July 6, 2021

How To Wash Tape In Hair Extensions

How To Wash Tape In Hair Extensions

Table of Contents

New To Tape-In Extensions? We Got You!

You left the salon full of confidence with your new, luxurious locks. Let that confidence keep going, even in the shower. 

Tape in hair extensions requires little more maintenance than your natural hair. You can be confident in taking care of your fresh look with just a few simple steps.

Depending upon your extensions brand, you may need to wait 2 or 3 days before you wash your hair. Be sure to use a shampoo designed for extensions or sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates can damage the bonds, which can cause your extensions to become loose or fall out.

I am Jane, and I am a licensed cosmetologist who worked in Paul Mitchell and Redken salons. I am trained in several hair extension techniques, allowing me to share with you my years of knowledge.

This article will help you learn how to wash your tape in hair extensions to help them last longer.

Keep reading to learn more! 

How To Wash Your Tape In Extensions -Detailed Steps

Your tape in hair extensions needs to be washed and kept clean, or they could break or fall out. Don’t panic, just follow this simple guide to keep your tape-ins as beautiful as when they left the salon.

Step 1: Brush Your Hair

Keeping your extensions tangle-free will extend their life considerably. To avoid pulling on your extensions or making tangles worse, only use a brush designed for hair extensions. The bristles are gentle on hair extensions.

With your hair extension brush, start at the ends and gently work your way up the hair shaft. You will continue all the way to the scalp. Hair extensions need to be brushed at least twice to three times a day to keep them smooth and tangle-free.

Now you are ready to shampoo your tape in hair extensions.

Step 2: Apply Shampoo

Use a shampoo that is designed for hair extensions or sulfate-free shampoo. Squeeze about a quarter size amount of shampoo onto your fingers then apply the shampoo to your entire scalp only. 

Do not put shampoo on your midshaft or ends as this will strip the natural oils, making your hair drier. The shampoo is for your scalp only.

Gently massage your scalp in a back and forth or see-saw motion. When massaging your scalp, do not go in circles as that can cause tangles.

The best technique to shampoo your extensions is to start at the front of your hairline and gently work your fingers in a “see-saw” pattern towards the back of your head. Then start at your temples, working the shampoo into the scalp to remove sweat and excess oils.

Continue around your front hairline until you reach the back. Start at the bottom hairline and work your way up towards the top of your hair. Remember to use the see-saw motion. Once your entire scalp is clean, it is time to rinse. 

When you rinse, gently massage the midshaft and ends. The shampoo will remove product build-up and excess oils without damaging the ends. Be mindful of rinsing all shampoo residue to prevent drying of scalp and hair.


Normally it takes 2 or 3 washes to clean your scalp and hair properly. Also, it usually only takes a small amount of product to clean your hair. If you use too much, it can dry your hair and scalp, leaving your hair dull. 

Step 3: Apply Conditioner 

Use a conditioner that is designed for your extensions or a sulfate-free conditioner. Squeeze about a quarter size amount of conditioner into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together to warm up the conditioner.

Apply the conditioner on the midshaft and ends ONLY. Be mindful to avoid getting oils/conditioners near the bonds holding the extensions. Oils will loosen the adhesive bonds allowing the extension to slip or even fall out prematurely. 

Rinse completely, until water runs clear to avoid product buildup that dries out your hair and scalp.

Step 4: Towel Dry 

After you have shampooed, conditioned your hair, and rinsed completely, now it’s time to dry your tape in hair extensions. Start at the scalp, gently blot your hair. Midshaft and ends, be gentle with your hair as you gently remove excess water.

Using a soft terry cloth towel, gently press sections of your hair and extensions between folds of the towel. You will want to remove the excess water without pulling on the adhesive tape, which can damage the bond. 

Once your hair is towel-dried, it is time to blow your hair dry. Water can damage the bonds, so you will want to keep your extensions dry.

Step 5: Dry Your Hair with a Hairdryer

Use a heat protector and a leave-in conditioner on the midshaft to the ends of your hair. This will keep both your natural hair and extensions soft and manageable.

With a wide-tooth comb, starting at the ends, gently remove any tangles. Work in small sections, clip excess hair out of the way if needed before blow-drying your hair.

Gently brush your hair and extensions with your hair extension brush. Avoid heat in the area where the tape/bonds are at keeping the tape intact. 


Let’s take a look at some useful tips for washing tape in hair extensions.

  • To prevent tangles, loosely braid your hair at night. A silk pillowcase can help with manageability and shine.
  • Do not over-shampoo your hair! You may wash your hair 2 to only three times a week. Curly hair can get by washing your hair once a week.
  • Hold your hair close to the roots when combing/brushing to prevent pulling on the extensions.
  • If you want to extend the lifespan of your hair extensions, apply hair oil before storing them.
  • Moroccan Argan oil on the mid shafts and ends can prevent breakage and keep extensions soft and manageable. Use at night for best results.
  • Brush or comb your hair 2 to 3 times a day to keep hair tangle-free.
  • If you have dyed your extensions, you may need to be extra gentle when you wash and conditioning your tape-ins.


Here are some quick answers to most commonly asked questions relating to washing tape in hair extensions.

How Soon Can I Wash My Tape In Hair Extensions?

The bonds of the tape in extensions need at least 48 hours to set. So wait two days before washing your tape in hair extensions for the first time.

If you need to shower, wear a shower cap to protect the bonds from getting wet. Water can loosen the bonds allowing the extension to come loose or fall off. 

How Often Can I Wash My Tape In Hair Extensions?

Your bonds for the tape in extensions are fragile. Overwashing your hair can weaken the bonds, thus shortening the life of your extensions.

To maintain the bonds, it is best to wash your hair twice a week to no more than three shampoos a week. If you have curly hair, you can get it by washing your hair only once a week. 

What Type of Shampoo and Conditioner Can I Use?

Hair extensions require special products to maintain manageability as well as be safe for the bonds. Regular shampoo is too harsh and can loosen the bonds, requiring a trip to the salon to fix them. 

You will look for shampoos that are designed for the unique needs of hair extensions and wigs. Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners are other options.  Ask your stylist for recommendations.  

Can I go Swimming in My Tape In Hair Extensions?

Water is the nemesis of tape-in extensions. Water can loosen bonds leaving the extensions to weaken and fall off. Chlorine and saltwater can be exceptionally damaging.

Unfortunately, you will need to avoid going swimming. You do not want to run the risk of the extensions getting wet and becoming damaged from the water. 


Taking care of your tape-in hair extensions is not much more difficult than your natural hair. Use products designed for your hair extensions, sulfate-free products, heat protectors, and leave-in conditioners.

Brush your extensions 2 or 3 times a day. Following these will extend the life of your tape-in hair extensions, saving you costly trips to the salon.

We do care about your natural hair too, that’s why we have also written an article about how to repair your hair after removing extensions. Just go and take a look at it so you will have great hairs at all times!


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