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Tape in Hair Extensions | Are you Removing Them Correctly?

Tape in Hair Extensions | Are you Removing Them Correctly?

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Tape in Hair Extensions | Are you Removing Them Correctly?

Written by Christopher Box
Published on December 3, 2015

Tape in hair extensions have become a popular method for clients, stylists, celebrities, you name it. Although there are many brands that offer tape in extensions, not all are created equal. Stylists, without proper education you may be causing a disservice to your clients.

Are you having trouble with removing tape extensions? Chances are you are doing everything you were taught - and it’s still not working. I have a few tricks up my sleeve that will help fix that.

The advice I am about to give is mostly universal, and it can be used for most tape in hair extensions.

First off, what exactly is tape residue?

It’s the sticky stuff that is left behind in your client’s hair (and on the extension panel) after removal.

More specifically, it’s the sticky part on the tape that has destabilized from the tape “base”. There is a window of time that a tape is made to stay in the hair without breaking down - typically 6 to 8 weeks.

 

What causes residue?

+ A client is way overdue for a removal or reapplication.

+ They are extremely active and shampoo and condition their hair a lot.

What breaks tape down? Life! Over time, shampooing, conditioning, and sweat will break down extension tape. Once the tape destabilizes (starts breaking down), it starts absorbing anything you put on it.

How long before the tape begins to breakdown? It depends on how active your client is and how often the shampoo etc. That’s why there is a window of time. Even that can vary from appointment to appointment.

Ideally, you want to schedule a reapplication or removal before the tape starts breaking down. It is much easier to reapply or remove before this happens.


Here are a few basics before we get started:

+ Almost all tape in hair extensions use an isopropyl alcohol based remover. Although the remover base is universal, often there are proprietary ingredients that will make your extension brand’s removal much easier. Trust me - use the recommended remover!

+ Most removal solutions temporarily “neutralize” the stickiness of the hair extension tape. Don’t be fooled. Once the remover evaporates, any tape residue in the hair and on the tape hair extension panel will become sticky again. In fact, it can be even stickier than before!

+ When removing the tape in hair extension panels it is best to do the complete removal from your clients hair first and then remove the tape from the extension panel (then retape if reapplying).

+ As you remove the tape hair extensions, I recommend putting the two sticky parts of the panel back together. This will help make sure nothing else gets sticky in the process!

 

Products needed to properly remove tape hair extensions:

+ Brand specific remover. I use easihair pro’s easiRemove.

+ Leave-in conditioner spray. I use easihair pro’s Leave-in Conditioner for extensions. These types of sprays have a creamy, yet watery consistency.

 

Types of Tape Extension Removals

Normal Residue

Most clients will fall into this category. They have worn their tape hair extensions for 6 to 8 weeks. The tape hasn’t turned “gooey”. More than likely, this is how your tape extension company taught you how to remove tape extensions.

+ Spray the tape extension panel on the top and underneath.

+ Let it sit and then take a metal tipped comb and gently push between the two panels.

+ Spray a bit more remover - place the metal tipped comb into the middle of the panel and work back and forth.

+ The tape panel should begin to loosen. Make sure you give the remover time to neutralize the tape (about 30 seconds). To speed up the process, you can work on a couple panels at a time.

+ The tape panel will come apart relatively easy. After removing the panels, put the two panels back together - sticky to sticky.

+ To move forward there should be little to no residue in your client’s hair.

+ You can’t remove tape residue with alcohol based removers. This requires a different step.

 

Little Residue

+ Remove like above using your tape hair extension remover and then put the two extension panels together and set aside.

+ Spray in a little bit of easiRemove on the residue that is left behind.

+ Never spray the tape extension panel with a silicon/oil-based remover. If you do - you have to shampoo the panel to remove the oil.

+ With a fine tooth comb, comb through the residue to break it up. Get as much out of the hair as possible. Wipe the residue onto an old color towel or paper towel.

+ If needed spray a little more residue remover and comb out the rest of the residue.

+ Remove all tape hair extension panels.

+ Wet your client’s hair and apply a conditioner at the roots where any residue was in the hair. Yes, conditioner. The conditioner will grab onto any of the remaining residue so it can be shampooed out.

+ Wash twice with a clarifying shampoo and continue according to manufacturer's directions.

 

A lot of Residue

You will know this when you see it. The tape panels will have stickiness oozing from them. You may even be able to move the panels around a little bit. When you remove the extensions, there will be a heavy goo left behind. Also, the tape panels will have residue on them. This type of residue is hard to remove and needs to be handled in the following way.

+ Remove like the “Norm”. Place the two extension panels together and set aside.

+ Spray in a little bit of residue remover on the residue that is left behind.

+ Never spray the tape extension panel. If you do - you have to shampoo the panel to remove the oil.

+ Take your section at a 90% and use your tail comb to break up the residue with a fine tooth comb. Get as much out of the hair as possible. Wipe the residue onto an old color towel or paper towel.

+ Spray a liberal amount of the leave in conditioner on the residue. With the comb break up any remaining residue. Comb from scalp to ends.

+ Repeat the above steps: spray oil, break up residue, leave in conditioner, and combing through from scalp to end on each section until all the extension panels are removed.

+ It is almost impossible to remove extreme tape residue with just shampoo. I am not saying you can’t. I am saying it is tricky and unpredictable.

+ Wet your client’s hair and apply a generous amount of conditioner at the roots where any residue was in the hair. Once you get the conditioner in the hair, have your client sit up from the shampoo bowl. You will need to comb anywhere there was tape residue. The conditioner will absorb the tape residue so it can be shampooed out.

+ Wash twice with a clarifying shampoo and continue according to manufacturer's directions.

I know it seems like a lot of work - trust me it is worth it. When the tape residue is this bad, it is super hard to tell when it is gone. I find that it is best to just do the process and not guess if it is gone or not. There is nothing worse than getting your client’s hair blown out only to find out that the hair is still sticky.


How to Re-Tape Extensions With Residue

This is extremely hard to do. When I encounter this scenario, I usually ask my client to buy new hair. If the hair is still good, I recommend letting the tape panels sit out for a couple of days so the residue “goo” can completely dry out. Once the residue is dry, the tape can be easily removed and then retaped. This will allow my client to reuse this hair on their next appointment.

If you don’t properly remove the tape residue, the extensions can slip out after reapplication.

Whew! If you made it this far, then you are truly a hair extension geek just like me. I know it is a lot to take in, however, this post needed to be out there. Tape hair extensions are my favorite and don’t always get the respect they deserve.

These tips will help keep your client coming back again and again.  

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