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How to Wash a Weave | Step-by-Step Guide

The hardest part about having a weave is how to maintain it effectively. This tutorial will show you how to wash a weave properly and keep it looking fresh and new.

Washing a Weave: A Summary

If you want to wash your weave quickly and easily, the easiest method is to use a natural shampoo and conditioner containing no parabens. To save time, you can clean the weave in 5 key phases:

  1. Straighten the weave
  2. Soak the weave in shampoo water solution
  3. Rinse
  4. Dry  
  5. Condition

How to Wash a Weave in 12 Easy Steps

Weaves come in many different types and styles, but most require special care to ensure their longevity. If you have the time, you can make the process as meticulous as possible to get the best results.

1. Gather Supplies

To wash your hair extensions at home, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soft bristle brush: A soft bristle brush is great for detangling hair and removing buildup on the scalp.
  • Wide tooth comb: A wide tooth comb is ideal for styling loose waves. You can also use it to detangle your hair if necessary.
  • A good shampoo: We recommend gentle, sulfate-free shampoos. Choose a shampoo that nourishes your scalp without stripping away all its natural oils. Look for ingredients like coconut oil, olive oil, or shea butter in a sulfate-free formula.
  • Conditioner: Use conditioner after shampooing to soften strands and prevent tangles while styling.
  • Sink faucet: Ensure your water temperature is warm enough to cleanse but not too hot because it can burn your scalp.
  • Towel: Keep a towel nearby so you can wrap wet locks in it while they air dry—this helps prevent frizziness and breakage.

2.  Read the Label

Before you wash your weave, it’s important to read the care label on the box. This label will tell you exactly what products can be used on your hair, how much product is needed, and how often to use it. If there isn’t a label, don’t worry! Some general rules still apply to washing all types of hair.

3. Take It Apart

First, make sure that your natural hair and extensions are completely dry. Then, remove any clips or bands holding the weave in place, so they aren’t damaged during washing and drying.

4. Brush Out the Weave Thoroughly

A critical step in washing your weave is detangling it before washing. To do this, comb through with a wide tooth comb from root to tip.

If knots or tangles are in the weave, try using a small pick made specifically for detangling hair extensions. These picks, made of plastic, contain small teeth that help pick apart tangled strands of yarn without damaging them too much.

5. Check for Damage

Check for any damage that may have occurred during installation or removal. If there are any broken clips or missing parts, check with your stylist to see if they can replace them before installation begins.

If they can’t, it’s best to call another stylist who can help you with these issues before washing and installing a new weave to avoid further damage.

6. Prepare the Cleaning Area

Prepare a place where you can clean your weave. It would help if you had a sink, bathtub, or washtub that could hold enough water to soak your hair in.

Bring the shampoo, conditioner, and other necessary products for washing your hair. Ensure that there is enough space around the sink so that you have room to move around while washing your hair.

7. Fill a Sink With Cold Water and Add Mild Shampoo

Once you have prepared everything, fill a sink, bathtub, or wash tub with cold water and add a cupful of mild shampoo. This solution will help remove any dirt from your weave and any residue from other products in your hair, such as gel or spray.

8. Hold Weave by Ends and Swish It in the Water

Swish the weft of your weave back and forth in the water, ensuring that you get all of it wet. This action will loosen any product buildup on the hair and allow you to cleanse it thoroughly. In this step, you may want to ensure that the hair is completely wet and that all of the residues get removed.

9. Let Soak for 30 Minutes to an Hour

After you have swished your hair in the water, let it soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour before removing it from the water basin.

You must leave it long enough for all of the soap and conditioner to be washed out of your hair extensions before rinsing them off with a clean towel or cloth.

10. Rinse the Weave Thoroughly

You can rinse with warm water or cold water. Rinse until the water runs clear and there are no signs of shampoo or conditioner remaining on your hair.

After rinsing, squeeze out as much excess water as possible from the weave using a towel or paper towel. Do not wring or twist the weave; this could cause damage to the fiber strands and ruin its shape.

11. Air Dry (Never Blow-Dry Your Weave)

Drying is a very important step and one that many wig owners tend to overlook. When you wash your hair, you want to make sure that you allow it to dry naturally so that it doesn’t get damaged by heat or pressure from a blow dryer.

The reason why you should never blow-dry your weave is that it’s going to damage the bonds of the weft and cause breakage. Even if you’re wearing synthetic hair, which is much stronger than human hair, blowing hot air on it will still damage it over time.

12. Condition With a Good Moisturizing Conditioner

Conditioning after washing your weave is extremely important because it helps to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. It also helps to keep your weave looking fresh and clean longer than normal.

You should always use a moisturizing conditioner on your hair, which helps reduce tangling and leaves your hair feeling soft and smooth.

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Tips for At-Home Weave Maintenance

Image for a guide showing us how to wash a weave with hair products and a brush on brown hair on a light pink background


Don’t have time to get your hair done? Weaves can be a quick and easy way to change your look — but they can also be challenging to care for and maintain. Below are some tips for maintaining your weave at home.

Keep Your Weave Clean

Use a clarifying shampoo once every four weeks to remove any buildup from products or styling aids like gel or mousse. Clarifying shampoos remove dirt, sebum, sweat, and product residue. 

Even better? it does this without stripping natural oils from the scalp and hair shafts like regular shampoos do. These shampoos can also help eliminate any product residue weighing down your strands.

Read Next: The 7 Best Clarifying Shampoos in 2023

Keep It Moisturized

If you’re concerned about the dryness of your weave, then a hydrating spray or oil might help. You can use these products on wet or dry hair, but they’re especially helpful if you use heat tools on your hair because they will seal in moisture and protect against heat damage.

Keep Your Weave Dirt-Free

The key to keeping your weave clean is regular washing. You should shampoo and condition your hair once or twice a week, depending on how often you wear your weave.

Regular cleaning will prevent buildup and keep your hair looking fresh. You can also use an acid rinse or clarifying treatment to remove any residue left in your hair after washing.

Keep It From Breaking

Breakage is one of the most common complaints about weaves. They tend to break more easily than natural hair. To keep the weave from breaking, avoid pulling, yanking, or tugging at it whenever possible.

This can cause damage and breakage. Also, avoid using heat tools on synthetic wigs because they can melt the fibers and cause serious damage if used incorrectly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Below are the most frequently asked questions about washing a weave. 

How do I deep condition my weave?

There are many different ways to deep condition your weave. You can use a deep conditioning mask or a moisturizing leave-in conditioner before washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

You can also purchase one of the many deep conditioning treatments available at beauty supply stores or salons. Or you can try one of these DIY solutions: olive oil, coconut oil, mayonnaise, or aloe vera gel mixed with water until it’s thick like cake batter (not too runny).

How often should I wash my weave?

If you’re using synthetic hair and you’re styling it, you can wash it twice a week or even more often. If you’re using human hair and don’t style it, once a week is fine.

What shampoo should I use?

The best option is sulfate-free shampoo because it won’t strip your hair of its natural oils. So while sulfate-free shampoos are more expensive than regular shampoos, they will help keep your hair looking new for longer.

So, What Is the Best Way to Wash a Weave?

Washing your weave regularly keeps it clean, healthy, and smelling well! If you need help in the process, ask your stylist what products are best and follow their instructions. Happy styling!