DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (2023)

I love finding alternative ways to style my hair without using heat or products. I can achieve salon results without damaging my hair!

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (1)

It's Salon-Free

Most would suggest that you go to a salon and get your extensions put in. Actually, everybody would. But I'm here to tell you that it's possible to do it yourself and not screw up! Like Axl Rose said, "all you need is just a little patience." And hey, it was the '80s! He may or may not have been speaking about extensions.

Seriously though, if you are used to creating things with your hands (sculpting, styling, building, drawing), then this should be easy. The concept is actually pretty simple—you sandwich your own hair between two adhesive strips of somebody else's hair!

If you're just somebody looking to try out extensions, visit my hair extension guide. If you've already purchased tape-ins, let us continue with the instructions!

How to Apply Tape-In Hair Extensions

With a little practice, applying tape-in hair extensions is pretty easy. Before we get started, here are a few helpful tips to remember.

  • Use a friend: This is not mandatory, but it will definitely be quicker and easier if you have another set of eyes and hands. If you don't have any friends (sad face) you can use two mirrors to see the back of your head and do it yourself.
  • Be aware of placement: You don't want to put your extensions too close to the edge of your scalp (by your face and stuff), lest they be seen. Also, avoid putting them too high up towards your part!
  • Sticky to sticky: You're going to be sandwiching a layer of your hair between two extensions. Make sure the sticky bits from the top and bottom extension are touching each other, for maximum adherence.
DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (2)

1. Wash Your Hair

Make sure your mop is clean before you try to stick stuff to it. Wash and dry your hair completely before starting. That way, your extensions will last longer! If you have dirty hair when you're trying to adhere the wefts, they'll come out quicker, usually at the worst time possible. Like when you're standing with your friends and running your fingers through your hair, and suddenly a giant patch comes out in your hand.

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (3)

2. Section (Bottom to Top)

It's easiest to start from the bottom of your scalp and work your way up. Start your first row an inch or two up from the bottom of your scalp. Using a comb, part your hair evenly. Pull the top half up and secure it, leaving the bottom half hanging down.

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (4)

3. Gather a Very Thin Section of Your Hair

Notice how "very" is emphasized. This section of hair is going to be sandwiched between two extensions. It's important that the adhesive "tape" on the top extension touches that of the bottom extension, so that the two stick together. Use your comb to get a nice even section, that is as wide as one of your extension wefts.

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (5)

4. Attach Extension

A good way to tell if your section is thin enough is to attach the bottom extension in place, flush against your scalp. Once you've done that, use your finger to see if you can feel the stickiness of the tape through your own layer of hair. If not, use your comb to carefully pull some of your hair off of the tape. When you can feel the sticky, attach the top extension.

Press the top and bottom wefts together firmly, for about 20 seconds. Just make super extra sure that they're stuck to each other, so water won't get between them while you're showering and make them come out.

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(Video) DIY Hair Tape Extensions - Master Hairdresser Johanna Z

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You'll get the hang of it as you keep working. As mentioned earlier, don't put the wefts too close to the edges of your scalp—then everyone will see where they attach, and they'll know you're a fraud!

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (9)

5. Repeat!

Make sure you place the wefts right next to each other, avoiding gaps. When I was finished, I had 5 rows of wefts going up my scalp. You have to be extra careful not to place the wefts too high on your scalp, because that also puts them at risk of being visible.

I got it done in about two hours, but I was also working by myself. It's quicker and easier with a friend!


DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (10)

6. Cut and Style

If your hair is a bit longer than mine, and already layered, you shouldn't have problems blending your hair into your new extensions. However, if you have a short, blunt cut, you're going to have to do some trimming. As you can see below, long extensions and short hair look stupid.

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (11)

Cut Your Own Hair!

You may want to see someone for the cutting aspect, but again, if you're good with arty things then you can probably cut your own hair. I've been doing it for ages, and it seems to be a lot like sculpting.

What I did was layer the extensions, so that the length of my hair faded in nicely to my 20-inch extensions. I ended up looking super-scene when finished.

