If you have bought a fresh set of clip in hair extensions, you may be wondering: how do I get these clean? It’s true, clip ins don’t get worn as often as permanent hair extensions, which you wear on your head every day. And yet, even these nifty hair extensions, although not living on your head 24/7, need their very own TLC session every now and then.

A common misconception about hair extensions is that they can be washed exactly as you would with your natural hair – but this doesn’t apply to clip ins, and human hair extensions always need some extra care as they are more prone to dryness, for example! In today’s comprehensive clip-in hair extension care, we’ll address the most common questions about how to wash clip in hair extensions, paying particular attention to the steps to follow, and answering some of your queries such as how often you should wash clip in hair extensions, how to dry hair extensions, and more.

How to Wash Clip In Extensions?

Washing your clip ins doesn’t have to be a daunting process – in fact, it can be quite simple, given that you follow these steps properly, so that you can ensure that your clip ins are getting the best spa washing treatment ever – leading to a healthier looking set of hair extensions that will live up to the expectations throughout its whole lifespan. Read on and find out how to wash clip in human hair extensions in no time!

Step 1: Brush Carefully

Carefully and thoroughly brushing your extensions is essential for a successful washing up process, and should always be your number one step before doing any kind of treatment: this process smooths your extensions and gets rid of knots and tangles that can worsen when your beloved tresses get wet. Brushing your natural hair before you wash clip in hair extensions works in exactly the same way, so give your hair and hair extensions a good (yet gentle) brush before washing! For clip ins, make sure you use a hair extensions detangling brush (or a wide-toothed comb) to effectively get rid of knots and tangles in a smooth, seamless way without damaging the clips and seams. Like for natural hair, always make sure you start from the ends and work your way up to the seams.

Step 2: Soak your Extensions Through

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Time to get wet. Place your hair extensions in a container in your bathtub or in the sink, closing the drain so that you can fill it with water. Make sure your hair is completely soaked in the water, preferably at lukewarm temperature – not too hot, not too cold either. Extreme temperatures are never a good idea when it comes to human hair. Boiling hot water will damage the fibre of your hair and leave it dry, brittle, and prone to tangling; ice-cold water, instead, will close the hair cuticles and disrupt its absorbing powers. Whilst a cold water rinse is beneficial after you have gone through shampooing and conditioning, it’s never recommended as the first step. 

Step 3: Apply Shampoo

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Lather up!  Finding the right shampoo and making sure that all of the pieces in your clip in hair extensions have been washed is the most important part to get clean, refreshed tresses.

To do so, you should wash your clip in hair pieces separately; apply a normal dose of shampoo on your clip in hair extensions, and massage it into the hair, washing out all the product build-up. You may notice that the water in your container or bathtub or sink is changing colour: that’s it, that’s all the gunk coming out! If necessary, in case of stubborn oiliness or accidents with some hair product, you may want to shampoo twice to make sure that all the dirt is getting washed away from your locks.

Step 4: Rinse

Rinse your extensions with plenty of clean lukewarm water, and then pat them in a soft towel to soak up the excess water. Doing this will help your conditioning treatment to better penetrate in the hair shaft, for a deeper hydration and softening effects. 

Step 5: Conditioner

Use conditioner every time you wash your clip in extensions – it’s a total must-have.  Leave the conditioner in the hair for 3-5 minutes for best results (or however long your chosen conditioner says on the packaging). Make sure you focus on mid-length and ends, to avoid possible build-up on the clips and lace seams.

Step 6: Deep Conditioning

Treat your hair to a moisturising hair mask ever 10-15 washes. If you regularly heat-style your extensions then use a mask more often – after every 7-10 washes. You can also pop your hair extensions in a plastic bag or a shower cap whilst they are covered in a deep conditioning treatment to help concentrate the softening and nourishing effects of your chosen product. 

Just like with conditioner, focus on the mid-length and ends of your clip ins.

Step 7: The Final Rinse

Now, finally, you got to the last washing step: the final rinse. Use cool water to seal all that lovely moisture from the conditioner into your hair, rinsing thoroughly to make sure that your extensions are both soft and shiny at the end of this process. Cold water helps closing the cuticles and ensures that moisture and shine in your hair extensions lasts longer, for better styling and a better final result.

