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How To Custom Color Hair Extensions

In salons, clients may ask for custom-colored hair extensions. This may happen for several reasons. Sometimes your client is looking for a color that your preferred extension brand doesn’t offer or perhaps a fashion color. With high-quality hair extensions, you can typically color them for a unique and personalized color alteration without causing the extensions any harm. It can be time consuming, and results can sometimes be inconsistent, so we’re going to share a few tips for the best way to approach custom coloring hair extensions.

If you’re looking to customize the color of your extensions, you should consider selecting the lightest blonde extension that is readily available, as this will give you the most versatility when custom coloring. Select the lightest blonde shade possible when coloring hair extensions so that the desired color will be seen clearly.

First things first- you can only color 100% human hair extensions. Although the extensions are 100% human hair, they do not color the same as natural human hair. Because extensions go through a very extensive process to sanitize them, decolor them and re-color them to be packaged, they will require different formulations than natural human hair.

Many people do not know, but ALL hair extensions are actually colored with textile dyes, much like the dyes in your clothing. This dye creates a chemical reaction when exposed to hair color/peroxide. For this reason, hair extensions grab color much quicker and much cooler than natural hair. We recommend adding warmth to your formula to help counteract this. Typically, we would recommend formulating with one part warmth and one-part desired tone. An overall suggestion - do not only color with violet or blue based colors.

Because of the chemical reaction between hair color and textile dyes, you should not color extensions with alkaline (permanent) color lines. You should only use acidic color lines such as Redken Shades EQ. You should never lighten extensions or use any peroxides higher than 10 volume.

Due to the chemical process the extensions go through, the PH of hair extensions is much different than natural human hair, because of this, the porosity is much different as well and you are likely to experience “splotchy” results when custom coloring. To help avoid this, we recommend spritzing your extensions with water before applying color. Water is a natural porosity leveler and will help you achieve more even results.

Sierra & Sage Shades most recommended for Custom Coloring:




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