DIY Hair: How to Install Tape-In Hair Extensions (12)

More Hair DIYs

I hope this article was helpful in your extension journey. Please share your experiences and updates with me! If you're interested in more Hair DIYs, check out these articles:

  • How to Take Care of Extensions
  • How to Bleach an Ombre
  • Five Gorgeous Pastel Hair Colors

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2014 Alex Rose

Christina on March 17, 2017:

How many pieces of extensions did u use ?

michelle on January 14, 2017:

Haha not to be smart but I thought the same thing when reading 'words' comment. I understand how men want to be attracted to 'real ' women. But when you think about it what is 'real ' women? This is real women.

In other words real women come in all shapes, sizes, tastes, styles, opinions, desires, creative expressions etc.

I think theres a balance between being yourself as a woman, or person for that matter and trying to look good in order to attract a man or someone from the opposite sex. . Yes we like to look beautiful to men, but not at the risk of losing who we are in the process. To do so would be taking a step back 50 years when our whole worth came from our acceptance from men and society.. Its still too much of an issue from my point of view.


Boy I have a lot of thoughts about how men dress, act, look, speak, present themselves from a womans perspective that I would love to give them some much needed advice, so I 'get' it. . I think until there is a more level playing ground and men are willing to clean up their act as far as their 'appeal' to us goes. Then they probably dont have too much leverage in saying how they like us to look, act , be.

I know you guys have tastes and preferences in the opposite sex, thats your God given right. But women have them too. Sadly, not many men meet my standards to be honest.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on March 02, 2016:

I absolutely enjoy your style of writing. I recently saw tape extensions at the beauty store and was wondering how it worked. Your instructions on how to put in tape hair extensions is fantastic. The photos are very helpful. Excellent hub.

Miranda on July 28, 2014:

That looks great! Thanks so much for sharing this; it's so useful. I already have naturally long hair, but I showed it to a couple of my friends and they loved it! You're so gorgeous, too!

Kristine Manley from Atlanta, GA on July 15, 2014:

Wow! This is great.

Biddrup Kumar Mallick on July 15, 2014:

Thank you so for this suggestion. Let me tell her right now. :-)

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on July 15, 2014:

I didn't make a video, unfortunately! But there are plenty on youtube that she could look at, just by searching "install tape-in extensions." I'm sure they wouldn't be too different from this tutorial.

Biddrup Kumar Mallick on July 15, 2014:

Hello @a beautiful mess, I'm just a fresher here and going here and there to learn the new thing. I have a sister who has long hair. I have sent this article to her. She asked me about video tutorial. Did you make any video tutorial for this hub? If yes, could you share the link? Thanks :-)

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on July 15, 2014:

Thank you sir! And thanks for visiting!

(Video) Perfect Hair Tape Hair Extensions Tutorial

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on July 15, 2014:

I understand, you're very attractive no matter how you do your hair. You're an excellent writer too :-)

swilliams on July 15, 2014:

You are a very unique writer. I love how you carry yourself. You are confident about trying out new things that many women wonder about, but may be afraid to do so. You define what it means to be a woman of creativity. Keep up the great work!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on July 15, 2014:

Thanks all for your feedback! And word55, I appreciate your perspective. Just let it be known that I don't do anything to my hair to please a "true man" - nor anybody else for that matter. I cut my hair, I wanted it to be long, and I wanted to try extensions. It wasn't because I didn't feel attractive enough, or because I was trying to "fix" anything. Simply a hair experiment from someone who like to try things out.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on July 15, 2014:

Is faking the look where society is going? Maybe I should pertain this to just black women. However, I might get disliked for saying this but if isn't broke don't try to fix it. Many down-to-earth and true men prefer to deal with women that showcase themselves with their natural make up and with their God given hair and other attributes. It is very romantic for a man to rub his hands and fingers through her hair without running into obstacles whether the hair is long or short. It's about accepting her for who she is and what she has naturally. Too often the "put ons" just don't look real (hair). Many colors (nails) look too artificial. True beauty starts naturally from the inside. Thank you beautiful mess for allowing me to voice my opinion. Congrats also for your Hub Of The Day!

Janus Joshua Angeles from Philippines on July 15, 2014:

So pretty

poetryman6969 on July 15, 2014:

looking good!

Lucy Jones from Scandinavia on July 15, 2014:

What a job, but really nice when finished and the long hair suits you. This would probably have cost an arm and a leg (lots of dosh) if you'd had this done at a hairdressers. Fantastic and well worth HOTD - thanks for sharing.

swilliams on July 15, 2014:

What a unique article! you look beautiful with long and short hair! What a creative model! Voted up beautiful!

