Dos, don’ts and everything you should know how to wash hair extensions

Hair extensions are becoming prevalent these days. They can be considered as must-have items of most girls and celebrities. In fact, hair extensions are the expensive investment; therefore, nobody wants to change them so frequently.

So people are all seeking for a solution to extend their lifespan as long as possible. For that reason, how to wash hair extensions becomes one of the hottest keywords searched in Google. In this article, I will answer all your possible questions and I am sure that after reading it, you will never be worried about the question of how.

Note to save this guideline and if there are queries that we have not mentioned yet, please comment and let us know your wonders of how to wash hair extensions.

Dos of how to wash hair extensions

 To your surprise, there is not many things that you have to do to keep your hair integrations long-lasting as in nature, they do not require a high level of maintenance. The key focus is on HOW you do these daily rituals when hair extensions have already been attached.

Depending on types and qualities, care plans to solve the question ‘how to wash hair extensions’ can vary slightly. However, the following tips can be applied on any type of hair extensions and you only need to combine tips from us with special pieces of advice from your stylist then your care will be great.

All the things that you need in every step of washing should be brush, comb, high-quality shampoo, conditioner, water and towel. It seems easy at first place but to be detailed in each stage, it requires your attention and efforts.

Recommended time for washing

how to wash hair extensions

It is noted that the less you wash, the longer your hair extensions will be. There are various things that should be allowed for when thinking about washing your artificial hair. It is recommended that you should wash once or two times per week. However, it depends on how dirty the build-up is and how much you work out.

Do know to brush carefully before learning how to wash hair extensions

To brush in a proper manner, you are likely to choose the hair brush wisely. Brushes and combs with fine close spaced teeth are not on the list of recommended tools as they tend to get the hair mattered or caught. Be gentle all the times in order to avoid shedding and tangling. Please treat it as your real hair.


how to wash hair extensions
Cushioned brush, soft bristle brush and wide tooth comb.

Should you can spend some extra time in the morning for your hair integrations, it will be great. Running your fingers gently through the hair or combing it out in a good way all do good to your investment. If you are an active person and sometimes you find yourself bad-tempered, do keep calm and say no to scrub your scalp and hair.

Do detangle your hair

Detangling is a good habit to build as the benefits it brings about will be beyond your expectation. No matter which style you are wearing, finger detangling facilitates hair silk and minimizes its shed and tangle. What’s more, for textured hair such as curly or wavy, finger detangling helps to reduce over-manipulation while keeping the curls/wave nearly be in mint conditions.

Do choose the right products

Although it is not your real hair, it does not mean you could use whichever products you like. Do pick up shampoos and hair conditioners carefully and you can ask for your stylist’s advice.

We recommend that you should utilize shampoos which are specifically designed for dry hair. In other words, dry shampoo is a girl’s bestie when you have hair extensions. The best recipe in our guide: how to wash hair extensions is to mix half a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of shampoo.

For me, Aveda Color Conserve shampoo is a wise choice and I also bought a leave in conditioner here. They will help to intensely moisturise and nourish hair integrations rather than to add volume or protect color as others still do. As long as you keep them away from their base and always condition from middle throughout ends. The price is $21, which I find it reasonable!

how to wash hair extensions
A girl’s besties

However, it is just my suggestion. You do not have to follow what I use for my hair care. Should it be a gentle or sulfate free product, it will keep your artificial hair safe and healthy.

Do rinse it all out

It may be common knowledge for all girls who are wearing hair extensions. When it comes to how to wash hair extensions, it is necessary to rinse it all out downwardly (in a way that strands fall out). Without rinsing out, product residue left causes irritation on your scalp or makes considerable hair loss.

For natural hair, you can stand under the spray for 30 seconds to one minute to provide enough water to eliminate shampoos or leave-ins. Meanwhile, hair extensions do require a wash basin for better hair care.

how to wash hair extensions
A wash basin is vital for hair integrations

Do give it a massage

‘Treat your hair extensions like your own hair’ is the invocation of all times. You do not need to go to salon for a professional massage. Just use your fingerprints to work in circular motions, beginning from the hairline and moving down to the nape of your neck.

how to wash hair extensions
It is nothing different from massaging your own hair…

 Do air dry

I have met quite a few clients who want to know how to wash hair extensions and they had one question in common – ‘is it okay if I let them air dry?’. Actually, air dry is one of the best things that you can do for your hair extensions. You can hang them up to dry straight and avoid damaging its texture and style.

 Don’t when washing hair extensions

You must be obsessed with a list of dos that I have aforementioned but it is just one part of a long guide of how to wash hair extensions. There are various things that you should never do. Let’s explore tips relatively and record them if you want.

Don’t do things with excessive amounts

Oily products are not recommended, especially at the top of extensions where they are attached to your natural hair. Say no to serums or anything greasy as they are likely to break down hair bond.

how to wash hair extensions

Don’t over-wash

By over-washing, I mean it is essential for you not to over-shampoo or make use of greasy items. The ultimate way to wash hair extensions is to cleanse the ends & scalp and to be away from their midshaft. When conditioning, you need to focus on the ends.

