No More Bad Hair Days: How to Restore A Tangled Weave

The other day I went out for brunch with a group a friends and I was running a bit late. I had to hop in a taxi to make it to the restaurant on time because it took me nearly an forty minutes to get this booger of a weave on the top of my head to lie down straight. After running some Shea Moisture hair oil through it (big mistake — oil is a big NO-NO for weaves ladies!), I walked out the door feeling fresh and fly.

Until I got to the restaurant. And took a peek at myself in the mirror. That weave that looked so nice and straight at my house was now a mangled mess. You know that feeling…when your attempting not to cry as your comb teeth snap and pop while you battle with your hair.

A dry weave is not a fun weave. Trust me. I’ve had my share of bad hair days and I know that it’s no good. And I’ve tried all kinds of human hair weaves: Indian Remy, beauty supply store brands, Brazilian, virgin, you name it. The best weave brands do last longer than others — but they all reach that point where you begin to wonder if it’s true what they say about foreign hair vendors tossing all kinds of fibers in a blender and calling it “human”.

Let’s not forget that I was pissed. How is it that my $250 weave could end up looking like I snatched up fallen hair at the braid shop and pieced it together? Unh, ugh honey. There has to be a solution.


If you’ve been having trouble with your human hair weaves getting tangled over time, then it’s time you try this trick that professionals have used for years to restore tacky, wacky weaves: bleach bath and boiling.

Pour my hair in bleach? Boil it? What the —

I know. It sounds crazy. But when I had my human hair weave dipped in the bleach bath solutions, it felt silky and brand spanking new in no time. Yes! I finally learned how to restore a tangled weave! Give it a try  every 6 to 8 weeks (when you take your weaves out to wash your natural hair) or when it starts to get dull, dry and you can’t run a finger through it. A bleach bath and the boiling method will magically restore your units in no time.

Here’s to no more bad weaves. You can thank me later.

Bleach Bath Recipe

Professional Detangling Process for Human Hair Replacement Systems (from HairDirect)

DO NOT do a bleach bath with the unit still attached to your head. Remove your weaves, wigs, etc. before applying solution to hair. 

The following process is identical to the one commonly used by professionals in the hair replacement industry for detangling most human hair systems.

Clorox bleachAlthough it is a relatively simple process, if executed improperly, may result in permanent damage to your hair system.

You Will Need:

Large sink with access to hot water.
At least 2 gallons of hot tap water.
2 oz. of Clorox bleach (must be Clorox brand).
2 oz. of regular household ammonia
Clarifying shampoo
Wide tooth comb or brush (Vent Brush).


Step 1: Setup for Clorox Scrub
Draw one gallon of hot tap water into the sink. Next, pour the 2 oz. of Clorox  bleach into the sink with the hot tap water.

Finally, place the tangled hair into the water carefully and begin the next step promptly.

CAUTION: DO NOT allow the hair to be in contact with the Clorox & hot water mixture for more than 2 minutes!

Step 2: Clorox  Tangle Scrub
Using the wide tooth comb or vent brush, gently brush through the hair from top to bottom. Concentrate on the most tangled and knotted area of the hair.

The tangles should come out while brushing and the hair will become silky. Be careful NOT to brush more than 2 minutes while the hair system is in the Clorox mixture.

Step 3: Rinse Hair System
Drain the Clorox  and hot water from the sink. Then begin to thoroughly rinse warm water through the hair system with a clarifying shampoo. While rinsing, keep the weft of the hair facing up. This will prevent the hair from inverting and tangling again. You want to use a clarifying shampoo to remove excess products and any chlorine or impurities that may be remaining on the hair.

Step 4: Ammonia Scrub

Draw another gallon of hot tap water into the sink. Pour the 2 oz. of ammonia into the sink with the hot tap water. Place hair in sink.

Start brushing the hair system again, same as before. Use a wide tooth or vent brush and gently comb hair for 1-2 minutes.

Step 5: Final Rinse
Drain the ammonia and hot water from the sink. Then begin to thoroughly rinse warm water through the hair system again. Remember, while rinsing keep the weft of the hair facing up.

After the final rinse, your hair should be silky smooth and tangle free. Please do not make this a repetitive process. Your hair can only take so much. After two or three bleach baths, it is recommended that you retire your weave and look into additional methods to extend the use of your weaves.

