How to Wash Hair Extensions

If you didn’t already know, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: washing your hair extension the right way will make them look nicer, reduce the chance of tangles and mats, and increase longevity.

That said, you’d be doing yourself a huge disfavor by not washing your hair extensions properly. But that means you just hop into the shower with clip-ins and shampoo and condition like regular, right? No way, girlfriend.

In fact, each type of hair extension has its own way of being cared for, especially when it comes to washing. But don’t panic. I’m here to break down the few different ways to wash hair extensions properly. 

How to Wash Clip-In Hair Extensions

Let’s start with the ever-popular clip-in hair extensions. These are some of my fave choices when it comes to extensions because they’re super versatile and can be taken out daily. But the washing process requires some strategy. Follow these steps to fabulous, long-lasting clip-ins:

  1. Thoroughly brush the hair. This will help to reduce the chance of tangles down the road.
  2. Fill a clean sink with lukewarm water and a few pumps of shampoo. Remember to use a moisturizing shampoo that must be alcohol and sulfate-free, and color-friendly.
  3. Gently wash the extensions. Using the same shampoo, gently massage the wefts from top to bottom. Then, dip them into the sink. Continue to rub the extensions until all of the shampoo is gone.
  4. Air-dry the extensions. It’s easiest to place extensions onto a clean towel next to the sink or hang them up.
  5. Apply a hair mask or deep conditioner. Hair masks are important for clip-ins just as much as your real mane. Use your favorite hair mask or deep conditioner. Leave it in for a few hours.
  6. Rinse and air dry once more. When you’re ready to wash off the hair mask or deep conditioner, rinse the extensions gently under cold water. Then, let air dry. 
  7. Repeat once a month or when extensions become unruly or feel dry. 

How to Wash Microbead Hair Extensions

Ah, microbeads. This type of extension has been a crowd favorite since the dawn of time. Okay, it’s not that ancient, but microbeads are certainly a reliable method that plenty of women love. But now we need to figure out how to wash these beauties properly. Let’s take a look.

  1. Brush gently. Brushing your locks is an obvious first step, but you need to be extra careful when you’re wearing microbeads. The last thing you want to do is move or remove the microbeads. While it’s rare, it’s still possible. Be gentle, queen.
  2. Wash your hair using gentle shampoos and conditioners. So, it’s not too much extra effort on your behalf. All you need to do is make sure you’re using extension-friendly products and being gentle with your lather. Easy!
  3. Use a towel to dry, but don’t rub. The goal is to squeeze excess moisture out of your mane and let nature do the rest. If you are in a rush and absolutely need to use a hairdryer, apply a heat-resistant mask first.
  4. Perform deep conditioning once a week. Use your preferred hair mask or deep conditioner to let the hair extensions soak up the much-needed moisture.
  5. Only wash your hair extensions up to three times a week. Less is more when it comes to cleaning your micro bead hair extensions. Try only to wash three times a week (or less). If your hair feels greasy, consider a dry shampoo in-between washes.

How to Wash Keratin Hair Extensions

There’s a reason why so many are flocking to get keratin-bonded hair extensions. For one, they are fairly long-lasting. Two, they are pretty gentle on your natural tresses. Three, they are super easy to take care of. 

Here are the quick and easy steps to wash your keratin-bonded extensions.

  1. Brush. Well, this goes without saying. Try to be gentle when brushing to not mess with the glue.
  2. Wash using lukewarm water. You can wash your hair as you normally would, but try to keep the water on the colder side to prevent damage to the glue. You must also avoid sulfates and oils, as these can harm the adhesive and make it weaker.
  3. Apply conditioner to the ends when necessary. Ends starting to feel a bit dry? Adding conditioner is always a top-notch solution to this problem.
  4. Let your mane air-dry as much as possible. Air drying is highly recommended, but using a blow dryer here and there won’t hurt. The biggest thing to avoid is falling asleep with wet extensions. This can lead to nuisance tangling and matting.
  5. Keep washes to a minimum. With keratin, you have the option of washing every other day. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Less is more when it comes to washes!

How to Wash Tape-In Hair Extensions

Jumping onto the tape-in train? I don’t blame you. Tape-ins are rising in popularity and for a good reason, too. If you’re trying out tape-in hair extensions for the first time, though, there are a few things you need to remember when doing your washing routine.

  1. Brush your mane gently. Again, pulling, tugging, and any rough brushing should be avoided.
  2. Wash the hair gently from root to midshaft. Do not scrub the hair or be too rough. This can not only tangle the mane but lead to a weaker tape.
  3. Condition only the ends. This is where you need to be extra picky. Do not apply conditioner to your entire head—only the ends. Refrain from using hydrating conditioners especially. Conditioners can weaken the tape severely.
  4. Air-dry if possible. Just like other types of extensions, air-drying is the goal. But blow-drying isn’t a big deal, either. Just use heat-resistant products, and you’ll be fine.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, washing your hair extensions isn’t too big of a challenge. Most extensions can be washed in the shower with your natural mane, but they require a shampoo that’s free of sulfate.

Remember that less is more when it comes to washing extensions, and always be as gentle as possible.

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