Summer Hair Extension Care

Summer Hair Extension Care

Posted by Lynn Bogen on Apr 28th 2019

Help Your Hair Extensions Survive the Summer

The sun and fun of summer can be extremely hard on hair extensions. Swimming in chlorine and salt water can fade colors, dry out and tangle hair. I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help keep your extensions looking beautiful all summer.

  1. Wash hair only when necessary, use a dry shampoo on the roots in-between shampoos to keep it fresh. Shampoo every other day if your hair is oily, every 3-5 days if your hair is drier. Shampooing every day strips the oils from extension hair. Extension hair does not have the natural oils from the scalp to keep it moisturized, the hair is happier when you apply a leave-in conditioner daily and not strip it with shampoo.

    The shampoo you choose is important too. Use a moisturizing, sulfate free shampoo and only wash the roots of your hair. There is no need to lather the ends, the water and shampoo that runs over the ends is enough to keep it clean. If you wear tape-in hair extensions or wefts extensions make sure you shampoo and rinse under the extensions too. Rinse with cool or luke warm water, not hot water. Never use a volumizing shampoo on hair extensions!

    For extremely dry extensions: wet hair, apply conditioner to the extensions, (2” away from the bonds) then apply shampoo to the roots. This method gives the most moisture to the hair but washes the roots. The conditioner acts as a barrier against stripping the extension hair oils. This is a modified “co-wash”.

    Some people even do a full “co-wash” which is short for conditioner washing. Co-washing skips the shampoo and relies on conditioners to gently lift oil and debris from your scalp and hair. Co-washing is only recommended for extensions that are applied with beads or weaves. The conditioner may break down keratin bonds or loosen tape extensions.
  2. Apply plenty of conditioner. Use a regular conditioner during your normal washing. Once every 1-2 weeks deep condition the extensions. After the shower towel dry hair gently by squeezing, never rub the hair with a towel. If you have trouble running your fingers through it use a spray detangler. There are lots of children’s detanglers that work well at a good price.

    Even if you use a detangler it is recommended that you use a leave-in conditioner and or silicone leave in conditioner. Use both a leave-in and silicone on light colored hair. Apply more as needed between shampoos. Avoid conditioners near the roots/bonds.
  3. Swimming is rough on hair extensions. Fresh water is the least damaging. Chlorine pools can be the worst if you are in them often. The chlorine acts as bleach on hair. Salt water raises the cuticle and dries hair. Dreadlocks are created using a salt spray to help create the dreads so you can imagine what salt can do to extensions.


The best way to prevent damage and still enjoy the water:

  • Wet your hair with fresh water. This keeps the chlorine or salt from being absorbed as deeply.
  • After wetting your hair apply a generous amount of conditioner to the extensions. Avoiding the bonds.
  • Put your hair in a braid. A swimming cap will give extra protection.
  • Wash your hair after exposure to salt or chlorine. Following the advice above.

Sleeping with hair extensions

  • Never go to bed with wet hair.
  • Braid hair to keep it from rubbing and tangling. This also helps to keep the bonds from pulling out your natural hair. A pony tail is ok too.
  • A satin pillowcase is a bonus!

Brushes and combs

  • A loop brush is great for extension hair. You can brush right over the bonds and it won’t pull the hair. I recommend a Super Looper brush.
  • To detangle use a wide tooth comb – just avoid the root area – you don’t want to pull out an extension!

Enjoy your summer and your hair!