Choose the Best Hair Shampoos for Your Hair Extensions

lady and the hair

Hair extensions offer an easy and quick way to change your looks, as they can instantly add highlights or lowlights without chemical treatments. They also provide versatility, allowing you to experiment with various hairstyles such as curls and braids. If you have hair extensions or are considering getting one, you want to know the maintenance tips and the best hair care products. In the sections below, we have discussed all you need to know about the best shampoo for hair extensions.

What Shampoo Can I Use On Hair Extensions?

Before we look at the various shampoos ideal for hair extensions, it’s crucial to understand the different types of hair extensions. This will also determine the best shampoos with the critical ingredients needed to protect and nourish the extensions.

Hair extensions are often classified into three main types: permanent, temporary, and semi-permanent. Here are some of the most popular types of hair extensions and their unique characteristics:

  • Clip-in hair extensions: As the name suggests, these extensions are clipped to your natural hair at the base. They are the least permanent type and can be removed or put back on at any time. Clip-ins are also easy to apply, taking about five to ten minutes.
  • Tape-in hair extensions: This type is semi-permanent since it involves using some adhesive glue. Unlike the clip-ins, you will need the help of a trained hair stylist to apply the tape-ins. They are the most popular and suitable for most hair types, plus they cause the least damage to your natural hair.
  • Sew-in hair extensions: Popularly known as weaves, this type involves using a needle and thread to sew the extension to layers of your natural hair. Since this type of hair extension can cause too much tension to the hair, it’s suitable for thicker hair.
  • Micro-link hair extensions: With this type, hair extensions are attached to tiny wefts of hair. Adhesive glue or heat is not used to bond the extension to the hair; hence, it can be very safe and discrete.

Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions

Now that you know the popular types of hair extensions, we can look at the things to look out for when choosing the best hair extension care products. Typically, you want to look for products with gentle to mild formulas. Natural ingredients such as Aloe Vera, Coconut milk, and moisturising ingredients are highly recommended. On the contrary, you should avoid products with the following ingredients:


Hair extensions, shampoos, and conditioners with sulphate compounds such as Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, or any sulphate should be avoided. These compounds cause the hair to dry out and can weaken your immune system. Sulphate compounds are also known to cause rashes, itching, and swelling.


Alcohol is often used in hair care products due to its evaporative properties. And while this may be a positive trait, most alcoholic products come with adverse effects. For instance, alcohol can destroy essential oils necessary for hair growth. They can also cause the hair extensions to become dry and brittle. It’s worth noting that some alcohols are worse than others. A few examples of alcohols you should avoid at all costs include ethanol, isopropyl, propyl, lauryl alcohol, and propanol. Since you cannot tell the exact type or quantities of alcohol used in a hair care product, it’s best to always use alcohol-free products.

Heavy Oils and Silicones

Silicon and oil are commonly used in shampoos to make the hair smooth and shiny. However, hair care products with large proportions of heavy oils and silicones can prevent moisture from touching the hair strands. This will eventually cause your hair to become dull and weak, hence prone to breakage.

Best Hair Shampoos for Hair Extension

Having explored what to look out for and what to avoid when choosing shampoos for hair extensions, here’s a list of the top picks to consider.

Nutritive Bain Satin

This is a gentle shampoo known to nourish and reinforce your hair. It leaves a moisturising effect on your hair extension and provides a clean and lightweight result. If you have normal to slightly dry hair, Nutritive Bain Satin would be your ideal pick.

Clean and Lightweight Hair

Clean and Lightweight Hair

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo

If you are in for a hydrating shampoo, this is the one to pick. It is a creamy shampoo ideal for normal to thick hair. Some key ingredients for this shampoo include green tea, jojoba, and sage.

OGX Shampoo Nourishing Coconut Milk

The OGX Coconut milk shampoo is a creamy formula that hydrates your hair extension, making it smooth, strong, and elastic. This nourishing blend contains coconut milk, coconut oil, and egg white proteins.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo

This is a fortifying shampoo rich in keratin proteins, argan oil, and essential fatty acids. It’s ideal for nourishing, cleaning, and repairing damaged hair extensions. Moroccanoil Moisture shampoo is creamy and suitable for all types of hair.

Hair Conditioner for Extensions

Unlike a conditioner meant to clean and remove oils from your hair, a conditioner is used to reintroduce moisture into your hair strands. Choosing the right hair conditioner for your extension ensures that you have smooth, healthy, and shiny strands. Some key ingredients to look for in a hair conditioner include nourishing compounds such as silk protein, keratin, and argan oil. Regardless of your extension type, you always want to avoid those with compounds like sulphates, alcohol, and silicon. For instance, shampoos and conditioners for tape extensions will often do well for sew-in or clip extensions.

Three Tips to Take Care of Your Hair Extensions

Hair extensions, like natural hair, require proper care and maintenance. Here’s a quick overview of the things to prioritise as far as hair extension maintenance is concerned.

The Frequency of Washing

How often you should wash your hair extensions depends on your activity level. For instance, if you are more active and tend to sweat more often, wash your extension three to five times a week. Otherwise, the ideal frequency of washing your extension is about once to twice every week.

Proper Washing Technique

To ensure you get the best results without the risk of damaging your extension, you should use lukewarm water, and once the extensions are wet, use the right shampoo to wash your hair. Always be gentle when cleaning the end of the extensions near the clip or bonds. You should also detangle the extensions before showering and gently squeeze the excess water or air-dry instead of towel drying.

Deep Conditioning Treatments

After washing your hair extension with a moisturising shampoo and rinsing the strands gently, you should squeeze the excess water and get your hair extension ready for conditioning. If the hair is not sopping wet, apply a leave-in conditioner, preferably one containing natural oils. You can then use a thermal protectant before blow-drying or during the summer months.

The Bottom Line

Hair extensions are an ideal solution if you want to enhance your hair’s colour or transform the look without significant investment or commitment. Still, you must care for your hair extension using the right hair shampoos and conditioners.

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