clip in vs tape in extensions

Clip-in vs. Tape-in Extensions: A Convenient Hair Battle

Battle of the Most Convenient

When it comes to hair extensions, the sole purpose of us wearing them is versatility. Am I right, or am I right? These days there are alternatives to wearing extensions beyond wigs, quick weaves, and sew-ins. Thankfully there are some alternatives to wearing tension related extensions. Clip-ins and tape-ins are this alternative!

Here at Private Label Extensions we offer both clip-in and tape-in extensions. They allow your hair breathe in between installs. They will also give you more direct access to your scalp.

blonde clip-ins

About Clip-Ins & Tape-Ins

People all over the world aren’t strangers to clip-ins, but they seem to be coming back in style since this new era of youtube DIYs. Clip-ins are just wefted hair with wig clips attached. You can purchase them already made or make them yourself.

If you are anything like me, I love to save a good coin. I have made my own clip-in extensions with leftover hair of mine. All you need is quality hair extensions or any hair you prefer and add clips to the base of the weft and then voila!

Tape-ins, you may wonder; what are those right? Tape-in extensions are the newest alternative extension technique. They are extensions with polyurethane tape at the weft. Now, I know you read that and thought, “what in the world?”. Believe it or not, many hairdressers have taken this technique and ran with it. Their clients request it and are happily pleased with the results.

The newest craze in versatility is clip-in and tape-in extensions, the two sound similar but they are different, and I will share with you how. Full disclaimer: I am not here to advocate for either one, but I do hope to educate you about the differences. Once you read and do your research, you can decide which works best for you!

clip ins before and after

How Are They Made

Lets take a closer look into how to make tape-in and clip-in extensions.

Tape ins

Tape-in extensions come with strips of tape that’s attached to the top of the weft. The strips are polyurethane panels of clear tape
which are a super grade adhesive. Tape can either be double sided or single sided and is melted into the base of the wefts Usually these extensions are made of high-quality virgin remy hair.


Clip-in extensions can be made with any hair. Wig clips attached to the base of the weft that allows you to clip them into your hair.

As you can see, you can make clip-in extensions yourself without spending too much money. On the other hand, tape-in extensions must be done by a hair professional to ensure proper install and removal.

tape in extensions


With getting any technique of hair extensions, the installation can make all the difference in how one’s hair looks. A lousy application means bulky, loose, lumpy and just outright ugly.

For you ladies who are tender headed or dread the braid down process, no worries. With both clip-ins and tape-in extensions, there is no need for your hair to be braided. Of course, if you would like to have a small braid or two in place for the extensions, that’s fine too.

Work and spend smarter ladies not harder.

Lets go into the detailed steps of how clip-in and tape-ins are installed.

Tape-in Installation

    1. Section hair where the extensions will go
    2. Remove the back side of the tape
    3. Carefully place the back side of the tape under a small section of your hair
    4. Make sure that its as close to the scalp as possible
    5. Smooth down hair onto the taped extension
    6. Remove the top seal of the tape
    7. Take another small piece of taped extension and place on top of the previous piece.

Tape-ins should be done by a professional which will cost you money which varies amongst stylists. A tape-in installation can take up to 1 to 2 hours. Because there is a powerful adhesive applied. This application should not be rushed; for your sake.

Clip-in Installation

  1. Part your hair with a rat tail comb to achieve the desired style
  2. Take your longer clip-ins and install from back to front
  3. Simply clip the hair in between two pieces of your natural hair
  4. Comb or brush to make sure wefts are not visible

Clip-ins compared to tape-ins do not take as long to install. They also do not take as much care and steadiness of the hands either. They can be done by yourself or by someone else. Now installing some clip-ins can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes. It may take you longer if you aren’t sure what style you want or if you are using a lot of small clip-ins.

Model wearing clip-in extensions

Which One is Easier on the Pockets?

As a weave and wig lover, I know how expensive extensions and the installation can be. I feel your pain ladies, 100%. Doing anything DIY will obviously be way more cost efficient.

Clip-ins are the cheaper route because you can install them all by your lonesome. The only additional money you will spend with them is the hair, the $5 wig clips and the $1 needle and thread.

With tape-in extensions, you have to purchase the hair extensions, find a hair stylist, potentially pay a deposit for your appointment and pay for the service. So while you will pay more to get tape-in extensions you are also exerting more energy going through the entire process.

Is it worth it? I can’t say because I have not tried the tape-in technique. While both of these super convenient technique’s prices mainly depend on the hair brand you choose; tape-ins will for sure run your pockets dry faster than clip-ins will.

girl with money

Pros and Cons

Almost everything will have bad and good things about it. On the bright side, having pros and cons will help you narrow down your choice. Pros and cons can be subjective based on person to person. If enough people agree however there can be some truth to it.

