RiRi's Expert Guide on How to Remove Hair Extensions at Home

Written by: Nancy Pinder



Time to read 8 min

Sadly, there does come a day when we need to remove our extensions. Knowing how to remove hair extensions safely is really important for keeping your hair healthy - the last thing you want is for your natural hair to be weakened or damaged. But how do you do it?

There are lots of different types of hair extensions that are installed in different ways; therefore, removing hair extensions will depend on what type you have. You don't just want to go pulling or yanking on them - that's a huge no-no!

For semi-permanent hair extensions, we really do recommend having them removed by a professional at a salon so you can make sure they're taken out properly.

But if you can't get booked in or you're having a bit of a hair emergency, it's still possible to remove hair extensions at home.

Our hair extension experts at RiRi have put together their best tips and advice for how to remove hair extensions at home properly and safely. 

We'll take you through removing tape-in extensions, bonded extensions, sew-ins and clip-ins - so read on for our advice.

How to Remove Tape-in Hair Extensions at Home

If your tape-in extensions have grown out and moved further down your hair, it's time to take them out.

You'll know when your extensions need taking out as your hair will start to feel uncomfortable and look unnatural, and the tape-in weft might even start to become visible at this point.

If you need to remove your tape-in hair extensions at home, follow our simple steps below:

Step 1: Dissolve the Tape-in Glue

First things first, you need to purchase a form of specialist glue dissolver. These should always oil-based to be able to cut through the tape-in glue while still remaining gentle on your natural hair.

Go through your hair row by row and saturate the tape using the glue dissolver, making sure to really be thorough.

Step 2: Start Removing the Tape-in Extensions

After you have saturated all of the tapes, you should wait for a couple of minutes to let the dissolver penetrate the tape-in glue and get to work. Then it is simply a case of slowly and gently pulling apart the tapes one at a time. 

During this part of the process, it's so important to be careful and not yank or pull. Separate your hair to expose the tape, and use your fingers to massage your scalp where the two pieces of tape are. 

You should then be able to gently pull apart the tapes without too much force.

Step 3: Remove the Tapes from the Extensions

If you want to keep your extensions for reapplying them with new tapes, you'll need t remove the old tapes first. 

They should glide off the roots of the extensions easily, but if not, add a little more tape dissolver. Gently pull the tapes off and discard them.

Step 4: Wash Your Hair Thoroughly

One of the most important parts of knowing how to remove tape-in hair extensions is after-care. 

Once you have removed all of the tape-in extensions, you need to wash your hair and get rid of any lingering glue residue. 

You can use the tape dissolver to break down any large pieces of glue left behind, massaging it into your scalp.

Section your hair into small sections. Go through each section with a wide-tooth comb and gently comb the residue out of your hair. This may take a while, but you need to be gentle.

Finally, after all of the tape-ins and residue are out of your hair, you need to wash it with a clarifying shampoo; depending on how your hair feels, you might also want to opt for a conditioning treatment too. 

Step 5: Wash Your Tape Hair Extensions

If you plan on reusing your tape-in extensions, you'll need to give them a wash to get rid of any glue residue. You can use the tape dissolver just as before to break down any remaining glue.

Then, use our RiRi Hair Extension Shampoo and Conditioner to give them a deep clean. Leave your extensions to air dry, and they'll be ready to reinstall when you are!

How to Safely Remove Bonded Hair Extensions at Home

Bonded hair extensions are a little more tricky to remove because of the heat-fused keratin bonds they come with. 

You'll need to be extra careful and gentle when removing these, as yanking or pulling on the bonds can cause damage to your natural hair.

Step 1:Get Yourself a Pair of Hair Pliers

Whatever form of bonds you have (keratin or plastic), you'll likely need pliers to help you get them out. 

Please note: If you have keratin bonds, you will also need a dissolving solution.

Make sure you have everything you need for the exact type of bonded extensions you have.

Step 2: Start Removing Your Bonded Hair Extensions

For keratin-bonded extensions, you will need to apply the solution to the bonds, wait a couple of minutes and then use the pliers to crush each bond.

Plastic bonds are slightly different; you should use the pliers to gently open the bond to remove it. 

For both types, you should go row by row, holding the root of your hair while dealing with the bond. 

Step 3: Brush Through Your Natual Hair 

After all of the bonds are out, gently brush through your hair with our Deluxe Hair Extensions Brush

Your hair will likely have a build-up of loose strands that have been shed during your extensions but had nowhere to go.

You should also be gently trying to tease out any excess residue or debris from your bonds. 

Step 4: Wash Your Hair

Next, you should use a deep conditioning treatment on your hair. Leave it on for approximately 30 minutes (but be sure to check the directions of the conditioner you're using!).

