Your hair extensions have arrived, but you’re no longer sure about the colour, so you ask, ‘can you dye hair extensions?’ Fortunately, the answer is… yes!
You might have heard about the potential risks that come with colouring hair extensions, which is why we highly recommend enlisting professional hair colouring services for these types of projects, but if you would still like to try your skills, this complete guide will walk you through the steps and give answers to your questions on how to dye hair extensions. After the tutorial, we will also add essential tips on the dos and don’ts to mitigate risks.
Follow these Steps on Dyeing Hair Extensions
1. Identify what kind of hair extensions are you dyeing
The first and most crucial step in dyeing hair extensions is identifying what kind you are working on. Is it human hair or synthetic hair? Is it tape-in, clip-in, weave, or bonded? This information will determine your next steps, as synthetic hair is made from plastic, and altering its colour is not advisable. If you are unsure, you can do the ‘burn test’ to determine if your hair extensions are human or synthetic; take a strand at least 7 cm long and hold it over a lit match. Human hair would catch the light and produce an unpleasant burnt odour, whereas plastic hair would melt – please be careful and take proper precautions for your safety!
Once the material is confirmed, you can proceed to colour hair extensions, whether it’s tape-in, clip-in, weave, or bonded. What’s important is you avoid the part where the strands are held together. Otherwise, it might lead to the breakage of the material holding the stitches together or shedding the strands.
Know that tailor-made extension bonds are much less durable in the first four weeks after fitting. Getting colour over this part will break down, ultimately ruining your hair extensions. Another thing to consider is the shade that you aim to achieve. If your attachment ends up being a shade or two lighter than your hair, it might be less discreet and more visible than intended.
2. Determine what colour you want to achieve
If you want to learn how to dye hair extensions the right way, you must also set your expectations on the colour you wish to achieve. It’s a given for most hair extensions to be coloured already, which is why it will likely only be possible to darken them, not lighten them.
A lighter shade, such as platinum blonde, requires bleaching. All the aggressive processing that the hair extensions have gone through will have already left their cuticle or protective layer in bad shape, so while you can still try, make sure you’re prepared for the end result to not be exactly what you were hoping for.
In dyeing hair extensions darker, you must consider that it will absorb colour faster than natural hair. So, you might want to refrain from leaving the dye longer than instructed. You can check every few minutes, but remember that hair also tends to get darker when wet. That’s why you might want to wait for the colour to develop into a slightly darker shade than the colour you’re aiming for.
3. Prepare your workspace and materials
Ideally, your setup is over a large table or counter space so you can have plenty of room to work comfortably. Choose a warm and well-lit environment. You can prevent hair dye from staining your workspace by spreading tin foil sheets across your workspace.
Once done, you’re now ready to start colouring hair extensions. Prepare the materials as per the manufacturer’s directions, but make sure you have enough to cover the length. There is no need to wash the mane before dyeing hair extensions, but make sure to remove tangles with a comb.
Wear your gloves and hold your colour brush to prepare for the next step.
4. Apply your desired colour
Ensure that your colour solution fully seeps through each section of your hair extensions, through both sides and from top to end – too much colour is better than not having enough in dyeing hair extensions.
Start your application from the top (where the tape/clips/bonds are located), then move down to the ends. Otherwise, you might leave them messy and frizzy.
5. Leave to process
Once you’ve covered the strands of your extensions, cover them loosely using plastic wrap. It will prevent the dye from drying out before soaking into your strands. Then, leave the colouring process at standard room temperature for as long as specified in the manufacturer’s directions.
Every five to ten minutes, check a small section by gently rubbing the colour off the hair with a paper towel. Use your colour brush to reapply the dye after checking. Don’t rush the process, and you’ll be ready to rinse it off as soon as it’s done.
6. Rinse the dye
It’s now time to rinse your coloured hair extensions. Use cool (not cold) water at low pressure and ensure that the water flows in the direction where the hair naturally falls. Then, work your fingers gently through the strands to remove the excess dye.
Complete a thorough rinse with a minimum of fifteen minutes, and only stop when you’re sure that you’ve removed all the colour. Use a mild, sulphate-free shampoo with moisturising features or a colour-safe shampoo for essential follow-up care.
7. Comb and air dry
After your thorough rinse, lay a towel over your workspace. Here’s where you’ll apply a leave-in conditioner with a wide-toothed comb to your coloured hair extensions. Don’t use any equipment, and just let your extensions air dry before using or styling them.
Top Tips in Colouring Hair Extensions
- Untangle your mane with a brush before applying the dye.
- Prepare more colour solution than you think you need (just in case).
- Always work from root to tip in all the steps of the guide.
- For drying, only squeeze and pat. Never rub.
- Cover all surfaces with a plastic film to avoid staining.
Achieve Beautiful and Safely Coloured Hair Extensions
In learning how to dye hair extensions, you must also know your options. One leaves you vulnerable to risks often associated with bleach kits. Meanwhile, the other provides you with results, benefits, and insights specifically for your hair.
If you wish to have the latter, Hemisphere Hair is ready for you. Expect the quality of work and exceptional service and creativity that you would from our award-winning salon.