There are quite a few questions about washing tape extensions (also called skin weft extensions and adhesive tape in hair extensions - and used interchangeably in this guide).
We also get asked about when you can start washing your tape in hair extensions, and the short answer is not for the first 48 - 72 hours of having them attached.
You might find the washing process more manageable if you separate your hair into two sections down the middle of your head and have two loose ponytails. This way you'll be able to focus your attention on one side of your head before moving to the other side.
We've outlined a method for washing your tape hair extensions which can be used with straight, wavy and curly textured tape hair extensions.
Hair washing (whether growth hair, wigs or hair extensions) is about removing oil (sebum) dust and styling products from the surface of the scalp and hair.
It's the job of shampoo products to trap the oil, styling product build-up and dust and carry it away when rinsed.
In other words, you, your hair extensions, growth hair and your scalp will all be better off if you're gentle when washing.
Detangle while the hair is dry using your fingers. Always start at the ends of the hair and work your way towards the tape area of the hair weft. Don’t pull or tug at any knots as you don’t want to add any strain to your own growth hair.
While the hair is still dry, use a wide tooth comb and start combing at the ends of the hair, working towards the taped area. Gently tease out any knots or tangling without tugging or pulling at the hair.
Mix your shampoo with some warm water in an empty water bottle or a jug (500ml of water should have no more than two table spoons of shampoo - don't use too much shampoo as the aim is to cleanse the scalp and allow the lather to remove anything else from the hair strands).
Pour some (not all) of this mixture over the top of your head so that you can wash your scalp.
When you've cleansed your scalp, and then pour some of the remaining shampoo mix over the tape hair extensions but not directly on the tape)
You can use a shower comb to distribute the shampoo lather or use your fingers. Use gentle downward motions and avoid a circular motion as this causes tangling.
Rinse the hair by pouring lukewarm water over the hair (using the shower or bottle). Take hold of all of the hair (or one section if you have sectioned the hair) and gently squeeze starting at the top (near the tape) and working your way down to the ends.
If you're using a bottle or jug, refill it and pour the water over your hair and whilst doing so, keep opening and closing your hand (squeezing) your hair at the same time as the water is running, but do not wring the hair.
Repeat steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 if you think the hair is not clean.
Always wash your tape hair extensions after swimming.
You can either towel dry or blow dry your tape hair extensions.
Pat your scalp to dry it and squeeze the hair extensions with the towel. Avoid wringing or rubbing the hair as this causes tangling. It might be helpful to use a smaller towel to dry the hair that's closes to the actual tape area.
Use a low heat setting for blow drying your hair - excessive heat damages human hair and can heat the adhesive tape causing it to become more glue like which is a whole nightmare of glue and growth hair that won't end well.
In general, using blow dryers or any heat styling tools on your tape hair extensions should be kept to a minimum.
Whichever drying method you choose, it's important that the area around the base (tape tabs) is completely dry.
There's more information in the Hair Extensions Q&A section or if you'd like to keep up to date with the next guide about tape hair extensions, other types of hair extensions, wigs and hairpieces then join our blog – no personal info required - hooray!