After you have washed out your deep conditioning treatment, you should shampoo twice just to make sure any lingering residue or bits of plastic have been cleaned out of the hair.

Our clarifying shampoo for hair extensions is perfect for both your natural hair and hair extensions and will help to nourish them.

How to Remove Sewn-in Weft Extensions at Home

Most people choose to have sew-in extensions removed by a professional, but it is possible to remove them yourself with the right method, equipment and often a spare set of hands, too. 

Knowing how to remove hair extensions sewn into your hair properly is key for the health of your natural hair, so make sure you take care.

Step 1: Separate Your Hair to Expose the Sew-in Weft

Sew-ins should be removed one at a time, weft by weft, and you should section off your hair to reveal the wefts. 

Just use a hair tie to secure your hair on top of your head, exposing the extensions.

Step 2: Use Scissors to Cut Through the Thread

You then need to use scissors to cut through the thread that secures your sewn-in extensions. 

You can then use a pin tail or rat tail comb to gently ease out the thread, and the weft should come loose.

Repeat until all of the wefts are out of your hair. 

The wefts may have been sewn into micro rings, or your hair may have been braided underneath. Either way, it is time to deal with that. 

If your hair was braided, you can remove the elastic securing it and use your rat tail comb to gently tease out the braid.

If they were sewn onto micro rings, then you should use your pliers to squeeze the ring until it slides loose. 

Step 3: Brush Through Your Natural Hair

You should then gently comb through your hair with our Deluxe Hair Extension Brush to remove the strands that should have been shed but couldn't because of the weft.

Brushing through your hair might be difficult, so it might be worth using a detangling spray, conditioner or oil to help, like our Argan Oil Hair Treatment.

Step 4: Wash Your Hair

After you have brushed your hair, it is time to wash your hair. You should also wash and brush through the weft so they can be reused.

Our Hair Extensions Care Set contains all the essentials you need to look after both your natural hair and hair extensions, so it's definitely a lifesaver!

Removing a sew-in weft extension at home is probably the most difficult removal process. 

Ideally, you should have someone to help you as the removal process involves scissors; you need to be extra careful to avoid giving yourself an accidental haircut!

Professional Hair Extensions Removal at RiRi's Hair Salon

Removing semi-permanent hair extensions is a process that calls for care and attention - if you aren't on board for a perhaps lengthy removal process, then you should consider using clip-ins, or go and have them removed by a professional hair extensions stylist.

At our Lakeside Salon, we offer a whole range of hair extension services, including hair extension removal. 

You can book with us to have your extensions removed safely and effectively, ensuring your healthy hair stays beautiful.

Plus, we can reinstall your extensions to get you looking glam, refreshed and ready to rock your extensions once again!

Rounding Up: How to Remove Hair Extensions at Home Safely

Removing your hair extensions at home can seem daunting, but if you don't have the time or money to have a professional do it for you, then it is possible. 

Follow all our steps above to the T, and you should be able to remove your hair extensions like a pro.

Remember, if you're ever unsure or just not confident about the process, then please do book at our Lakeside Salon (or your best local salon) and have a professional help you. 

It's so important that you don't damage your natural hair in any way, so please don't attempt to remove them if you're unsure.


How do you remove glued-in hair extensions at home?

To safely remove hair extensions without any pliers to hand, you can purchase a keratin-based adhesive remover. To use, simply apply a drop or two along the tape, rubbing it in slowly until you feel the extension loosen up. You can then gently peel off your extension and move it down your hair.

How do you remove hair extensions at home without pliers?

The cost of weave hair extensions will depend on the quality of the hair, the installation method used, and ultimately who your hair stylist is! There is likely to be an installation fee and then, of course, the cost of the hair extensions themselves. When shopping around, be sure to choose a professional and trained salon!

Can I use coconut oil to remove tape in hair extensions?

Yes, you can. Coconut oil is a natural way to remove hair extensions without causing any damage to your own hair. Simply massage the coconut oil into your scalp and along the length of your hair where the extensions are glued in. Leave it for a few minutes before gently peeling off the extensions.

What will dissolve hair extension glue?

There are several products that can dissolve hair extension glue, including acetone, rubbing alcohol, and vinegar. You can also purchase a hair extension adhesive remover online or from your local beauty shop.

Nancy Pinder

Nancy is our resident hair and beauty specialist at RiRi Hair Extensions. She advises customers daily in our Lakeside and Bluewater stores, helping them find the perfect look, length, and shade of hair extensions. 

Nancy also presents our TikTok live to thousands of viewers across the world. You can catch her on our TikTok every week!

Find Nancy on TikTok!

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