Pros Of Tape-in Extensions

  • No heat/tools required for installation
  • Method takes less time than traditional sew-ins
  • Reusable extensions
  • Installation can last 2-3 weeks
  • Gives volume to hair
  • Always made with real human hair
  • Simple installation
  • Extensions can last 1-3 years with proper care
  • Extensions can be dyed, bleached and permed
  • Essentially this type of extension is high quality

Pros of Clip-in extensions

  • Removable
  • Temporary
  • Can be dyed and bleached if made with human hair
  • Installation doesn’t take long
  • NO damage to hair
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Adjustable once applied
  • Greater versatility
  • DIY – no salon needed
  • Cost efficient
synthetic clip ins

The Cons

Take the bad with the good; the cons can be subjective as mentioned earlier. Everyone’s experience with these clip-ins or tape-ins will be different. Just like everyone’s reasons for getting either of the two will be different.

From looking at the pros, you can already tell some of the differences between the two. Okay, okay, I’ve stalled enough. Lets rip the band-aid off and took a look at the cons.

Cons Of Tape-in Extensions

  • Can cause damage to real hair
  • Cannot wash your hair for at least 2-3 days after installation – the tape needs time to set to your hair
  • Have to use a solvent to remove
  • Semi-permanent – not removable once installed
  • Cost of the extensions and installation can be expensive
  • No DIY
  • Cannot apply oils or oil-based products
  • Excessive sweating will cause them to slip out
  • Not as versatile
  • Not ideal for anyone with thinning hair

Cons Of Clip-In Extensions

  • Can irritate a sensitive scalp
  • If not made correctly, clips can slip off weft
  • Depending on placement, they shouldn’t be worn while asleep
  • DIY process can be time consuming for first timers
  • Not always the best quality if purchasing
  • Cannot be worn for long periods of time – natural hair as it grows will become thick and get tangled in the combs- NOT CUTE
  • Not ideal for people with thin hair – wefts will be visible or create tension on scalp
  • Clip-ins can fall out if not applied correctly
  • Can be bulky if not applied successfully – we want natural looking extensions!
  • Not for the lazy
hair color


Maintenance, I know you guys see this word so much while reading about hair extensions. Hair maintenance is the core of great hair,I promise!

Now let’s face it, you’ve heard that a thousand times and still manage to mess up the hair you worked hard for right? Hair extension maintenance like natural hair maintenance is trial and error. So don’t feel bad.

With these two alternative extension techniques, you do not need to do anything differently than you would with your sew-ins, wigs or quick weaves. Always use a great shampoo and conditioner combo that is of course sulfate free! Never use a rat tail comb to detangle extensions, ever. That is asking for shedding galore which eventually can turn into tangles that grow into a matted mess.

Using any silicone or oil-based products at the root while wearing tape-ins will cause issues. Those products will break down the adhesive. Which wastes the money you spent and will have you dishing out more to get your hair done again.

Types of Hair Extensions

There is a lot of talk in the hair world about other ways to wear hair extensions, and you’ve just learned about two new ones. Now whether you choose clip-ins or tape-ins, always do your research and your Googles to make sure you make the right decision for you and your lifestyle. Youtube is also a great platform to check reviews on these hair extension types and so forth.

What are your thoughts on clip-in versus tape-in extensions? Which do you prefer or would like to try? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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20 thoughts on “Clip-in vs. Tape-in Extensions: A Convenient Hair Battle

  1. Rashida Gray says:

    Omg, this article was so informative from the differences between clip ins and Tape ins to how to apply them and the maintenance! I would differently try to use both extensions on future clients and share what I’ve learned from this article with the ones I know that use them also!

  2. Candace Davis says:

    This article was extremely informative. I’d always been 🤔when it came to tape-in extensions, but min glad I steered away from it. The solvent send seems like it would break off my hair, along with the fact I can’t use oils. They just seem much more high maintenance than regular extensions. Maybe when I become rich and famous I’ll revisit the idea, but until then I’ll stick with my sew-ins/clip-ins.

  3. Lillian Johnson says:

    Both of these methods can look very natural if installed properly. For natural women, an easy and less damaging way to clip in extensions is to first braid the section of hair you want to use the clips on and install the clip ins on the braids to prevent any unnecessary breakage.

  4. Jasmine peoples says:

    I actually love a clip in… I’ve never tried the tape ins …I’m willing to learn that technique.. it just amazes me how in the beauty industry they come up with so many techniques to cater to everyone and their hair needs it’s amazing and I can’t wait to try tape ins myself😻

  5. A'Lante Hunter says:

    I love this article! As a hairstylist, I think it’s great to give input and sell different types of extensions for all different client types! Listing the pros & cons was a plus to this too! A lot of people don’t like to take the time to do research on extensions in general and are always looking for the easiest way out. Not everyone is able to wear a sew-in or a wig for a long period of time and this is perfect insight! The install methods, the maintenance and how they can be styled or colored is great info too! I have friends and clients that ask me all the time how they can get extensions. Whether it’s a one time deal, to help grow a cut-out, or even to add some pops of color to there hair now without the commitment just yet! It makes it easier if they can even install on there own and I always recommend clip-ins, especially since they can be styled and colored to match their natural hair to blend in.

