Keep your hair extensions looking amazing for longer

Our luxury Russian hair extensions are designed to last for up to 5 years, if looked after correctly. By attending frequent maintenance appointments and following a good hair extension aftercare routine, you can keep your hair looking amazing for even longer!

The Importance of Hair Extension Aftercare

Hair extension aftercare is the key to prolonging the life of your hair extensions. Not only is this in your best interests from an aesthetic point of view but, also from a financial standpoint. Hair extensions can be expensive. Here at The Hair Alchemist however, we see our luxury Russian hair extensions as more of an investment. The quality of our hair extensions mean that with proper maintenance and aftercare they can last up to 5 years, rather than months as is with many other hair extensions. 

To discuss hair extension aftercare, we must first touch on hair extension installation. Hair extensions that are fitted correctly are more likely to last longer. Prior to the fitting of your hair extensions you should ensure that your hair has been thoroughly washed.

hair extension aftercare

You should not use a conditioner of any kind on your hair before your extensions have been fitted. This ensures that all residues including oil and product build up have been removed; these residues must be removed as they can cause slippage and loss of hair extensions after installation. Your hair must be fully dried and free of any styling products as this will give the best base for application.

After the installation of your hair, a good aftercare routine must be put into practice. When looking after your hair, we recommend that you only use Neal and Wolf hair care products. This is because we have tried and tested these products; they are the only products we use within our salon. Due to this, we can be sure that your hair is getting the best care possible, helping to keep both your natural hair and your hair extensions healthy.

You may notice that your scalp feels tender for a couple of days after hair extensions have been fitted. This is not cause for concern and is most likely due to the added weight of the hair extensions. This will pass however, if pain persists you should contact your  salon as extensions may have been fitted too tightly. 

You should also avoid washing your hair for around 2-3 days after hair extensions are fitted. If roots become oily you are able to use a dry shampoo on this area. Prolonging the time between having your hair extensions fitted and washing your hair allows the tips to fully harden, strengthening the bonds between your hair and the extensions themselves.

We do not recommend colouring, tinting or perming your hair extensions as these types of products contain elements that can damage both your extensions and your natural hair.  Hair extensions are likely to be more severely affected by this however as even though our extensions are 100% human hair, they are not receiving nutrients from the scalp like your natural hair is. This further highlights the importance of a good hair extension aftercare routine!

To avoid tangling and slippage, you should never wear your extensions for longer than 2 months continuously. During this time your hair will have grown by approximately 1.1 inches; the roots of your hair often start to tangle together if you have not separated the bonds correctly. Regular hair extension maintenance appointments help to prevent this, as your hair extensions will be completely re-fitted. You should also tie your hair back in a loose ponytail or plait using a soft scrunchie for bed to help avoid tangling.

Washing Your Hair Extensions

shampoo for hair extensions

When it comes to hair extension aftercare, it can be difficult to know which the best products to use are. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We recommend that clients use only Neal and Wolf products on their hair. These are the products we use in the salon; they are tried and tested by us.

Neal and Wolf products are sulfate free, paraben free, TEA free, DEA free and cruelty Free. They have been formulated to restore the natural hair whilst simultaneously conditioning your hair extensions. High street brands often contain high volumes of sodium chloride (salt) which will dry out your hair. Many of them also contain silicone based ingredients which can cause the bonds to weaken and break down. Loose bonds will cause the extensions to fall out.

You should wash your hair extensions 2-3 times per week. Before washing it is advised to detangle your extensions with a wide tooth comb, being careful to separate the bonds. When washing your hair, do not tip your head over the bath as this could cause tangling – always wash with your head upright. The shower is ideal. Smooth the shampoo down the hair extension; do not rub vigorously.

When it comes to conditioning your hair, you should be careful to only condition from the mid-lengths of your hair down to the ends. Do not apply any conditioner to the micro rings as this will cause slippage and your hair extensions will require re-fitting. You are able to pick the top section of your own hair up and apply conditioner to this section however. Pat hair gently when washed; do not rub. Ensure you rinse your hair thoroughly with the shower head to remove build up.


Hair extension aftercare can be as simple as brushing your hair properly. Remember, your extensions are attached to your own hair, pulling too hard or mistreating your extensions can result in your own hair being pulled out. The only brush you should use near to your extension bonds is an extension brush. This style of brush has soft nylon or boar bristles and a cushioned bristle base, allowing it to gently glide over the bonds. 

When brushing your hair, you must always support the bonds. Do this by holding the bonds as you brush, ensuring that no unnecessary stress is placed on the hair. Try to avoid brushing your hair whilst wet also. When wet, hair should be detangled with a wide toothed comb. Brushing your hair whilst wet can cause breakages as hair is more elastic at this time.

Drying and Styling

Before drying your hair you should detangle your hair extensions. First spray your hair with a leavein conditioning spray. This will not only help when it comes to detangling your hair, but it will help your hair to retain moisture after styling. To detangle your hair extensions, you should use a wide tooth comb, making sure to avoid the bonds. Be very careful when brushing the hair when wet, making sure to support the extension hair by holding the bonds. 

