As an extension specialist, one of the most common questions I get in my DMs is: “What is the difference between Weft Extensions and Tape-In Extensions?”. So let’s get into it!
1. Application Method
Tape-In Extensions are attached to the hair using adhesive. They are applied by sandwiching your own hair in between two individual tapes. The number of tapes needed will depend on your desired length and/or thickness. The process is repeated with tapes needing to be removed and re-installed each time to move them up. This is repeated roughly every 5-6 weeks, depending on your hair growth rate.
Hand-Tied Weft Extensions are applied by sewing the track of hair into your own hair with a stitching method using beads, string, and a sewing needle. Your stylist will place a row of beads along your head and then sew the hair into place. A move-up can be done 1-3 times without taking the extensions out fully and repeating the whole process. These move-ups are highly recommended to be done every 5 weeks to avoid an overgrown weft.
*Depending on your stylist's skill level with each method, the application times can vary. Personally, it takes me roughly the same amount of time to install a fresh set of extensions of either type, although Express weft move-ups are fast and only take about 5-20 minutes!
2. Aftercare and Maintenance
When the tapes are first installed, it's important to avoid excessive sweating, washing the hair, or using a sauna/steam room for the first 48 hours. It is also recommended to not wear your hair up in a tight bun or ponytail for the first week or so, as doing so can cause too much tension on your scalp. Tapes will need to be removed and reinstalled every 5-6 weeks. The removal is done by spraying the adhesive with a solution to dissolve the stickiness (by 6 weeks, they should be very loose anyways and come out easily), then removing and replacing the old tape adhesive with new, and repeating the process of applying the hair.
HAND-TIED WEFT EXTENSIONS
Wefts are similar to tapes in the sense of not washing them or getting them wet for the first 48 hours, and not to wear them pulled tight in the first week-ish. With both types it's best to allow your hair to grow a bit so there is less scalp tension. A weft move-up should be done every 4-5 weeks to avoid excessive grow-out space that can cause matting or unwanted damage to the weft's track. If move-ups are pre-booked on schedule, then your stylist should be able to perform an express move-up, which can be done 1-3 times if proper care is taken. An express move-up involves just moving the beads to re-tighten the weft, with no need to remove and reinstall every single time.
*Salon quality products should be used for both tapes and wefts to ensure good hair health.
3. Styling, Volume and Versatility
Both types of extensions will let you naturally style your hair.
Although tapes can give you more of an all-over placement due to their customizable nature, they can be much harder to conceal in certain hairstyles. Depending on how long and thick your natural hair is, it may be harder to hide all the tapes in a high ponytail or other updo. With wefts, it is easier to conceal since they have a single track. When it comes to volume, you are still able to achieve some with tapes, although it is easier to have lots of volume with hand-tied wefts.
And there you have the main differences between hand-tied wefts and tape-in extensions! If you’re unsure which type you’d like - book a free consultation!! I would love to help go over the options of which option will work best with your hair!
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