4 April 2024

Sun, Sand, and Stunning Strands: How to Care for Hair Extensions on Holiday

This easy-to-follow guide will 'dive' into the best practices for maintaining your hair extensions on holiday. From protecting against the effects of sun, sea, and swimming pools to ensuring you're using the right products to keep your hair extensions as gorgeous as the day they were fitted while you enjoy your time off, we've got you covered.

Pre-Holiday Preparation

Woman on the beach with hair extensions

Ensure Your Extensions Have Ample Time Before Needing Maintenance

Before heading off, make sure your extensions have plenty of time before they need to be re-fitted. Tape extensions, our most popular method, typically last 6-8 weeks between refits, which varies based on your individual hair type. It’s important to make sure that you allow enough time to come to the salon for maintenance. As much as we’d love to, we can’t fly out to rescue your hair if you miss your refit!

Pack the Right Products

Use hair care products specifically designed for hair extensions. Look for sulfate-free shampoos and moisturizing conditioners. Avoid skincare products that contain Avobenzone or Octocrylene. And don’t forget a wide-tooth comb or a round bristle brush to gently detangle your hair.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is essential to maintain the health of your hair extensions on holiday and at home. Many clients make the mistake of using the shampoo and conditioner in their hotel rooms. No matter how tempting it may seem, we always recommend packing your own hair care products that abide by these six rules:

  • Do Use sulfate-free products
  • Do Use products with natural ingredients
  • Do Use products with colour-safe formulas
  • Don’t Use products that contain alcohol
  • Don’t Use all-in-one Shampoo and Conditioners
  • Don’t Use shampoo with heavy synthetic oils and silicones

For more info, you may be interested in our Guide to Shampoo and Conditioner for Hair Extensions – Dos & Don’ts.

Suncream/Skincare Products

While suncream is important for the health of your skin and to prevent you from coming home looking like a cooked tomato. It’s essential to avoid products which contain Avobenzone and Octocrylene

These ingredients, commonly found in cheap sunscreens and SPF moisturisers, can react with UV rays and cause a chemical reaction that leads to discolouration of not only your hair extensions but also your natural hair! Especially turning blonde hair to peachy tones or causing other unwanted colour changes.

Although you won’t be applying your suncream directly to your hair, it will find its way onto your ‘stunning strands’ by running across your face and back throughout your holiday adventures.

Round Bristle Brush or Wide Tooth Comb

Make sure to pack a round bristle brush or a wide-tooth comb to prevent matting. We will explain the importance of regular combing in the next section.

Daily Care Tips

woman with hair extensions on holiday

Shield From the Sun

Just like your skin, your hair extensions (and natural hair) need protection from overexposure to harmful UV rays. There are two easy methods to do this.

The first is to simply wear a hat or scarf when you’re out in the sun for extended periods.

If that’s not your style, you can also use a UV hair protection spray. We recommend Aveda’s Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, although any UV protection spray which doesn’t contain the discolouring ingredients mentioned above will work just fine.


Chlorine and salt water are two of the main triggers for hair discolouration, especially when you’re going in and out of the pool or sea and leaving allowing

It’s completely fine to swim with hair extensions fitted, but it’s crucial to rinse your hair with tap water after you’ve finished. Chlorine and salt can cause the bonds or tape-in adhesive to break down and discolour the extensions (and your natural hair) when left in the hair for long periods of time.

Gentle Detangling

Saltwater and wind can cause unsightly knots and tangles. Use a wide-tooth comb or round bristle brush to gently detangle your hair, starting from the ends and working your way up to avoid putting stress on the attachment points of your hair extensions.

Brushing your hair (extensions applied or not) is crucial. Regular brushing ensures the extensions remain smooth and manageable, mimicking the natural flow of your hair. Additionally, brushing distributes natural oils from your scalp through the extensions, which helps to maintain their lustre and prevent them from becoming overly dry and brittle. Proper care, including regular brushing, extends the lifespan of your extensions, ensuring they look their best for as long as possible.

Nighttime Routine

Woman sleeping with hair extensions on holiday

Dry Your Hair Before Bed

Never go to sleep with wet hair extensions, as this can cause matting and tangling. Gently pat your hair dry with a towel and use a blow dryer on a cool setting if necessary before catching some Z’s.

Loose Braids or Ponytails

Sleeping with your hair in a loose braid or ponytail can prevent tangling. Ensure it’s not too tight to avoid tension on the extensions and your natural hair.

To Summarise

When you’re on holiday, it can be easy to completely forget your usual hair care routine, but taking care of your extensions while you enjoy your time off is simple. Make sure to leave enough time before your maintenance appointment, use quality sulfate-free hair care products (avoid hotel soaps), avoid suncreams which contain ingredients known to discolour human hair, namely Abobenzone, always rinse your hair after swimming in salty or chlorinated water, gently detangle your hair daily, and never sleep with wet hair.

If you follow these steps, you and your hair will have an amazing holiday together. Safe travels!

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Louie Bridges
Louie Bridges is a front-end web developer and content writer specialising in SEO with four years of experience. He is the founder of Visible Websites, a digital marketing agency that helps to expand brands' online presence and make websites, well... more visible!
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