This post was an after thought as I was getting ready to colour my hair extensions, so the pictures documenting it might not be brilliant! I’ll give as many tips as I can along the way but will say this first and foremost! Last time I low lighted my extensions to blend in with my hair after I bought them I had help; my hair dresser was on hand and it was a joint effort. This time I fully tinted my extensions alone and it was hard due to the time the colour had to process – so if you have a helpful friend or family member I’d suggest bribing them to help. (Donuts and coffee always works well with me!!)
I coloured my extensions with Perfect 10 by Clairol the hair colourant that only needs 10 minutes to develope. When colouring hair extensions as they have usually been processed to get to the colour they actually are you need to bare in mind a few things;
1. You should never highlight hair extensions, they can go really nasty if you do.
2. Lightening them with tint doesn’t always work (It can but I’d get a professional to do it).
3. Tint on tint means it will go darker than the shade the colorant may suggest.
Also can I strongly suggest (Although I didn’t but its only because my hair extensions are on their last legs) doing a strand test to check for colour result and development time!!
Lastly, my hair extension are 100% Remy Hair Extensions from the lovely Imogen at Foxylocks Extensions (If they weren’t so battered and abused I would have done a review on them as I love them loads!). They were originally bought in the colour Caramel blonde and then low lighted with a 7N base colour just to darken them slightly to blend with my hair.
I would NEVER try to colour synthetic hair extensions! Friends have tried and failed – it wastes your money!!
Ok here’s what you will need;
TIP: My extensions are the 160g Deluxe Extensions from Foxylocks. I struggled with using just 1 box of hair colour to do them. If yours were new and still rather long (Mine are about 14-16″) you could probably do with getting 2 boxes of colour.
A watch or phone (To time development – stop watch would be good!), A bowl (To hold the tint or some type of containter), comb (wide tooth is best to work through the tint and also to comb through the conditioner at the end), brush (To remove any knots from your extensions), a tint brush (To apply some of the colour/tint – you could also use a half inch paint brush I would image or something not too big) and of course your hair extensions.
You will also find the next few items useful if you follow my instructions;
A baking sheet with tin foil on it (To lay your extensions on and colour them), a large bowl filled with water (Casserole dish is good), rubber/latex gloves and old clothes (Incase you get tint on you).
Ok let’s get started. This is a quick process with the colouring so you are doing 2 things at once much of the time. Hopefully I’ll be able to explain it clearly and easily too you, but if you do have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you or point you in the right direction if I can’t.
Get everything ready and to hand!! Put on your rubber gloves, make sure all your hair extensions are brushed and knot free and mix your colorant in the bottle (If you are unsure of how to do this or want some tips check out my post on how to colour your hair).
Pour the tint into the bowl and discard the tint bottle – if there’s a little left in there, leave it upside down with the lid on and then squeeze it out later into the bowl – are you ready? Ok time for the exciting quick bits!
Starting at the top just blow the seam (About 1cm from the seam edge – remember your hair covers this bit so don’t worry if its not even near the top), start applying the tint. Work your way down the hair shafts, applying more where you need too so the hair is completely covered). When you get to the bottom just tease through the extensions with your fingers then lightly comb through. Set your timer now.
TIP: Development time will depend on your strand test. As I was using a fast acting colour I knew it wouldn’t be more than 5 minutes the colour was on (Generally you half the development time recommended by the colorant you are using). The colour on my extensions was left on 4 minutes.
Move the extension to the side of the baking tray and repeat the same process for the others, making notes of when they need to be rinsed.
TIP: You will find some extensions need to be rinsed before you have finished colouring the others. This is where the casserole dish comes in handy! Have it ready filled with warm water. When your extension has reached its development time submerge it into the water. Don’t swirl it about as it’ll matt and get knotty. But this will help with stopping the colour developing more.
When you have finished your last extension and they are all processed and in the casserole dish of water it’s time to think about rinsing them properly. At this point I would get a towel to hand to place them on for when they have been rinsed. It’s handy to have it ready.
Take each extension to be rinsed, I did this first rinsing in my kitchen as it was where I was colouring them and I had plenty of worktop space. Rinse thoroughly till the water runs clear. Do not rub the hair of the extensions, it will matt and be hard to comb. Just gently pull your fingers down the hair shaft to get the colorant out while the tap/shower is running.
When they are all rinsed and on your towel (Or tea towel in my case) they are ready to be conditioned – this is when I moved to my bathroom. Do not bother to try and remove the knots at this point! They may look scary but please don’t be scared!
Taking one extension at a time apply a generous amount of the conditioner to it and gently comb it through to get rid of the knots.
TIP: You have just abused your hair extensions colouring them, be nice and generous when you are conditioning them after the colouring process. I used the whole tube of conditioner than came with Perfect 10 on my extensions!
There may be some shedding when you comb them through, DO NOT PANIC! Be gentle with them, comb them lightly and carefully to remove the knots. Do not yank them about. This amount looks quite a lot from the picture but was actually just over the size of a 50p piece.
Once they are all combed through and had their 5-10 minutes of conditioner and smelling gorgeous its time to rinse those babies! Have another towel at hand ready to lay them on. Rinse each extension carefully taking care not to rub then. Just lightly pull your fingers through the hair as the water rushes over them from the root to tip. It will take a while to rinse out that amount of conditioner and you’ll probably need a loan for your water bill but just think what’s worse a high water bill or bad looking extensions 😉
I always apply heat protectant to my extensions when they are towel blotted. So once I’ve ran a towel lightly over them I give them a quick spray of my heat protectant (This one if by James Brown and quite nice) and then I comb them through! It’s at this point your journey would end till you have LET THEM DRY NATURALLY.
But for the purpose of this how too, so you can see I have ‘some clue’ of what I’m doing I dried mine (Shhh very naughty and not advisable but remember mine are on their last legs!) so I can show you how they turned out.
Here’s me outside in my garden – check out my frown lines! I have not straightened them at all and literally just put them in. I wanted to show you so you could see my own hair and the extensions and how well they blended. I would not normally go out looking like this!
You should be able to see where my hair ends and the extensions are in this photo. I think the colour match is REALLY good (I can blow my own trumpet LOL) and am VERY pleased with the results. It was hard work, but for a total of just under £15 I coloured my own hair and extensions and got them to match perfectly.
Lastly, here’s my new twitter profile pic and my hair indoors, so you can see it in a different light.
So what do you think? Did I do good?
It wasn’t easy, it was fast paced and a bit nerve racking but it is possible to colour your own hair extensions. I have learnt a few things from doing this I’d like to share and advise you all on.
If I was doing this with red hair I would ERE ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION!! It would be hard to match perfectly and a low light option (Streaking with foils) would probably be easier and more subtly. Anything with high COPPER/RED/GOLD tones will be hard to match. Make sure you do a strand test!
If you have mixed hair like me (I’ve got about 5 shades of blonde plus high lights before going this colour in my own hair), remember your extensions may be multi toned. This can be good for blending in with your natural hair but bare in mine when colouring – subtle is a lot easier than dramatic!
If you had blonde extensions and wanted to make them brown or black – SEEK A PROFESSIONAL!!
I really hope this helps someone out there and like I said earlier in the post (Sorry it is so long!) if you have any comments or questions please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help you!!
Lots of Love,