Human hair

Tape-In vs Sew-In Extensions

Published By: Dasia

Last Updated: June 28, 2022

Deciding what type of extensions are ideal for you can be a long process. Depending on your lifestyle, the perfect extension installation can vary. 

Some common extensions that are desired include tape-ins along with sew-in extensions. 

Let’s take a look at some of the major differences and what may be a better option for you. 

Tape-in vs Sew-in Extensions

Breaking down the different areas of these extensions will help you to consider some key factors. 


Tape-ins are a great natural-looking choice for anyone in the market for extensions. They lay flat against the head allowing bulk-free movement that lasts a few weeks. While they do require a bit of maintenance, you can’t beat the comfort they provide. 

The price point of these extensions is something to consider. Compared with sew-in extensions, you can expect to pay an additional $100 to $200. You may even have to add on an installation fee if you go to a stylist. 

Getting these extensions installed by a stylist is the best way to go. They are trained to properly install the hair without harming your natural locks. This definitely adds to the overall cost. 

Pros and Cons of Tape-in Extensions 


  • Natural looking – Tape-in extensions are able to lay flat against your head causing little to no bulk, creating a natural look.
  • Longevity – You can leave these types of extensions in for weeks at a time. Once you start seeing a good amount of new growth, this is your sign to get them removed and, if desired, reinstalled. 
  • Comfort – The base of tape-in extensions is very slim and since they lay so flat, they don’t cause any unnecessary discomfort. 


  • Maintenance – Once the hair starts to grow out, the extensions can start to look unkempt and will need to be taken out and reinstalled if desired. 
  • Price point – These types of extensions cost significantly more than sew-ins and you almost always have to pay a stylist to install them as it’s difficult to install on your own.
  • Installation – It’s generally not encouraged to install tape-ins on your own. This means you have to rely on someone else to accomplish your desired look. 


Sew-ins are great beginner-friendly extension methods. They allow you to completely cover your natural hair which allows it to grow without any damaging influences. 

These types of extensions can also be installed at home. This means you will only have to pay the cost of the product which can be around $100. Do keep in mind the result may not be as natural as a tape-in extension. 

Finding the balance between securing your hair underneath the extensions without it being too tight and allowing the hair to be as flat as possible can be a bit difficult. Also, keep in mind you may have to utilize some leave out. While it does help the hair blend better, it can cause damage if used too frequently. 

Pros and Cons of Sew-in Extensions 


  • Price – Sew-in extensions are significantly cheaper than tape-ins. Not only can you install them yourself, but you can get a complete pack of hair for around $100. 
  • Protection – Your hair is completely tucked underneath when you have a sew-in extension. This ensures your hair is totally protected from any outside elements and creates a true protective style. 


  • Leave out – Oftentimes, leave out is used with sewing extensions. If not taken care of properly, damage can be done in the long run. 
  • Tension – Your hair is generally braided underneath the extensions and if not done properly, lots of excessive tension can occur. Not only can this make it uncomfortable it can also cause damage if it happens too often. 
  • Doesn’t lay as flat – Since you have hair braided underneath these extensions It can cause a bit of bulk. If not styled correctly, it can look quite unnatural. 

Main Differences 

The two main differences between these types of extensions are the price point and the naturalness achieved. These are two big factors that can really end up affecting your overall decision. 

Sew-in extensions are significantly cheaper than tape-ins and are a great choice if you’re on a budget. You can easily save $100 to $200 by going this route. 

If you’re looking for something more natural, tape-ins may be a better choice. These extensions lay flat against the head and if installed right, blend well with your natural hair. 

Are tape-in or sew-in extensions better?

The type of extension you choose will greatly depend on your lifestyle. Certain factors you can take into account are how much money you’re willing to spend along with how natural you would like the installation to look. Keep in mind with tape-in extensions you can clearly see the new growth and a little bit more maintenance will be required. 

You might be interested in: Tape-In vs Clip-In Extensions

Do tape-in extensions destroy your hair?

No, tape-in extensions do not destroy the hair. To ensure your hair is fully protected you want to go to a qualified stylist. They will likely have training on the best way to install these types of extensions to ensure the health of your hair. It’s not advised to install tape-in extensions on your own as it can lead to more problems. 

Read More: Do Tape in Extensions Damage Hair?

Which hair extension method is the best?

There is no set answer as to which hair extension method is the best. This will depend greatly on your lifestyle. There are certain extensions that are cheaper, less abrasive, and more flexible, but it really depends on what you want. Doing research prior to installation will result in you achieving the ideal install for you. 

You might be interested in: What Hair Extensions Are Least Damaging

The Bottomline 

Both of these types of extensions are great choices. They allow you to add volume, and length, and switch up your style without being permanent.

The price point and naturalness are two of the biggest differences we would want to consider prior to installation.

Keep in mind, at the end of the day, the best choice will greatly depend on your personal needs. Either way, you’re sure to be happy with your choice. 


A lover of all things beauty related whose been in the industry for about 5 years. While I'd love to say I'm a self-taught prodigy, I'm actually a licensed cosmetologist who has spent countless hours studying hair. I quickly learned sharing valuable information with like-minded individuals allows everyone to make the right choices when dealing with their hair. As a curly girl myself I love to experiment with different styles on a regular basis. While I do have a busy schedule between work, freelancing, and school; I always seem to find time for my hair.

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