For a sleek finish, section your hair off and blow dry using a round brush with soft bristles. Be very careful that you do not snag the bonds. Make sure all bonds are dried completely.

When styling your hair, you may want to use straighteners, tongs, heated rollers or more.

Whilst we do not recommend using excessive amounts of heat on your hair, as this can cause damage, we understand that this is not always possible. When styling your hair make sure to use good quality styling tools to minimise damage to the hair. We recommend Cloud Nine. Before placing any heat on your hair extensions, use the Neal and Wolf Heat Protection Spray to protect both your hair and the extension hair.

Serums, gels and hairsprays etc. may also be used on the hair during styling. The bonded areas of the hair should be avoided however, as this may cause slippage.We strongly advise against dying your hair extensions or removing them outside of our salon. We offer a colour blending and removal service if you wish to have a break from your extensions. We also offer a hair extension storage service.

How to Tie up Hair Without Damaging It

We get it, as much as we’re all about ‘long hair, do care’ sometimes you need it out of your face. Whether you’re at the gym, at work or completing your look with a high pony, we all tie up our hair now and again. The problem with this is that the most commonly used hair ties or bobbles can cause hair breakage. Hair ties made of rubbery materials or with a metal clasp are the worst offenders. They tend to pull hair too aggressively causing breakage and even hair loss in extreme cases.

Don’t panic! There are options for tying up your hair without inflicting damage on it. Go for a hair tie that is loose and smooth. Seamless hair ties are a great option, as they can be used with no danger of catching and breaking strands, something which may occur when using a metal clasped bobble. Scrunchies would also fall into the category of loose and smooth and lucky for you, they’ve made quite a comeback as of late. Another option would be to use a plastic spiral hair tie. These are made of coiled plastic which gives strong hold without pulling on the hair. This helps you reduce breakages, prevent split ends whilst also making for more comfortable wear and minimising hair kinks on removal.

If you weren’t going for a particular style and just needed your hair out of your face, maybe try a silk scarf, headband or hair clip instead. All of these options are much less likely to cause hair damage than a hair tie. Finally, it is important to note that you should never tie up your hair tightly before bed or whilst wet. Tossing and turning can whilst the hair is tied can cause more breakages as the hair is more likely to be pulled this way. When the hair is wet, it is at its most elastic and therefore more prone to breakage.


In terms of styling the hair, damage depends on what it is you do with it. Hairstyles that require large amounts of heat from hair straighteners or curling tongs will cause more damage than those styled without heat. Heat damaged hair becomes dry and brittle causing a higher chance of breakage. By using a heat protection spray before applying heat to the hair, you can help to protect the hair cuticle. Using a good conditioner before applying heat can also help to strengthen the hair and prevent damage occurring.

In addition to heat damage, extremely tight hairstyles can cause hair breakage, if work frequently. For example, tight braids, buns or even ponytails can cause the hair to break. Where possible try to wear looser hairstyles such as loose braids or simply leave your hair down. Damage can however be minimised by changing the style of the hair frequently. In doing this, the same strands of hair are not constantly affected, therefore helping to improve the overall hair health.

Swimming & Holidays

There’s nothing like a holiday however, you should never take a holiday from your hair extension aftercare routine. We often get asked if you are still able to swim whilst wearing hair extensions. Whilst we do not advise that hair extensions are exposed to water for prolonged periods of time, there are some tips and tricks you can follow to prevent damage to your hair extensions when swimming. 

If water contains chemicals such as chlorine, it is even more important to follow these tips, as this may cause bonds to become weak. It is also important to note that the chlorine in pools and salt in the sea combined with heat can cause the extension hair to discolour, deteriorate in condition and matt. 

If you do choose to swim we recommend you take the following precautions:

  • Style your hair extensions into a braid using a covered band
  • Avoid getting the extension hair wet where possible 
  • Immediately after swimming, rinse hair in fresh water thoroughly to remove the chlorine and salt residues which can cause damage to the hair
  • Ensure the hair is tanglefree by combing it through with a wide tooth comb, separating and supporting the extension hair as you work through the sections
  • Do not brush the extension hair when wet as this can result in breakages
  • Dry hair fully, using a hair extension protein spray, ensuring that bonds are completely dry
  • Try to keep your hair out of direct sunlight to avoid damage. You may want to cover hair with a silk scarf if sunbathing in direct sunlight

Prolonging the Life of Your Hair Extensions

  • You should never wear your hair extensions for more than 2 months at a time. Within this time the hair can grow up to around 1.1 inches. This hair growth can cause the roots to tangle. You should visit your hair extension salon for regular maintenance appointments, including refitting to ensure the longevity of the hair.
  • When wearing hair extensions, you should wash your hair 2-3 times per week, using a high-quality shampoo and conditioner such as the Neal & Wolf products used within the salon. Before washing you should detangle the hair with a wide-toothed comb. When applying conditioner, be careful not to apply to the bonds as this can cause slippage.
  • When brushing your hair, it is important to avoid going over hair extension bonds with the brush. Bonds should be held when brushing in order to support the hair and avoid breakage or slippage.
  • If you are a regular user of sunbeds, the hair should be wrapped in a towel before use. The heat from sunbeds can cause the hair to dry out and the bonds to melt.
  • Prolonged water exposure has also been shown to weaken hair extension bonds and so frequently participating in activities such as swimming should be avoided. This also includes activities such as saunas or steam rooms. If the bonds are exposed to water or a combination of water and heat (i.e. Sauna) the hair and bonds can begin to deteriorate. You should rinse the hair with fresh water immediately if exposed to chlorine or salt as found in pools and the sea, and attempt to dry the bonds as quickly as possible.

