Just as with hair extensions, custom color jobs are not for everyone. Whether you’re looking at existing damage, the potential to cause damage, or a generally non-compliant client, there are cases where you should skip the color and focus just on treatment, or on hair extensions alone. As part of our Color Takeover series—a series of hair extension-specific coloring resources designed to turn you into a virtual color expert—we’re going to share a few examples of these cases, including warning signs for how to spot them! Be sure to read up on more hair extension coloring tips at the Color Takeover Portal today.

Coloring is a bad idea when…

When the client is unprepared to maintain the color job.
You would think that preparing clients to maintain their hair would be easy, given the level of salon support and instruction offered nowadays. In a perfect world, every client would be open to their stylist’s input, and would follow their maintenance regimen to a T. But the unfortunate truth is that some clients don’t listen to their stylists, thinking they know what’s best for their own hair. Others distrust new processes out of habit, and favor their traditional hair care methods even when they don’t work. Whatever the case may be, if you have a client who consistently fails to follow their designated maintenance schedules, is argumentative or petulant during in-salon services, or is simply notorious for letting their hair go without proper care, a color job is probably not for them. Even un-customized hair extensions involve some additional attention, and allowing a client to invest in these often expensive services without hope of long-lasting results is bad news for everyone involved. After all, you wouldn’t want a faded, grown-out head of hair extensions walking around as your business billboard, would you?

When the client plans to sport the new color for a short amount of time, then change to a different color.
Short-term hairstyles and extension arrangements are a lot of fun, and they bring in extra income—so what’s not to love? Well, it doesn’t take much flip-flopping to realize that constant change-ups can be very damaging to the hair, and that’s not exactly the outcome we want from many hours of work. If your client is hoping to change the color of a single set of hair extensions several times in rapid succession, then permanent coloring is not the best way to go. Instead, offer a temporary color alternative, or set your client up with a couple sets of Clip-Ins in whatever colors they like.

When the extensions have already been custom-colored to a different shade, or when the extensions are old.
Aged hair extensions are easy to spot: the bonds are tired, the ends are frayed, and the cuticle layer is worn out, causing extra frizz and tangling. Double-processed extensions may be harder, especially when they’re colored using no developer and plenty of Olaplex for protection, but experienced stylists will be able to tell the difference between the new color and Donna Bella’s available extension shades. We do not recommend coloring old hair extensions or re-coloring colored hair extensions for the same reason: you’re more likely to cause damage to the hair when you do so. When possible, provide a new set of colored hair extensions to replace the outdated ones, or—at the very least—restore the old or double-processed extensions first, then apply semi-permanent color a few days afterwards.

When the color job requires that the client’s natural hair be colored, but their natural hair is in poor shape.
Donna Bella extensions are always provided in tip-top shape, but the health of the client’s own hair cannot be guaranteed. If your client insists on a total mermaid transformation, but their hair is fried or brittle from past services, tell them that you simply can’t do it because the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Clients with existing hair damage should undergo restorative services and hair care education before considering hair extensions and hair coloring procedures. They probably won’t like having to wait, but it’s really the only way to ensure that the transformation turns out well.

When the extensions are still installed.
Hair extensions should only ever be colored when they are removed from the client’s head. Whether this is pre-install, post-un-install, or what have you, the precaution is necessary because hair color can be damaging to the extension bond, causing the extension to slip prematurely. Additionally, coloring hair while the extensions are still installed means that your client’s hair will also be colored—except for the sections that are enclosed within the bond, producing splotches that will be evident once the hair is moved up. To avoid all of this, color the extensions and the client’s hair separately, then install the extensions after a couple of days. Remember, the client’s hair should be completely free of product prior to the installation appointment—that means no same-day color jobs and installations, for the sake of the bonds!

For more coloring advice and free extension coloring resources, visit the Color Takeover Portal today!