It’s been a while since I’ve donned my lab coat on my blog and after the Christmas period of hectic mayhem I’ll be honest and say I was feeling a little bored. So I decided to do an experiment on my Halo Hair Extensions. So many times you read you can colour hair extensions but its not advisable too bleach them – so what happens if you do?

Here’s a picture of my wearing my gorgeous 16″ deluxe clip in set of Halo Hair Extensions – gorgeous aren’t they. There is (or was) only one thing wrong with them… I’m no longer brunette and they were sat in a box gathering dust.

To see them gathering dust and knowing I couldn’t actually wear them less I wanted too look rather odd or dye my hair again (Answer to both those questions is no) really upset me. I really love them and in honesty will say I prefer the 16″ most days too my 20’s (Which is why for my birthday I am trying to save for a 16″ HALO in my blonde colour again!!!). So I had nothing too lose and set about seeing if you can indeed bleach extensions without dire consequences and whether I recommend the experience.

DISCLAIMER: I first want to say DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME as I don’t want lots of worrying emails and comments on it. I DON’T advise to do what I’ve done no matter how desperate you are. I did this as I had nothing too lose except what the bleach cost me.

I didn’t have unrealistic goals when I started this experiment but I did want a few questions answered….

1. Could you bleach hair extensions and they still look wearable (As in good condition, shine and fullness)?

2. Could you strip the colour evenly on hair extensions that has (Probably) already been coloured?

3. Would you get the same colour lift as you do with natural hair?

4. Could I make them wearable on me again?

So, here’s what I did and how they turned out…

Here are my beautiful light brown Halo clip in extensions; they are soft shiny and probably worn about 15 times over a 4 week period or there abouts.

As Boots weren’t open when I went shopping (How inconsiderate!) I had to make to do with Tesco and all they had was the Wella High Lighting Kit. This cost me £6.97 and isn’t what I would have chosen but needs must.

It is pretty easy to use and comes with; a container to mix the bleach in, a small tint brush, cap (Which I didn’t use) and the bleach obviously. There’s full instruction and its pretty easy to follow although I was using this too strip colour and not highlight. My opinion on this kit is that I probably wouldn’t use it again, I just prefer the L’Oreal Highlighting Kit more but this did what I wanted too do partially – although with scary consequences.

So I left the bleach on the extensions for 40 minutes (The maximum time recommended). There wasn’t enough bleach to do all the wefts (There’s 10 and only 7 were done) but it is a high lighting kit so not as much solution. If you did want to use this kit to high light your hair and its thick and long – buy 2! The results I got once rinsed were a dark auburn ginger. They had lifted around 1 nearly 2 shades from the light brown colour they were. I would have liked to have seen more lift and at a guess would say this is probably a 6% peroxide (I may be wrong it just didn’t seem very strong) and would be rubbish on hair that’s anything darker than a dark blonde.

Here is the result of the extensions after they were dried against the brown ones that I did not bleach due too lack of mixture.

I took 2 photos as you can see they appear different in some lights but I know you can also tell which ones I have bleached and which I haven’t. I’d have liked too see more lift but hindsight and what not I just had to go with it. So after one bleaching we are left with this rich dark ginger. Quite scary looking but in the spectrum of bleaching quite normal. This amount of lift wasn’t good enough for me and I wanted something I could at least work with.

At this stage the condition of the extensions I had bleached was good. They didn’t feel dry or damaged and as you can see from the photos were still quite glossy. The colour result was even too. There was no banding.

So the only thing I felt I could do next was more bleach. Obviously if you had bleach on your own hair you will know adding more on top of that will cause some damage, could make your hair really dry and also cause breakage. This is something I do not recommend doing on yourself at all! However we are working on extensions and as I said at the start I had nothing to lose.

This time Boots was open so I bought myself my bleach brand of choice – L’Oreal Bleach Kit. The highlighting kit is also brilliant and what I have used on many occasions on my own hair. The bleach kit I have also used on my own hair regularly (Till discovering Colour B4) too strip the dark brown out I have used every Autumn to colour it darker and always had good results. The L’Oreal Perfect Blonde Creme Maximum Bleach Kit costs £6.12 and can lift natural hair up too 6 tones lighter. So its pretty strong and very good at stripping colour and lifting (Although if you do want to strip unwanted colour I still recommend using Colour B4 as its less damaging then bleach).

I really was unsure what colour results I was going to get. I had not done any strand tests at all throughout this experiment and couldn’t use the extensions anyway so was just going with the flow and getting caught up with the experiment. I also was colouring the 3 wefts at the same time that I didn’t get too bleach before and wasn’t sure if I’d even be able too get a good match against the already bleached ones.

I applied the bleach first too the 3 wefts that I hadn’t bleached the day before and then the rest. I left the bleach on the extensions for 40 minutes (This was from the last weft so the earlier ones had bleach on for probably 10 minutes more). I also wrapped them in tin foil too help with development. Remember the heat from your own head helps with this normally so I was simulating heat to a degree.