We also do not advise getting hair extensions if you are pregnant or for one year after having a baby.

To make the most of your extensions, following a hair extension aftercare routine is crucial. Correct aftercare is just as important as fitting the extensions correctly. Not using the correct products, or choosing to ignore the advice detailed above, can have disastrous results such as dryness, matting and dullness. We have tried and tested all the products we recommend, ensuring that your extensions get exactly the right balance of products, whilst also maintaining the health of your natural hair.

Once you have had your extensions fitted your stylist will guide you through how best to look after your new hair. Hair extensions will last longer and look better for significantly longer when properly taken care. Whilst hair extensions do require a certain amount of maintenance, it really is worth it!

For further advice why not check out our blog post on Hair Extension Maintenance and Aftercare? Alternatively, contact us at 07538970628.

Hair Extension Aftercare FAQs

How long after getting extensions can I wash my hair?

When you get hair extensions, you should avoid washing your hair for 2-3 days to allow the tips to harden in order to strengthen the bond between your hair and your extensions.

What shampoo is safe for extensions?

We always recommend using sulfate-free shampoo on hair extensions. Sulfates can damage both your natural hair and the extension hair. This means they won’t last as long and won’t look as good either!

Most shampoos you can find in the supermarket contain sulfates. We recommend Neal and Wolf hair products as they are sulfate, paraben, TEA, DEA and cruelty-free. Find out more about the best shampoo for hair extensions.

How do you sleep with hair extensions?

Hair extensions should not be uncomfortable to sleep with. When you are going to bed, we recommend gently brushing your hair and tying it into a loose plait. This helps to prevent the hair and the bonds from tangling whilst you sleep.

What should you not put in hair extensions?

All of our hair extensions are made from 100% human hair, therefore you can use hair products as you would with your natural hair. We always recommend using high-quality hair products that do not contain damaging ingredients. 

In the salon, we always use Neal and Wolf hair products. Find out more about the best products for hair extensions.

When applying any hair care products you should avoid the hair extension bonds. Product build up at the roots can cause hair extension slippage. This means that bonds may become more noticeable, and hair extensions may be uneven or slip out all together.

Always attend your two monthly maintenance appointments to have your extensions refitted to prevent slippage.

How do I keep my hair extensions from getting frizzy?

To keep your hair extensions from getting frizzy, you should brush them regularly making sure to support the bonds as you do. You should also tie your hair into a plait while you sleep to stop the hair from becoming frizzy as it rubs against the pillow. 

You can also use frizz-ease hair products on your extensions to keep them looking smooth and sleek. Neal and Wolf’s nourishing hair oil helps to keep your extensions hydrated and frizz at bay. Take a look at our most recommended products for hair extensions.

How do I keep my hair extensions soft and hydrated at home?

Keeping your hair extensions soft is essential for that luxury, glamorous feel. If you look after your hair extensions with a good aftercare routine then there is no reason your hair extensions will not remain soft and silky. 

Wash and condition your hair regularly with sulfate-free products. Always make sure to use heat protection spray also if you are styling your hair using heat. You can also get hair oils, mousses and sprays that will help to keep your hair soft and hydrated.

Can you put your hair in a ponytail with hair extensions?

You can style your hair any way you like with hair extensions. A ponytail is an easy look to create with hair extensions and can give off a glamorous and sophisticated look. 

To put your hair in a ponytail with extensions, simply do this as you usually would with your natural hair. Try not to tie your ponytail too tight as this could put unnecessary strain on your hair extension bonds. Plastic, coil hair ties are ideal for those with hair extensions as they help to ensure the hair does not become damaged or snap. 

If you are worried about the bonds being visible if you tie your hair up, worry no more. We strategically place bonds to make the blend between your natural hair and the extensions seamless. We also colour match the micro ring attachments to your hair to make them as discreet as possible.

Is it okay to sweat with hair extensions?

Yes, you can still work out and sweat if you are wearing hair extensions. It is important not to leave your hair extension bonds wet for prolonged periods of time. This can cause the bonds to degrade and result in slippage. 

If your hair is sweaty, wash it as soon as possible, being careful to avoid the bonds when applying hair products. You do not want the bonds to remain wet so you may want to apply a heat protection spray and blowdry your hair. Alternatively you could dry the roots of your hair and leave the lengths of your hair to air-dry naturally.