Don’t wash hair extension with hot/cold water

This note is the very basic thing that you need to know before you can learn more about how to wash hair extensions carefully. Never keep your H2O be in one extreme – hot or cold because the heat damages the cuticle, facilitating the penetration of shampoo. On the other hand, cold water closes the cuticle, which is not good for hair extensions’ longevity.

how to wash hair extensions
Luke water is another thing you must remember

 # Don’t sleep with wet hair

One more basic thing is that you should not sleep with wet hair. Sleeping while your hair is wet will cause hair breakage, tangling, dullness and mold. Please do not treat hair extensions as an alien. They are a part of your body now; thus, they need to be dried and comb properly after being washed.

Don’t air dry overnight

No matter what your hair type is, it is important to be aware of the risks of letting your hair integrations dry freely without ANY interference. This warning seems to surprise many readers who are following my guide: how to wash hair extensions.

Especially highly textured hair integrations, air-drying overnight results in loose waves. You have paid a fortune to possess these luxurious textured strands. If it were for this big mistake, you would do have to spend money, which I am sure that you do not expect to. To prevent this unwanted situation, let’s wrap hair in a bun and ‘stick’ at the crown of your head.

Do not use heat tools too much

As I mentioned earlier, just like your natural hair, the heat helps to open the cuticle of hair integrations. Therefore, too much mechanical heat is not recommended for fear of damaging your ‘babies’. If you are in a rush and you are forced to use heat tools, never forget a heat protectant.

how to wash hair extensions
There are hundreds of heat protectants in form of spray that you can take a look at!

# Do not wash in 48 hours since hair extensions are applied

This is one of the most frequently questions that I have ever received. Why 48 hours? As your hair integrations need time to cure and become as healthy as it is. If you do not have any special occasions that urge you to wash, it will be ideal if your wait for 3-4 days. Only two times a week and wash gentle – it is the focus when learn how to wash hair extensions.

Do not go crazy with hair extensions

Well, it it the case that treat hair extensions as yours. However, in case you are in bad-tempered and want to tear hair out, please keep calm as hair extensions are just artificial. Eventually, they are not yours and they are expensive to buy.

As a habit, you have a tendency to use the towel and squeeze water out of hair extensions. This will definitely tangle your strands and now their perfect texture is ruined by just a few motions. Be gentle and do not go mad with them.

how to wash hair extensions
Air dry for a soft and touchable finish

General steps to follow when washing hair extensions

Step 1: Remove your hair extensions from the scalp and detangle if needed

For clip-in, never forget to remove the metal in the clips to avoid damage when washing. For weave and keratin-bonded hair extensions, you need to remove attachment only. Notes of detangling have already been mentioned in the first part.

Step 2: Prepare a wash basin and soak up hair integrations

how to wash hair extensions
Pay attention to the direction you should soak up hair (Source:


Step 3: Apply shampoo throughout hair and rinse it all out

Lather and clean hair with shampoo in no more than 10 minutes. Combine to use wide-tooth comb to detangle hair if needed.

Step 4: Conditioning your artificial hair

In this step, apply the conditioner that is suitable (see how to pick up the right one in the first part). It is suggested that you should massage in a dollop of conditioner. Finally, rinse again with luke water.

Step 5: The final step is to air dry your hair extensions

So, this is the end of the ultimate guide: how to wash hair extensions. Now, you are completely confident in washing hair professionally as if you were trained in the salon. Better care, better hair.

If you are meticulous in each detail, it means you are saving your time and money. Should you have any questions that need to be solve, do not hesitate to comment or inbox us. We will ensure to help you to make a better decision and a quicker solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there anything that I need to take notice of if I have clip-in hair extensions?

A: As for clip-in hair, the only thing that you need to remember is to remove the metal to avoid unwanted damage. Ah, one more thing is that you should ask your stylist’s advice to choose a better product because there are some items that are specifically made for clip-in. If you use these ones, the lifespan of your hair extensions will be enhanced.

Q: Wow, it is a long guide, actually and this is the first time I have spent my time on exploring these details. The thing is that I am suffering from hair loss and of course, I do not want to. I have purchased Brazilian virgin 14-inch weave for just a month and I do not know how to minimize hair loss. I am having a super ugly short hair and I cannot live without hair extensions. However, I just cannot afford to buy weave once per month. Really need help!

A: Hair loss originates from many reasons and from my perspective, in your case, wrong products lead to hair loss. Maybe you are using sulfate shampoos or conditioners. If yes, please replace them by sulfate-free products. If no, please just tell us what kinds of products you are using. I am sure that your 14 inch weave from Brazil is high-quality enough and it can last at least 3 months.

Hair Care Expert at Ivirgo Hair | + posts

I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.

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