How Are Hair Extensions Dyed?

How Are Hair Extensions Dyed?

I am often asked if hair extensions can be dyed in a salon or at home, I strongly suggest not dying your hair extensions.  The process of creating perfect coloration from dye lot to dye lot involves consistent color formulas; this is why you can pick up a hair swatch and receive a color pretty exact to it.  Overseas factories do not use hair dye, instead, the color process is similar to dying textiles.  

The origin of hair extension are generally dark in color, the hair is gently de-colorized, but not with bleach.  The hair is placed in large vats of a solution similar to coke-a-cola.  Good quality hair such as;  virgin (one donor hair) and Remy hair are decolorized slowly, often over 2 weeks.  There is a stronger acid-based solution that will decolorize hair quicker, but this will strip the hair cuticle which needs to stay intact to avoid knotting.

Pictured; A Color Bath Of Hair Extensions

How Are Hair Extensions Dyed?

Once the hair is decolorized, the hair is placed in color baths, the baths contain powdered fabric dye, and extension hair is placed in a vat of boiling water.  The hair within the color baths is constantly moving in order to assure that every part of the hair is perfectly colored. 

The factory color formulation is unlike hair dye, the vats are filled with direct dye powdered pigments similar to "Rit fabric dye."  The same color strategy as the color wheel, using primary colors, secondary colors, and tertiary colors and their opposing color to create the perfect color tone.  

The mixing of shades is done once the hair is perfectly dyed. The hair is then manufactured into the method of application.  The methods that utilize this coloring process are hand-tied wefts, tape-in hair extensions, keratin bonded hair extensions, i-tip hair, and Veila Pull-Thru hair.

Understanding that the color process is completely different than dying natural hair should help you to understand that coloring hair extensions may lead to inconsistent hair color, as well as damage.  Never bleach this hair, this will destroy the hair extensions.

High-quality virgin one-donor hair will respond to hair toning, and glossing in a dark color, but there is no guarantee.  Often we will strand test the hair before toning to ensure proper coloration.  In order to keep your hair extensions healthy,  it is advisable not to color them.

The exception.  

The above information applies to already colored hair from a factory, not to virgin hair bundles.  A virgin hair bundle has never been processed, and the same natural hair color/bleaching rules apply.  I still recommend performing a test strand in the event the hair may have been processed unbeknownst to you.


It is best to match your hair to the hair extensions and not vice versa.  A well-trained stylist will understand the proper hair extension color combinations to create a seamless blend.  I would be doing a disservice to not share what many do not know about hair extension coloring.  If you have questions or would like to see factories coloring hair extensions feel free to comment below.

Hair Extensions Background

At Noelle Salon, we evaluate your natural hair, listen to our client's wishes on styling, color match, and look. We use human hair extensions like 100% Remy human hair, or Virgin Hair (unlike Bellami hair). Hair extensions can be used for short hair or 24 inches of a full head of hair, and have worked with different methods like tape-in extensions, clip-in hair extensions, Keratin and enjoy using our Pull-thru Veila Hair Extensions for ease of hair care. Styling can vary from flat iron, natural curl, or curly hair. Whether you are looking for a change of style or look for a day such as a Clip-in ponytail, having a high-quality ponytail extension can mix it up for you. Your natural hair journey with your hair growth can be enhanced with Hair extensions when protective styling is applied, and regular maintenance is used. You can change your hair in one day - feel free to reach out to us and explore the possibilities.


1 comment

  • Hello,i just love this concept,thanks for sharing wonderful thoughts.

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