If you are interested in seeing how a bleach bath has worked for other people, check out this video by BeautyOnABudgetBri:

Boiling Method

You Will Need:

Large pot/pan for boiling water
Gallon-sized plastic ziploc bag
Conditioner (Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Strength Butter Repairing Rinse-Out)
Weightless Hair oil (Alma Legend Silkening Oil Mist)
Wide tooth comb or Vent brush

Once you are done bleach bathing your hair, your next goal will be to restore it’s shine, bounce and luster – just like it felt when you originally pulled your hair out of the pack. What the bleach bath will do is thoroughly clean and remove the particles and residue in your hair that makes it dull and stiff. You then should follow this up with deep conditioning and boiling to soften the hair and make it truly manageable again. Here we go!

  1. After performing the bleach bath on your hair, use a wide tooth comb to slowly detangle the strands.

  2. Then heavily coat the hair with your favorite silkening conditioner. We highly recommend Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Strength Butter Repairing Rinse-Out. Follow this by spraying the hair (lightly!) with some amla or argan oil. We recommend Alma Legend Silkening Oil Mist. This will help to soften the strands, add shine and also make them smell good!

  3. Begin boiling a pot of water on your stove. While the water is heating up, place the hair in a Ziploc freezer bag and seal it. Make sure to allow all air within the bag to escape. You will want to do this so the bag can completely be submerged in the pot and to prevent water from spilling over.

  4. Submerged the sealed bag into the pot. You want to ensure the pot is large enough so the bag does not stick to the sides of the pot and begin to melt. Leave the bag in the boiling pot of water for at least 10-15 minutes.

  5. Once the boiling process is complete, remove the hot bag of hair from the water with tongs and place it into a large plastic or metal bowl. Open the bag and remove the hair. Place the hair directly into the bowl.

  6. Now take the boiling pot of water and pour it over the hair. Be careful not to touch the water so you don’t burn your hands! Place a plate or lid over the bowl and let it sit for at least 1-2 hours.

  7. Once you have allowed the hair to deep condition in the hot water (and once the boiling water has cooled), remove the hair and use a wide tooth comb again to detangle the hair. Place it on your wig head or hang your wefts with clothespins on a hanger to dry.

  8. Once the hair is semi-dry, you should notice that is much softer to the touch and can be easily combed. We recommend that you completely allow your hair to air dry before styling it with any hot tools.

Need some visual examples? These videos don’t follow our recommendations to the tee, but they do produce similar results.

Liane Membis

Liane Membis is the founder and editorial director of BAUCE Magazine. She originally created BAUCE as a platform for driven and ambitious women of color who desire to become high net-worth individuals. Liane Membis is also a full stack web developer and wordsmith that is based in New York City.

  1. Ummm… the fumes from a mixture of bleach and ammonia could kill a toddler in less than 15 minutes… is this really a safe practice? I’m sure it works, but is there a safer option?

    1. Hi Shanta! We agree – you shouldn’t do this in the presence of young children and only in a well-ventilated area. Silicon Mix shampoo and conditioner has also been reported to restore the health of weaves. Our team has tried it and we’ve gotten good results – however, it didn’t 100% return the hair back to it’s original state like the bleach method does. Please be safe, do NOT mix bleach and ammonia EVER, and always rinse your weaves with a neutralizing shampoo to make sure all of the solution is removed from the hair.

    2. You just have to rinse the containers in between the bleach and ammonia… you’re not supposed to be mixing them. It’s easy!

  2. This method made my hair so beautiful. It was better than when i initially received it! I just wonder if it’s safe to color your hair (lift/bleach) after this process? Would it return to its tangled state after? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Alexandria,

      We would recommend not coloring your hair at the same time that you do the bleaching process. Too many chemicals at once can damage the hair. Think of the weave as your own hair – would you apply a relaxer and color at the same time. If you choose to color, wait a day or two and then apply a safe coloring system (preferably one that doesn’t utilize too much bleaching) to the hair. Also, beware of the processing times with colored hair or it will dry it out!

      1. No problem! We hope you’ll continue to read BAUCE and share us with your friends! :)if you have other topics that you’d love us to write a post on, please let us know! :)

  3. What about when it’s on your head? I’ve only had mine in for two weeks and it’s already getting hella tangled, especially at the back. It looks so ratchet but I can’t afford to take it out and get it put back in any time soon!!

    1. Lydia, do you have a sew-in? Is it human hair or synthetic? If so, then please do not try to apply the bleach mixture to your weave when it is installed! Instead, consider using Silicon Mix ( – the blue, white, and red bottle) instead. It will help give your weave some life again but to be honest, taking your weave out and applying the bleach bath method is the best way. Also remember, this method works on human hair – we have not tried it on synthetic hair.

