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How To Wash Human Hair Weave Before and After Install

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Properly washing your human hair weave is important, whether you’re installing a new weave or maintaining your existing hair extensions. If you don’t know the first thing about washing a human hair weave, you’re in the right place. 

We’re going to fill you in on how to wash a human hair weave using a simple step-by-step process.

We’ll give you detailed instructions on how to wash human hair weave, including washing Brazilian hair weave, sew-in weave, leave-out weave, and do’s and don’ts to keep in mind throughout the process.

Why It Is Important to Wash Your Human Hair Weave

Human hair weave, of course, acts just like human hair on your head. Therefore, it should be washed regularly to avoid product buildup. 

Before Installing

Washing your weave before you install it is crucial. A freshly washed weave that is free of residue from manufacturing, shipping, and handling is safer for your scalp than hair that’s fresh out of the package. Clean hair weaves are also easier to work with during the styling process. 

After Installing

Some think that once their weave is installed, they don’t have to wash it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Unwashed weave gets tangled, looks unkempt, and may give off a strong odor. To prevent these issues, take the time to wash your human hair weave. 

How To Wash Human Hair Weave: Step-by-Step Instructions

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Now that you understand the importance of keeping your human hair weave clean let’s get into some instructions for how to wash your weave. 

Gather Your Supplies

Here are the supplies you’ll need to wash an installed human hair weave:

Here are the supplies you’ll need to wash a leave-out human hair weave:

  • Denman brush or wide-tooth comb for detangling.
  • Moisturizing Shampoo for weaves
  • Moisturizing conditioner
  • Sink faucet or bowl to dilute products in water
  • T-shirt or towel to dry the hair

Washing Your Human Hair Weave

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The method you should use to wash your weave will vary depending on whether the weave is already installed and incorporated with your natural hair. Follow the steps below according to which type of human hair weave you are washing.

How To Wash a Sew-In Weave With Your Natural Hair

  1. Wet your hair with warm water. 
  2. Apply your sulfate-free shampoo and work it into the hair from roots to ends. Massage the shampoo into your scalp, around your hairline, and into/underneath the human hair wefts. 
  3. Rinse thoroughly, leaving no traces of shampoo behind. It may take several minutes of rinsing to get all the shampoo out. 
  4. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, working it through your hair and weave from roots to ends. Gently detangle with a Denman brush or a wide-tooth comb. Treating your hair gently will mitigate potential damage to your hair strands.
  5. If you’d like, you can put your hair into a shower cap while cleaning the rest of your body. This will allow the hair to fully absorb the moisture from the conditioner.
  6. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and remove all traces of conditioner from the hair.
  7. Remove any excess water by drying your hair and weave with a t-shirt or towel. A microfiber towel is preferred because it is less harsh on the hair and prevents frizz, but a t-shirt is also an excellent option.
  8. Sit underneath a hooded dryer if you have access to one, or use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to completely dry your hair and weave.
  9. Apply hair oil to your scalp to nourish your scalp. If you skip this step and your scalp gets very dry, you may find flakes on your scalp or in your weave. Most natural oils should work just fine, although we really like coconut oil for these purposes.
  10. Style your weave and hair with your preferred styling products and tools.

How To Wash a Weave On Its Own

Here are the steps to wash a human hair weave before it is installed:

  1. Begin by gently detangling the weave with a Denman brush or wide-tooth comb.
  2. Wet the weave with warm water. Hot water may damage the weave.
  3. Apply your shampoo of choice to the weave, gently massaging the shampoo throughout the weave.
  4. Allow the weave to sit in a sink or bowl of water and shampoo for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of the weave until no more bubbles can be seen in the running water. This helps to ensure that no shampoo is left behind.
  6. A human hair weave will require moisture in the form of a conditioner, just like your natural hair. Apply a light conditioner, gently working it through the hair so that every hair strand is moisturized. 
  7. Allow the weave to soak in a sink or bowl of conditioner diluted with water for 30 minutes to an hour. This will allow the hair to soak in as much moisture as possible.
  8. Rinse thoroughly.
  9. Allow the weave to dry completely before installing, and detangle it again as needed.

Can I Wash Weave with Dish Soap?

You can wash human hair weave with dish soap, and it’s a good option to use in a pinch. Although, dish soap and detergent can be very harsh on your hair and the weave.

