At Donna Bella Hair, we firmly believe that you can (and should!) color your hair and extensions when creating custom looks. Still, there are some precautions you should take when coloring hair, so here’s our essential guide to general hair coloring protocol when working with extensions:
Do: Use Semi or Demi-Permanent hair colors
Since semi and demi-permanent colors aren’t “Capital P Permanent,” they last for a number of weeks (demi surviving 10 to 25 washes and semi surviving 6-12), and your client won’t be stuck with a color they don’t like for long should the unthinkable happen. Plus, because semi and demi-permanent hair colors deposit color instead of lifting it, they won’t break down the hair cuticle or damage it with chemicals, making post-coloring upkeep that much easier.
Do: Take Note of Your Client's Skin Tone
Always keep your client's skin tone in mind when helping them choose their new color. For a good rule of thumb, those with paler skin should opt for warmer tones, while those with olive or darker skin tones may find ashy and cooler colors to be more complimentary. Many manufacturers will provide color suggestions, so pay attention to those, too. If you're going for pastel, however, don't worry—pastel shades tend to flatter everyone.
Do: Maintain a Moisturizing Care Schedule
While it’s always important to keep hair moisturized and in tip-top shape, color-treated hair needs that consideration tenfold. Be sure to recommend sulfate-free moisturizing shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for distressed and damaged hair, and, if possible, throw in a once-a-week moisture mask. Advise your client to avoid applying heat tools to their hair, as well as over-washing as this can strip the hair of essential oils and actually cause the color to fade more quickly.
Don’t: Bleach or Highlight with Over-the-Counter Products
Bleach and peroxide strip the hair cuticle and should only be used under the care of a salon professional. Ensuring that the exact amount of peroxide is used, as well as accounting for varying shades and pigments, is a delicate balance that can very easily leave hair looking and feeling like straw. Make sure that your clients know the dangers of at-home color so they'll resist the urge to bleach or highlight on their own.
Don’t: Over-Wash Color-Treated Hair
It’s important to keep hair clean and maintained for healthy growth, but you don’t want to overdo it! Washing hair too often will actually dry it out and strip it of the natural oils that it needs. Instead of washing every day, tell your client to try every other day or even every three days, depending on the general oiliness of their hair and overall lifestyle. Those with oily hair, or those who tend to work up more of a sweat, should invest in a good dry shampoo to replace some of their usual showers.
Don’t: Let Your Client Do It Alone
At the end of a coloring appointment, if your client is unhappy, set up a plan to address the problem before they leave the salon. Without a viable alternative, some clients may be tempted to keep adding more color to their hair to try to correct the hue, but they'll risk making the problem worse and rendering their hair unmanageable. Adding more and more color on top of the problem will only confound things and make it more difficult to return to the hair’s original color. The last thing we want is for a client to attempt fixing their hair on their own!
Ultimately, coloring extensions is a straightforward process. With a little experience and adherence to protocol, you can ensure your color job goes smoothly. Just remember to stay tuned to Donna Bella’s Color Takeover Portal for more hair extension dos and don’ts.