September 1, 2021

How to Wash Human Hair Extensions

how to wash human hair extensions

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Hooray! You finally joined the hair extensions world! As a woman, looking all glammed up from head to toe adds to your beauty and confidence. I am speaking about the new shoes, well-fitted clothes, make-up, and of course – that voluminous, long, gorgeous mane! 

But then, not all of us were born with such hair, or perhaps we went through a health condition that made us chop it all off. Irrespective of your condition, human hair extensions are meant to help you achieve the look you are going for. 

Hi, my name is Lori and I am a hair extensions fanatic. I have been wearing hair extensions for over 6 years. Washing your extensions properly is the key to extending the lifespan and maintaining unbeatable quality.

Today, I will share with you everything relating to washing your lovely hair extensions, from detailed steps to some useful tips.

Sounds good? Keep reading!

How to Wash Human Hair Extensions – Detailed Steps

Here are the detailed steps to wash human hair extensions.

Step 1: Detangle Your Extensions

Hair extensions must be detangled before being washed. This process makes it easier for you to brush through your extensions once you are out of the shower and significantly reduces the amount of shedding that may occur. 

Regardless of the kind of extension you have, start from the ends towards the roots. Be sure to use a wide-tooth comb for this process.

Step 2: Pre-shampoo Treatment

Cleaning your hair extensions actually starts before they come into contact with water. A pre-shampoo treatment will not only nourish and cleanse your extensions but also hydrate them just as sebum hydrates your scalp. 

Allowing your pre-shampoo treatment to sit in overnight will benefit your natural hair as well! However, if you don’t have time, pre-shampooing for 30 minutes still makes a huge difference.

Step 3: Use a Sulfate-free Shampoo

Once the pre-shampoo treatment is done, it is finally time to shampoo and washes your hair! Simply hop into the shower and apply a generous amount of sulfate-free shampoo to your scalp. 

Gently massage your scalp, being careful not to overdo it on the bonds. Allow the water to wash off the lather in the direction that your hair grows. Washing your hair with your head flipped upside down encourages tangling and might leave some hair products on your scalp. Sulfate-free shampoos are ideal as they don’t strip off your natural hair its natural oils.

Step 4: Apply Conditioner

Naturally, your hair strands have protective cuticle layers. These layers protect your strands and also reflect sunlight to give your hair that natural shine you normally see. 

During the day, exposure to the sun’s rays breaks down this protective layer, leaving your hair dull. Applying a conditioner (to both your natural hair and human hair extensions) helps restore their body and natural shine. Two things to note though:

  • Ensure your conditioner is evenly spread all the way to the roots of your hair.
  • Apply leave-in conditioner during the day if you have curly human hair extensions or braids.

Step 5: Dry Your Extensions

Once you are done washing your extensions, squeeze out excess water and allow your hair extensions to air dry. You can use a microfiber towel to pat your hair dry to quicken the process. Avoid going to bed with wet hair as this will cause massive tangling and breakage. Hair is naturally weaker in its wet state. 

If you have no time and you really must blow-dry your hair, be sure to apply a heat protectant. Use the cool setting and avoid brushing it until when it is almost dry. The blow-drying should be done downwards to smoothen the cuticles and prevent frizz. 

Step 6: Combing/Brushing Your Hair

Gently brush through your hair extension once it is dry. Remember, it is important to use the right tools, a wig brush is prefered. Again, work your way from the ends towards the roots. Detangle any knots you come across before taking another swipe through the strands. 

You are now free to style your hair as desired. You can use a straightener or curling iron, depending on the look you are going for. If your extensions are clip-ins and you don’t want to rock them right away, you can store them safely in their storage box or on an extension hanger. You want them ready to wear whenever you want to rock them!

Experts recommend that hair extension are washed once a week. However, this is highly dependent on how often you wear them, hence the need for personal judgment on how often you should wash your extensions. 

Hair extensions do not need any styling products. If you choose to use some products, be gentle. The goal here is to preserve your extensions so that they can serve you for a longer period of time. 

Quick Tips

Here are some great tips for washing human hair extensions.

  • Always wash all human hair extensions before wearing them. Most of the time, human hair extensions are not ready to wear once out of the box.
  • Rinsing your hair extensions with hot water increases the likelihood of damaging the bonds.
  • Human hair extensions are very weak when wet. It is therefore recommended to avoid brushing them while in this state.
  • Any chemical processing or trimming should be left for hair professionals. 
  • Avoid lifting or bleaching your hair extensions. If you really must change their color, try depositing instead as it tends to provide better results.

Over to You…

As you can see, washing hair extensions is not difficult. All you need to do is be gentle and use the appropriate products. In other words, simply show your human hair extensions the same love you would show your actual hair. 

With proper care and products, human hair extensions are known to last for over two years. Which of these tips did you find most useful? Leave a comment and let us know!


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