How to fix and avoid fading in human hair extensions

How to fix and avoid fading in human hair extensions

Posted by Ines Vazquez and Lynn Bogen on Oct 25th 2021

About Fading/Discoloration in Human Hair Extensions

The original color of all human hair extensions, (with very rare exceptions) is a very dark brown. That means that almost all extensions have been lightened and toned to create hundreds of beautiful shades. Just like the hair on your head these colors fade and change over time.

Hair extensions that have turned from cool blonde tones to brassy ones have simply suffered the stripping of violet/ashy tones, exposing the natural pigment underneath. The absorbing of minerals from tap water and hair products, plus the use of heat styling tools at high temperatures (never use heat styling tools higher than 375 degrees). All contribute to fading and discoloration. Your hair extensions are not faulty, the changes happen to them all.

Hair extensions are much more porous than your hair, as the hair is no longer attached to the scalp, they no longer receive natural nutrients that act as a protective barrier. This makes extensions more prone to discoloration/damage. The hair has also been chemically lightened from its original color (usually brown) making it more porous as mentioned above.

Factors that can cause discoloration/fading and damage to your extensions.

  • Hard water content.
  • Chlorine and salt water.
  • Sunscreen and UV rays.
  • When sunscreen is absorbed into the hair and exposed to the UV light, it causes the cells to break down.
  • Hair products with dyes in them.
  • Harsh shampoos/hair cleansers.
  • Use of high temperature heat tools. (high heat can burn blonde hair turning it brassy)
  • Washing hair with hot water.

Hair extension fading/discoloration is not a fault of your hair extensions or the person who applied them. Human hair extensions are a natural product therefore they behave like human hair.

Before restoring your hair extensions first try to identify why they have changed to avoid brassy tones from reappearing. You may need to assess possible problems: the mineral content in your water, if you’ve returned or been in a sunny climate, the use heat tools and the hair products.

To restore and keep the color of your extensions you will need a product to reintroduce the desired tone and special care to help reduce color change.

  • A gentle toner such as Shades EQ from Redken, or a demi permanent color, (never use any toner/color with a developer higher then 3-6 volume).
  • Silver/purple shampoo to reduce brassiness in blondes
  • Gentle clarifying treatments. (nothing with peroxide) for mineral build-up.
  • Adding water filtration system to your shower/water source.
  • Limited use of high temperature heat tools.
  • The use of heat protectants.
  • Use salon quality/professional hair products.
  • Wash hair with cool water.
  • Less frequent washing 1-2 times a week. Use dry shampoo in-between. 

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