One of the questions our Color Crew often gets is: Can I color my hair if I have hair extensions? Good question. Fortunately, you can still maintain your hair color routine if you have extensions or if you're thinking about getting hair extensions, but there are a few key factors to keep in mind before you color.
Hair Color + Hair Extensions = The Perfect Match
One of the most important parts of integrating extensions into your hair is making sure that your hair color is consistent with the extensions. In order to do this successfully, we recommend selecting your extensions after you've colored your hair to your desired color, to make sure your hair extensions match. This may seem obvious, but in order to get the truest match, we recommend coloring your hair and waiting three to five washes before choosing your extensions - this way, your color will have regulated. The first day you color your hair, it's often a touch darker or more saturated than how your hair will typically look.
Call In the Extension Pros
If you've never applied extensions before (and even if you've worn extensions in the past), it's a good idea to go to a salon to figure out exactly what you're looking for, and to help identify the proper extension texture for your hair. It's also a lot easier to let a professional attach extensions rather than rely on a friend or try to take it on yourself. The only type of hair extensions you should be doing on your own are clip-in hair extensions, which can be purchased at a drugstore, beauty supply store, or ordered online. These are a more temporary commitment than professional extensions, which require greater skill to apply. You can also use clip-in hair extensions along with your professional set to add highlights or lowlights, which can help you change up your look without taking a trip to the salon.
During your consultation with your hairdresser, be sure to get as much information about your extensions as possible, so you're best equipped to manage them once they are applied.
Hair Extension Questions
- What type of hair extensions do they use at the salon?
- What type of attachment method (tape-in, glue-in, sew-in) will your stylist use for your hair?
- Tell your stylist how you wear your hair so he or she knows where to apply them. For example, if you usually wear a high top knot or ponytail in the summer, your stylist will not want to set your extensions too low, where they could become visible.
- Tell your stylist how you style your hair. If you use heat styling, you'll want human hair extensions, as synthetic extensions do not handle heat well.
- How often will you need to get touch ups for your extensions?
Getting your hair extensions at a salon ensures that they will be customized for you. Your stylist will cut and style the hair extensions along with your real hair, creating a fully integrated look.
If you want to maintain your at-home hair color routine with your extensions, you'll need to keep a few things in mind before you slip on your gloves...
Coloring Your Hair Extensions
- Synthetic extensions cannot be colored.
- Human hair extensions can be colored, but only darker or the same color. It's not advisable to attempt to lighten hair extensions, so be sure to either maintain the same color or go a shade or two darker.
- If you're opting for a color change to a darker shade, be sure to do a strand test to make sure the new hair reacts well to your color.
If you're an extension newbie, you might be surprised at how much your routine will need to change to keep your extensions looking great as long as possible. Here are just a few tips to help your extensions stay gorgeous:
Hair Extension Tips
- Shampoo and condition in a top to bottom motion, rather than scrunching up at the scalp.
- Limit heat styling, and definitely blow dry with your fingers, rather than a brush. Brushing can tug at extensions (ouch!) and loosen them, so it's best to style with fingers and a wide tooth comb.
- Treat your extensions like you would your own hair - with love. Deep condition them at least once per week to keep them shiny, healthy-looking, and free of split-ends.
Adding hair extensions to your look is a great way to introduce more volume, length, and vibrancy to your natural hair, whether you opt for just a few extensions, of a full set. Luckily, you don't have to sacrifice coloring your hair with hair extensions, making it a win/win option for you...and your hair.