Weaves are a form of hair extension that involves braiding the natural hair tightly to the scalp, then sewing the weave through the braids. The weave hair itself can either be synthetic hair or human hair, which can also come in a variety of textures.
Weaves can enhance and change a person’s hair texture, length, and color for 2-3 months at a time with good maintenance. Not only are weaves beneficial for those going through hair loss, but they allow natural hair time to repair itself from excessive heat or chemicals.
This increases hair strength and length. They are therefore a popular hair extension amongst all women and men, and can look convincingly realistic - if they are washed and maintained properly.
We have found the best shampoo and conditioners for weaves to clean the extension and the natural hair, including a handy buyers’ guide and FAQ section at the end.
In a rush?
Our top pick is the DeMert Wig & Weave SYSTEM SET, a set featuring a shampoo, conditioner, and a lusterizer.
This set is ideal for someone with a natural or synthetic weave, as the formulas are strong enough to suitably wash natural hair whilst gentle enough to prevent the weave hair from being damaged.
The lusterizer is an added bonus, as it gives a shine whilst remaining oil-free - perfect for weave wearers who may find that oil makes the weave heavier.
This is also ideal for warmer temperatures that may affect the quality of human hair weaves, because there will be a level of control without making the hair unnecessarily oily.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
This set is ideal for both natural and synthetic weaves and wigs.
With a shampoo, conditioner, and an additional lusterizer, DeMert understands how weaves can be affected by different weather and temperature conditions.
The shampoo and conditioner are designed to clean both natural hair and the weave without using harsh chemicals that could affect the quality of the weave - allowing natural hair to restore itself healthily.
The lusterizer is oil-free, which is ideal for giving a weave a glossy shine without weighing it down with oil.
This is a bonus in hot weather, as the hair will be moisturized, controlled from humidity, and will not be an extra warm weight. The conditioner is great for keeping wigs untangled.
- Set comes with shampoo, conditioner, and lusterizer
- Made specifically for weaves and wigs
- Some may not like the scent
Whilst this is only a shampoo, it is actually not recommended to use conditioner in every hair wash regardless of a weave or not - so this sole shampoo is a worthy recommendation.
This Hairfinity shampoo is beyond ideal for someone with a weave, purely due to the nozzle that can go underneath the weave and through to the natural hair braid.
This is perfect for giving natural hair the nourishing clean it needs without having to work your fingers through your hair to get to the braids.
This is also beneficial to moisturizing and cooling the scalp to prevent dryness - especially if you are prone to styling your hair regularly.
The formula includes peppermint and tea tree - incredibly gentle ingredients that calm irritation whilst giving the hair a penetrating clean.
It is also soothing for itchy heads, which can be common with weaves. This also makes it ideal for all hair types, from afro-textured to straight hair.
- Nozzle is ideal for getting into the weave and through to natural hair
- Gentle ingredients to calm and nourish hair and skin
- Good for all hair textures
- Only a shampoo
The RemySoft System products include a shampoo, conditioner and serum all suitable for weaves, wigs, and extensions.
Weaves can often leave a scalp dry and itchy, so these products work to keep the moisture locked in to maintain healthy natural hair within the braids.
This is achieved through a silicone formula that is also sulfate-free and color-safe, which prevents the weave hair from getting damaged.
Sulfate free means that the shampoo is low lathering, so don’t be surprised at the lack of suds.
The deep conditioner is super moisturizing and works to keep hair tangle free with its inclusion of aloe vera, berry extracts, and Jojoba - leaving hair with a lovely scent.
There is also a UV safe element to protect the hair and skin from the sun and extreme heat.
The serum works to maintain a healthy shine to the weave hair whilst locking in the moisturizing nutrients from the shampoo and conditioner.
- Ideal for synthetic and human hair weaves
- Shampoo, conditioner and serum set
- Maintains moisture
- Sulfate free shampoo does not produce foam, so you may end up using more than necessary
Anyone with hair knows that Argan Oil is the best ingredient for keeping hair smooth, tangle-free, and shiny.
