Whether you have short hair and are dreaming of long locks or have long hair but want extra volume, Hair extensions can save you months and months of trying to grow out long hair, but what happens when you’re ready to part ways with your extensions? If you aren’t rocking clip-in extensions—which can easily be unclipped—removal is a little more complicated. For tape-in extensions, there are a number of ways you can return to your shorter strands. But there also ways not to remove tape-in extensions, and you’ll want to get it right to avoid hair damage. With that said, let’s get into how to remove tape-in extensions.
HOW TO REMOVE TAPE-IN HAIR EXTENSIONS
There’s more than one way to part with your faux locks. Here are five options you can try.
#1. TURN TO A PROFESSIONAL
The first option, and one of the best, is to head to the salon. A professional stylist will be able to efficiently remove your extensions while keeping your mane happy and healthy! Even better if you can go back to the stylist who installed the extensions in the first place. Not only can this help avoid damaging your real hair, but a pro can also help with keeping the extensions in shape so they can be reused.
#2. USE AN ADHESIVE REMOVER
If you want to remove your extensions at home, there are a few ways to do so, one of which involves using an adhesive remover. Since tape-in extensions involve using a strong-hold tape on either side of your strands to secure the extensions into place, it makes sense that you would need to get rid of the adhesive to remove them. Of course, the adhesive used doesn’t come off easily; otherwise, you’d have extensions falling out all of the time. For this reason, using an adhesive remover that’s specifically formulated to remove tape-in hair extensions is a good idea. Apply the remover to the top of the tabs and give it time to seep through and break down the adhesive. As you feel the tape loosen, gently pull it apart. Be careful and take your time, adding more remover as needed.
#3. TRY AN OIL
Don’t have a remover meant for tape-in hair extensions? There are some household ingredients you can use as well, one of which being oils. From olive to coconut, different oils can help break down the adhesive on your tape-in extensions. Use the same method as you would for an adhesive remover, applying the oil at the top of the tabs. Allow it to seep through and cause the tape to lose its tackiness. Gently remove the tape-in extensions from your strands, adding more oil as needed.
#4. GIVE PEANUT BUTTER A GO
Believe it or not, this popular snack can be used for more than satisfying your hunger. Since peanut butter has natural oils in it, it can break down the glue from your tape-in hair extensions the same way that the oils we mentioned above do. As you can probably guess, you’ll want to apply the peanut butter to your hair, focusing it above your tabs, and allow it to soak in and separate the tape. Keep in mind that peanut butter won’t work as quickly as other removal methods—you’ll want to let it sit for at least a half-hour. And don’t be surprised when things get sticky!
Editor’s note: Peanut butter actually has more beauty routine uses than you might expect. Just read our article on How to Get Gum Out of Hair to see what we’re talking about.
#5. LATHER ON CONDITIONER
Want to give your strands a treat while helping remove your tape-in extensions? Let a conditioner do the work! Like peanut butter, this method will take more time and patience, but your strands will thank you for it. Apply conditioner to your mane, focusing it above your tabs and massaging to help the formula seep between the tape. Let it sit for at least a half-hour before attempting to separate the tape. If it still doesn’t budge, you’ll want to wait longer!
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR STRANDS AFTER REMOVING TAPE-IN EXTENSIONS
After you’ve finally removed all of your extensions, there may be some residue left behind by the tape, your removal method, or both. To properly care for your strands post-extensions, follow the steps below.
STEP #1. SHAMPOO AND CONDITION
STEP #2. APPLY A HAIR MASK
To give your hair some extra TLC, follow up with a hair mask. Smooth on the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair Extreme Emergency Recovery Mask, which conditions and renews damaged hair for a healthy-looking mane. Apply it for three to five minutes, then rinse.
STEP #3. CAREFULLY UNTANGLE
Lastly, you’ll want to comb and detangle your mane. As with the rest of the process, it’s important to be gentle. First, spritz on a detangler, like the L’Oréal Kids Burst of Sweet Pear Tangle Tamer for All Hair Types. Then use a wide-tooth comb to ensure your mane is free of knots and tangles.
Next up: Want to leave your extensions in for a little longer? Make sure you’re showing them the TLC they need. Here’s How to Take Care of Hair Extensions.