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A guide to hair extension discolouring

If you have blonde hair, I’m sure you are aware that your hair can be temperamental when it comes into contact with certain chemicals. The is the same with blonde hair extensions, in fact even more care and attention needs to be given.

Just as you would your own hair, your extensions need to be protected and cared for carefully to avoid any discolouration. If you find your hair extensions are turning brassy, peachy or pink, this is because something has triggered a chemical process altering your hair pigmentation.

Why does hair turn orange?

The pigments found in hair colour is what helps you to achieve your desired shade. Pigments counteract the tones already found in your hair. When dying hair blonde, violet and ash pigments are used to neutralise the warm tones in your hair.

As with all coloured hair, in time the pigments will be lifted through washing and the natural colour pigmentation reappears. Easy mistakes can trigger and accelerate this process, and hair can turn brassier faster than expected. This is why its so important to use the correct gentle recemented products at all times.

Why have my hair extensions turned orange/pink/brassy?

Its important to understand that extensions are much more porous than your hair. As the hair is no longer attached to the scalp, they no longer receive any natural nutrients to provide a protective barrier. This makes extensions more prone to damage and discolouration than your natural hair. This porosity is why hair extensions can turn a peachy shade.

Our hair is sourced from Indian, Russia and Mongolia and typically is much darker when originally sourced. The hair goes through the lifting process in order to make it blonde.

The following triggers can cause discolouration of hair extension pigment: water mineral content, chlorine, sea water, sun/sunbed uv ray exposure. Our hair is exposed to all of these triggers on holiday abroad. For this reason, we recommend wearing clip in hair extensions on holiday so that they can be removed during the day and worn at night when they are less likely to be damaged.

We have also found that strongly pigmented oils and shampoos/conditioners can stain the extension hair, hence why its so important to only use the recommended products at all times.

Why do these triggers discolour extension hair?

Hard Water

Water content has an enormous impact on the texture, colour and manageability of your hair extensions. Hard/high mineral content water can leave limescale and residue on your hair. With your natural hair, the scalp produces the necessary and needed oils to counterbalance these minerals. However, hair extensions do not. After repeated washing using this water, your hair extensions can become dry and tangled and can break. When you are abroad, most often you find the water mineral content very high.

Chlorine/Swimming Pool water

Chlorine is a chemical put into water with the aim of keeping it clean. Chlorine can strip the hair of oils, colour and moisture, leaving it dry, brittle and discoloured. We recommend tying your hair up into a tight bun avoiding contact with the water at all times.

Sea Water

Salt water is damaging to your hair and your hair extensions. Salt is a natural dehydrator and will strip your hair of moisture and natural oils. This will lead to discolouration as the salt water will remove the ashy/violet pigmentation from your hair leaving it brassy.

Sunlight and UV Rays

The sun and UV Rays have a significant impact on your skin and hair. Our skin browns in sunlight and also acts as a natural hair lightener. Therefore, it also affects your hair extensions. Sunlight can lighten the colour of the hair extensions quicker than it would your own. Often leaving your hair extensions looking a lighter shade than your own.
We recommend wearing a hat/cap in the sun as a way of protecting the extension hair. When using a sunbed, we recommend wrapping the hair up in a towel.

How to correct and reverse discoloured hair extensions

Before restoring your hair extensions it’s a good idea to work out the reason for this discolouration the first place. Doing this will help you avoid it in the future.

It’s important to realise that hair extensions discolouration is not a product fault and is preventable with a little extra care taken in your aftercare routine. Extension hair is a natural product and will behave like your natural hair.

If you have just returned from a holiday/sunny climate then this is the cause. If not, you may need to assess the water content in your area and look to invest in a filtered shower head.

To restore your extension colour you will need a product that will re-introduce the ashy/violet pigment back into the hair. A silver shampoo/toner may be used under the careful guidance of an experienced colourist. As the extension hair is more porous than your natural hair, this needs to be watched very carefully as the pigment grabs quickly and results can become undesirable.

If you feel its down to the iron count in your water, we would suggest a product called ‘Malibu C Hard Water Hair Remedy’