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Hand Tied Extensions vs Tape Ins for Stylists: Which should I choose?

When it comes to choosing a semi-permanent hair extension method, you may be wondering which is better– tape in or hand tied extensions? Both of these techniques will give your clients an instant length, fullness and volume upgrade. However, it’s important to consider the long-term consequences for hair and scalp health, as not all techniques are suitable for all hair types.

Hand tied extensions are a safer, more discreet and more comfortable choice for most people. Read on to discover how these two installation methods stack up:

What are hand tied extensions?

Hand tied extensions are a method for sewing slim, light wefts onto a row of beads attached to the natural hair. This is the best extension technique for creating luxurious volume, length and body while preventing damage to the natural hair.

Once hand tied extensions are installed, they look and feel completely natural. They can be colored, washed, curled, and upstyled just like the natural hair. Many stylists and clients prefer hand tied extensions due to their comfort, flexibility, and seamless natural finish.

Want to learn more about the hand tied application method? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hand Tied Extensions.

What are tape in extensions?

Tape in extensions are a method for attaching pre-taped wefts directly to the hair with medical-grade adhesive. Tape in extensions are quick and inexpensive to install, but they only last 4-8 weeks and can damage the natural hair.

Tape in extensions are usually very secure, as the adhesive bonds the extension hair and natural hair together. They lay flat against the head and blend in with the natural hair. As long as the tape is fully concealed, these extensions look very discreet and natural.

For best results, tape in extensions should always be applied by a qualified stylist. Crooked or improperly placed tape ins do not look natural, pull on the roots and can hurt the scalp and even cause hair loss.

Removing tape in extensions also requires professional help to minimize damage. Residue from the adhesive can remain on the hair and scalp for several shampoos after removal.

Looking for a chemical-free, adhesive-free hair extension technique? Learn how to get certified in the IBE® method here!

tape in vs hand tied extensions

How do hand tied extensions work?

Hand tied extensions are a gentle, hair-friendly method for adding TONS of volume, body and thickness to hair. To apply hand tied extensions, the stylist first attaches a horseshoe-shaped row of beads to the hair. Then they sew the wefts to this beaded foundation. The number of rows applied ranges from 1-4, depending on the client’s hair type and desired style.

How do tape in extensions work?

Tape in extensions are a type of semi-permanent hair extensions that use a powerful adhesive to stick the wefts to the natural hair. To apply tape in extensions, the stylist removes the backing from the tape and places a thin section of natural hair between two strips. The natural hair is sandwiched in-between the extension hair, and the adhesive bonds the hair together.

The Only Method That Consistently
Delivers The Best Results

Invisible Bead Extensions® was specifically created to solve 3 major problems encountered
with the different types of hand-tied methods available.

1

Prevents Damage

to the client’s hair and scalp from tension, over-direction and haphazard installs.

2

Eliminates Discomfort

due to the contact of beads on the scalp and the common “clamp and crank” beading approach.

3

Styling Versatility

which means no more exposed beads, bonds, or braids when wearing hair up.

With our patent-pending method and an industry changing education model, Invisible Bead Extensions® has solved all three of these problems and has helped stylists across the world to do the same.

How long do hand tied extensions last?

Hand tied extensions are a lower-maintenance option— perfect for people with BUSY, active lifestyles! The longevity of the installation depends on how fast the hair grows out. Generally, hand tied extensions need to be moved up every 6-8 weeks.

Regular maintenance ensures that the beads are placed close to the scalp and fully concealed. Hand tied extensions usually last longer than other types of extensions (such as tape ins) because there is no adhesive that can degrade over time.

The actual hair extensions last for 6-12 months with proper care. High-quality, 100% real human hair extensions are recommended for best results. Make sure to trim the extensions around the 6-month mark to remove any damaged ends.

How long do tape in extensions last?

Tape in extensions last longer than clip ins, but not as long as sewn-in or hand tied extensions. The longevity of the installation depends on how fast the hair grows out and how well the bonded area is maintained. Generally, tape in extensions can last for 6-8 weeks before needing to be removed and re-applied.

As with other types of semi-permanent hair extensions, the wefts themselves should last for 6-12 months with proper care.

hand tied extensions vs tape in

Are hand tied extensions bad for hair?

Hand tied extensions from Invisible Bead Extensions® are not bad for hair and will not damage the natural hair. Unlike tape in extensions, hand tied extensions do not require any harsh chemicals, heat, glue, or tape to attach the wefts to the hair. Instead, individual hand tied wefts are sewn onto a row of beads placed on the hair shaft. The wefts lay flat against the hair for a comfortable, wearable style that looks and feels completely natural.

