The best tips for washing your weave

Sunday, 5 November 2017


Keeping your weave clean and neat can be quite a challenge as you also have to take care of the hair beneath the extensions. Whether your own hair is relaxed or natural, it’s important to wash both the weave and your own hair thoroughly to prevent pungent smells and candyfloss-looking locks. If your hair is glued in as opposed to sewn in, you’ll have to be a little more careful with shampooing as this can disturb the adhesive.

There are three different types of weaves available, generally made from virgin, human or synthetic hair, and each require different washing tips:

Virgin hair

This is the easiest type of weave to wash as it the highest quality hair, which means that it hasn’t been treated with any chemicals e.g. colouring or straightening, and is damage-free. You can wash, curl, heat style and re-use it many times over a year or more. If you get a “cuticle hair” weave, it means that all the cuticles face the same direction. “Non-cuticle” hair means that the hair was thrown into piles with other hair when collected and care wasn’t taken to make sure that cuticles were aligned. Aligned cuticles create a better-looking wig that looks better for longer.

Human hair

The hair used to create the weave has been treated either mechanically with heat or chemically with colour, straighteners or curlers. It will shed more easily and can only be washed and re-used a couple of times.

Synthetic hair

This weave might last for three months but you should remove and then reinstall it once a month. You won’t be able to wash it but you must shampoo your own hair underneath.

To wash:

Depending on how much time you have, try and treat your scalp and hair pre-shampoo. Fill an applicator bottle with a nourishing oil of your choice to fight breakage. Separate each track and apply the oil to your scalp row by row. Pay particular attention to your hairline and massage the oil to increase blood circulation, which stimulates growth. Put on a thick shower cap and leave the oil on for an hour.

Clarify the scalp and your hair with apple cider vinegar or a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup and balance the pH levels of your scalp and hair. Rinse after five minutes.

Part your weave in two sections and detangle strands with a wide-tooth comb or brush. Wet your weave so that the water runs from the track to the ends of the hair. Apply a small amount of shampoo and work through the weave, smoothing your hands over it to minimise friction. Rinse out and repeat until your hair feels clean and the water runs clear.

Apply a conditioner and leave in your weave for 15 minutes. Rinse and air or blow dry. It’s important that your own hair is dry to prevent it from getting a fungal infection and smelling musty.

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends

    Excellent tips. I have extensions and sometimes I donno what to use and how to wash them

    1 year ago •

  1. Tanya

    My friend loves weaves.will share this article

    1 year ago •

  1. Nandisa Miya

    i always apply and wash the conditioner at the same time….thanks a lot.

    2 years ago •

  1. Noma2017

    wonderful tips, thank you. will do exactly that next time

    2 years ago •

  1. Ayanda Maleka

    Great tips, I personally prefer my hair being washed at the salon, that way i am certain it is washed thoroughly.I do however pay attention to the products used so I know it doesn’t get damaged. I envy people that can wash their weaves and it looks like they have been to the salon

    2 years ago •

  1. Tembisa Maqungu

    I didn’t know you could use ACV to clarify your scalp, Thank Goodness I turned all my weaves into wigs now I don’t dread having to wash my hair and I get a break from Itching because I can take it off whenever.

    2 years ago •


    Great tips! Weaves are super expensive though.

    2 years ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In