Tape-ins and microlinks are a new hairstyle obsession for Black women

Protecting your hair has a new meaning and this latest trend may be around for a while
Tape-ins and microlinks are a new hairstyle obsession for Black women
Photo courtesy of Gillian Shaw

Tape-in and micro-link extensions are the hottest things on the black hair market. This technique has risen in popularity due to its seamless installation process and the natural look it gives basic hairstyles. Tape-ins are hair extensions glued to a piece of removable tape and pressed onto your natural hair, lasting about 4-6 weeks. Micro links are hair extensions attached to a metal loop that links to small strands of hair to add length and texture. This style lasts 8-12 weeks. 

A hair professional will recommend one of these trending hair installations as the best option for women who wish to enhance their hair appearance but are unsure about which route to go. Depending on the hair extension length and texture, these installs can cost anywhere from $285.00 – $600.00. Many wouldn’t consider micro-links a ‘protective style’ due to the need for maintenance and possible damage to your hair if left in too long. If you have finely textured hair, tape-ins wouldn’t be a good option because they can cause breakage or extreme damage. 


Wigs were a massive deal for black women to explore, but over time they have become too costly and hard to maintain. With tape-ins or micro links, the hair can be put into a ponytail, two braids, or however you would style your natural hair without any noticeable additions. Influencer and personal stylist Gillian Shaw is an avid micro link patron who says that not having to worry about obvious hair weave showing is a big plus. 

How did you decide which hair installation option was best for you?

I compared my hair type to the extension available. Before the installation, my stylist shows me tape-in attachments and micro links. I have very soft, straight hair when pressed, so the micro links blended well with my natural hair texture. They also last longer, although they cost a bit more.


What can you share for someone who wants to try micro links but may be nervous about the results?

Hairstylists will usually require a consultation before installation. There, you can see which option works best, and they will wash, blow dry and straighten your hair during the consultation for the best results. I dyed my micro-links to match my natural hair color with a few brown highlights. It is so versatile and the best hairstyle if I want to work out or go out. I like to wear mine in a bun or in a ponytail when I need a professional look. It is also a great option if you love to wear your natural hair, but want to add more length.

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