Guide to Taking Care of Hair Extensions

by ABBEY WILSON / MAR 14, 2024

Reading Time: 8 Minutes


    You’ve just had your gorgeous hair extensions fitted (or clipped in) and you’re looking a million dollars. But can your luscious locks stay beautiful and healthy until your next maintenance appointment? Yes! But only if you stick to a special hair extension care routine...

    Giving your extensions loving and attentive care, whilst using specially formulated hair extension care products, will prolong the longevity and beauty of your new tresses. Neglecting them, however, causes dull, damaged and dishevelled hair and may even result in costly replacement extensions.

    So, if you’re wondering how to take care of hair extensions, this comprehensive guide will answer ALL of your burning questions, such as:

    • The different types of hair extensions and how to care for them
    • How to wash and condition your hair extensions
    • Which specific hair extension care products to use
    • How to brush and detangle your hair extensions
    • How to keep your extensions protected and healthy when heat styling
    • How to properly store your extensions
    • Long-term maintenance care for your hair extensions

    Let’s jump in!

    Understanding Hair Extensions

    Types of Extensions

    Clip-in Hair Extensions

    Find it hard to commit? Clip-ins are perfect. Clip them in and wham! You can switch up your tresses in an instant. These extensions are lazy girl-approved due to their low-maintenance vibe. Clip-ins aren’t consistently attached to your head, which means less grease and less washing. Whoop!

    hair extensions with deep moisture conditioner applied

    Simply wash these extensions every 12-15 wears and use a sulphate-free shampoo and ultra-moisturising conditioner. To prolong their longevity, air dry to avoid heat damage. Love poker straight hair or bouncy curls? Don’t fret. Just promise us you’ll use a heat protectant spray like @reitxmakeup does in the below video.

    Tape-in Hair Extensions

    Want long, luscious hair 24/7? Tape-ins are your gals. These extensions are pre-taped and then glued to your hair by a professional. As tape-ins are semi-permanent, the care for these hair extensions is slighter higher maintenance. But look after them properly and they could even be re-used when having your tape-ins reinstalled (every 4-6 weeks).

    The main care for these hair extensions is avoiding damage to the bonds. That means steering clear of harsh shampoos and avoiding conditioning the scalp. These hair extensions must also be dried to avoid water damage to the attachments. Yet, excessive heat on the glue or tape can additionally cause damage. What’s a gal to do? Use a low heat setting on your hair dryer and keep those straighteners and curlers away from the bond.

    And don’t forget to use a heat protectant spray when styling the rest of your hair!

    Sew-in Hair Extensions

    Also known as weave extensions, sew-ins are threaded through your hair for the most permanent and secure attachment. Your hair is braided into cornrows horizontally around your scalp and the weave is threaded into the braid. Girlies with thick hair and bountiful bonces will love these as they are incredibly secure and won’t come loose.

    The hair extension care for sew-ins is paramount as they are permanently attached to your hair for 6-8 weeks. Shampoos with special proteins and deep conditioning products are advised to keep your extensions glossy and moisturised. These hair extensions must be dried after washing and not let to air dry, remember to use heat protection spray before styling!

    Deep moisture shampoo bottle

    Extension Care Basics

    No matter what type of hair extension you use, there are fundamental rules when it comes to hair extension care. Consequently, they require special care and handling if you want them to ooze luxury, lustre and longevity. Make sure to:

    • Brush your extensions gently morning and night
    • Use specialised hair extension care products that are sulphate-free and ultra-nourishing. Avoid alcohol-based products.
    • Keep conditioner and heat away from your bonds.
    • Avoid heat damage by keeping your styling settings low to medium and using a heat protectant spray.
    • Never sleep with wet hair extensions as this can cause tangling, breakage and damage to the bonds.

    Washing and Conditioning Extensions

    Washing Techniques

    Washing and conditioning your hair extensions is an important part of your hair extension care ritual. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to take care of your hair extensions as part of your regular hair-washing routine.

    Deep moisture conditioner bottle

    1. Gently brush your hair extensions when they are dry to minimise brushing time after they have been washed.
    2. Wash your hair in the shower if possible. Those long locks need ample room for the water to cascade down! Letting them float around in the bath may cause tangling.
    3. Use the recommended hair extension care kit for your extensions. Shampoo at the roots and condition from the mid-lengths and ends to avoid loosening the bonds.  
    4. Wash and rinse with warm water, not hot, as this can dry out your natural hair and extensions.
    5. Brush gently, starting from the bottom to the top.
    6. Dry before you sleep!

