How To Wash All Types Of Human Hair Extensions

Hair wash day! We plan our whole week around it, anyone who wears or uses hair extensions can relate to the dread this day brings. Washing and drying our hair can be a chore at the best of times, add hair extensions to the mix and it becomes a military operation. When Dry Shampoo has done all it can do and the only option left is to wash, the following time saving tips will help make this process a lot less daunting. Correctly washing your hair extensions, whether they are Clip-ins or Permanent can not only save you time but money too! We have explained the best products, methods and tools to perfectly clean and dry your hair and all the things to avoid too. 


Depending on which type of Human Hair extensions you have will depend on the amount of washing and which method you will use. For this reason, we have split this guide into 2 sections:
Clip-In temporary Hair Extensions and Permanently attached Hair Extensions.
We will then explain in depth how each type should be washed, how often they should be washed, what they should be washed with and how they can be quickly dried. Sticking to these 4 Golden rules will keep your hair extensions in tip top condition and save you time in styling. 

Washing Temporary Clip-In Hair Extensions 

Temporary Clip-In Hair Extensions include all extensions that are applied and removed on the same day and that cannot be slept in or washed whilst attached. For example: Clip-Ins, Ponytails, Fringes, Toppers and Hair Pieces. 

How should Temporary Hair Extensions be washed? 

Follow this guide in washing all Temporary Hair Extensions or Pieces.

- EVERY time you wash your extensions give them a good brush first with a extensions friendly hairbrush, this will prevent the hair from knotting whilst being washed and make it easier to comb out afterwards.

- SEPARATE the hair into pieces before washing, we strongly advise against washing the extensions all in one go if you have a multi-piece set. This can cause matting which leads to shedding and its also difficult to thoroughly wash them this way. We recommend washing no more than 3 bits at a time.

- DON’T vigorously rub the hair as you wash it, gently smooth the shampoo over the hair and softly lather the hair with your fingers taking care not to create knots in the hair. Once shampooed rinse with the water directed downwards onto the hair, again do not rub the extensions to get the soap out let the water do this for you. Its best to use only Luke warm water to avoid opening the hair cuticles. 

- AFTER the hair has been shampooed, gently pat dry with a soft towel and apply a generous amount of a extensions friendly deep conditioning mask to the mid-lengths and ends. Cover the hair with a towel and leave the mask to soak in for 30-60 minutes. Rinse extremely well for at least 3 minutes, again with the water directed down towards the ends of the extensions with Luke warm water. This mask will hydrate the hair and return any lost moisture, it will also help protect the extensions by strengthening them. 

- MAKE sure the hair is thoroughly rinsed after the conditioning procedure as any leftover residue will make the extensions greasy and very difficult to dry. Meaning you will most likely have to wash them all over again. 

What products are suitable for washing Temporary Hair Extensions?

Here at Cliphair we have a whole range of extensions friendly hair care products that can be used, see the full collection here. Below we have explained why these products are so important and offered recommendations for deeper conditioning. 

- ONLY use Sulphate/Alcohol free shampoos and conditioners on your hair extensions.

Sulphate/Alcohol is great for removing dirt and grease, but it will also remove some of the moisture from the hair. Even though the hair is human, as it has been removed from its root it does not have access to nutrients and moisture naturally produced from the scalp. This means Hair Extensions will dry out faster than our own hair which is why it is so important to avoid these ingredients. 


- DEEP conditioning the hair is extremely important for maintaining shine and a long life span in hair extensions. This is especially true for very light blonde shades and pre-styled hair extensions as these sets tend to be drier in texture. Deep conditioning will close the hair cuticles encouraging shine and added protection from environmental damage. Deep conditioning treatments are also fantastic color lockers, meaning your funky and rich tones will last longer. Our favourite Extensions friendly deep conditioning mask is Moroccan Oil Hydrating hair mask.

How often should Temporary Hair Extensions be washed? 

Over washing your Clip-ins or Hair pieces can cause a multitude of problems which in the long run will lead to you buying your next set sooner than you hoped. As all human hair extensions are dyed during the manufacturing process, over washing will also cause the color to fade faster.  

