The Takedown: Removing Extensions from Natural Hair

Me, Tanya and her micros

So lets talk about extensions.  This summer my curlfriend Tanya decided to give herself a break and had microbraids installed.  Her braids looked great and gave her a little vacation from styling her natural hair.  However, once the thrill wore off it was time for the dreaded takedown.  This is by far the worst part of getting extensions; the removal process takes forever and there are just so many of them.  *sigh*  In my home I always elect to throw a takedown party where you invite friends over, rent a couple movies, order in some pizza and work together to Amistad that hair! 

Here are my tips on having a successful takedown:

  1. Trim off excess extension hair.  Always err on the side of assuming your hair is longer as to avoid cutting it.
  2. Steam your hair to loosen build-up and aid in the extension removal process.


  3. Begin unbraiding using a tail comb and adding conditioner to any snarls to gently ease the extension hair out. We used YoGaChi Signature leave-in conditioner.
  4. Detangle as you go! This is the most important step.  After removing the braid or twist use a conditioner or spritz and gently detangle removing shed hair.  Failure to do so will result in a matted mess of hair.


  5. Cleanse your scalp well with a clarifying shampoo at least twice.  Your hair despite your best efforts will have some build-up and it will not be removed within one wash.  If your hair is still not clean after two washes switch to a gentle moisturizing shampoo and repeat.  We used Suave Clarifying Shampoo and Alaffia Honey & Shea Moisturizing Shampoo.
  6. Deep condition or deep treat your hair based on your moisture to protein needs.

    Clean, conditioned and detangled

Start to finish I think this process took about 4 hours between the four of us.  I can definitely say that although Tanya was tired, she was definitely glad to be free of her micro-sized captors and enjoyed the pampering of having her hair cleansed, conditioned and styled for her.  Watch her vid to hear her talk about the experience. That’s exactly what curlfriends are for!


One thought on “The Takedown: Removing Extensions from Natural Hair

  1. Great advice! This is why I have been so hesitant in getting extension braids for my natural hair!! I don’t want to deal with the afterward repercussions!

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