Types of Tape
Hair system tape is available in various sizes and shapes, and different types can be combined to accommodate most hair systems. All tape is double-sided – one side sticks to the base material and the other side to your scalp.
Tapes are generally divided into these categories: rolls, straight strips, curved contour strips and mini tabs.
Typically, rolls of hair system tape are good if you are looking for value. They come in different lengths, such as 3 yards, 15 yards and 36 yards. They are often used by professional salons, who use more tape than individuals, but individuals do purchase tape rolls as well. They are available in different widths, such as 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch. This is helpful if you need to match the width of your poly perimeter.
Contours, strips and mini tabs
If you don’t have the time or desire to cut pieces of tape from rolls and try to match the curvature of the perimeter of your base, tape contours, strips and mini tabs are very convenient.
Strips are typically about 3 inches in length, and mini tabs about 1-1/2 inches in length. They come in various degrees of curvature (A, B, C, D, etc.) and are already cut to size for you. They also allow for a much more precise application, as the contours are curved to more closely match your base shape, and don’t create wrinkles when you apply tape around a curve (as is common with long strips from rolls of tape). You can design your base to match a particular tape contour, or ask your hair tech which tape will fit your base most precisely. You may combine two or three; for example, you might use a D contour in the front and an A contour on the rest of the system.
Many people prefer mini tabs because the pieces are smaller and easier to apply around odd curves. Typically they are only available in one curvature, but some are available in different widths.
Some tapes (not all) have a little bit of “give” to them, allowing you to bend the tape a little as you apply it to the hair system. All tapes can be further customized by cutting them into smaller pieces, or trimming the curve to more closely match your system.
Straight strips are helpful to those who want a strip of tape running from the front of the system to the back, as well as elsewhere on the base.
Also, if you use red liner tape, it too comes in rolls, contours and straight strips for your convenience.
Variables to consider before choosing tape
In addition to choosing rolls or contours, or which contour will work best for you, be sure to consider these variables before purchasing tape:
- Type of base material (skin/poly perimeter or lace)
- Extended-wear or daily wear
- Skin type (normal, sensitive or oily skin)
- Density (we recommend no and low shine tape for lighter densities with lace bases)
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of recommendations. Keep in mind that which tape works for you depends on your body chemistry and expectations. Please expect to try several before you settle on one.