Ideally, you don't want to dye hair extensions. They will only last you but so long, and most times, the hair has already been put through extensive processes before it even ended up on your head. However, sometimes you just can't find the right color, and have to take matters into your own hands!
That was the case for me - my hair is an ever-changing rainbow of bright colors, and it would be impossible to find extensions to match. If that's the case for you, I recommend choosing a high-quality extension that is as light blonde as possible. It's important that you don't skimp on quality, so don't just go with the cheapest hair you can find! Read the reviews, and make sure you're buying human hair extensions. I am using Tesshair 18-inch #60 light blonde hair.
- Desired hair dye
- Dye bowl
- Dye brush
- Large board/tray - I created my own board by putting foil around a piece of cardboard. This seems to be a common method.
- Giant rubber band OR stapler - I didn't have a stapler available, so instead I wrapped a giant rubber band around the top of my board, and clipped the hair extensions to it. This fastened them in place so they weren't moving around while I applied the dye. If you have a stapler, you can also use it to staple the extension to the top of your board (don't staple through the weft - it can ruin the weaving when you remove it).
Step 1: Preparation
First, you need to create the board you will attach the extensions to. A giant piece of cardboard is best, wrapped in tin foil or saran wrap. Don't use anything with ink or print on it - the colors from the ink could transfer onto your hair!
Next, fasten your extensions to the board. As mentioned above, you can staple them to the top of the board. I had to get creative here, so I stretched a rubber band over the top of the board and clipped the extensions to it so they would stay in place. I had a full set of extensions to dye, so when I had gotten through the first few pieces, I placed them on a separate tray to process.
Once you've got your setup ready, put on your favorite podcast, glove up, and get ready to dye!
Step 2: Dyeing
This is very similar to how you would dye your own hair, except you can actually see what you're doing. Make sure that you put dye ON the weft at the top of the extension, and be sure to get it underneath the clip as well. This will ensure that the extensions blend in with your hair starting at the root. If you leave the string and roots of the extension platinum blonde, it WILL be noticeable when you're wearing them.
Paint the dye down the length of the extension, being careful not to miss any sections. Flip the extension over, re-fasten it to the board, and do the same for the back side.
Once you've applied the dye thoroughly, place the extensions on a separate tray to process. If you are using dye with ammonia, pay attention to the recommended processing time (usually around 30-45 minutes). The best part about extensions is that you have multiple pieces - so stop and rinse the dye out of any pieces that need it before you move on to the next ones.
If you had to mix your dye with a developer, it likely contains ammonia. Some dyes, like Pulp Riot, Manic Panic, and Arctic Fox are basically just pigmented conditioners - so you can leave them in as long as you want without causing any damage to the hair.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry
Once your extensions have processed for the appropriate amount of time, rinse the color out! Use cold water, and be sure to get any dye that may have clumped up under the clip or at the weft.
It is best to air-dry your extensions, as blow-drying can cause damage to the hair. I laid mine out on a towel and let them air dry for a few hours.
You're officially a babe! Rock those long extensions while you can.
It is important to still wash your extensions, especially if you are wearing them frequently. They may eventually pick up some oil from your scalp, so gently shampoo when necessary and be generous with the conditioner. If you are wearing them daily, you may need to wash once every 30 days.
When you aren't wearing your extensions, brush them out and fasten them together in a pony tail. Keep them out of reach of children and cats!