Custom-colored hair extensions are great for tailoring your extension look to your natural hairstyle—or to your desired color alternative. But alongside that extra benefit comes additional maintenance, necessary to preserve your extension quality and to ensure that your color lasts. It is important to remember that Donna Bella hair extensions are already pre-colored to our existing range of shades, and that any custom color job is an additional process that alters the structure of the hair shaft, predisposing it to damage. Fortunately, Olaplex can be used to help maintain hair integrity, and the resulting color-specific aftercare doesn’t need to be difficult. We’re here to walk you through all the color-related processes, and we have a new and exciting Color Takeover Portal that’ll do just that. For the first time ever, you can find all of Donna Bella’s approved coloring techniques, formulas, and tutorials in a single place that’s easily accessible from your laptop or handheld device. So prepare to be amazed by all the new coloring possibilities!

To start, here are our recommended tips for custom color aftercare—straight from the Color Takeover archives:

1. Don’t wash too frequently. Newly installed and/or recently colored hair extensions should not be washed for 48 hours following the service, and they should be washed as infrequently as possible thereafter. We suggest washing hair no more than once a week, and using dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair fresh.

2. Use the proper products. When you do shower, be sure to use professional grade, sulfate-free, and color-safe products—like those in our Remy Care line—to preserve hair and color quality.

3. Stick to cold water. This may be hard for those of you who enjoy warm (or even hot) showers, but showering with tepid or outright cold water will have a better effect on your hair. The cold temperature causes the cuticle layer of the hair to lay flat against the hair shaft, resulting in less color fade and ultimately shinier hair.

4. Pack on the conditioner. Conditioning treatments are colored hair’s best friend, as they restore any moisture that may be lost due to greater porosity. Invest in a good conditioner, mask, serum, and/or oil, and consider visiting your stylist for monthly revitalizing treatments for beautifully colored hair that’s bouncy and silky, too.

5. Opt for heatless styling. Porous hair is less capable of holding color for long periods of time than non-porous hair, so avoid doing anything that could damage your hair and make it more porous. That includes heat styling. Instead, try overnight styling using buns, curlers, or ribbons. When using heating tools is unavoidable, always always always remember to use a heat protectant prior to applying heat.

6. Schedule your touch-ups and your move-ups for different days. Your hair extensions should only be colored when they are off of your head. This is because attempting to color extensions on your head risks getting color on the bonds (which is not good for the extensions) and leaving your hair with patches of uneven color. To ensure that there’s enough time for the color to process, schedule your move-up to be a couple of days after your removal—or a couple of days after your own hair is colored, if that’s part of your process.

Liked these tips? Head over to our Color Takeover Portal for more! We can’t wait to see what you’ll do with everything you learn.