How to Properly Wash Different Types of Hair Extensions

So, you get yourself the best clip-in hair extensions money can buy, and it looks fantastic. Now, the question is, how do you keep it looking fabulous for as long as you can? The answer is this – proper maintenance. 

Washing is a big part of the regular upkeep of your hair extensions, whether they’re clip-ins or permanent ones. But just as it could be a chore to wash and dry your natural hair, doing it with your hair extension can be a tedious task. Yes, dry shampoo can be used to lessen the need for frequent washing, but time will come when dry shampoo can’t help anymore. 

It is important for you to know how to wash your hair extensions correctly. The correct method will help ensure that your extensions look lustrous and healthy for a really long time. This will also help prevent breakage and matting. You should also know the best tools and products to use so you can do this task more efficiently. 

So how should you do it? In this two-part post, Foxy Locks shares what you need to know about washing different types of human hair extensions:

Washing Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions include all temporary hair extensions that are easily “installed” and removed after being worn. These are hair extensions that you should not sleep in or wash while still attached. Some examples include clip-ins, fringes, ponytails, and hairpieces.

How Do You Wash Temporary Hair Extensions?

Here is a quick guide on how you should wash all clip-in temporary hair extensions:

  1. Always start by giving the hair extensions a good brushing. This is so you can remove any knots and prepare them for washing. 
  2. Separate the hair extension into pieces. Do not wash them all at the same time, especially if you have a multi-piece set. This is because hair extensions can get matted when you’re washing them. Not only will this make the task more difficult for you, but it could also lead to shedding, which you don’t want to happen. If you think washing the pieces one at a time is too tedious for you, do three at a time, but no more than that.
  3. Remember to be gentle with the hair extensions when you wash. You might think that you need to rub vigorously to get rid of dirt and hair products (if you apply any). However, doing so can be disastrous as knots can form. The best way to do it is to gently smooth shampoo over the length of the hair and create a lather with your fingers. Once you are done shampooing, gently rinse and ensure that you’re doing so with the water directed downwards from the clip to the tip. Don’t rub the hair and allow the water to do its work. If possible, use lukewarm water so the hair cuticles won’t open. 
  4. After shampooing the hair, pat dry and do not rub with the towel as that can be damaging to the hair extensions (as it can be to your natural hair). Proceed to the conditioning part. Apply an extension-friendly conditioning mask generously from the middle of the hair extensions to the ends. Then, cover the hair with a clean towel and allow the mask to soak for at least half an hour up to an hour. The mask is going to replenish the hair and hydrate it. Remember that the extensions may be made from human hair, but they are not getting nutrients because the hair strands are not growing from your scalp. That’s why you need to condition the hair extensions well.
  5. Rinse the extensions well for at least three minutes the same way you rinsed off the shampoo. Make sure that the hair extensions are thoroughly rinsed and that there is no residue of the products you applied, as they could make the extensions greasy. If you don’t do it thoroughly, the hair extensions will be challenging to dry, and you’re going to end up having to wash them again.

What Products Are Recommended for Temporary Hair Extensions?

Foxy Locks carries various hair products specifically for hair extensions, including shampoo, hair oil, hair masque, and more. You may choose from these to ensure that you’re using high-quality products for your hair extensions. 

When selecting products, only go for shampoos and conditioners that are free from alcohol and sulfates. While these two are effective in removing grease and dirt, they can also strip hair of its moisture. Because hair extensions don’t get moisture from the scalp, the strands dry faster, so it’s important to protect them from any drying product. 

Deep conditioning products either in the form of masks or oils are crucial because they help keep the hair moisturized, shiny, and beautiful for as long as possible. This is especially important for pre-styled hair extensions and those in lighter shades. 

How Often Should You Wash Your Temporary Hair Extensions?

Some are not aware that there is such a thing as over-washing your extensions. You might think it’s good hygiene to wash your hair after one or two uses, but that’s not a good idea at all. Over-washing can cause several problems and might even lead to you needing to replace the hair extensions sooner than you expected. 

You should only wash your clip-ins after eight to ten uses. Anything more frequent than that can be bad for your extensions. You should also avoid wearing hair extensions when you think you are going to get them dirty, like when you’re going hiking or swimming at the beach.


Even the best clip in hair extensions can be ruined by improper washing methods. If you want to make the most of the temporary hair extensions you have invested in, make sure that you follow the tips discussed above on how you should wash your clip-ins. As mentioned at the beginning, this is a two-part article. In the second installment, we’ll focus on how to wash permanent hair extensions correctly.  

Are you looking for clip-ins? Foxy Locks can provide you with the best clip-in hair extensions, no matter what colour your hair may be. Check out our collection today!

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