Protective styling is a large part of what helps naturalistas achieve and maintain length. Some of the most coveted protective styles that have become popular are Marley Twists, Crochet Braids, and the timelessness and creativity of Box Braids. Unfortunately, not all of us have beautiful textured strands cascading down our backs so we turn to extensions. Having extensions to achieve length is great but what happens after our protective style is 3 to 4 weeks old.

QUESTION: Do you throw your Marley hair away or can it survive another round of styling?

The answer: Marley braiding hair can be washed and reused for multiple uses!

After emptying out our pockets to buy multiple packs of Marley braiding hair it is hard to let go of such a costly investment. And most of all we should always want to get the most use out of our purchase before its time to throw it to the wasteside. Here is how to wash Marley or Kanekalon braiding/twisting hair for fresh reusable hair.

Method #1: The Conditioner Cleanse

What you'll need

  • Conditioner
  • Hot Water
  • Bowl


  1. Braid the marley hair in sections to prevent tangling.

  2. Put hot water and conditioner in the bowl.

  3. Place braiding sections into the bowl.

  4. Rub the braids together to loosen oils and dirt that may be on the hair.

  5. Rinse and untwist.

  6. Lay flat to dry.

Method #2: Light Cleansing 

What you'll need

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bathtub or large washing area
  1. Tie off bundle sections off center to ensure cleansing of the entire length of the bundle

  2. Fill the bathtub up with warm water and add shampoo. Bathtub does not need to be filled all the way

  3. Add the hair bundles in and allow them to soak for 10-15 minutes

  4. Massage and lightly scrub the bundles to rid the braiding hair of oils and dirts that have attached to the hair.

Be sure to wash bundles one at a time to prevent frustration and knotting 

  1. Once cleansed and rinsed, lay flat and apply conditioner

  2. Rinse out conditioner with cold water; allow hair to air dry.

Some brands of Marley braiding hair (or any faux hair extension) may contain preservative chemicals that are incredibly harsh for people with sensitive scalps. Because an irritable scalp is something nobody wants to go through there’s a cleansing method for that:

Method #3: Cleansing for Sensitive Scalp

What you'll need

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bathtub or large washing area
  1. Place hair in loose sectioned bundles

  2. Fill the bathtub with warm water, not scalding hot water

  3. Mix shampoo into water so it does not sink directly to the bottom

  4. Allow the hair bundles to sit in the shampoo mixture for 10 minutes

  5. Lightly scrub and massage the bundles against each other. Rinse

  6. Squeeze out excess water and add conditioner. Rinse

  7. Holding the hair in the middle of the bundle, rinse with warm apple cider vinegar

  8. Rinse with cold water and hang to dry.

A few things to keep in mind

Always air dry

Remember that the Marley braiding hair is a fiber similar to Kankelon hair and will melt with the use of high heat. Using a hair dryer will cause the hair to frizz tremendously and lose the texture it was meant to have.

Cool it down

Remember to use cool to warm water when rinsing the braiding hair out. Just like our own hair, using hot water will cause frizz. The only difference is that the frizz on synthetic hair is hard to fix if at all possible.