Can I Dye Hair Extensions?

dye hair extenstions

5 Things you need to consider before you dye hair extensions

Every so often I get an email with a question about dying hair extensions, so it is time to address the issue in an article. So, what can you do when you have hair extensions you absolutely adore . . . and rely on, but now find yourself wanting a new color? Are dying your hair extensions an option? Yes, if your extensions are human hair. Although I have heard of some women who’ve had success, dying high quality synthetic extensions, it is not recommended. Ladies always have the right to change their minds, (especially when it has to do with hair) but when it comes to dying your hair extensions; here’s what you need to know!

Dye Hair Extensions

Selecting the Right Color

Dying hair extensions are an option if they are made of human hair, but it should only be done minimally and some types of dyes are better than others. The safest choices are semi or demi-permanent hair colors because they use a lower volume developer resulting in less damage. Note that these dyes cannot lighten your hair, but will only darken it or change the hue (underlying gold or red tones.) Knowing how to choose the right hair color is a vital first step. Using a hair color chart, determine the best shade to match your skin tone. If you are still unsure which hair color is best for your type, consult a hair stylist for expert advice.

Dye Hair Extensions

Be Careful of Damaging Your Extensions

Lightening your hair extensions are not recommended. The developing agent used to lighten hair is harsh and damaging and that coupled with heat and normal wear and tear, can shorten the life of the extensions. Look at the manufacturer’s recommendations and if you decide to do it, have a professional do the job to keep your extensions as healthy as possible.

Synthetic hair extensions are made from polyester, nylon or other materials that are not hair color friendly.


How to Dye Hair Extensions

What You’ll Need:

  • Gloves
  • Bowl
  • Color Brush
  • Hair Color
  • Tin Foil
  • Towel


  • Wash, dry and comb through hair extensions prior to coloring. Product buildup on the hair can inhibit how hair color is absorbed.
  • Lay out large sheets of tin foil on a table top and lay the extensions on top.
  • Prepare your color following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Holding the top of the extension with gloved hands; apply color by brushing it onto the hair from top to bottom. Completely saturate each hair extension with color, including the weft, to ensure even coverage.
  • Process according to manufacturer’s directions.
  • Rinse thoroughly in cool water.
  • Lightly squeeze through a color safe shampoo and conditioner and rinse.

Dye Hair Extensions

Leave the Complicated Stuff to the Experts

Changing up the tone of your hair extensions can be done, but, these important tips on dye selection and coloring can help prevent unnecessary damage during the process. Ombre, bayalage color and highlights look great, but if you want these types of looks, it’s usually best to leave the project to a professional.