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How To Care For Your Hair Extensions - The Best Guide

by Matt Kloiber |

Caring for hair extensions in the right way, to get the very best from them, is quite a commitment if you want to keep them looking beautiful for as long as possible. Hair extensions should be viewed as an investment that you want to nurture and take good care of. Lets face it - you have probably paid £100's of pounds, and yet how often have you done this and then tried to care for your hair extensions using supermarket products? When for just a few pounds more you can get specialist products that will ensure your investment looks great for longer.

If you are a professional hair extension technician, how many times have you heard a client say 'well if they are human hair I can treat them just like my own hair....' well can't. As hair extensions are not getting any nutrients from the scalp like your own natural hair, so they need 'feeding' and moisture regularly...but not TOO regularly

Use of the correct products, and a correct aftercare routine are essential to get the best from your hair extensions.

Many shampoos, conditioners and styling products that are not specifically designed for use with human hair extensions can cause dryness, tangling and compromised bonds.

Do you or your clients know what ingredients to avoid? It's not as simple as just using sulfate free shampoo....what about that heat protection from the super market with the short chain alcohol in it...short chain what? Exactly our point, unless your clients know what they need to avoid in a product then they shouldn't be responsible for choosing their own aftercare products.

So here is our definitive guide to caring for your hair extensions.....

After Your Fitting:

  • If you have had a fitting using pre bonded hot fusion do not wash your hair for 2-3 days to allow the bonds to fully harden
  • Washing your hair sooner than this may cause the bonds to become compromised – causing premature loss of extension strands &/or shedding
  • Tie your hair in a loose plait/braid for sleeping


  • It is not advised to colour your hair extensions, as the result may not be as desired and the hair quality/bonds may be compromised
  • Any colouring (including the use of ‘silver’ or lightening shampoos) is done at your own risk
  • No liability is accepted for damage/poor results due to hair colouring that goes wrong If colouring your own hair whilst wearing extensions be sure to keep colour away from the extension bonds


  • When the extension hair is wet only use a wide tooth comb on your extension hair
  • When the hair is dry only use a specialist hair extension brush – this has been designed to ensure that the brush will not get snagged/caught
  • Always support your bonds at the root with your ‘free’ hand when brushing – this prevents excess tugging on the extensions at the root

Washing & Drying The Extensions:

  • Your extensions should be washed a maximum of 2-3 times per week.
  • Before every wash you must make sure the hair is not tangled, and that you separate the bonds from each other at the root.
  • As your extensions start growing down you will experience matting at the roots if you do not separate the bonds at the root regularly.
  • Only ever use shampoo, conditioner and just as importantly heat protection that is specifically designed for use on hair extensions.
  • Non-specialist products can cause dryness, tangling, shedding and compromised bonds & will typically mean that good hair suppliers will not honour any hair quality guarantee


  • Use a smoothing action with the shampoo down the extension hair – never rub or use a scrubbing action as tangling/matting will occur
  • Condition from the mid lengths to the ends of the extension hair. Never apply conditioner on or near the bonds
  • Wash your hair upright (i.e in a shower). Never tip your head forwards over a sink/bath to wash.
  • Once washed, conditioned and rinsed pat the hair dry with a towel – never use a rubbing/scrubbing action to dry


  • When hair is damp apply a hair extension heat protection serum.
  • Dry the extension bonds themselves on a cool setting.
  • Never use a hot setting to dry the bonds as this can soften and weaken the bonds over time
  • Section your hair and blow dry a section at a time using a round vent or hair extension brush.
  • Avoid excessive pulling whilst blow drying Do not allow your hair extensions to dry naturally and never rough dry them

Heat - Holidays - Sunbeds:

  • If using a sunbed protect your hair extensions & bonds by wrapping them in a towel If on holiday – never get your extension hair wet in either the pool or sea.
  • This can cause extreme drying of the extensions and breakdown of bonds
  • Be aware that hair extensions can be prone to drying out when abroad due to a combination of different water types and intense sun
  • If you have blonde shades of extensions then dis-colouration due to chlorine and/or sun creams can occur – so please be careful to avoid contact with chlorine or sun cream
  • Some water filtration systems abroad can cause light coloured extensions to go a slightly pink/orange colour