How to Fix Slipping Tape in Extensions

If you’re looking for gorgeous and discreet extensions that take your look from dull to dynamite in minutes, there’s truly no better option than tape-ins. These lovely extensions are semi-permanent, which means you won’t have to worry about taking them in and out daily.

Unless, of course, you’re burdened with tape-in hair extensions that keep slipping.

If you’re enjoying your new luscious long locks, only to realize that they’re slipping out of your natural mane every five seconds, you need to fix it – and fast.

Well, ladies, I’m here to share my top tips and tricks for ensuring those totally tantalizing tape-ins don’t surrender to slippage. 

8 Tips to Fix Slipping Tape-In Hair Extensions

While tape-ins have many “pros,” one of their biggest cons is slippage. They’re notorious slippers, but the last thing you want to do is to be caught slippin’ – especially when it comes to your extensions!

Slipping tape-ins are a ginormous hassle. Honey, trust me, I’ve been there, which is why I set out on a mission to find out how to fix it. Here’s what I found.

1. Use Less Hair in Your Tape-In Sandwich

In order to install tape-in hair extensions, you essentially need to sandwich your natural locks in between two pieces of tape. Sounds easy enough, right? If you’re trying to get it done quickly by using too much hair, you’re doing yourself a severe disservice.

When installing tape-ins, the hair you’re sandwiching should be very thin. We’re talking about 18 inches of hair. So, if you notice you used way too many strands, you may need to consider re-installing; or doing better the next time around. Make sure you’re pushing down hard on the tape to ensure a tighter grip on your natural mane.

The better option? Always let an experienced and certified stylist install your tape-ins.

2. Don’t Install After a Color or Chemical Treatment

Some women want to get their hair colored or chemically treated (i.e., straightened or permed) the same day they have their tape-in hair extensions installed. And we don’t blame you, beautiful. You want to step out of the salon or your bathroom looking and feeling your best. 

But this is a big no-no in the world of tape-ins. If you get your hair colored or chemically treated before tape-ins are applied, your tape-in hair extensions will slip. It’s as simple as that.

3. Stop Using Alcohol And/Or Oil-Based Hair Products

Many, many, many hair products have alcohol or oil as an ingredient. And while oil isn’t necessarily a bad thing for your natural mane, alcohol, and oil don’t play well with others – namely, tape-in hair extensions.

The issue here is that alcohol and oil break down adhesion. And, since your tape-ins work with an adhesive, they’ll break down and start slipping quickly.

Here’s the solution: ditch hair products containing alcohol and oil. If you love them, keep them under the sink until you’re done with the tape-ins. Until then, opt for oil and alcohol-free hair care. Ditch sulfates while you’re at it, too.

4. Take Care of Excessive Oil Production

Some people have naturally oily hair and scalps, and there isn’t much you can do about that. In fact, you shouldn’t try to stop it. Oil production is beneficial. However, too much oil can cause trouble for the adhesive of your tape-ins, leading to slippage.

Instead of trying to eliminate your natural oils, take control of it. For instance, you can seclude the conditioner to the ends of your locks, staying away from the roots. You can opt to wash less and use dry shampoos, store-bought or DIY.

5. Gently Brush Your Mane

If you tug on something that’s held together by tape, it’s eventually going to come loose; and the same holds true for your lustrous set of tape-in hair extensions, girl!

With that in mind, you need to be gentle when it comes to brushing your mane. 

I like to grip my hair into a low ponytail (holding beneath the extensions) and brush the bulk of my locks, removing any tangles, knots, etc. From there, I brush or comb my roots very softly, paying extra close attention to avoid where the tape-ins are placed.

While it might be a pinch more time-consuming to go the “low and slow” route, it will impose less tugging and pulling on your tape-ins, ensuring they won’t slip down or off completely.

6. Don’t Wash for 48 Hours and Wash Less!

Your stylist will give you several recommendations for caring for your tape-in hair extensions, and one thing they won’t budge on is avoiding moisture for the first 48 hours after application.

It takes a full two days for the glue to adhere tightly to your mane. If they get wet before the 48-hour mark, they simply won’t have a strong bond, which may lead to slipping.

After 48 hours, you’re free to wash your locks – but be careful. Tape-in hair extensions should not be washed daily, as too much moisture can wreak havoc on the bond. Instead, opt to wash your mane two or three times per week.

7. Wash With a Clarifying Shampoo Before Application

If you forgot to wash your hair before you applied your tape-in hair extensions, there’s a very high chance they’ll slip. Actually, let me be clear – if you didn’t wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo before installation, your tape-ins will slip.

The keyword here is clarifying.

Clarifying shampoos are different from “regular” shampoos. They ensure all impurities, residue, and oils are removed from the hair and scalp, leaving you with a squeaky clean set of hair – which is crucial for tape-ins.

Remember earlier when we discussed oil causing problems for adhesives? Yeah, the same thing applies here. You need to get rid of all of your natural oils (using a clarifying shampoo) to ensure a proper grip.

8. Buy High-Quality Tape-Ins

I get it, queen – we’re all trying to save money in this economic climate. But please don’t skimp on your tape-in hair extensions!

High-quality tape-in hair extensions are going to provide you with two things:

  • Beautiful, shiny, and natural-looking hair, and
  • Impressively strong glue that’s less prone to slippage.

Needless to say, shelling out some extra ‘dollas’ for higher-quality tape-ins is a must


While tape-ins can certainly submit to slippage, there are plenty of ways you can fix it and avoid it in the future! Here are a couple more questions you might find interesting.

Why are my tape-in extensions not sticking?

If your tape-in hair extensions aren’t sticking to begin with, then there could be two things wrong. For one, you might be trying to use too much hair. Secondly, you might not be aligning the tape tabs correctly.

Is it normal for hair extensions to slip?

A little bit (about 10%) of slippage is considered “normal” for tape-in hair extensions. However, anything more than that is not normal and will need to be remedied using one of the methods above.

How many times can you get tape-in extensions moved up?

With proper care, tape-in hair extensions can be moved up to three times without needing to purchase new hair. But make sure you’re getting them moved up on time! Sometimes, “fake” slippage can occur. This happens when your hair is simply grown out, but the tape-ins haven’t actually slipped.

Slipping Tape-Ins is a Common Problem with Simple Solutions!

Lots of issues can cause tape-in hair extensions to slip. The best thing to do is have your tape-ins professionally installed to avoid common problems like oil and improper application. Aftercare is key to the success and longevity of your tape-ins, too.

Do you have tape-in hair extensions? Do you struggle with slippage? How did you fix it? Share in the comments!

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