(Video) ♡ D.I.Y TAPE-INS Extensions !!! Professional Tips & Secrets | #ywigs

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 04, 2014:

Wow, I did not know there was such a thing as tape in extensions. Interesting read, and I enjoyed the photos, too! Pinning.


How do you put in tape hair extensions yourself? ›

One. Then I just let it go and clamp. It three times with the straight now you don't need to do this

How much hair do you put in between tape ins? ›

SOLUTION: Allow between ¼ and ½ inch between the scalp and the tape. “Sometimes to make sure the extensions last as long as possible, you think you have to put them super close to the scalp,” Danielle explained. But this actually DECREASES longevity of wear in the long-run. Why?

How many tape in hair extensions do I need for a full head? ›

Tape-Ins: Tape-In Hair Extensions have 10 pieces that when taped together, create five panels. These are meant for stylists to provide a custom style for each of their clients. Usually, the average for a full head is 4 to 5 packs.

Is 20 pieces of tape in extensions enough? ›

Tape extensions should be applied like a sandwich of 2 pieces. To add volume you should use 10 to 20 pieces. Thin hair needs 30 to 40 pieces for a full headset. Normal thickness needs 40 to 50 pieces for a full headset.

How do you keep tape in extensions from showing up? ›


What are the easiest hair extensions to use? ›

Clip-in hair extensions is the fastest, easiest, and least damaging type of hair extensions which you can apply all by yourself without having to go to a professional. Clip-in hair extensions are a temporary method of hair extensions, which means you can clip them in and out whenever you want.

How long does hair need to be for tape in? ›

Length of Hair for Extensions

The same goes for fusion and tape-in extensions that need at least 8 inches/20 centimetres of hair length. If you use track weft extensions, your existing hair needs to be at least one inch/2.5 centimetres long.

How do you blend hair tape? ›

How to Blend Tape Hair Extensions like a professional | Twisted Fringe

Is 40 pieces of tape in extensions enough? ›

Is 40 pieces of tape in extensions enough? Yes, it is! The least amount of pieces we recommend for all customers is our 40 piece packs. This pack is enough for thin to normal hair types and is ideal for ladies with fine hair.

Is 100 strands of hair extensions enough? ›

Thin/Fine hair – around 75-100 hair extensions would be needed to add hair of up to 12”in length. For longer lengths and lots of volume 100-150 hair extensions are needed. Fine/Medium hair -to add hair that's around 12” in length approx. 100-125 hair extensions are needed.

Is 7 pieces of hair extensions enough? ›

Coverage of a 7 Piece clip-in hair extension

The coverage of the 7 Piece Clip-in is massive. It goes all the way around on your head, adding volume and length. If you think your natural hair is never enough, get your hands on 7 Piece Clip-ins – You will have voluminous hair instantly!

Can you double tape in extensions? ›

Double Sided tape - This is the most common. It is double sided and is applied to each tape in hair extensoin to create a sandwhich with 2 tape in hair extensions.

Is 200 grams of hair enough for a full sew in? ›

For fine to medium hair, 100 to 125 grams of hair extensions will do the job, with medium to thick hair looking at around 125 to 175 grams. If you have very thick hair, around 150 to 200 grams will be necessary for adding up to 12 inches in length.

How many uses do you get out of tape extensions? ›

The quality of the tape extensions will also impact how long they last and how many times you can reuse them. For our Pro Deluxe line, expect around 3 uses. On the other hand, you can expect to get 10-20 uses from our Premium Tape Extensions.

Why won't my tape in extensions stay in? ›

Tape in extensions do not just fall out, ever. They don't just slip out with proper application. The only reason this would happen to someone is if their hair stylist is not properly trained. Improper placement or applications will cause the hair to slip, adding too much or too little hair will cause the tape to slip.

Why are my tape in extensions lifting? ›

The main reason for this is that the hair extensions have not been fully sealed, and therefore elements such as the natural oil from the scalp, as well as water, have been able to react with the adhesive and reduce its stick.

What type of extension is good for thin hair? ›

Clip-in hair extensions are the best for thin hair. Strands are attached to your natural hairstyle by means of small clips. You can do such styling for a party or any event and take it off as soon as you return home. Due to this, the risk of damage is virtually nil, as you do not wear extensions permanently.

