Can you dye / bleach clip-in human hair extensions?
30th Apr 2015
We had a customer complain at the weekend about their ruined hair extensions. The customer had bleached their brunette hair extensions (colour no. 6) and used their hair tongs at 450 degrees. Unfortunately, the bleach caused about 25% of the hair to fall out and the hair that was left went hard. We reimbursed them and sent another set out of goodwill. We felt we had to reimburse as we had not made it clear on our website that altering the hair extensions in anyway is at your own risk. However, we are now clearly stating on the website that any alterations of the products is at your own risk and we cannot be liable as we cannot control or monitor the products you choose or the processes you use, as stated in the Terms and Conditions.
From this customer's bad experience we decided that we definitely needed to carry out a number of tests on the hair to make sure it is 100% human hair and with not secretly mixed with synthetic hair. We thought we would share our results and here they are. Remember, any alterations to the hair is at your own risk, but this is what worked for us.
I teamed up with Kathryn Diaper, a professional hairdresser/ makeup artist, and owner of Doll Creative. Kathryn is familiar with both hair extensions and hair dyes, so I thought it best to bring in a professional. We decided to carry out two tests on the hair extensions; one with bleach and one with a lighter dye, we used Undercover Glamour dark brunette clip-in hair extensions, colour no. 4 and the aim was to create an ombre effect.
1. Wella Kolestonperfect Special Natural Blonde no.12 (no bleach) mixed with 12% peroxide to lift colour a shade lighter (cream coloured mixture).
2. Bluepowder Bleach mixed with 12% peroxide to develop (blue coloured mixture).
Kathryn saturated the bottom of 2 hair pieces with the bleach mix and the other 2 with the natural light blonde dye, carefully blending the mixture up the hair strands to help the colours blend perfectly together. She then wrapped the ends in foil (the parts with the dye/ bleach on) and left them to develop for 20 minutes, she left them by the AGA as heat helps bleach to develop. The foil works in 3 ways; firstly, the foil prevents the bleach from getting all over your clothes/ surfaces, secondly the foil helps to keep in heat helping to develop the bleach much quicker and finally, the foil prevents the hair from drying out as the bleach will only continue developing if it is moist. Kathryn checked on them occasionally throughout the 20 minutes to see when they were a suitable colour and to ensure they had not damaged the extensions. All was good so they were left for a full 20 minutes. Once they were unwrapped she washed them with a sulphate free shampoo and sulphate free conditioner. We used my shampoo and conditioner from Fiji as it said sulphate free. Kathryn also mentioned using shampoo or conditioner that is for treated and coloured hair. Do not use thickening shampoos or conditioners, as you do not need this on hair extensions. Once the shampoo and conditioner was washed through and rinsed she then patted them dry with an old towel (please note the bleach may stain your towel so make sure it is an old one) she then blow-dried the hair on a low heat setting (not too hot). Once dry she held the hair extensions at the top (just under the clips) and started to gently brush through the hair.
As you can see from the above picture the Blue Powder Bleach has lightened the hair more than the Wella hair dye. The bleach has caused the brunette colour to look a lighter colour with a hint of ginger in the colouring, which is also what you would expect from one round of bleach on the dark brown hair. The extensions would benefit from a toner to reduce the brassy tones. The Wella hair dye did not lift the colour as much, which is as expected. The bleach did cause a tiny bit of hair breakage, causing a few of the ends of the hair to break off, so please be prepared for this. Hair extensions do not produce naturals oils like your own hair does, therefore, when you wash hair extensions it rinses out any oils that they have been treated with causing them to appear more dry. Please always use protective hair oils such as Morocconoil to help prolong the life of your hair extensions. Overall, we were pleased with how the hair extensions took both the dye and the bleach used.
**WARNING any alterations to the hair extensions are at your own risk, please note we cannot take any responsibility for failed outcomes as we cannot control products or processes used.
These have been our tests and we are sharing what worked for us at the time. Bleach does damage hair and too much will ruin the hair.
I did another experiment with L'Oreal Semi Permanent Hair Dye on my Undercover Glamour clip in hair extensions as in the pictures below. This is the dye I currently use on my own head of hair, the colour is Dark Brunette. I simply rubbed a small amount of the dye onto one of the hair pieces and left for 20 mins for the colour to develop. I then rinsed the dye out, using the conditioner that L'oreal provide in the set below, which made the hair extensions lovely and glossy. The colour change went exactly as expected, there was no hair breakage, the hair extensions actually looked better than before (as I used a set that I had been using for a year). The dark brunette colour matched the colour that L'Oreal states it will go to on the box (the dye is on the darker hair piece in the picture). This most definitely was a success. If you are going to try to alter your hair extensions (we are not liable) then I would recommend using a semi-permanent dye as it is not as harsh and you do not wash your hair extensions as much as your own hair so it will last.
We would love to hear from you if you have dyed your Undercover Glamour extensions and if it was a success, which products did you use? If you have any products you would like to recommend please share them with us and we can share with our customers.
**WARNING any alterations to the hair extensions are at your own risk, please note we cannot take any responsibility for failed outcomes as we can't control products or processes used.