The BINGO HAIR CARE shampoo and conditioner contain 100% natural Argan oil to prevent frizz and dryness - great for natural hair in braids as well as for maintaining the quality of weave hair.
Argan oil is also excellent for the skin, which can be prone to itchiness and dryness from the weave, so this works to revitalize it.
The shampoo is also sulfate free, meaning it will not produce foam or bubbles and will leave the hair and skin’s natural oils behind.
This is ideal for someone with dry hair and skin, colored hair, or weave, as the quality of the hair will not be chemically affected. This is also beneficial for hair growth underneath the weave, as the braids will have access to natural oils.
Whilst the promotion of natural oils may sound off-putting to those with oily hair, sulfate free shampoo actually works to clean the dirt and grease whilst leaving the oils that the skin naturally makes - so it will not make hair oiler unnaturally.
The shampoo and conditioner are also filled with essential fatty acids and vitamin E to prevent lifeless and dull hair whilst promoting volume, shine, and moisture.
Argan oil also treats split ends - great for both a human hair weave and the natural hair underneath.
- Argan oil promotes hair growth, moisture, anti-frizz, and silky texture
- Sulfate free formula cleans hair whilst leaving natural oils
- Does not leave hair heavy or greasy
- Sulfate free shampoo will not produce foam, so you may feel you need more than necessary
The final product on our list is the SheaMoisture shampoo and conditioner. Featuring ingredients such as honey and organic shea butter, this set is designed to leave hair smelly gorgeous for days.
Mafura oil and baobab oil are filled with essential fatty acids including omega 3, which has health benefits for the skin.
These benefits include moisture, repairing damaged and dry skin, improvement of texture and reduces irritation - all whilst keeping the hair full of life.
Whilst a human hair weave will maintain its color for a while, it will still need maintenance, and these oils are incredibly beneficial to the natural hair underneath.
This formula is ideal for protecting and nourishing any hair type. Both the shampoo and conditioner are also sulfate free.
- Filled with essential oils and fatty acids
- High quality ingredients
- Ideal for any hair type, particularly Afro-textured hair
- May not work as effectively for Caucasian hair, unless it is really dry
Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Weave Buying Guide
What is a weave?
A weave is a form of hair extension. The process of a weave includes braiding the natural hair tightly to the scalp, and sewing (or weaving) the extension into the braids to create a seamless new hair effect.
Weaves are usually used by people who want to control their natural hair, or by people who want a change of hair texture or length.
Whilst weaves are generally non-damaging to hair (if they are maintained properly), they are not recommended for long-term use as the braiding can pull hair, increasing the chance of hair loss.
Weaves are therefore only suitable for people with thick and strong hair, which is why they are so popular to those with Afro-textured hair. They also provide a different maintenance style for people with Afro-textured hair.
Weaves are also beneficial for those wanting to give their natural hair a break, a chance to restore, or a chance for hair growth. This is because the natural hair is kept away from exposure such as weather types or brushing or touching that could be damaging the hair.
Human hair vs synthetic hair
There are several hair types for weaves, but the majority of them come under either a human hair or synthetic hair category. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
As there are so many variants of human hair for weaves, for example Peruvian, Brazilian and Indian, we will generalise the human hair section.
Synthetic hair is made of microfibers that replicate real hair. This hair type is an ideal option for someone wanting a weave on a budget or for short-term use, because synthetic hair is inexpensive and does not last long.
This is because it isn’t real hair, meaning it cannot withstand styling or excessive use. Synthetic hair must not be used with heating appliances such as straighteners or curling irons.
Fortunately, synthetic hair comes and remains in one style for the majority of its service period, so if you know you will not be styling the hair frequently, synthetic hair is your best bet.
Human hair weaves work in the same way human hair does. This means it needs appropriate cleaning, styling, and maintenance. Human hair weaves are generally more expensive but are of the highest quality, and they also last longer.
They do not produce the false shine that synthetic hair does, and they create a sense of normality for those wanting a realistic new hair experience. Human hair weaves are the most durable and healthy for natural hair.
