How To Wash Hair Extensions (Without Ruining Them!)

How To Wash Hair Extensions (Without Ruining Them!)

If you’ve invested in beautiful hair extensions, you should treat them right. Making sure that they keep shining and looking clean is a top priority. However, if you are new to the world of hair extensions, weft hair, and synthetic hair, you might not know where to start.

The worst thing you can do is avoid washing your hair extensions because you don’t know how. Unfortunately, all too many people make this mistake. The extensions may look nice for a few weeks but soon look matted and dull. That is the last thing you need. You must know how to wash clip-in hair extensions and other types to avoid that.  

Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you have Zala hair or Luxy hair, we have you covered here. In the following guide, we will look at the most straightforward way to wash hair extensions, the tips you need to know about, and how to make them last longer.

Can you wash hair extensions?

First, let's deal with the most burning question: Can you wash hair extensions? The short answer is yes, you can. However, the method you use will depend on the quality. This guide will look at how to wash natural and synthetic hair extensions.

There’s a lot to be said when it comes to quality. As you may already know, there’s a whole selection of different extensions — some good, some bad. When you’re choosing the right one for you, make sure that you do your research. Cheap, synthetic hair extensions are unlikely to stand the test of time. So before you buy your set, read some online reviews, check out the company, and look into what they are made of.

The more research you do, the more likely you will get hair extensions that last. Clip-in hair extensions are some of the most popular on the market. These allow you to chop and change your hairstyle as you want. If you wear a set of these regularly, you must ensure you wash them often too. If you don’t, it will start to show!

How to wash hair extensions in six simple steps

Ready to get started? If you have high-quality synthetic or human hair extensions, you should be able to wash them as you would your hair. You can clean the extensions once a week or more often, should you need to do so. Try to figure out what routine works for you.

Be aware that the products you use on these extensions will affect them too. If you are constantly using styling products, you may find a buildup that you simply cannot get rid of! Follow these steps when washing hair extensions:

Step 1: Comb your extensions first

Before you start, you need to ensure your hair extensions are not tangled up. That means taking a wide-tooth comb and brushing them out. This step is crucial if you tend to style your hair extensions. For example, if you regularly curl or braid your extensions, you might find they have knots or kinks.

Take a few seconds to comb them out. You should have a firm grip on the top of the hair extensions, hold them upright, and brush them downward. When you have combed each piece through, place it on top of the next, ready to be washed in a moment.

Step 2: Fill up the sink with warm water

As a word of caution, you should ensure the sink is clean. If you have disinfected it recently or even used bleach, ensure you have rinsed it properly. As you might imagine, hair extensions can react to these products, and you want to keep them safe. Finally, when done, you should fill the sink with warm (or lukewarm) water.

Step 3: Use a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner

Next up, you should get a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner. Start with the shampoo. Gently massage the product into the weft extensions. You should avoid the bonds at the top of the hair extensions. This is the area where the hair is all joined together. If you go too vigorously here, you could make the mistake of weakening the hair extensions.

After massaging the shampoo into the hair extensions, rinse them in warm water. Again, you want to ensure no product is left in there. You can also use the cool water tap to get rid of any excess here if you are concerned.

Follow the same process using the sulphate-free conditioner. This time, leave the conditioner on the hair extensions for between three and four minutes. Rinse thoroughly. You can let the water out of the sink and then run a tap to remove the conditioner.

Step 4: Pat the extensions to dry them

Chances are, your hair extensions are now waterlogged. So, of course, you don’t want to use vigorous techniques when drying them. You should avoid using a regular bathroom towel on them, for example. Instead, grab an old cotton t-shirt or a microfibre towel. Wrap each hair extension in the fabric and then gently squeeze it.

You don’t want to apply too much pressure here. The idea is to eliminate the excess moisture without putting extra stress on the weft hair or clip-in hair extensions. Ensure you have removed most of the water before moving to step five.

Step 5: Leave them to air-dry 

Once you have gotten rid of most of the water, the next step is to allow your hair extensions to dry naturally. As a general rule, you should not be using a hairdryer to dry your extensions. Doing so will apply too much heat to the area and could damage your hair extensions.

There are a couple of options here. First, you may want to lay a clean towel on a surface and place your hair extensions on it. That way, you can leave the hair to dry for hours or even overnight. If you are looking for faster results, you may want to hang your hair extensions up. You can use a clip to fasten them to a washing line or hanger. Since both sides of the weft hair will be exposed, you should find that the hair dries faster.

Step 6: Comb your hair extensions

You don’t want to comb your hair extensions while they are wet. Research suggests that brushing wet hair can lead to breakages, especially if it happens to be bleached. Instead, wait until your hair extensions are mostly dry before detangling them. If the hair strands are fine, you might want to use your fingers to deal with the initial knots in your extensions.

Finally, you can grab the wide-tooth comb again and brush your hair extensions through. Once again, you can hold your hair extensions at the top firmly. Avoid pulling or tugging at the bonds while brushing the hair, or you may damage them.

Keeping your hair extensions looking and feeling fabulous is easier than you imagine. In this guide, we have covered what you need to know when washing hair extensions. Whether you have synthetic hair extensions or human hair extensions, you need to take a gentle approach to treat them. Don’t use too much heat or products that contain loads of chemicals. Follow our instructions, and you should be a winner!


Did we miss something? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about washing hair extensions and looking after them.

How long do hair extensions last?

That depends on a couple of factors: the quality of the extensions and how well you treat them. But, as a general rule, if you wear hair extensions regularly, you can expect them to last between two and three months.

Can you dye hair extensions?

If you have either human hair extensions or tape hair extensions, chances are you can dye them. However, you should check with the individual manufacturer before you start.

How often should you wash hair extensions?

When you use your hair extensions regularly, you should wash them every week or two. Of course, this will differ depending on the type of hair extensions you have.

How do I find the best hair extensions?

Investing in quality hair extensions is the way to go! Always do your research and read the reviews first. Whether you want halo hair, weft extensions, clip-ins, Luxy hair, or Zala hair, check out the testimonials and read about them before buying.

Have you got any questions? Leave a comment below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

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