Part of the allure of hair extensions is being able to change your entire look in the matter of an afternoon. You can go kinky, straight, or wavy, with locks down to your feet or a short bob. In addition to changing the length and texture of your hair, you can also change the color. Many women get extensions specifically to try out a new color that would be too drastic a change or too damaging on their own strands. Hair extensions are a costly endeavor in and of themselves, and you’ve had to learn how to take care of the hair to make it look good for as long as possible. If you’ve colored your hair extensions, you’ve now added an extra chemical process on them. Chances are, they may have already been chemically processed to begin with, so now it’s really important that you know what to do to in order to protect your investment.
- Use shampoos and conditioners that work best with color-treated hair. The wrong type of shampoo can be loaded with sulfates that can strip the hair. The best color safe shampoos and conditioners safely cleanse the hair while deep conditioning it as well. Color safe shampoos can even be specific to a certain color, so if you’ve dyed your hair a rich, bronze red, look for color safe shampoos that can enhance the color. Check with the manufacturer of the hair dye to see if there’s a shampoo and conditioner that they recommend. They may manufacture a color-safe shampoo themselves.
- Try and use virgin, human hair extensions if you can. They’ve not been chemically treated, and will be less prone to damage by the process. This is especially important if you’re trying to lighten black or brown-black hair. You’ll have to first lift the color from the hair before applying your desired color, and human hair that’s already been processed prior to dyeing probably won’t escape unscathed. If you can, buy human hair extensions that are as close to your desired color as possible.
- Use a good quality, permanent dye on your hair. Make sure to get good coverage the first time around because you don’t want to have to do it again later. Dyeing is a chemical process that can dry out the hair causing damage, so it’s not something that should be performed twice on extension hair. To be safe, have an experienced stylist color the hair so that it’s done right the first time.
- Before applying the dye, do a strand test first. You want to make sure that the color will take, and that it will turn the exact color that you want.
If you’re going to leave some of your own natural hair out when you are wearing the extensions, you’ll probably want to have your own hair match the color of the extensions. If you’re trying to match the extension to your hair own hair color, you’re fine. If you need to dye your own hair to match the desired color of the hair extension, dye your own hair prior to installing the extension. That way you can ensure proper coverage on every bit of your own hair that you need to dye.