Why Are My Extensions Changing Colour?

Why are my extensions changing colour?

2 min read

Just as you would your own hair, hair extensions need to be protected and cared for to avoid any discolouration. As your hair extensions are a natural product, they will behave like human hair. Rest assured that your extensions are not faulty, in fact blonde extensions that have turned a brassy/peachy/pink shade is a common issue experienced by hair extension wearers.

Why have my extensions turned brassy? 

When blonde hair is coloured, violet/ash pigments are added to the hair to neutralize the warm shades, subsequently eliminating brassy tones. Extensions that have turned from blonde to orange have simply undergone a chemical process, resulting in the violet/ash pigments lifting away from the hair, exposing the natural pigment underneath. Since the hair is no longer attached to the scalp, it no longer receives the natural nutrients that act as a protective barrier. 

This porosity along with several possible external triggers is what makes hair extensions more susceptible to damage and discolouration than natural hair. 

Triggers that cause discolouration:

  • Sunscreens: Some sunscreens contain a certain ingredient that can alter the colour of your hair extensions often making them appear a peach or brassy tone. When choosing your sunscreen avoid purchasing one that contains Avebenzone (butyl Methoxydibenzolmethane) which is a oil-soluble ingredient used in sunscreen to absorb the full spectrum of UV rays.

  • Water content: Tank water, copper pipes or Hard/high mineral content in water can leave a limescale like residue in the hair. As the hair is no longer attached to the scalp, the oils and nutrients needed to counteract this damage are not there. 

  • Chlorine: Chlorine can strip the hair of oils, colour and moisture leaving it dry, brittle and discoloured. It’s recommended to tie your hair up and avoid submerging it underwater. After swimming, it’s good to run clean water over your hair to remove excess chlorine. 
  • Sea Water: As salt is a natural dehydrator, it will strip your hair of moisture and nutrifying natural oils. Salt water will discolour your hair by removing the violet/ashy pigments in the hair. 
  • Sunlight/UV Rays: Sunlight acts as a natural lightener on hair. Since your hair extensions are lacking the protective barriers your natural hair provides, they are prone to being lightened much faster than your hair would.  As the sun is especially harsh in New Zealandand Australia we recommend using a cap when out in the sun, especially in summer.

Correcting discoloured hair extensions

To restore the colour of the hair extensions you will need to reintroduce the violet/ashy tones that have lifted away. Start with a small amount of purple/silver shampoo or toner until you reach the desired colour. If using a toner, it’s recommended that you perform a strand test beforehand to guarantee the expected outcome.

Aside from discolouration, it’s likely that your hair extensions are also dry. This is a common side effect of discolouration, as not only have the violet pigments stripped away but so have the oils that keep the hair nourished. If you find that the hair feels brittle, you can apply a hair mask or a product designed to give a moisture injection.

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