- ONLY wash your clip ins every 8-10 uses, the less you wash them the longer they will last! Its not necessary to wash them any more than this, unless they are extremely dirty or have come into contact with something that needs to be removed. 

- AVOID wearing your hair extensions in situations that are likely to cause them to become dirty and need washing. For example around a pool, beach, the gym or workplaces where you are in contact with paint, dirt or chemicals. 

- OVER WASHING can cause the seam to loosen which eventually leads to shedding. 

How should you Dry temporary hair extensions? 

- NEVER brush clip-in hair extensions or hair pieces when they are still wet. Doing this can pull on the seam causing hair fallout. Make sure the hair is at least 80% dry before brushing with an extensions hair brush. 

- WHEN the hair is well rinsed, lay the extensions flat on a soft towel or clean surface. Gently pat them dry with a soft clean towel. Apply some leave in conditioner to the ends whether its cream or spray, this does not matter as long as it does not contain alcohol/sulphates. Now leave your extensions to air dry overnight. PLEASE NOTE this is human hair and will not dry silky straight, our hair dry’s naturally with texture and a slight wave which our customers love as it is more authentic to your own hair. 

- USE heat protection spray if you are planning to dry the hair yourself. Give the hair a few sprays along the mid-lengths and ends from 10cm away before drying. Remember not to use the highest heat setting on the hair drying to minimise heat damage to the hair extensions. When drying the hair, yourself the quickest way to do this is to separate the hair into sections of 3 if using multipiece sets. Logically it would seem faster to dry the hair altogether but drying the hair in one combined chunk will take much longer! 

- LEAVING the hair to dry naturally is the easiest way to style and dry the hair extensions, if you are not in a rush we highly recommend this. Either separate and lay the hair on a dry towel overnight or hang using an extensions hanger. Our favourite hanger for hair extensions is from Easiweft

Washing Permanent Hair Extensions 

Permanent Hair Extensions include all hair that is attached for several weeks before needing to be removed or repositioned. The washing procedure is very similar to Clip-Ins however this hair needs be washed more often as it in the hair all the time. Correctly washing permanent hair extensions is especially important as it can not only damage your hair extensions but also your own hair if done wrong. 

How should Permanent Hair Extensions be washed? 

Follow this guide in washing all Temporary Hair Extensions or Pieces. 

- EVERY time you wash your hair give it a good brush first with a extensions friendly hairbrush, this will prevent the hair from matting whilst being washed and make it easier to comb out afterwards. 

- NEVER wash your hair upside down or over a sink. Your head should always be tilted backwards with the water directed downwards towards the ends of your hair. Washing your hair upside down or over the bath/sink will cause your hair to matt together which could damage your own hair and pull the extensions out. 

- ALWAYS shampoo the roots around the attachments of your hair extensions well, do not be scared to touch the bonds. If the roots around the bonds aren’t sufficiently cleaned, leftover residue or dirt can cause mould to grow around the bonds causing bad smells and irritation. This will also mean you will need to wash your hair again sooner, the best way to avoid this is by doing 2 shampoos. 

- RINSE the hair well after shampooing. This can be tricky if you have a full head of hair extensions applied as the hair can feel very heavy and take a long time to rinse. Simply clip one half of your hair up and rinse in sections until the water runs clear. 

- CONDITION the hair from the mid-lengths to the ends generously. Do not apply the conditioner anywhere near the roots or bonds of your hair extensions as this can degrade the attachment causing the hair to fall out or slip. 

- MAKE sure the hair is thoroughly rinsed after the conditioning procedure as any leftover residue will make the extensions greasy and very difficult to dry. Meaning you will most likely have to wash or rinse them all over again. 

- EVERY other time you wash your hair apply a deep conditioning mask to the ends of the hair. Leave the mask to soak in for 30-60 minutes. Rinse well again with the water directed down towards the ends of the extensions with lukewarm water. This mask will hydrate the hair and return any lost moisture, it will also help protect the extensions by strengthening them.

What products are suitable for washing Permanent Hair Extensions? 

