Image of a woman in the shower whilst washing her hair.

Apr 08, 2024

PSA: Just because they’re not your natural hair, it doesn’t mean they don’t need washing.

You did it! You made the plunge into the world of hair extensions. You did the research, booked your appointment, and walked out with hair to rival JLo. But what next? 

Whether you’re donning your all-new Lauren Ashtyn Collection hair topper, or have clip-ins from somewhere else, there's one thing that rings true no matter what brand they are: maintaining them. Proper care is paramount to keeping your extensions looking best, so they play by ball when you want to style them. 

As exciting as it may seem that clip-in hair extensions seamlessly blend with natural hair, there's a common misconception that they can undergo the same washing routine as our own locks. Unfortunately, here's the truth—subjecting any type of extension, be it real human hair or synthetic, to regular washing and drying methods often leads to undesirable outcomes, potentially causing irreparable damage—and by that, we mean dry, damaged and quite frankly, ruined extensions (and we don’t want that!).

While ours and all other best-quality, natural hair extensions boast 100% Remy human hair, they lack the natural oils from the scalp that nourish our locks. As a result, they require special attention to maintain their shine and longevity. Whether you're a seasoned extension enthusiast or new to the game, understanding how to care for your extensions is key to ensuring they remain soft, smooth, and shiny.

Do you notice your extensions are harder to style? Then that’s a sign there’s product build-up and they’re crying out for a wash. Luckily, we'll walk you through the essential steps for washing and caring for your hair extensions, regardless of the brand. From understanding the ideal washing frequency to restoring moisture and shine, consider this your go-to resource for extension care 101. Shampoo at the ready, let’s go.


Understanding the ideal washing frequency

Now you’re ready to get down and dirty (more like clean) let's start with the basics—how often should you wash your hair extensions? Luckily for our spare time, hair extensions don't need to be washed as frequently as your natural hair. Why? Because, unlike your scalp, extensions don't produce natural oils, meaning they're less prone to becoming greasy. Washing them too often can strip them of their natural moisture and cause them to become dry and brittle—and impossible to turn into a curly blow. 

As a general rule of thumb, aim to wash your extensions once every 30 wears or once a month, whichever comes first. However, this can vary depending on factors such as your lifestyle, the amount of product you use, and the climate you live in. If you lead an active lifestyle or use a lot of styling products, you may need to wash your extensions more frequently to remove any buildup and keep them looking fresh and new. These rules do vary depending on what type of extensions you have, so let’s take a look at the details.


For clip-in hair extensions

Clip-in hair extensions, being removable, don't require frequent washing. In fact, the general rule of thumb is to wash them only when necessary or after noticing a buildup of product and that they are getting harder to style. Depending on how often you wear them and the number of styling products you use, this could range from once every 20 to 30 wears.


For tape-in and bonded extensions

Tape-in and bonded extensions, being semi-permanent, typically need to be washed more compared to clip-ins. Aim to wash them 2 times per week or as needed to remove buildup and refresh the hair and scalp. However, if you lead an active lifestyle or use a lot of styling products, you may need to wash them more frequently, due to sweat and oils getting onto the hair. 

You do need to make sure you aren’t washing them too frequently and if you have curly or wavy hair, you may get away with washing them only once a week. Either way, if you suffer from greasy locks, then you can choose dry shampoos to refresh your hair. 


For halo hair extensions

Halo hair extensions, which sit on top of your head like a halo, should be washed even less frequently. Since they don't come into direct contact with your scalp and natural oils, they can go longer between washes (lazy girls unite!). Typically, washing them every 2 to 3 months is enough, but adjust based on your lifestyle and usage.


Dry shampoo is your hair extension VIP

In between washes, dry shampoo can be a lifesaver for refreshing your hair extensions and absorbing excess oil and odors. Opt for a lightweight, residue-free dry shampoo and apply it sparingly to the roots and any areas that need a quick refresh. Back from work and the girls are calling for a big night out? Girlie, grab that dry shampoo and your purse, and get outta here!

By adjusting the amount you wash your hair based on the type of extensions you have and your lifestyle, you’ll ensure that your hair extensions stay looking and feeling their best for as long as possible. Thank us later. 


Hair extension care 101—what’s after washing?

After washing your hair extensions, you NEED to restore moisture and shine to keep them looking their prime. Just like your natural hair, extensions can become dry and dull if not properly hydrated, so you need to give them TLC. To combat this, invest in a high-quality conditioner or hair mask specifically designed for use with extensions.

