Can I Dye Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions are a fun and interesting way to achieve a longer hairstyle without having to wait for too long for your hair to grow out. Extensions are also a godsend solution for women who are experiencing thinning or hair loss as a result of conditions such as hypothyroidism or excessive bleaching.

Unlike wigs which generally cover the whole of your head, extensions act as enhancers by being sewn, clipped or glued to your own hair.

One of the biggest questions most women have is whether or not they can dye their hair extensions. The answer to this question is twofold: Yes and No.

This is because hair extensions can only be dyed if it has a certain type of fiber. There are different fibers used to create hair extensions and learning about them will help you understand when you can and cannot dye your hair extensions. Let’s get into more detail below:

Human hair vs. Synthetic hair extensions

There are two types of hair extensions: synthetic extensions and human hair extensions. Human hair extensions are created from real human hair, so that they look and feel just like your own natural hair.

Synthetic extensions, on the contrary, are created from artificial fibers using special technology that makes them have the feel and appearance of natural hair.

Human hair extensions

Unlike synthetic extensions, human hair extensions can be dyed successfully with regular hair dye. The most effective way to do this is by using a single permanent dye on extensions that are light-coloured. Semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes can also be used.

Additionally, human hair can be bleached; in fact, it can be subjected to bleaching before being dyed. But bleaching isn’t usually recommended due to the damage it causes to the natural strands. Human hair extensions can also be highlighted, but this usually involves some bleaching, and shouldn’t be done very often.

Synthetic hair

Synthetic extensions can’t be dyed using regular hair dye. This is because their fibers are essentially nylon, plastic or polyester that are produced in the desired colour. These extensions are not anything like human hair and therefore cannot be dyed the same way as human hair. There are only a few ways to dye synthetic hair, although the results aren’t guaranteed.

One popular way is to use fabric dye. This is done by dipping the extensions in a dye bath. Alternatively, applying concentrated dye directly into the hair by using a brush may result in a richer colour. Keep in mind however, that this should only be done to clip-in extensions that have been detached from the head first.

The only major disadvantage with fabric dyes is that they are not available in trendy hair colours, and you’ll need to judge colour using your eyes. This can prove very difficult when choosing your desired shade.

Additionally, unlike human hair, synthetic hair cannot be lightened, so dyeing mostly works with extensions of lighter colours. Best results are achievable on a white background, so dyeing extensions that are yellow, pink or red may result in weird colours.

How to dye human hair extensions

You can either dye human hair extensions by yourself or go the salon. The choice depends on your budget as well as your desired look. Here is a short summary:

1. Dyeing at the salon

For best results, it is advisable to go to a professional colourist especially for complicated colour changes such as highlighting, lightening or ombre colours. Playing with colour at home is fun, but when dyeing expensive extensions, it’s worth getting the job done right the first time. A hair dresser can either dye glued or sewn in extensions or extensions that are clipped onto your hair.

2. Dyeing at home

At-home colouring works best with clip-in extensions. The best way to get your desired colour when dyeing extensions at home is to buy two or more dyes in a similar shade. The extensions can then be dyed with the first colour, then the second colour separately.

This works better if your natural hair is the same/similar colour as the human hair extensions. If the extensions are different from your natural hair, this job should be left to the professionals, who know how to get the desired colour from two primary starting colours.

Takeaway: Can I dye hair extensions?

Hair extensions are a great way to add volume and length to your natural hair. Because hair extensions can be expensive, having them dyed is usually the best way to get a new hairstyle without having to buy new extensions.

However, only human hair extensions can be coloured with products that are safe for use on your own natural hair. Synthetic extensions must be dyed with fabric dyes, and the results aren’t as predictable.

For best results, it is advisable to go to a professional colourist. Remember that if dyeing extensions is your ultimate goal, human hair extensions is the way to go. Watch the video below for more: