get fully cured.
2. How Long Can You Use Them?
If you plan to keep your extensions for a long time, then go for keratin styles. Tape-in extensions can last for around 4-6 weeks, while keratin extensions can stay on your head for longer periods of time — up to six months!
This would be great for those who have shorter hair since they will need a longer period of time to grow these out.
Keratin extensions may be used for extended periods of time, but these can be used only once.
Tape hair extensions are ideal for regular hair extension users since these can be set aside for future use if needed.
4. Hair Health
One of the problems with hair extensions is that they can cause hair damage when used for extended periods. For people with fine hair, this may even lead to a condition called tension alopecia.
For those with thin hair, using keratin extensions may keep your natural hair healthier than tape-in extensions.
5. Hair Type
If you have extremely fine hair or are suffering from hair loss, then you have no other option except to use keratin bond extensions.
The adhesive tape strips tend to show in clients who have extremely thin hair when the tape-in method is used.
Keratin bond extensions too give a fuller look for those with thin hair, and they can provide better coverage.
For those with dense hair, either of the two hair extension methods can be used.
This video will help you learn which type of hair extensions are best for you.
6. Your Budget
Hair extension procedures can be costly. Although there are cheap extensions for hair that make use of synthetic hair that may fit well within your budget, quality extensions will always produce a better result.
The cost of extensions tends to increase depending on the quality. Extensions which make use of real hair are more pricey.
Between these two extension methods, in the tape-in vs keratin hair extensions debate, keratin bond extensions cost more.
Keratin bond extensions, too, can be used only once, unlike tape-in extensions.
Hair maintenance appointments are needed regardless of the type of extension used to keep your normal hair as healthy as possible.
It is also important to consider these as part of the hair extension cost. After all, proper maintenance is needed to keep these strands of extensions in good form.
Are Tapes Damaging To Hair?
Tape hair extensions can cause damage. However, these are still considered to be the least damaging hair extensions.
Are Tapes Or Bonds Better For Your Hair?
Keratin bonds are a better type of extension, especially for thin hair.
How Long Does Tape In Hair Last?
Tape-in hair extensions can last from four to six weeks.
Women, no matter what age, deserve to look great. Part of looking great is having a full, luscious head of hair.
This can be achieved through different methods of extensions added to your hair.
There is always an option that is suitable for any hair type. They also come in different custom styles. There are even ombre balayage hair extensions!
A good hair extension choice, though, always depends on the needs of the wearers, so it is important to always get good advice before making a decision.
There are many things to consider when choosing between tape-in vs keratin hair extensions. Whatever you choose, though, make sure to keep your hair healthy by choosing the right hair extension type for you.
Individual strands of hair extensions are a high-end beauty item and investment.
Be sure to consult an experienced stylist to get the best results.
Have you tried either hair extension option I talked about here? I would love to hear about your experience.
- 1. Bilodeau K. Thinning hair in women: Why it happens and what helps [Internet]. Harvard Health Blog. 2020. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/thinning-hair-in-women-why-it-happens-and-what-helps-2020032719267
- 2. Everything You Need to Know About Tape-In Extensions [Internet]. ELLE. 2021 [cited 2022 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.elle.com/runway/a37222201/best-tape-in-hair-extensions/
- 3. Nast C. I Tried Tape-In Extensions for the First Time [Internet]. Allure. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 23]. Available from: https://www.allure.com/story/tape-in-hair-extensions-review