I was dubious and checked them at 20 minutes, 30 and then 40. There was minimal change from the 30 minute and 40 minute check and at this point I felt personally the bleach had done all it could. I rinsed all the bleach out in warm water and then applied a good conditioner and left this for a few minutes before rinsing. I could tell at this point they had gotten lighter than before but that they were still very ‘warm’ toned. Condition wise they felt ok.

I committed one of my rules I don’t ‘practise but preach’ and dried them with a hair dryer so I could get a true colour result.

This is quite a poor light for me to have taken them in as its dark now. But they are about a shade 8 blonde with a copper undertone. I don’t think purple shampoo is going to rid the brassiness and a further colouring will remove the copper. However by adding more colour too them I honestly can’t see them being wearable.

Here is another shot of them taken against my butterscotch blonde coloured ones (Halo Hair Extensions in Dark Blonde coloured with a shade 7 Clairol Perfect 10.

The Dark Blonde ones are on the left and the bleached on the right. The truer colour of the bleached ones is at the bottom of the picture. Condition wise they feel ok, a little drier on the ends obviously. Not as good as when I first started and I’m not sure how much ‘heat styling’ they will take. I have had minimal hair loss from them too. So here is the answers to the questions I asked earlier…

1. Could you bleach hair extensions and they still look wearable (As in good condition, shine and fullness)?

Yes you can to a degree. Depending on what shade they are to start with will depend on how much lift you will actually get. The ones I have used are not ‘fried’ nor do they look in terrible condition. HOWEVER, I know that they are damaged now and as I’ve said the life span of them with heat styling will be greatly reduced!

2. Could you strip the colour evenly on hair extensions that has (Probably) already been coloured?

Yes you can if you know what you are doing and are careful. Yes I got an even result but know I should have done a strand test etc. In hindsight I would have used a stronger peroxide and not used ‘shop bought’ items and probably got a similar result with only one session of bleaching. But the hair could have been more over processed that way. There was no banding after the second amount of bleach.

3. Would you get the same colour lift as you do with natural hair?

I don’t think so. Not knowing what has been done too the hair extensions before you have them as in colour process to make them that colour etc means you don’t really know what you are trying to strip out or lighten. Also as with taking dark hair too light you will work your way through the colour spectrum of reds and oranges as you lift. If I was doing this on a person I would have achieved more lift but at the same time I think with more damage too the hair.

4. Could I make them wearable on me again?

Maybe I could get them closer to my colour hair but by doing this it would mean more colouring and further damage too them. They won’t take much more that much I know. Could I wear them if I was copper blonde? Yes I could as they look ok. As I said they aren’t awful condition wise just slightly drier than before.

I’m adding an additional in case you are wondering…

5. Why not use Scott Cornwalls colour B4 on them?

Maybe you are thinking why not use Colour B4 on them. I’ll be honest and say I have been curious about whether Colour B4 would work on extensions if you were doing the reverse (Stripping a darker colour out of a lighter colour extensions) but this would only work if you had coloured a blonde set or a light brown set say too a darker shade. I am guessing with hair extensions that are darker colours they have probably either been lightened slightly already too get too that shade or maybe just toned through too get the right tone. I just can’t see them colouring them from say Bleach Blonde too dark brown – it seems unlikely. Therefore Colour B4 wouldn’t work. It doesn’t really lighten hair just strips the artificial colour from the cuticles. Maybe at some point I’ll try it out on an older set but at present I think it would have been a wasted experiment.

I have been EXTREMELY lucky with my bleaching journey on these extensions. I would NEVER have risked doing this too a set I wear regularly or too add highlights to one of my sets I wear. It’s cost me £13 to do this experiment. In reality less than it would cost for me to buy another set of extensions and it’s been quite interesting finding out what would happen.

I would NEVER recommend anyone does what I have done less you KNOW that you may have dire consequences. I cannot stress this enough. If I compare them in condition too my oldest set of extensions (Now 10 months old) which have been coloured 3 times and also had 3″ cut off because of over processing plus styled with head stylers (Straighteners and Curling wands) the condition is similar. They are wearable (If it wasn’t for the colour) and don’t look ‘naff’ but they don’t look as good as they once did.

I know many people will think like I mentioned, ‘But its cheaper than buying a new set’ and yes it is. However there’s no guarantee they will be anywhere near the colour you want them too be in the end or if the condition of them will be wearable still. Remember I had worn these a lot but they were only about 4-6 weeks old at most.

I am hoping this post will help some people in not making the mistake of bleaching their extensions. Granted my results were ‘ok’ but if they had of been terrible it would have not been a loss to me. I would hate for someone to waste hard earned money trying this too get terrible results! My advice would be too save and buy a new set in your new lighter colour or go to a professional and let them take the risk.

Lots of Love,

Mel xxxx