As professional hair extension stylists, we have seen it all, from damaging weaves, to poor installation and of course, bad quality hair extensions. However, one of the most common questions we are asked to date as trusted stylists is: Why do we recommend Nano-link extensions over Tape-in extensions? Before we get started on that, lets go back to some basic Nano-Link knowledge.
What are Nano Link Extensions?
Nano links are one of the newest methods of hair extension application techniques, offering a safe, comfortable and discrete application. The process consists of a tiny, bead that is 90% smaller than traditional application rings, along with a keratin tip that supports a metal loop, which is squeezed closed to form a strong tip that is inserted into the bead before being clamped with pliers. The extension is fitted behind strands of the clients’ own, natural hair before clamping to secure the bead.
Advantages of Nano-Link Extensions:
- No heat or adhesives are used in application
- No harsh chemicals to remove residues
- Suited for medical hair loss (see more information on this)
- Suited for even the thinnest hair
- Smaller, more discrete installation
- Versatile styling possibilities
- More accurate colour matching and blending
- If a piece falls out its only one piece versus a larger weft (leaving a gap in your hairstyle)
- Safe & Innovative Technology
- Reusable hair
- No Damage
- Promotes natural hair growth
- Individual strand installation
Disadvantages of Nano-Link Extensions:
- Time consuming (1-3 hours) depending on how much hair you’re installing
- Regular maintenance
- Beads may fade colour with washing
- Professional installation only
What are Tape-in Extensions?
Tape in hair extensions consists of thin pre-taped wefts that essentially get placed between the front and the back of a section of hair. These wefts are around 1 inch in width and consist of a glue substance (usually keratin), which simply attach to the hair in minutes and last for around 1-2 months before maintenance.
This sounds lovely, right? WRONG. We will list the pro’s and con’s of this method of extension application as well, with an overall analysis of why we do not recommend tape-ins.
Advantages of Tape-in Extensions:
- Fast and easy installation
- Lay relatively flat
- May come in high quality
- Doesnt require alot of training to install
- The tape ins tug on individual hairs causing thinning and bald spots
- Chemicals required to remove the tape-in weft
- When a tape-in falls out, a residue is left on the hair which catches and breaks your natural hair
- Cant wear your hair up in a tight ponytail without seeing the weft
- Sticky, uncomfortable
- Detectable and harder to style hair
- Limits possibilities of hair styling
- If you lose wefts, a large visible section is noticeably missing
- Thins and damages the natural hair with chronic application
- Meant to be worn for occasional wear (ex. Wedding, birthday, etc.) Not for permanent long-term use
- Susceptible to moulding if hair is not washed or dried properly
- Harder to blend colours versus strand by strand application
- Not a safe method for Medical Hair loss
- Uncomfortable, heavy, thick.
And finally, WHY we do not recommend Tape-Ins:
I mean if those disadvantages are not enough to scare you away from putting these in your hair, let us further elaborate. Through several years of extensive training and application on thousands of clients, collectively we have seen copious amounts of hair loss and stress on the scalp from chronic use of tape-ins. Not to mention, the removal of the wefts are strenuous on the scalp. It feels like someone is ripping your hair apart in order to get these “sandwiched” things out of your hair. Someone with fragile, thin hair will not benefit from this installation as the hair will be too weak and the extensions would be visible once installed.
The option of having single stranded bonds (nano-links) allows for maximum comfort, with no damage, allowing for a versatile look and endless colour blending options. The longevity of nano’s tend to last longer as no harsh glues are needed, resulting in between a 6 month to 1 year of reusable hair. Nano-links are more forgiving in terms of installing in more delicate spots around the face that other methods cannot discreetly provide.
Lastly, Nano-links are a safe method for women experiencing any sort of medical hair loss, as this method is extremely safe and light on fine hair. However, regardless of whichever extension method you personally prefer, just please ensure that you’re going to a licensed and trained professional. Read this to help you pick a trained professional and how to ensure you’re getting the highest quality of hair extensions.