Here at Cliphair we have a whole range of extensions friendly hair care products that can be used, see the full collection here. Below we have explained why these products are so important and offered recommendations for deeper conditioning.

- ONLY use Sulphate/Alcohol free shampoos and conditioners on your hair extensions. Sulphate/Alcohol is great for removing dirt and grease, but it will also remove some of the moisture from the hair and also degrade the keratin that a lot of permanent hair extensions are made from. This can cause the hair extensions to fall out and slip away from the hair, this is especially important in pre-bonded hair extensions. It can sometimes be difficult to produce a good lather from sulphate free shampoo, in this case add a splash of water to encourage the foam. 

- DEEP conditioning the hair is extremely important for maintaining shine and a long life span in hair extensions. This is especially true for very light blonde shades as these sets tend to be drier in texture. Deep conditioning will close the hair cuticles encouraging shine and added protection from environmental damage. Deep conditioning treatments are also fantastic color lockers, meaning your funky and rich tones will last longer. Our favourite Extensions friendly deep conditioning mask is Moroccan Oil Hydrating hair mask. When washing permanent hair extensions this treatment should not be applied on every wash, every 2-3 washes is perfect. 

How often should Permanent Hair Extensions be washed?

Over washing your Hair Extensions can cause the life span to decrease and the bonds to weaken meaning you will need to remove them sooner than planned costing you more money in the long run. Washing and drying your hair extensions can be a lengthy process so anything that can prolong this procedure is a must.  

- WASH your hair 1-2 times per week for the best results, 3 times at a maximum. There are great hacks to help keep your hair fresh in between wash days such as Dry Shampoo and putting your hair up can hide greasy hair for a couple of days! 

- AVOID situations that will make your hair dirty. For example: Swimming, Gym, Painting or Sunbeds. If you like to workout everyday or swim many times in a week then you may want to reconsider if permanent hair extensions are the right choice for you. Temporary Clip-In Methods can give you the same effect but are easily removed and reapplied which is perfect for customers wanting to wash their hair every day. 

How should you Dry Permanent hair extensions? 

The beauty of permanent human hair extensions is that they tend to mimic the natural curl pattern of your hair when left to dry naturally. There is controversy in the Hair Extension world whether it is right or wrong to allow Permanently attached hair to dry naturally as it can cause mould to gather around the bonds triggered by heat and damp.

Here at Cliphair we believe that as long as the roots/bonds are dried straight after washing the rest of the hair can be left to dry by itself, giving the finished result a gorgeous textured wave. 

- ALWAYS dry the roots of your hair even if you are leaving the ends to dry by themselves to prevent mould from forming. PLEASE NOTE human hair will not dry silky straight, our hair dry’s naturally with texture and a slight wave which our customers love as it is more authentic to your own hair. 

- NEVER brush the hair whilst it is soaking wet. Dry the hair until it is at least 50% dry before attempting to brush, brushing whilst wet can pull the hair extensions out. If the hair is extremely matted, spray detangling spray on the mid-lengths and ends before drying and very gently from the ends up brush the hair with a tangle teaser. 

- USE heat protection spray. Give the hair a few sprays along the mid-lengths and ends from 10cm away before drying. Remember not to use the highest heat setting on the hair drying to minimise heat damage to the hair extensions. When drying the hair, yourself the quickest way to do this is to separate the hair into sections. Logically it would seem faster to dry the hair altogether but drying the hair in one combined chunk will take much longer! 

- AVOID using any type of round brush until the hair is at least 80% dry to avoid pulling any of the attachments out at the root. You can achieve the Bouncy Blow dry look by using tongs and pins very easily which is also much quicker with extensions than an actual blow dry. 

Now that there’s no need to dread “wash day” why not take a look at our wide range of Human Hair Extensions here at Cliphair. With over 50 shades to choose from including our New Balayage colors along with all the accessories and haircare products you need maintain them. Whatever you're after you will find it in our collection, and remember if you need any help choosing the right ones for you feel free to ask an expert and use our FREE Color Match and Advice service by clicking the button below!

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