After you've purchased natural hair extensions that match your hair and learned how to attach and wear them in a way that complements your hair and appearance, the next step is to understand how to care for them properly to ensure their longevity. If you find that your hair extensions are becoming difficult to manage and style to blend seamlessly with your natural hair, it might be time to give them a wash. The accumulation of styling products and exposure to external factors like dust can lead to the buildup on the natural hair wefts, causing them to become dirty and affecting your overall hairstyle. It's essential to note that the more frequently you wash your hair extensions, the shorter their average lifespan, so it's crucial to know the right way to wash them and when to do so to maximize their durability.
The Correct Way to Wash Natural Hair Extensions with Clips:
Step 1: Thoroughly comb the natural hair weft before immersing it in water.
Prior to exposing the hair weft to water, it's essential to ensure that you comb it out thoroughly. This step is crucial in reducing tangling and knots during and after washing. To do this, use a wide-tooth comb or a brush specifically designed for use on natural hair wefts. Place the hair weft horizontally on a clean, solid surface and begin combing from the bottom to the top. This technique helps gently remove any tangled knots without pulling or damaging the hair. After finishing, you can stack the wefts and prepare to immerse them in water.
Step 2: Choose the Right Products for Your Hair Extensions
It's always advisable to use products that are free from chemicals that can damage your natural hair. For instance, to remove buildup and ensure a thorough cleaning of your hair extensions, you can use a detoxifying charcoal shampoo. This type of shampoo offers a deep cleansing effect, thanks to its activated charcoal and apple cider vinegar, without stripping the hair of its natural oils.
Additionally, it's essential to use a natural shampoo that is suitable for natural hair extensions and doesn't contain alcohol, parabens, sulfates, or silicones, as these can harm the extensions and lead to damage.
Step 3: Preparation and Washing of the Hair Extensions
You can set aside a container or a large basin solely for washing your hair extensions to ensure they remain clean. Fill it with water, making sure it's not too hot or too cold, but rather lukewarm. Next, add the shampoo designed for natural hair extensions and thoroughly agitate the water with your hands to ensure the shampoo is evenly distributed throughout the basin. Finally, place the extensions inside the basin.
To begin the process of washing natural hair extensions, immerse them in the basin. Apply a small amount of shampoo and gently massage the extensions from the tips to the roots. Then, rinse them thoroughly with water for about 5 minutes to ensure there are no shampoo residues left. Afterward, place them on a towel to dry.
Step 4: Hydrating the Hair Extensions After Washing
After finishing the washing process, it's recommended to thoroughly hydrate the hair extensions using a hair conditioner. This step will help prevent tangling of the hair strands, provide them with a shine, and maintain their softness.
For this, take an amount of hair conditioner and apply it to the hair extension from top to bottom, ensuring that you hydrate the entire strands from the tips to the roots. Leave it on for a duration ranging from 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse them thoroughly with water. Leaving the conditioner on for a longer time can yield better results. You can also use some natural oils such as shea butter and aloe vera oil to enhance moisture in the hair strands and protect them from dryness.
Step 5: Using a Hair Mask for Deep Moisturizing of the Hair Extensions
This step is incredibly important for caring for your hair extensions as well, as it helps keep them soft and more lustrous. Start by taking a quantity of hair mask and generously applying it to your hair extensions. Massage it in thoroughly, then wrap the extensions in a clean towel. This is done to seal in moisture and enhance the absorption of the mask all the way to the tips of the hair extensions. For better results, you can leave the mask on overnight.
Step 6: Thoroughly Rinse the Hair Extensions After Applying the Hair Mask
In the morning, after leaving the hair mask on for a while, it's essential to rinse your hair extensions thoroughly with water, making sure not to leave any residues on them. Many people tend to rinse only the upper portion, but it's important to rinse the lower part as well. Neglecting this can result in the accumulation of product residues, leading to heavy and greasy-looking hair extensions. After rinsing the hair well, finish with a final rinse of cold water to protect the extensions from tangling and maintain their softness.
Step 7: Drying the Hair Extensions
The best way to dry your hair extensions without causing damage or tangling is to use a soft towel designed specifically for this purpose. Gently pat them dry without vigorously rubbing, and then allow them to air dry completely. It's essential to avoid using heat or exposing them to direct sunlight, as these can lead to dryness and loss of luster. If you intend to dry and style the extensions for immediate use after washing, it's crucial to use a heat protectant spray before styling to shield the strands from heat exposure and prevent damage.
Step 8: Combing the Hair Extensions After They've Dried
It's generally not advisable to comb hair extensions when they are wet because they tend to be fragile and prone to breakage and damage. Therefore, allow the extensions to dry completely before combing them. However, if you need to comb them while they're still damp, it can be done. Just make sure to use a wide-toothed comb that glides smoothly between the roots and tips of the hair without causing any harm.
Questions and Answers about Washing Hair Extensions:
Q: How often should I wash my clip-in hair extensions?
A: There isn't a specific answer, but it's important not to overwash them, as the less frequently you wash them, the longer they'll maintain their quality and average lifespan. It's recommended to wash them when you notice they're becoming difficult to style or blend with your natural hair due to product buildup. Alternatively, you can establish a washing frequency of once every thirty uses or monthly, which is generally suitable.
Q: Should I wash my hair extensions before wearing them for the first time?
A: You don't need to wash them. Once you've taken them out of the package, you can install and use them directly on your hair.
Q: What products should I use on my extensions, and which ones should I avoid?
A: Hair extensions lack a natural source of moisture like natural hair, so it's crucial to use natural oils regularly to prevent tangling and maintain their softness and shine. It's recommended to use oils designed for dry and damaged hair, such as argan oil, walnut oil, and castor oil, as they help keep the hair healthy and well-nourished.
You should avoid products containing chemicals like alcohol and sulfates. Therefore, always check the ingredient list when buying any new product.
Q: Do I need to wash my hair extensions after curling them to make them straight again?
A: No, you don't need to do that. You can simply comb them with a wide-toothed comb from top to bottom to straighten them. However, remember that the more products you use to curl your extensions, such as hair sprays and gels, the more often you may need to wash them.
The process of washing clip-in hair extensions involves a series of simple and easy steps that don't take much of your time but yield noticeable results in terms of preserving their quality and extending their lifespan. It's essential to adhere to all the steps when washing your hair extensions and not neglect any one of them, as they all complement each other to ensure the best outcomes.