Washing your Hair Extensions: Tips for Long-Lasting Beauty

We all deserve to look our best and hair extensions are a fabulous way to add glamour and volume to your hairstyle.

Whether you’re rocking synthetic or human hair, clip-ins, tape-ins, or sew-ins, the secret to keeping them in pristine condition lies in how you wash and care for them.

This comprehensive guide will navigate you through each step of the process, ensuring your extensions remain as luscious as the day you got them.

If you’re looking for a theme in this article you’ll see it straight away and through out the whole process, and that’s to be always be gentle!

Understanding Your Extensions

Knowing your type of extensions is the first step to proper care as getting things wrong can lead to unwanted issues like tangling, matting, and/or shedding. Using the right products and methods specific to your extension type is crucial to prevent damage and ensure their longevity.

The attachment type, whether clip-ins, tape-ins, or sew-ins, dictates the care process:


Ah the flexibility of Clip-ins makes washing them the easiest by far to wash. Simply remove them before washing and be as gentle as possible.


Remember to be a bit careful as being too harsh can weaken the sew. The main thing you must remember is to dry them properly to prevent horrible mildew in the braids underneath… which can lead to unwanted odours. The simple advice I can give is to use a blow dryer on a cool or low heat setting until the braids are completely dry. Avoid the high heat setting though as you don’t want to cause any damage!

Lastly, It’s also important to maintain good scalp health since the braids can cause tension. I advise using a light oil or spray to keep the scalp moisturized and to prevent itching.


As the adhesive strips can become damaged Tape-ins need to be handled gently. The strips can be weakened by all sorts! Certain oils, alcohol-based products and other chemicals can all cause problems. It’s also important to apply minimal pressure as not being gentle around the adhesive can cause them to from slip out. Make sure to avoid getting product on the strip to prevent damage and avoid high heat when drying and styling as this can melt or weaken the adhesive.

A few words on hair type.

Synthetic hair extensions need special care to preserve their texture and colour. Do not wash them at high temperatures and make sure to avoid any harsh chemicals.

We advise you to use products that are specially formulated for synthetic hair.

Human Hair Extensions should be treated with the same care as your own hair but with additional gentleness to maintain their quality over time. They can withstand a wider variety of products and styling tools, which allows for more rigorous washing and styling practices.

Let’s get washing

Prepping your hair

Now we’ve covered all that it’s time to prep for your wash, nothing too difficult here as It’s pretty self explanatory:

Detangle: Begin by gently brushing your extensions. A wide-tooth comb or a soft bristle brush is ideal, starting from the ends and slowly working up to the roots.

Section: The more volume you have the more important it becomes to section your hair properly. Use a comb to separate your extensions into manageable sections to make cleaning easier, it will also help you to dry them and style them afterwards.

Wash and Shampoo

Choosing the Right Shampoo: Opt for a sulphate and alcohol-free shampoo. Specialized extension shampoos are a great choice. I personally use the Pureology Hydrate range, there’s plenty of choice out there to find what’s right for you. It’s a good conversation to have with your stylist too.

Washing Technique: It’s again time to be gentle as you wet the extensions with lukewarm water and apply the shampoo. Stroke the shampoo down the hair length without scrubbing.

Rinsing Thoroughly: Ensure all shampoo is rinsed out with lukewarm water to avoid residue build-up.

Now for the conditioner

Choosing a Suitable Conditioner: Again I’m using Pureology Hydrate at the moment but choose what’s right for you. Remember to use a lightweight conditioner formulated for extensions. Avoid heavy ingredients like silicones and parabens.

Conditioner Application: Apply from mid-lengths to ends, avoiding the roots, especially with bonded extensions.

Rinsing Out Conditioner: Use cool water for to rinse, this will help to seal in moisture and add keep that luscious shine.

Drying and Brushing

If there’s one thing you should always be when dealing with extensions it’s gentle, I’ve seen too many people ruin a good wash with a bad dry. Don’t try to towel dry like your natural hair and avoid wringing your extensions, instead gently blot the extensions with a towel then air dry. If you’re in a rush then it’s OK to use a blow dryer, just choose a cool setting and keep it at a distance. Make sure to fully dry those sew-ins as we discussed earlier.

Once your extensions are partially dry, use a brush to gently remove and tangles. Start from the ends and move to the roots. If it feels a bit strange then you can do the classic root to ends but pinch the hair near the root to take the pressure off the attachment.

Time to Reflect

Caring for hair extensions is a commitment that pays off in the form of gorgeous, long-lasting hair. Understanding your specific type of extensions and following the appropriate washing and maintenance routine is key to preserving their quality and beauty. With the right care, your hair extensions will continue to be a beautiful enhancement to your natural hair. Stay stylish and enjoy the transformative power of well-maintained hair extensions!

And that’s that, enjoy your voluptuous extensions and know you’re doing everything you need to keep them at their best for as long as possible!