  4. I’ve tried it on synthetic hair and it doesn’t work unfortunately. I usually run a hot iron through the hair at 400 (heat resistant synthetic hair like Model Model) and it comes back to life. But like the bleach bath method you can try this method on synthetic hair so many times before you have to toss it out.

    1. i dont know because i used it on a couple synthetic weaves and not only did it remove buildup but after trimming the ends it looked amazing…

    1. Hi Sharmaine! Please let your hair air dry overnight! :) That is the best option, as heat damages hair – even weaves – over time!

  5. I have processed Indian “Remy” hair from queen virgin Remy hair, will this work for this type of hair as well? Or do u have any recommendations for this type of hair?

    1. Hi! It should not damage the color as this is a very quick process. The hair should only sit in the bleach for a two minutes as you run a comb in it. Anything longer than that will damage the hair!

    1. The bleach method typically returns the hair back to its original state in most cases if you follow the directions to the tee. Please let us know how it goes! We’d love to hear about your results.

  6. I’ve had my hair I for 6 weeks now and it’s all tangled and it’s horrible! I have tried everything…I have a newborn and I’m scared I can hurt her…I can’t afford anything but the bleach bath and I’m scared that since I bleached the ends that it’s not going to work…will it work on bleached ends?

    1. Hi Renee – is this a human hair or synthetic piece? This method only works with human hair. If you applied a heavy amount of bleach to color the hair originally then you may have already damaged the ends. Try the bleach method but follow it to the tee and make sure your newborn is not around! You do not want the fumes to harm her. Our advice would be to talk to a hair stylist to see if it can be salvaged.

    1. Hi Lexy – yes if you are dealing with human hair the process usually keeps it smooth for another 3 to 4 weeks. It all depends on how you manage your hair! :)

    1. Hi Claire! We are sorry this happened – it is possible that the ammonia or bleach may have affected your already bleached hair. If you have already bleached hair, I would use Silicon Mix instead.

      1. Hi Imani! It shouldn’t – as long as you only allow your hair to sit in the solution for a few seconds. This is key! :)

  7. Just tried this and it (seems to have ) worked on my unit. Did add an apple cider vinegar rise. Then shampoo and conditioner.and finally my favorite leave in.
    Can’t wait for the hair to dry complete to check out the final results

  8. I’ve only had my hair in for about a week but it’s already generally frizzed and lifeless. (“Remy” quality dyed human hair) besides the silicone shampoo are there any other methods of getting it smooth again? Even something I could do daily and only have last for a few hours. I don’t do a lot of public stuff, I’m just covering baldness from an illness.

    1. Hi Sammi! First, we do hope you are recovering and feeling well today :)
      The silicone shampoo is probably the closest thing that you can get to a daily restoration process for weaves. Another product you could try is Soft Sheen Carson’s “Weave Care” line ( for daily hair care. The process above truly works best for human hair purchased from vendors – beauty supply “human hair” is really processed and typically shows its wear and tear a lot sooner than the hair purchased from a quality vendor. So perhaps you can consider investing in a more high quality unit in the future. Hope this helps!

  9. I have a virgin european human hair full wig with cap that was dyed to a lighter blonde. The last 2 inches of the hair are very dry. Would this technique work and not dis colour the roots around the cap of the wig?
    Also, is it possible to just put the dry end part of the hair in the solution mix and not the whole wig?

    1. Hi Caroline! If your hair is a virgin wig then the solution should work on the whole unit and remedy the dry ends. Remember it only needs to be in the solution for about 1 minute or 2 so it further damage your wig! And again – be sure to put your whole unit in the solution! You’ll begin to notice the softness as you comb through during the process! :)

    1. We’ve never tried it on beauty supply store brand, titi, but from what we’ve heard it may or may not work as the human hair used for beauty supply store brands is typically not super high quality and may contain mixed fibers.

    1. Hi Tamarra! This method typically works on human hair and works wonders! If you’re hair is highlighted, just be sure that you don’t let it sit in the bleach solution for too long or it will change the color of your hair. 2 to 3 minutes is all you need! :)

  10. Question at what point of this bleach process do I use shampoo and conditioner, after the bleach or after the ammonia? And can I use a neutralizing shampoo and a leave in conditioner?