  6. Misty moye says:

    This was very informative I have used clip ins before and they are the way to go if you want something less expensive. As for the tape-ins didn’t know anything about them really til I read this article. I had made an order a while back with another company before I found PLE and I ask for clip ins and they sent me tape ins and being that I didn’t know what they were I thought the company forgot the clips so I threw them away now I wished I had kept them. Glad y’all have made these articles can’t have a successful hair business if you don’t know hair.

  7. Melissa Brown says:

    This article has a lot of useful information about clip-ins vs. tape-ins. I have never worn either one before. I have always wondered about Clip-ins, and if they really were worth purchasing! After, reading this article I believe I will try the clip-ins over tape-ins, due to the fact of cost and the damage that can be done to your hair.

  8. Tiarra McClendon says:

    This article was very useful. It’s very detailed and simple to read. I have never tried neither one, but if I had to chose I would say clip in extensions, and that’s because I’m a very creative person and I can’t wear one hair styles for too long I have to switch up. Clip-ins give you that option from short to long and different styles and colors. I wouldn’t mind trying the tape in but it seems like it’s a process and is meant to stay in for some time.

  9. Keke G says:

    I Loved This Article Because of Im The Type Of Girl That Loves Bangs 😩❤️ & This Article Really Took It Step By Step. Whenever I Need Hair Tips & Stuff I Always Come On The PLE Website !! Thanks So Much Guys.

  10. Gregory Quail says:

    Coming from a male business owner in this industry as I watch the trending styles I would not be surprised with seeing an increase in sales from tape-in. As it was on back order at the end of the year for most major companies.

  11. Aniyah says:

    I never knew much about clip in’s or tape ins but this article has me ready to try both. It’s very informative and the different and pros and cons love it love it 😍

  12. Sulan Alexander says:

    This was a great article, seldom you see persons selling hair provide so much information about hair extensions and the various uses, this exactly why I love Private Label, I have learned so much and have also been giving my clients and persons as much information and options as I can.

    Clip-ins were one of the first sets of hair installs I made myself, they are quick and versatile and often times 1-2 bundles are enough, especially if you want a natural-looking finish. I love to braid 1 small plait so the clips have a grip and don’t slip off the hair. A good guide is to leave out a good section around the perimeter of your hair then create the plaits, this way application is easier and less bulky and you get more wear and versatility out of your clip ins, it is also easier to care hair in between if your hair gets greasy quickly, you just do a prewash in between and wash the clip ins and air dry or on a low setting, by the time your hair is washed and dry, your clip ins are ready to be installed and restyled and you can do this at home and save you some coints, which you can’t do with tape ins.

  13. Shanyce smith says:

    I’ve always wanted to know the biggest difference between clip ins and tape ins. Very informative blog! Based on the information provided I am able to give my honest opinion on what is the best choice for my customer!

    1. Private Label Extensions says:

      We are more than happy we can help you with extra information about clip-ins vs. tape-ins! This article talks about the pros and the cons of having either or.

  14. Raquellwashington says:

    I love how the clip-ins said they are not for the lazy! LOL, I haven’t tried either option but I think I would go with the tape in vs clip in. Just for the simplicity of it. It also wouldn’t be as bulky and I’m sure you would be able to wear more versatile styles. I don’t want to have to take my extensions out just so I can go to bed. My only concern is I wouldn’t be able to grease my scalp with the tap-in extensions.

  15. Ronesha says:

    Tape ins is definitely something new to me and I love it thanks for the article 😁😍

  16. Daychell Bridges says:

    Clips ins are my fav!!! I have been wearing them for years! See ins originally, then wigs now clip ins for about 4 years. My son hates weave so I slide in a couple here and there without him even knowing. Great way to have your hair looking so natural and being able to still scratch your own head and have it breathing at the same time as looking fab!

  17. Antilia B says:

    I’ve used clip in before very easy to install and take down but I’ve never tried the tape ins which I just recently been seeing I want to try them.

  18. Lucy says:

    Very insightful and most helpful. Thanks a mil!

  19. Patricia Voydetich says:

    I prefer the clip in hair extensions over all of them, especially if you color your hair. I had my extensions braided. I used this technique for about a year and the last time I had my hair colored and the tracks removed, I noticed breakage. I told my hairdresser that I don’t think my hair can handle the tracks being sewn in. Plus I would spend a lot of money doing protein conditioning on my hair everytime I removed them every 2 mos.

    We tried tape-ins and it was horrible after 2 weeks. They were sticky and coming out. I sweat a lot. The adhesive was gummy and I had to take them out myself. It took me a 1 1/2 very carefully coming out the adhesive with bond glue removed for hair extension, so I can see where it can break your hair.

    I did a conditioning treatment after.

    Then I saw a video on how you could superglue the wig clips to hair extensions, I did it and put them in myself! I love it, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all and I can remove them when I wash my hair and let my scalp breathe. I have 18inch hair extensions and loving it

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