Are you ready to embark on a colorful journey that allows you to express your unique style and creativity? If you’ve ever dreamt of vibrant, mermaid-worthy locks or simply want to add a subtle touch of elegance to your hair, coloring your hair extensions at home can be a game-changer. Not only does it offer you the freedom to experiment with different shades and styles, but it also gives you complete control over your hair’s transformation process. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the exciting world of DIY coloring hair extensions, providing you with step-by-step instructions and expert tips to achieve stunning, salon-worthy results from the comfort of your own home.

I. What Things You Should Know Before Coloring Hair Extensions At Home?

 Hair extensions offer a fantastic opportunity to instantly add length, dimension, and volume to your hair, but they are also an investment worth protecting. While the idea of dyeing them at home can be tempting, it’s important to acknowledge that it comes with its challenges. Before you dive into the dyeing process of coloring hair extensions, here are some crucial factors you should carefully consider:

1. Your Hair Extensions Need To Be Made From Human Hair

 The first thing to look at is whether the hair extensions you want to dye are actually made from human hair or not. Not all hair extensions are created equal. Extensions can be made from natural human hair or synthetic fibers and you can be dyed more easily. You can read the differences between human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions HERE.


 Keep in mind that you ONLY can color the hair extensions that are made from human hair. Human hair extensions are generally more versatile and can be dyed more easily. If they’re synthetic hair, you won’t be able to color them because synthetic hair is made from plastic. This type of synthetic hair extension has been chemically treated, which weakens the strands, and leads to they are not usually strong enough to be colored. 

 If you’re not sure if your hair extensions are human or synthetic, you can refer to THIS ARTICLE to learn how to identify and do a burn test – the only surefire way to determine.

2. The Process of Going Darker is Different From Going Lighter

 Just like standard human hair, you can color hair extensions the shade of your choice. Once the material is confirmed, the shade that you aim to achieve is another thing to consider, because you can darken your hair extensions but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to lighten them.


Go Lighter

 Almost all hair extensions are colored. This means that if you want to lighten them, you’d need to use bleach. Most hair extensions have been through some aggressive processing, meaning their cuticle (protective) layer is already in pretty bad shape. If you don’t mind taking a risk and don’t want to lighten your hair extensions more than a shade or two, you might get away with it.

Go Darker

 That’s a lot more straightforward than trying to lighten your hair extensions but there are a few things to consider. Most hair extensions will grab the color faster than your natural hair would, so you might not need to leave the tint on as long as instructed. Check the color every few minutes but do remember that wet hair is darker than dry hair. 

II. How To Coloring Hair Extensions?

 Whether you’re looking to achieve a trendy ombre effect, experiment with bold hues, or simply refresh your current extensions, learning how to dye hair extensions is a skill that can elevate your hair game to a whole new level. keep in mind that if you’re uncertain about your coloring skills, it’s advisable to entrust your extensions to a professional hair salon to prevent any potential damage. However, for the adventurous souls looking to save some bucks, embarking on the at-home dyeing journey can be rewarding. Let’s embark on this exciting journey of self-expression, one strand at a time.

1. Coloring Hair Extensions - Choose A Color


 To start, select your perfect shade. It’s best to use color from a professional hair color and developer line, as boxed color from the drugstore will not let you choose a developer for your extensions. A 10-volume developer or demi-permanent color is typically recommended. Expert stylists recommend opting for a subtle shade change if it’s your first time dyeing your own extensions, as this will help prevent damage or breakage. If you’re dreaming of platinum highlights or a white-blonde look, you might need to leave it to the pros.

2. Gather Your Supplies


 In addition to your hair color and developer, gather the following essential supplies: hair color gloves, a color bowl and brush, tin foil, plastic wrap, a wide-tooth comb, and a towel. If you’re dyeing using the watercolor method, you will need a deep container such as a sink, mixing bowl, or plastic bucket/storage container. With all your supplies at hand, it’s time to prepare your workspace. Since hair dyeing can be a messy endeavor, lay sheets of tin foil across surfaces to shield them from any potential color stains.

3. Coloring Hair Extensions - Prepare Your Hair

 Gently comb through your extensions to get rid of any tangles and if you have any styling products on your extensions, it’s important to wash them out first as well. After washing and combing the extensions, make sure they are completely dry. Allow them to dry overnight before applying the hair dye the next day because using a hairdryer is not recommended.

4. Prepare The Mixture


 Put on your gloves and combine the appropriate amount of hair color and developer. Prepare your color by following the manufacturer’s directions. Most hair dyes are composed of equal parts color and developer and you’ll typically need about 3-5 ounces of color for your extensions. Make sure you have plenty of dye on hand before you start coloring to avoid running out. It’s better to have too much than not enough. After pouring your hair dye and developer into the applicator bottle, shake the bottle for about one minute to combine them.

5. Coloring Hair Extensions - Apply The Hair Color

 Now it’s time to get coloring, to apply the hair dye to every single strand of your hair extensions. Use a comb to distribute the hair dye while applying it. Ensure that your color solution fully seeps through each section of your hair extensions, through both sides and from top to end – too much color is better than not having enough in dyeing hair extensions. Start your application from the top then move down to the ends. Otherwise, you might leave them messy and frizzy.

 After you’ve finished applying the dye, place the extensions on a foil or hair towel and read the directions to determine how long they should be left on the foil/towel. Every 5 to 10 minutes, check a small section by gently rubbing the color off the hair with a paper towel. Use your color 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, Comb & Air Dry

 It’s now time to rinse your colored 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 15 minutes, and only stop when you’re sure that you’ve removed all the color. Use a mild, sulfate-free shampoo with moisturizing features or a color-safe shampoo for essential follow-up care. 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 colored hair extensions. Don’t use any equipment, and just let your extensions air dry before using or styling them.

III. Conclusion

 Whether you’re looking to achieve a trendy ombre effect, experiment with bold hues, or simply refresh your current extensions, learning how to dye hair extensions is a skill that can elevate your hair game to a whole new level. We hope that you’ll have all the knowledge and confidence you need to give your hair extensions a stunning makeover that’s uniquely yours after finishing reading.

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