Why hair extensions turn orange or pink?

why hair extensions turn orange or pink?

In the summer months, or during a vacation to a warm climate, I find that some clients' hair extensions are turning orange and/or pink. This seems to happen on light hair extensions; from medium blonde to lightest blonde. In some cases, inferior hair quality will turn orange because the base tone of the hair appears after washing off the silicone coating. Hair extensions derive from dark hair, therefore, it is chemically treated to remove the dark color and then toned with a fabric dye to the desired color. When the hair cuticle is stripped during the color process, the underlying pigment is red, orange, or pink, and the pigment will become exposed over time.

The other culprit is a self-tanner from a spray tan or store-bought self-tanning products. Even if the tanning lotion is not applied to the face, it can spread throughout the hair, causing blonde hair to appear orange.

The next culprit may be sunscreen, not all sunscreens, but the ones that contain Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane), an oil that controls UV rays. When Avobenzone comes in contact with light hair extensions, the hair extension can turn orange. The only way to avoid this interaction is to check the ingredients of your face and body sunscreen. Another trick is to coat your hair with fresh water prior to a visit to the beach, or pool. Fresh water creates a barrier that helps to prevent the absorption of avobenzone, chlorine, and salt in water.  

How to get rid of orange or pink hues in hair extensions?

If your hair extensions are turning orange due to its inferior quality, darkening the extensions may be an option, but this porous hair does not respond well to many treatments.

If your hair extensions are turning orange due to self-tanner, Avobenzone, or hard water, it is important to first attempt to remove the build-up. To date, the best treatment is Malibu C treatment. This treatment is best done in a salon, the treatment is gentle, and your stylist will watch your hair to ensure a timely removal. Malibu C is often used for hard water that contains minerals that wreak havoc on not only natural hair, but especially hair extensions. Calcium and magnesium in hard water can also discolor hair extensions, which is why it is important to use Malibu C for deep clarification.

A gentler treatment may be to simply use clarifying shampoo, but keep in mind, overusing clarifying shampoo can cause your hair extensions to become dry. It is important to follow up the shampoo with a deep conditioning mask. It is best to have this done at a professional salon. 

Once the chemical is removed, we may opt to apply a gentle toner, or blue/purple shampoo to neutralize the orange tone. We then will apply a hair mask to the hair extensions, to help reseal the hair cuticle.  


The best approach is to avoid sunscreens with Avobenzone and protect your hair when using self-tanner. Check the ingredients of your skincare products because they may be hidden within face creams containing sunscreen. 

As far as hair extensions quality, it is best to purchase virgin remy (one-donor) hair. The hair is not treated as harshly as inferior hair extensions, and the cuticle is intact which helps prevent discoloration.

Purchase your hair extensions, or have them applied from a reputable salon/vendor. They will stand behind their product, and help to maintain your hair extensions.    

Hair Extensions Background

At Noelle Salon, they evaluate your natural hair, and listen to the client's wishes on styling, color match, and look. They 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 they have worked with different methods like tape-in extensions, clip-in hair extensions, Keratin and enjoy using the Veila Pull-thru method with the 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 and explore the possibilities.


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