What is the best type of hair extension for thin hair? ›

Extensions using Hand-tied wefts have become extremely popular for people with thin hair. This is because the wefts blend seamlessly with your natural hair without excessive pulling or breakage.

Should I wash my hair before tape-ins? ›

Tape-in hair extensions will hold their best on clean hair. Wash out any styling product and dry your hair before attempting to apply tape-in hair extensions. Make sure you use a detoxifying shampoo. Other shampoos will leave a residue that can cause extensions to lose their grip.

Can you let your hair air dry with tape-ins? ›

No matter what type of hair extensions you have, your hair should NEVER be air-dried over night. It is very important that your hair extensions have been prepared correctly before you sleep to ensure they are well looked after, and even hair that is slightly damp can cause tangling issues.

Should you wash your hair before putting in tape in extensions? ›

You'll get best results with new tape extensions if you have freshly washed hair. Just remember to not use any oils or leave in products; you want to have a clarified and clean scalp and hair which will help the tape in extensions bond properly.

How can I make my extensions look real in short hair? ›

How to make extensions look real in short hair
  1. Opt for thick hair extensions. ...
  2. Start by pinning your hair's underlayer. ...
  3. Distribute your extensions higher than usual. ...
  4. Mix and match your colours. ...
  5. Add volume with curls.
9 Feb 2021

How do you blend tape in extensions with short blunt hair? ›

Cut Hair Extensions to Blend with Short Blunt Hair (BY YOURSELF!)

Is it hard to put tape in extensions yourself? ›

But unlike clip-in extensions, installing tape extensions is not as easy as it may seem. Try it by yourself, and you could end up damaging your natural hair and the wefts (unless you're a stylist, of course).

Should you wash your hair before putting in tape in extensions? ›

You'll get best results with new tape extensions if you have freshly washed hair. Just remember to not use any oils or leave in products; you want to have a clarified and clean scalp and hair which will help the tape in extensions bond properly.

Do you have to sandwich tape in extensions? ›

"Single sided tape is great to use underneath Ultimate extensions," DeLuca says. "Because the Ultimates have more hair, you don't necessarily need another extension to sandwich underneath.

How long do DIY tape in extensions last? ›

The tape on each extension faces internally, meaning the hair is taped to both your own hair and itself. It can last for about a month, but some people keep them in for up to two. The hair can be reused if you remove the adhesive and apply new adhesive strips to the hair wefts.

Can I get tape in extensions with thin hair? ›

In a nutshell, Single Sided Tape is a gentle solution for thin-haired clients because they use half as many wefts as traditional Tape-In extensions, and, as a result, place half as much weight and strain on the hair.

How long does your have to be for tape in extensions? ›

The length of your hair determines how long you should wait before getting the extensions. As mentioned in this article, your hair needs to be about 14″/35cm for stick-on extensions, 8″/20cm for tape-in and wefted extensions, and one inch for fusion or track weft.

Why do my tape in extensions keep falling out? ›

Improper placement or applications will cause the hair to slip, adding too much or too little hair will cause the tape to slip. Even something as little as TOUCHING the tape tabs with their fingers during application can be the cause. Proper application is so important and it's the only way the product will work!

What shampoo should I use for my tape in extensions? ›

So you want to be careful with the amount of product you use. Never use any products containing oil, alcohol or ethanol as this can damage the hair extensions and also wear down on the adhesive. Use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner as well as 100% natural hair products to keep hair extensions in good condition.

Do you need to apply heat to tape in extensions? ›

Ever wondered “why use heat on tape in extensions?” Here is the answer: applying heat can help cure the tape, giving it a tighter, stronger hold, but that isn't the whole story! The stronger and longer hold is a great thing for some people! With that said, for most people it is not necessary.

Should I air dry tape in extensions? ›

The best way to dry hair extensions is to let them dry naturally. This isn't always ideal because of the added time needed to air dry when you have put extra layers of hair on your hair. Very gently towel dry your hair by patting it with a soft towel after washing.

Can you brush wet tape in extensions? ›

To brush their hair with tape-ins, your client's hair should be completely dry. Hair is the weakest when it's wet. So, pulling on it or pulling a brush through it when it's wet can do a lot of damage. It might be helpful for your client to use a wide toothed comb to brush their hair.

Can you reuse the tape on tape in extensions? ›

The best part about Tape-Ins is that they can be reused up to 3 times!


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