The lowdown: If you want longer-lasting length, tape-in extensions could be your best bet. Tape-ins, as the name implies, are made with sticky panels at the top of each piece (think double-sided tape). Working section by section, your stylist takes a chunk of your hair and presses one panel on top of it and one underneath so your hair is wedged between two extensions, creating a “sandwich.” It takes about an hour to do an entire head. Rocha is a fan of tape-ins because they’re not as hard on hair as bonded extensions, and the hair is reusable. Another plus: They lie completely flat for a born-with-it look. But the downside? They’re a splurge. “The only hair I use for tape-ins is Hair Lingerie,” she says. “The cost is anywhere from $300 to $3,200 depending on the length and quantity.” And don’t forget, in addition to the hair (find out which brand your stylist prefers), you have to pay for the service. The price varies by salon and can range from $50 to $100 per “sandwich.” Tape-ins typically last for about one month.
Basic care: Wash and condition as you normally would with your regular products. While blow-drying, use your hands until your hair is about 75-percent dry. “When you start with a round brush, dry the extension pieces separately, without your own hair in the section,” says Rocha. And when you’re ready to take them out, be prepared to head back to your pro. It’s the most important step—you have to be careful not to take out your own hair,” she adds. (See more on extension removal here.)
Expert tip: If an extension starts to come loose before your removal appointment, apply olive oil to the piece that’s slipping, and massage it in. Gently peel apart the panels and comb out the glue.