Best Extension-Safe Shampoos and How to Use Them Properly

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Gaga

After getting extensions, it’s important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your stylist. This will ensure the longevity of hair extensions and prevent damage to your real hair. Linked to this is knowing how long to wait before washing your hair. 

How Long Should You Wait to Shampoo After the Installation?

You must refrain from washing your hair at least two days after the application. This will allow the bonds to set properly and ensure that your freshly installed extensions adhere firmly to your hair. Otherwise, premature contact with water and the cleaning agents in the hair shampoo may weaken the bonds between the extensions and your hair.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair with Extensions?

For this same reason, it is also recommended that you limit washing your hair to two or three times per week. Too frequent hair washing can damage the bonds. Dry shampoo can be used occasionally to remove excess oil in your hair.

At the same time, it is important to keep your hair clean because too much oil in the scalp, as well as dirt and hair products, can soften the bonds and cause your extensions to loosen.

Woman with hair extensions taking a shower

What Shampoo to Use for Washing Hair Extensions?

Make sure to use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for hair extensions. Most ordinary shampoos contain ingredients—such as sulfates, alcohol, oils, and silicones—that can shorten the life of your extensions.

Sulfate-based shampoos can strip your real hair of natural oils and result in overly dry hair extensions. This could be a problem since your extensions are already dryer than your natural hair because they do not receive oils from your scalp.

Your shampoo for extensions should contain non-oil-based moisturizing ingredients to provide your hair and extensions with weightless hydration that does not adversely affect your bonds.

4 Sulfate-Free Shampoos for Extensions

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1. F.A.T.T. Full and Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner by Big Kizzyir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B07751T9N4

This shampoo and conditioner set was designed by a professional stylist to care for extensions while also addressing the needs of natural hair. It is formulated without sulfates, silicone, and oils, which helps preserve the integrity of the bonds and keeps your extensions firmly in place.

In addition to being safe for hair extensions, this shampoo is also suitable for colored and keratin-treated hair. Since it contains ingredients that promote healthy hair growth and prevent future hair loss, it is the perfect choice for individuals with thinning hair

It contains a blend of 11 amino acids that help repair and condition the hair shaft and add volume to fine and thinning hair. Biotin and panthenol strengthen hair, promote hair growth, and add extra shine. A powerful blend of botanical extracts soothes the scalp and strengthens hair follicles to stimulate hair growth.

2. Glamorously Clean Shampoo and Conditioner by Glam Seamlessir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B013KZDVGQ

This shampoo and conditioner set is specially formulated for hair extensions. The products are color-safe and free of sulfates, parabens, and sodium chloride. The shampoo formula includes 11 botanical extracts to provide weightless hydration, strengthen hair, and improve manageability.

Seriously Smooth Conditioner by Glam Seamless is designed to hydrate dry hair, prevent tangles, and give softness and shine to your locks.

3. B3 Brazilian Bondbuilder Extension Repair Shampoo

This sulfate-free shampoo is designed for use on hair extensions and to repair your real hair. It leaves extension soft, doesn’t lose bonds, and reinforces hair strands to prevent breakage.

4. Frizz Taming Shampoo by SUDZZFXir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0756L91RT

This shampoo keeps hair extensions looking and feeling better and ensures their longevity.

This luxurious sulfate-free shampoo is formulated to cleanse and hydrate hair and make it resistant to humidity. It strengthens and nourishes damaged hair, leaving your locks feeling soft, healthy, and silky.

SUDZZFX shampoo also makes the hair easy to detangle and style. It is safe for color-treated hair and hair extensions.

How to Wash Hair with Extensions

a brunette woman washing hair with the extensions in the shower

1. Shampooing

Always detangle your hair before washing using a high-quality brush made for hair extensions.

Wash your hair while standing upright in the shower. Turning your head upside down can cause tangles. Be sure the water pressure is not too high and use lukewarm water.

After wetting the hair, apply a normal amount of shampoo and gently massage your scalp in small circles with your fingertips. Don’t rub your hair vigorously close to the bonds to avoid matting.

Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of the hair to prevent residue build-up. 

2. Conditioning

Since hair extensions do not receive natural oils from your scalp, you need to use a good conditioner to keep them well moisturized.

Apply conditioner to the ends and mid-lengths, keeping it away from the bonds and scalp area. Applying conditioner to the bonds can cause the extensions to slip off. Leave the conditioner in for up to 2 minutes, then rinse it out thoroughly without tugging the extension.

3. Drying

Squeeze excess water from the hair and wrap your head in a towel. Don’t rub your hair when towel-drying it. Instead, blot your hair with your towel.

Comb your extensions with a wide-toothed comb before blow-drying to keep them tangle-free.

If you wear keratin bond hair extensions, start the drying process as soon as possible, because leaving bonds wet for a prolonged time can weaken them. Starting the drying process from the roots ensures that the bonds are dried thoroughly. Set your hair dryer at a low heat setting to avoid overheating the bonds.

Cold fusion hair extensions are not as vulnerable to heat and water, so you can either air dry or blow dry hair without damaging them.

Beautiful brunette with freshly washed hair with extensions

About the author

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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


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