When to Wash Your Hair Extensions

Most human hair extensions are made with 100% human hair or mainly human hair and a small percent fiber. This means these extensions could be cared for like your natural hair.  But you should know that human hair extensions are free from the natural oils that your scalp produces; therefore, there is no need to wash them too often. A general rule of thumb is that your hair extensions last longer when you don't wash them all the time. At least once a month seems okay. However, if you notice that the extension has too much product buildup, it is due for a wash.

You would know that your extensions need to be washed when they:


  • Smell horrible as a result of sweat and product buildup
  • Feel unusually dank, heavy, or dirty
  • It becomes increasingly difficult to style

As you probably know, hair extensions give your natural hair a fuller, vibrant and thicker look, which is why we can't do without them!

The problem is some of these extensions (no matter how expensive) don't last!

A couple of weeks later, they become practically useless. So after spending all that money to own a much-coveted Remy human hair extension, you telling me I can't wear it forever? Nay, nay!

Even though we make sure that our hair extensions are made with the highest quality, it is important that you follow certain steps to ensure that they last.

How to Clean Your Hair Extension

STEP 1- Brush them properly

If You wash your hair extensions without properly brushing them, you might have a tangled mess in your hands. Wet tangled hair is an absolute fright, and it takes so much time and energy to unravel. Word of advice? Always detangle your extensions before dunking them in water. Start by detangling the hair with a wide-tooth comb or soft-bristle brush. Gently brush from top to bottom to unravel any tough knot till the whole thing is detangled. If the extensions are clip-on, arrange them on top of each other to ensure the hair isn't sticking to the clips.

STEP 2- Prepare your sink

You don't want any grime from the sink sticking to your extensions, so you have to clean it up. Next, fill it with lukewarm water (helps the grease come out quickly) after plugging the drain. If you can't use a sink, you can use a large bowl, it works just fine.

STEP 3- Squirt Some Mild Shampoo in the Water

Just like your natural hair, you need to wash your extensions with shampoo and conditioner. But, you have to be careful about the ingredients included in the bottles. For best results, use a mild sulfate-free and Alcohol-free shampoo for this wash. Since hair extensions are devoid of natural oils that cling to our scalp and hair strands, it is prone to dryness. Using a harsh product that contains alcohol or sulfate dries the hair even further, making it prone to shedding and tangling. Add 2 to 3 drops of the mild, moisturizing shampoo to the lukewarm water and create a lather.

STEP 4- Apply the shampoo to the hair extensions

Hold the hair extension weft at the top, apply some shampoo on the hair and submerge it into the lather. Carefully streak your fingers through the hair and wash with light strokes to prevent tangling. This isn't your natural hair, so avoid scrubbing them vigorously as you clean it. Set each weft aside after washing till you have gone through the whole hair extensions.

STEP 5- Apply Conditioner

Conditioner repairs breakage and gives the hair a soft, silky look. So, spread some conditioner liberally on the extensions from top to bottom and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. Then, thoroughly rinse off the product with clean water.

STEP 6- Apply a Hair Mask or Deep Conditioner

Our hair extensions require some good old pampering to serve us for a long time. Maintain their softness and keep them moisturized by liberally applying a hair mask into every weft. Put the masked extensions into a shower cap and leave overnight so that the hair can have some fun soaking up all that moisturizing goodness.

STEP 7- Rinse out the products properly

The temptation to leave some of the products in by not rinsing out the hair is real. With all that silky-smooth thang going on from the conditioner and hair mask, you may not want to rinse it all off. But that would be a disaster, and it's setting up your extensions for the trash sooner than later. Left-on products have a nasty way of weighing down the hair extension and becoming greasy when it's dried out. Rather than leaving products in the hair extension, simply rinse with cold water. It's the best way to lock in the moisture.

STEP 8- Air-dry

Now that the whole washing and rinsing is out of the way, gently squeeze any excess water. Do not rub the hair dry with a towel; this could cause damage or tangles. Remember the dreaded wet, tangled monster?

Instead, air-dry them, or use a microfiber towel to remove the excess water carefully. Avoid using heat, but if you must blow-dry the hair, use a heat protectant spray. Heat damage on hair extensions is a real problem. So you want to make sure that you're not damaging the goods while drying them up. We will discuss later how to blow-dry your extensions without damaging them.

When purchasing your products be sure to avoid those containing ingredients like:

  • Ethanol
  • SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
  • Alcohol Denat
  • SD Alcohol 40
  • Propanol
  • Isopropyl
  • Propyl

And so on…

These products have very drying qualities and could be harsh on your hair extensions.

Also, minimize the use of sticky products such as hair gel, hair wax, or hair spray, as these could easily clog up your extensions and lead to frequent product buildup.


Do I Need To Wash My New Hair Extensions Before I Wear Them?

Yes, you should, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Most hair extensions have humectants applied all over them for preservation purposes. These substances could cause some allergic reactions on your skin or scalp. So, yes, we recommend washing your new extensions before installing them. Asides from this, some hair extensions are prepared, packaged, or transported in unhealthy conditions, which may cause some problems for you. Unless the extensions company has followed all the safety rules and has no harmful products on the hair, do not install them without washing.

Can I Blow Dry My Hair Extensions After Washing?

Not advisable.

Heat can easily damage your human hair extensions. That's why it's better to invest in a microfiber towel that could easily dry off any excess water,  or you can air-dry the hair all through.

However,  if you must blow-dry,  it's best to follow these steps.


  • Use a heat protectant spray. Protect the hair extension from heat damage by using a heat protectant spray before you blow-dry.
  • Set to Low or cool. Resist the temptation to crank the heat up for a faster process. Instead, put the blow-dryer at cool setting to prevent any heat damage
  • Do not brush your hair extensions during blow-drying. Wet hair is at its weakest, so brushing through while blow-drying is courting trouble. Allow the hair extension to dry up to about 90% before brushing it out.
  • Start with the root of the weft. This takes more time to get dry, so you want to focus on the roots of the weft before going down the hair to the ends.
  • Don't blow dry your extensions in different directions. That's on, hello tangled mess! No. Don't do it. Blow-dry your hair in a downwards movement, from weft root down to tips. This will prevent the hair from getting tangled easily as you blow-dry.

What is the Best Shampoo/Conditioner for my Hair Extensions?

It's best to use sulfate-free and alcohol-free products to care for your hair extensions.

Alcohol and sulfate are great for cutting down grease and drying excess oils from the hair. Considering that hair extensions can not naturally hydrate themselves like our natural hair, they need to be moisturized as often as possible. These ingredients will strip the much-needed moisture from the hair,  leaving it dry and prone to tangling. It is best to avoid products that contain ingredients like these. You can check above for other similar components that aren't good for your hair extensions. Go for mild products specifically created for dry and damaged hair. Ingredients like Argan oil, castor oil, and coconut oil are great for human hair extensions.

Do I Need to Wash My Hair Extensions To Get Rid of Its Curls?

No, you don't have to.

Remember that you want to avoid washing your hair extensions every other day. It's simply not worth the risk, especially when you just want to change your style. Thoroughly brush out the curls carefully and use a hair straightener to set it straight. Don't forget to use a heat protectant spray before stretching the hair. Use low-medium heat settings to avoid heat damage.


How you store your hair also goes a long way to keeping your hair extensions protected for a long time. We'll talk about this later.

Well, that's it on when to Wash Your hair extensions! I hope you learned a thing or two here.

Have you had any experiences with your extensions, or do you have a unique way of making them last longer? Please, tell us in the comment section. We would love to hear about them.



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