    1. Hi Kim! We recommend that you use a neutralizing shampoo after the ammonia and that’s it! Leave-in conditioner will add product which will create buildup and retroactively affect the work that you just did.

  11. I tried this today on some old hair that I wanted to reuse for a sew in and the bleach bath made my hair come back to life! Thank You

    1. Hi Ang – We’ve noticed that this method typically works for human hair pieces – not items that may have been purchased from a beauty supply store. Sorry :(

  12. I have tried this exactly as described here, but it didn’t work! The only thing I’m doing differently is that I’m not using Clorox brand bleach, I’m using some other bargain brand. I didn’t think that should make a difference, but it’s the only thing I can think of! The hair is human hair skin weft. Not synthetic.

    1. Hi Kim! We are sorry that this technique didn’t work out – we’ve found it to work quite well. How old is your unit? Was it severly tangled and what type of hair was it – virgin or processed?

  13. I did this process today, following the directions to a tee. The hair looks smoother, but now feels sort of ‘gummy’. Will that go away in time on it’s own, or is there a product I can use to help that issue? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mal – regular store brand bleach is fine as well! Just don’t dip for too long or you will alter the color of the hair! :)

  14. Once I have completed the bleach and ammonia bath I am to shampoo with a neutralizing shampoo? If not what works best. Should I deep condition the hair or no?

  15. Hello, this sounds great! But there’s not many reviews in the comments, just questions so I’m unsure. I have Janet yaki clip ins and I am trying to avoid having to buy new clip ins. Can I surely trust this method if done properly?

  16. I had remy extensions sewn in two weeks ago. The stylist had me purchase blue magic with argon oil and a spray leave in conditioner to use on alternate days. I was every other day. I do not blow dry. My hair is a matted tangled mess and needs to be brushed every 15 minutes. I clip the ends a lot because they feel like straw. Did I pay for real hair and receive synthetic? She said this should last up to 4 months. Why is this hair so unmanageable?

    1. Hi Karyn – We’d warn you to stray away from beauty supply store hair if you want virgin hair that will really last. The hair is covered in silicone which once its eroded over time, causes the hair to mat up. Also, you should never use oil on the hair – that makes it worse. The bleach bath method should work but for longer lasting hair, look into purchasing virgin human hair.

  17. I have used this method dozens of times with my Indian Remy Hair purchased online. I use store brand bleach and ammonia, my kitchen sink and hot water from the tap. It works exactly as advertised.

    As has been mentioned, do not mix the chemicals. They can kill.

    You are only dipping thr hair ladies, not soaking it. If you see a bunch of gunk come off the hair with the dips, it’s working.

    I lay the wefts out flat after gently brushing, clip them to a wire hanger with chip clips, then dip them in this order

    Bleach bath
    Drain and fill with plain hot water
    Rinse bath
    Drain and fill with ammonia bath
    Drain and fill with plain hot water
    Rinse bath
    Wash and condition
    Air dry

  18. After doing d bleach bath on my weave I guess I left it in a bit more my weave feels some how ,not all dat silky it’s a bit hard buh soft. Dp I condition d hair again for smoothness?

  19. I have weave already installed & I want it to go back to the beautiful hair I payed for ! it gets stiff & I can’t afford to take it out & get it redone , cause it’s been in for about 2 weeks ! the lady I got the weave from says its Brazilian body wave & that it’s suppose to curl up when I wet it & it don’t ! I really want to try this method

  20. So I have the worst Peruvian hair ever. I recently ombred (bleached it , toned it, box dye) it and it was actually smooth (the day I dyed it)… its nappy again. Can I do the bleach bath? Will it ruin my hair color?

    1. Hi Estee, the bleach alone will do the trick but we highly recommend rinsing the hair after with ammonia to clean it.

    2. Hi Estee, the bleach alone will do the trick but we highly recommend rinsing the hair after with ammonia or a silicone based shampoo to clean it.

    1. Hi Abena! If you use the clarifying shampoo to wash the hair after the bleaching portion it should get smooth and untangled. However for best results we recommend you use the ammonia as well.

      1. My hair got severely tangled, like a dread, when I washed it a few days ago. I am wondering if this method will work on it on this. Would you recommend the bleach bath? Can I do this process in the bathroom?

    1. This will do it! Just did some virgin Malaysian deep wave and have previously used this on year old virgin Brazilian and Virgin Peruvian body wave. It’s a great way to revive your extensions. If the hair has color, you may need a color boost after this process as it can fade some colors.

Go ahead, boo. Tell us what you think.