Removing semi-permanent hair extensions can be a potential cause of damage. The adhesive-free hand tied extensions can be removed gently and easily in the salon. It takes just 5-10 minutes to take out the extensions because there is no bond to break. This means no pulling or tearing when extensions are removed, and no adhesive residue!

Are tape in extensions bad for hair?

Tape in extensions are damaging to hair and can even lead to hair loss. This is due to the strong medical-grade adhesive used to stick the wefts to the natural hair. Removing tape in extensions is a difficult process that can cause discomfort, pulling and breakage. The alcohol-based solution used to dilute the glue may dehydrate the natural hair and create frizz.

Over time, improperly applied tape in extensions can lead to bald spots and traction alopecia (hair loss caused by tension). For this reason, tape in extensions are NOT recommended for clients with delicate, fine or thinning hair or sensitive scalps.

Tape ins should always be installed and removed by an experienced stylist, as the worst damage tends to occur when people attempt to DIY the process.

hand tied vs tape in extensions

Hand tied hair extensions care

Proper care and maintenance is essential for keeping hand tied hair extensions healthy and beautiful. Taking care of extensions also helps them last longer.

Make sure to brush through your hair several times a day, lifting up the rows and brushing the hair in between to prevent matting. Extensions tend to be dry, so use a light hydrating conditioner in the shower, then follow up with a leave-in conditioner or detangler and seal the ends with a serum. Avoid sleeping on wet extensions, and braid your hair before bed to prevent friction and tangles!

Learn more about hand tied extension care with our step-by-step guide.

Tape in hair extensions care

Tape in hair extension maintenance has two goals: protecting the bonds and taking care of the extension hair (along with the natural hair). Follow these steps to properly care for tape in hair extensions:

  1. Thoroughly brush your hair several times a day with a wet brush (such as the Tangle Teazer) or hair extensions brush. Work from tips to roots and detangle any hairs that may be stuck to the tape in extensions.
  2. Hold the wefts at the root when you brush them to avoid pulling. Do not tug or yank on the tapes, as this could pull them out of place.
  3. Cleanse your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner 1-2 times a week. Avoid over-washing or scrubbing the wefts, and do not put conditioner on the bonds.
  4. Blow dry your hair on low heat. Tape in extensions should not be allowed to air dry, as this can cause itching and make the tape feel sticky.
  5. Apply hydrating oils and serums from mid-shafts to ends ONLY. Choose lightweight products for your hair extensions and steer clear of heavy hair masks and protein treatments.
  6. Do not use products containing alcohol, oil or ethanol near the bonds. This can weaken the adhesive and cause the extensions to slip out.
  7. Use a heat protectant before flat ironing or curling your hair. Choosing the lowest possible heat setting will minimize damage to the extensions. Never flat iron the bonded area!
  8. Visit your stylist to have the tape in extensions removed and re-installed every 6-8 weeks.
  9. Place hair in a braid or bun at night to prevent tangles, friction and matting. Avoid sleeping on wet hair extensions.
  10. Wash and detangle your hair after swimming.
tape in extensions vs hand tied

Hand tied extensions pros and cons

Hand tied extensions are one of today’s hottest hair trends due to their comfort, wearability, and natural appearance. However, this popular hair extension method isn’t for everyone! Like all hair services, it comes with pros and cons:

Hand Tied Extensions Pros

  • Glamourous volume, fullness and length that looks 100% natural
  • Very little stress on the scalp or the roots
  • No tension, tugging or damage to the natural hear
  • Unlimited styling possibilities (including ponytails, buns and upstyles)
  • Discreet attachments that do not show, even in fine, thin or sleek hair
  • Appropriate for active lifestyles, including swimming, and high temperatures

Hand Tied Extensions Cons

  • Initial installation requires a significant investment of both time (2-5 hours) and money ($1000 or more)
  • Extensions must be moved up every 6-8 weeks as the hair grows out
  • Frequent brushing and maintenance is needed to keep hand tied extensions looking their best
  • May not be the best choice for coily or super-curly hair (depending on the desired style)
hand tied extensions vs tape in

Tape in extensions pros and cons

Tape in extensions are a quick, lower-cost method for semi-permanent hair extensions. However, this technique isn’t right for all hair types as it can be very harsh to the natural hair. Here are some pros and cons of tape in extensions:

Tape in Extensions Pros

  • Subtle length, volume and thickness without a major commitment
  • Initial installation is fast (usually under an hour) and relatively inexpensive
  • Sleek natural appearance, as the tape in extensions lay flat against the scalp
  • Highly customizable to different hair types and growth patterns

Tape in Extensions Cons

  • Removal is difficult, time-consuming and can cause hair loss (due to the strong glues or adhesives used to bond the hair)
  • Adhesives and chemical removers may irritate the scalp
  • Extensions must be fully removed and re-installed every 6-8 weeks
  • Frequent brushing and maintenance is needed to prevent the hair from matting or getting stuck to the tape
  • Bonds cannot be exposed to styling products, hair oils, or heat tools
  • Not appropriate for delicate, fine or thinning hair, or for people who want to grow out their natural hair, due to the risk of damage
  • Tape ins provide less volume, so they don’t create that long, flowy “mermaid hair” look
IBE® Certification

Train With Your Mentor & Become
An IBE® Certified Stylist

Level 1 THE BASICS

You will begin by learning the basic method of IBE® with practice on a mannequin.