    Suitable Products

    It’s paramount you use special hair extension care products for your hair extension care routine. Hair extensions miss out on the natural oils and minerals naturally excreted from our scalp. If hair extensions don’t receive the correct care, they can become lacklustre and dehydrated. Using a deep moisture hair mask at least once a week can help nourish and revitalise your extensions.

    Before and after using deep moisture hair care range products

    Hair mask bottle

    Consequently, avoid products that contain ingredients such as sulphates and alcohol, which are known for stripping your hair of its natural oils. Opt for gentle, nourishing and protective formulas that help maintain the health and beauty of the hair.

    At ClipHair we stock a full range of specialised hair extension care products here. They are designed to increase the lifespan of your hair extensions and are free from all those nasties, such as sulphates, alcohol and parabens. Check out Sasha talking about our Deep Moisture Range below:

    Styling and Maintenance

    Brushing and Detangling

    Don’t hack at your hair with a hairbrush. Go easy babe. Brushing gently is especially important for hair extension care as rigorous brushing can cause hair shedding.

    Brushy gently, starting at the ends and gradually working your way up to the roots. Invest in a special detangling brush to add to your hair extension care kit. The Wet One by Cliphair Detangling Hairbrush causes zero hair damage and is safe to use on wet or dry hair.

    The Wet One by Cliphair Detangling Hairbrush

    Heat Styling

    Love super straight tresses or flowing curls? Unfortunately, excessively styling your hair extensions with heat can cause breakage, damage and dullness. But don’t fret, you can still dry, straighten and curl. Simply follow our top tips on how to take care of hair extensions when heat styling:

    Limit heat exposure: Do you really need to curl your hair every day? Maybe save heat styling for once or twice a week. Why not experiment with updos and heatless curls in between? We love the way @hollyjai styled her natural hair before she clipped in her extensions, to save them from heat damage, in the below video:

    Use a heat protectant spray: Essential before any type of heat styling. Protectant sprays are a vital hair extension care tool. Why? Because they create a barrier to protect your hair from the heat and nourish whilst you style. We love our Heat Protection Hair Spray. It creates an invisible shield on your hair, whilst rebuilding your hair from within. Cool!

    Heat protection spray

    Dial down the temp: You’ll be surprised, but you probably don’t need your straightener on the maximum heat setting… Using a lower heat setting is kinder to your tresses. See how low you can go without styling and only amp up the heat if you have to.

    Long-Term Care and Maintenance

    Storage Tips

    Maybe you’re switching up your locks to a shorter style, but want to keep your cherished hair extensions as good as new. Storing them correctly is an important part of your hair extension care.

    1. Ensure your extensions are completely dry before storing them to prevent mould or bacteria.
    2. Brush each weft carefully by starting at the ends and gradually working your way up to the roots.
    3. Place your extensions in either a storage box or a special hair extension storage bag. If using a box, place the wefts on top of each other and carefully roll them up.
    4. Store your extensions in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to avoid drying out or fading.

    Maintenance Schedule

    Creating and sticking to a hair maintenance schedule is the easiest way to keep on top of your hair extension care. Here is a schedule we recommend to prolong the gloss, bounce and lifespan of your lovely hair extensions.

    Hair mask bottle

    1. Brush hair with a zero-damage hairbrush at least twice a day
    2. Limit washing to 1-2 times per week
    3. Use nourishing and sulphate-free hair extension products only
    4. Use a deep conditioning mask once a week. Our intensely moisturising Deep Moisture Hair Mask is designed to restore dry and damaged hair and hair extensions.
    5. Use heat protectant spray before styling
    6. Tie DRY hair in a loose ponytail or braid when sleeping to avoid tangles or pulls.
    7. Have regular maintenance appointments at your hair salon recommended for your type of hair extensions

    Looking after your hair extensions may seem like a full-time job, but it’s worth it. Regular care and attention, such as gentle brushing, protection from heat damage and the use of specialised hair extension care products will keep your extensions happy and healthy, for as long as possible.

    Do you have your hair extension care kit sorted? Having all the correct products makes looking after your hair extensions a breeze. Lucky for you, ClipHair has everything you need for hair extension care here.

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