How to wash a weave
The cleaning of a weave is a vital step for keeping both the weave and natural hair well-maintained.
Everyone will have different approaches to washing a weave, as some like to separate weave washing to natural hair washing, so we have created a list of useful tips.
- To get shampoo directly to the braids, opt for bottles that have a nozzle to get through to the natural hair. Or, if you have fake nails, these are useful for working the product into the braids.
- Invest in a detangling brush.
- When washing real hair, separate the extensions to have the best access. Weave hair does not need the same intensity of washing as natural hair.
- Sulfate free products are great for cleaning the hair without stripping it from the natural oils.
- When drying a weave, use a t-shirt instead of a towel to prevent damaging the hair. A satin pillowcase is also a worthy purchase, as this will also prevent frizziness and tangling.
- Deep conditioning is vital for weaves and natural hair to maintain the highest quality.
- For removable weave extensions, pour a basin or bath filled with warm water and repeat the normal washing process. Leave it in the conditioner and warm water for around 30 minutes. Make sure to brush before and after washing
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best shampoo and conditioner for hair extensions?
This ultimately comes down to personal preference. Scent is often a huge factor when choosing appropriate shampoo and conditioner.
The key formula features to look for if you have hair extensions or a weave include sulfate free components, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and natural ingredients.
Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner means that, whilst they are low-lathering and don’t produce foam, they effectively clean the hair whilst leaving the natural oils.
This promotes hair to clean itself, thus lesser washes. Essential fatty acids such as omega 3 are vital for keeping the extension, natural hair, and skin moisturized. This also prevents damage to the hair and skin, prevents irritation, and encourages hair growth.
Can I wash a weave while it’s in my hair?
If you are wearing a sew-in weave, you can definitely wash your hair with it still in. Sew-in weaves are designed for semi-permanence, so you can wash your hair with the same level of pressure as you normally would - just with a slightly different technique.
If your weave is removable, it is recommended to wash this separately. This is an easy method, as these weaves are easy to remove and you can let them sit in warm water and shampoo/conditioner for various lengths of time.
How do I make my weave soft and silky?
This is all about maintenance and sticking to good quality hair products. It is recommended to brush a weave several times a day to prevent tangling. Regular washing is a bonus, but it’s also important to let your natural oils tend to your natural hair as well as the weave.
The best ingredients to look for in hair products will be all natural and filled with essential fatty acids. Oils are usually great for a weave if they are natural, such as argan oil or mafura oil, as they give moisture to hair without weighing it down.
That being said, some oils and serums may be too thick and heavy for a weave. A weave made from human hair needs to be treated in the same way as normal hair, so all natural oils and products as well as regular deep conditioning is a must.
It is also recommended to wrap a t-shirt around wet hair to let it dry rather than a towel, as the texture of a towel can actually be damaging to hair. Investing in satin pillowcases is also great to maintain a silky feel, as the texture of normal pillow cases can often increase frizz.
Does a weave ruin your hair?
The weave process has been developed by professionals for years, meaning that weaves are not designed to damage or ruin natural hair. The natural hair is tightly braided to the scalp, which can be really beneficial for the hair as it is given a chance to restore and grow.
Despite this, weaves have the potential to cause hair loss due to the constant pulling. Hair can also be damaged by unprofessional or mishandled application, as well as cheap weave hair types.
It is therefore worth investing in the best quality hair type. Also, avoid bonded weaves. These weaves require bonding glue rather than sewing which can restrict the scalp and damage the natural hair.
It is therefore important to have strong and durable natural hair to maintain the force of the weave. A weave will require constant maintenance and deep conditioning to protect the natural hair underneath.
How do I stop my weave from frizzing?
This comes down to regular maintenance and little life hacks. As discussed before, let a wet weave dry in a t-shirt rather than a towel, and invest in satin pillowcases.
These softer materials work to prevent frizzing, unlike the towel and pillowcase more coarse textures that can damage the hair.
Also, make sure to use oils that have all natural ingredients such as argan oil.
Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API