You will be taught everything from consultation to fitting the right length and color of hair.

Sectioning, placement, beadwork and foundation techniques, weft placements, and proprietary IBE® stitching techniques.

Learn all these through our innovative online education portal or right in the IBE® mobile app along with your one-on-one mentor.

Completion and sign off from your mentor in this level will ensure you are comprehending the method and becoming confident in its application behind the chair.

Level 2 STEP UP YOUR GAME

Once your mentor has signed off and level one is complete, you will step up your game.

In level two you will repeat the process of learning in application and technique, however this time on an actual human model! You will be taking everything you have learned in section 1 and putting it into real-life practice.

Your mentor will be digging in deep at this point and giving you dialed in personalized feedback and coaching. They will be making sure you have every single question answered and that you feel 100% prepared and confident to take your IBE® work behind the chair.

Level 3 GET CERTIFIED!

With level one and two in the books, lets put some icing on the cake!

We are going to dive into social media training and how to market the IBE® method.

You will be taken through the process of how to get clients seeking you out as an expert extensionist and booking consultations.

You will also do your final test out model. Here you will apply two rows of IBE® to your model and take her through the entire process of extension application, custom coloring, cutting and styling. You will supply all the appropriate photos to your mentor and you will decide together if you are ready to move forward.

When level 3 is complete, you will join the ranks of being a certified IBE® stylist and start to enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

Welcome to the IBE® family!

Level 4

Once you have completed your virtual certification, you are invited to join us for a hands on class at the IBE® Education Center in St. George, Utah. The training is included in your certification, which means all you have to do is get here and we will take care of the rest

Receive hands-on corrections and critiques by our education team and leave feeling more confident than ever about your well-deserves extension certification.

Check out the In-Person Classes page to book your Beyond Certification class.

Hand tied extensions cost

Prices usually start at $200-250 for the initial installation, plus the cost of the hair extensions themselves. This does not include any color services that may be performed. Maintenance visits are about half the cost of the initial installation ($100 and up).

Tape in extensions cost

Tape in extensions typically cost about $200-$400 for the extension hair, plus $100-$200 for installation. Prices vary greatly depending on the salon, number of pre-taped extensions used and the extension quality. Once purchased, the wefts can be reused for up to a year with proper maintenance and care.

It’s very important to have tape in extensions removed and re-installed every 6-8 weeks as the hair grows out. This service usually costs anywhere from $50-$150.

Are hand tied extensions better than tape in?

Hand tied extensions are better than tape ins as they add more volume and are gentler to the natural hair. The hand tied installation process is completely free from damaging adhesives, chemicals, glue or tape. Removal of hand tied extensions is quick, painless and damage-free, while tape ins can tear the natural hair when removed.

Tape in extensions have a 1-inch wide strip of tape at the top that can show in certain styles (such as ponytails). Hand tied extensions are easier to conceal, which allows you to wear any style you want without worrying about the attachments showing. They also last longer because there is no bond that can degrade over time.

Installing hand tied extensions requires more time and skill than installing tape in extensions, but the result is healthy and gorgeous hair! (Salon professionals, discover how to get certified in the IBE® hand tied extension method here.)

tape in vs hand tied extensions

Are hand tied extensions worth it?

Hand tied extensions are an investment in the hair’s health and beauty-- and they are 100% worth it! This is the best method for achieving beautiful, flowing mermaid locks while protecting the natural hair and scalp from damage. Hand tied wefts are comfortable, wearable and offer unlimited styling options!

Here are some of the benefits of IBE® hand tied extensions:

  • Luscious, natural-looking volume, length and fullness
  • No glue, tape, adhesive, chemicals or heat
  • Gentle on the scalp and natural hair (no hair loss caused by tension or pulling)
  • Comfortable and easy to maintain
  • Appropriate for active lifestyles, including hot yoga and swimming
  • Attachments do not show, even when hair is styled in a ponytail or updo
  • Long-lasting (up to 9-12 months with regular maintenance visits)
  • Quick and painless to remove

Ready to become an IBE Certified Stylist?

With our patent-pending method and a revolutionary education model, Invisible Bead Extensions® has said goodbye to all 3 and helped stylists across the world to do the same.

APPLY NOW