For this reason, we recommend that you use a shampoo specifically designed for wigs, hair weaves, and Brazilian hair bundles.

Also, you may have heard through the grapevine that you can use Dawn dish soap for hair growth. Read this article to find it out if it actually works.

It’s also important to note that extension bonding glue can be a headache to remove, so many people turn to dish soap to break down the glue and make it easier to wash away. 

Instead of using dish soap, use a shampoo that’s designed to remove the glue without completely dehydrating your hair. The shampoo mentioned earlier can be used to remove glue from your weave. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Washing Human Hair Weave

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A human hair weave can be a fragile item, so it must be handled with care. Review this list of do’s and don’ts before you get started with the washing process.


  • Be gentle. Treat the weave with the same care and gentleness as you would your natural hair. Proper care is really the best way to ensure that the weave remains in good condition.
  • Take your time when drying a sew-in weave after washing your hair to ensure that all of the hair, including the braids underneath, is 100% dry. You use a clean and dry towel, t-shirt, hairdryer, or the old-school air drying method. Leaving moisture in or underneath your weave can lead to mold growth and a putrid smell.
  • Combine your wash routine for your sew-in weave with the use of oils. Oils will moisturize your scalp and promote healthy hair growth underneath the weave. Read this article to learn more about the best essential oils.
  • Wash your sew-in weave every 1-2 weeks, just as you would your own hair. This range is just a suggestion – depending on your lifestyle and the products you use, you may need to wash your hair more or less often than this recommended timeframe. Just keep in mind that going a long time between washes isn’t recommended.  


  • Don’t use any product on your human hair weave that you wouldn’t use on your natural hair. Using high-quality and nourishing products will increase the longevity of the weave.
  • Don’t use excessive amounts of styling products on your hair or the weave. These products can lead to product buildup and dryness and make your weave stiff and artificial-looking.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How Do You Maintain a 100% Human Hair Weave?

Human hair weave should be maintained exactly like your natural hair. It needs to be washed, moisturized, conditioned, and styled regularly. For example, if you have naturally curly hair, use the same hair care regimen you use to care for your natural curls.

Maintaining hair weaves requires good care, and we recommend using a high-quality sulfate-free shampoo and a good moisturizing conditioner.

How Do You Wash Human Hair Extensions at Home?

You should wash the hair from roots to tips using a sulfate-free shampoo. If you’re not in a hurry, allow the extensions to sit in a bowl of warm water and soak in the shampoo for at least 5-10 minutes.

Then gently massage or rub the shampoo throughout the extensions. Finally, rinse the hair with clean water and remove any remaining shampoo residue.

Being gentle is important to increase the longevity of your hair extensions. If necessary, remove any existing hair tangles before starting the cleansing process.

This will help to diminish tangles as you wash the hair extensions. As a general rule, treat human hair extensions exactly like real hair.

What Shampoo Is Good For Washing Weave?

We recommend using either a sulfate-free shampoo or a mild shampoo because they’re gentler on the hair. For example, SheaMoisture makes a product that’s specifically designed to remove residue and product-up from human and synthetic wig and weave hair.

This SheaMoisture shampoo designed for wigs and weave hair includes tea tree and borage seed oil. It’s a hydrating shampoo for synthetic or natural human hair that quickly lifts away any excess product buildup and residue from your wig or weave. Check the current price and read reviews of this shampoo with this link.

How Do You Wash Hair Bundles?

To wash hair bundles, use a sulfate-free shampoo and then soak the bundle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes before gently massaging or rubbing the shampoo throughout the hair. Finally, rinse with clean water to remove residue from the shampoo.

This process helps to maintain the hair’s elasticity and longevity, which is crucial for bundles with curly textures like Brazilian or Peruvian bundles.

Whether you’re washing human hair weave bundles, virgin Brazilian hair, leave-in weave, synthetic wigs, or other forms of human hair bundles, the process is basically the same.


So, there you have it – all the information you need to correctly wash and maintain your weave hair. When maintained properly, a sew-in human hair weave can last one to two months.

Take your time when washing weaves and while styling your weave to ensure that it remains in the best condition possible. We hope that this article is helpful to you, allowing you to wash your weave thoroughly without damaging it or your natural hair.