How to Dye Hair Extensions Tutorial: Dos and Don’ts

There are many reasons you would want to know how to dye hair extensions. Perhaps the one you ordered wasn't in your desired shade of color. Or maybe you simply want to change your hair color, or your job requires the knowledge of it. Regardless of what your reason is, we got you covered.

In this article, we'll not only teach you how to dye hair extensions, but we'll put you through a step-to-step guide on how you can do it. But first, let's start with ten things you must know.

10 Things you must know on How to Dye Hair Extensions

  1. Only Human Hair Can be Dyed

    First, you need to know that only human hair extensions can be dyed. If your hair extension is synthetic, then it wouldn't work. This is because they lack hair cuticles—which are needed for bleach to work on your hair.

    Modern synthetic hair extensions are more advanced than the ones of old, but they are still not suitable for dyes. But if your hair extensions are made of human hair, then it's qualified for dyeing.

    There are mainly two types of hair extensions namely Virgin and Remy extensions. Virgin hair extensions are the best type to dye.

    Whether Virgin or Remy, make sure your extension is of good quality. Hair extensions that have their weakest hair removed, and are chemically treated, are usually too weak to dye.

  2. Always Run a Strand Test First

    Learning how to dye hair extensions is not complete without the mention of the strand test. Hair extensions react differently from our natural hair. This is because they are bleached with permanent fabric acid pre-metalized dyes capable of reacting with hydrogen peroxide.

    As a result, when oxidative tints touch the extension, the final color may not be as expected.

    Therefore, it's best to test a strand to see what the selected color will look like. This way, you can adjust the hair color until you get your desired shade.

    To run a strand test, mix very little of the dye into a bowl and apply it to a small clip-in weft from a whole set of clip in hair extensions. Once the dye is in effect, you can see if the dye is in the right shade.

  3. Do Not Use More Than 20 Volumes of Hydrogen Peroxide

    Hair extensions stylists have explained that hair extensions are usually drier than hair, so they don't recommend using more than 20 volumes of hydrogen peroxide. This is to prevent the hair extension from drying further during dyeing.

    Using more than 20 vol. of hydrogen peroxide can also damage light-colored extensions. It's also much better to use cream-based peroxides because it's gentler on hair extensions.

  4. Untie the String and Separate Hair Extension Bundle

    Untie the string and separate the bundle of hair into different groups. It is best to tie the strands with an elastic band. Too much hair in a bundle can cause dry spots when applying color, without the dye being fully applied.

    So, it is important to separate the hair extensions bundle into two or three different groups. This will ensure that the extensions do not cluster together so that the dye can easily penetrate them. This tip is very useful for knowing how to dye hair extensions.

  5. Cover Hair Extension Tips With Plastic Wrap

    Keep the edges of your hair extensions protected by covering them with plastic wrap while you color your hair.

    Applying hair color near the root is not recommended. This is because it affects the quality of the glue in the poly or cylinder tips.

  6. Comb the body of the Extension so it Fans Out Thinly

    Before applying dye to the extension, you should comb the hair shaft so that the hair comes out in thin layers.

    It helps to even out the hair color on the extension. Apply hair color to one side at a time.

  7. Hold the Top of the Bundles Firmly

    When brushing or handling the hair extension, hold the top of the bundle to prevent the glued tip from coming off or being pulled out.

    To keep the hair extensions intact, do not tug and pull hair strands.

  8. Check your Hair Extension Every 5 minutes

    When applying the dye, we recommend that you check its effect on the hair every 5 minutes.

    For lighter colors, the water content of bleached hair is low, which means that color results can appear quickly. Other dark shades may take up to 30 to 40 minutes for the dye to fully settle.

  9. Rinse Thoroughly and Gently When Color Is Ready

    When the hair color has completely settled, rinse the hair extension thoroughly, keeping the hairline facing up to let the water run down.

    After rinsing, remove the wrap from the roots and dry with a towel.

    Gently brush and shake to loosen strands. It can be air-dried, or low-heat dried.

  10. Deposit Color Only

    If someone intends to lighten the color of a hair extension, extreme care must be taken as lightening the color can permanently damage the extension. Stylists recommend only fading the bleach on the color ring and not overdoing it to avoid damaging the hair extensions.

Bonus Tips

Avoid Products with High Ammonia Content

There is no need to use a product with high ammonia content on your hair extension because it will stain it. It is best to avoid ammonia during the coloring of the hair extension as it can affect the final color result of the extension. Avoiding products with high ammonia is an important step to knowing how to dye hair extensions.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Dye your Hair Extensions

Materials Needed:

  • Color
  • Color bowl and brush
  • Hair color gloves
  • Tinfoil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Towel


  • Mixed your color, according to the manufacturer's direction for use.
  • You can wash your hair extensions with shampoo and lukewarm water. This will get rid of any product residual.
  • Towel dry the extensions but leave them slightly damp. This will open up the hair cuticles and speed up the dyeing process.
  • Comb your extensions.
  • Use gloved hands to apply your color.
  • Cover the extensions with a plastic wrap to ensure the color doesn't dry out before soaking in.
  • Rinse the extensions using cold water
  • Comb and allow to dry.


There you have it. Now you know how to dye hair extensions. Follow these tips, and you are guaranteed to have an excellent result.

Back to blog