  • Look for products that are lightweight and won't weigh down your extensions, as heavy formulas can cause them to become limp and lifeless and FLAT—and no one wants hair stuck to their face. 
  • Apply the conditioner or mask generously to the mid-lengths and ends of your extensions, avoiding the roots and bonds, and leave it on for the recommended amount of time before rinsing thoroughly.
  • Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil between washes to keep your extensions hydrated and nourished. These products can help smooth the cuticle and prevent tangles, making styling easier and reducing the risk of breakage.

Step-by-step guide on how to wash hair extensions 


Before washing, gently detangle your extensions using a wide-tooth comb or brush to remove any knots or tangles. Start from the ends and work your way up to the roots, being careful not to pull or tug on the hair.

Pre-wash treatment: For added hydration, consider applying a pre-wash treatment or hair mask to your extensions before shampooing. This will help protect the hair cuticle and prevent moisture loss during the washing process.



When washing your extensions, use a sulfate-free shampoo and lukewarm water. Avoiding sulfates is a MUST, as they can strip the hair of its natural oils and cause it to become dry and brittle. Gently massage the shampoo into the hair, focusing on the roots and avoiding the bonds, and rinse thoroughly.



Follow up with a lightweight conditioner or hair mask, applying it generously to the mid-lengths and ends of your extensions. Leave it on for the recommended amount of time, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.


Pat dry

Once you have finished washing and conditioning your extensions, gently pat them dry with a soft towel to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the hair, as this can cause damage and breakage—so the gentler, the better.


Air dry

Finally, allow your extensions to air dry *naturally* or use a low-heat setting on a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Avoid using high heat, as this can damage the hair cuticle and cause frizz. Slow and steady always, unless they are bonded extensions and not clip-ins—and in that case, you need to blow dry your hair to ensure it doesn’t stay wet and trap in moisture. 

This simple routine may seem like a lot at first, but remember, proper care is essential to maintaining the health and longevity of your extensions—so treat them with the love and attention they deserve.


Tips for restoring moisture and shine

Now that your hair extensions are nice and clean, it's time to bring back their moisture and shine to ensure they’re ready for styling. Just like your natural hair, extensions can lose moisture and become dull over time, especially after washing. To stop this, you need the best possible products dedicated to hair extensions. 


Choosing the right conditioner or hair mask

When selecting a conditioner or hair mask for your extensions, opt for products specifically formulated for use with extensions. These products are typically lightweight and contain ingredients that provide intense hydration without weighing down the hair. Look for ingredients like argan oil, coconut oil, and keratin, which are known for their moisturizing and strengthening properties—and the more natural, the better.


Application technique

Proper application of conditioner or hair mask ensures that your extensions receive maximum hydration and nourishment. Start by gently squeezing out any excess water from your extensions after shampooing. Then, apply the conditioner or mask generously to the mid-lengths and ends of your extensions, avoiding the roots and bonds. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to distribute the product evenly through the hair, ensuring that every strand is coated.


Leave-in conditioner or hair oil

In addition to using a rinse-out conditioner or mask, you should also start using hair oil in your routine. These leave-in treatments provide continuous hydration and protection throughout the day, helping to keep your extensions soft, smooth, and packed with shine. All you need to do is apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner or hair oil to the mid-lengths and ends of your extensions, focusing on any areas that need extra moisture or shine. P.S. It prevents frizz and boosts that glow in the sun—what could be better?


Avoiding heavy formulas

This one really does speak for itself, but we better make sure that everything is covered. While it's important to keep your extensions hydrated, it's equally important to avoid using products that are too heavy or that leave grease on the strands. Heavy formulas often weigh down hair extensions and cause them to be flat and lifeless, detracting from the natural movement and volume of your extensions.


Hair extension care is as important as your natural hair 

As you continue looking after those swishing, long locks, remember that proper care extends beyond just washing. Storing your clip-in extensions correctly is one of the most important factors for their longevity, ensuring they're ready to dazzle whenever you need them. That, along with investing in high-quality products that are extension-friendly is needed when it comes to maintaining their health and appearance. 

At the end of the day, all that matters is nurturing what you have, and everything else will fall into place. By keeping your natural hair as well looked after as possible, you'll guarantee seamless blending with your perfect new faux tresses—creating enviable looks every time you’re out the door. Who said hair washing was every day? It certainly wasn’t us. Grab that dry shampoo on the in-between days, and you’ll be looking forward to good hair days only.