Step 8: Air Dry

Carefully place your extensions into a dry towel (I personally prefer microfibre towels as they are more gentle to hair cuticles) and pat away the water in excess. Then hang out your clip in extensions to dry naturally.

Always try to air dry your hair extensions, even if you are in a hurry. At the very least, try to get the hair to at least 50% dry before turning to heat. We all know that heat dries hair out more quickly so give your extensions a chance by drying them inside and hanging them out. If you resort to a blow dryer, make sure you spritz some Cliphair heat protection spray on your tresses to avoid heat damage.

If your hair is air drying, instead, know that now’s a good time to use a moisturising spray or serum on your human hair extensions, to lock hydration in your strands for long-lasting shine and softness.. We’d recommend the Cliphair silky hair spray, to help control any frizz.

If you want to know more about how to air dry your hair, check out our dedicated blog: Let It Breathe: How To Air-Dry Your Hair Like A Pro.

Step 9: Brush, Spray and Heat

Once your clip in hair extensions are fully dry, it’s time to get styling for your next wear. So how do you prepare your hair for styling?

If you’ve completely air dried your hair and it looks a bit frizzy don’t panic. It’s just the humidity in the air around the extensions that makes them look frizzy. Once you’ve brushed and styled your extensions, they’ll be back to perfect in next to no time. To solve this, you could resort to some hair oil – for example, Argan oil is one of my favourites. Find out everything you need to know about Argan oil in our dedicated post: Benefits Of Argan Oil For Hair & How To Use It. Make sure you leave your hair extensions to air dry in a dry space, rather than a room that gets constantly humid – such as your bathroom, for example – to avoid frizz.

Step 10: Style It

No explanation needed! Simply enjoy your perfectly washed clip in extensions. Remember to use heat protection spray and always use low heat settings to help keep your hair looking healthy for longer.

The Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Hair Extensions

best shampoo for hair extensions

When talking human hair extensions, you should always use specific shampoo and conditioners when washing them. Look for formulas that are sulphate-free and alcohol-free to avoid dryness and brittleness in the long run. Sulphates will damage the surface of the hair – ruining the colour and texture of your extensions – and alcohol is, well, a drying agent. 

Another top tip is to check out the ingredients list on your shampoo bottle – products with a long list of ingredients won’t necessarily be the best for your extensions – it’s better to use simpler, gentle products.

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A true staple in the hair care of extensions enthusiasts and salon professionals!

Together with the Quench The Thirst: Deep Moisture Conditioner and the Quench The Thirst: Deep Moisture Hair Mask, you'll be armed and ready to achieve flawless tresses in no time!

Best Hair Mask For Extensions: Quench The Thirst - Deep Moisture Hair Mask

hair mask for extensions

I have talked about the best shampoo for hair extensions, but what about a deep conditioning treatment to bring your tresses back to life when they start to feel a little dry? Clip in hair extensions don't need to be washed and treated as often as natural hair and permanent hair extensions, however, they can benefit from a deep conditioning treatment every now and then just as your hair does.

For this purpose, we have developed the Quench The Thirst: Deep Moisture Hair Mask!

With its rich formula, infused with precious ingredients such as Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Fig Extracts and Honey, this mask penetrates deeply into the hair fibres and guarantees moisture, softness, shine and manageability like no other product.

Perfect to restore natural hair and clip ins alike, whenever your tresses (natural or Remy) feel in need of some pick-me-up!

How Often To Wash Clip In Hair Extensions 

How often you should wash clip ins is pretty much up to you. Salon experts recommend washing them every 10 to 15 wears, but of course in case of heavy product build-up or accidents (for example, if you spill something on your hair extensions that shouldn’t be there at all) you don’t have to wait that long. Take a look at your clip ins and check how they feel when you run your fingers through them, focusing on the ends in particular. After all, when it comes to knowing how to look after clip in hair extensions, you are the one that knows them best!


Now that you know how to wash hair extensions clip in, you can make the most of your added tresses and keep them looking healthy, shiny, and soft. Happy washing!

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