Can You Bleach Hair Extensions and How to Do It?

There’s one question we often get from owners of hair extensions – “Can you bleach human hair extensions?” It’s an understandable question – when you’ve owned a set of extensions for a while you might want to change things up a bit. And while it’s easy to darken them with dye, lightening them is a whole other matter.

So, can you bleach hair extensions? Sure, as long as they’re not synthetic. Should you do it even with human hair extensions, however? Eh…

Bleaching hair extensions is a lot like bleaching normal hair – the process is the same but since the hair is “dead”, it’s much easier to damage. There’s also the paradox that quality remy human hair extensions are much more durable to bleaching but they are also much more valuable and it’s, therefore, less worth it to risk damaging them in the first place.

But let’s say you’re adamant about bleaching your hair extensions as you won’t wear them unless you can lighten them up a bit – how should you do it.

How to bleach hair extensions?

The step-by-step process of bleaching human hair extensions is similar to that with normal hair with a few notable differences:

  • You won’t need to worry about burning your scalp. Plus, it’s easier to bleach something on the table than it is bleaching something on your head.
  • You should be careful about breaching the extensions tape, clip’s, rings, and other attachment mechanisms, however.
  • If the hair extensions are non-remy, extra old, and/or in poor quality, destroying them with bleach will be very easy.

In short, it’s often advisable to just get new hair extensions in the desired color if you don’t want to ruin your current set. But, assuming you’re willing to try, here’s our guide:

  1. Wash your hair extensions carefully but thoroughly.
  2. Let them dry and then place them on individual pieces of tin foil.
  3. Use a quality bleaching kit from any grocery or cosmetology store. Make sure it includes both bleach and developer. We’d recommend 10-20 volume developer as it’s more sparing to the hair but 30-40 will be more powerful.
  4. Mix the bleach and the developer in a glass bowl. For the proportions, follow the instructions on the box as they vary from brand to brand.
  5. Put on rubber gloves, use eye, and body protection, and make sure the room is ventilated so that you don’t inhale too many bleach fumes.
  6. Get a painting brush, and start applying the bleach on the hair wefts. Be liberal with it, you want the hair to be saturated with the bleach.
  7. Fold the foil over the bleached extensions. Make sure it’s folded firm but not too firm – the bleach shouldn’t spill out.
  8. Check the color changes every 10 minutes. Keep the extensions rolled in foil for 40-50 minutes and no more than an hour.
  9. Wash the extensions with a PH balancing shampoo and allow them to dry.
  10. Use a toner to remove brassy shades.

And that’s it. You can try bleaching the extensions again if you want to lighten them up even more but you’d really be risking their well-being with second bleaching.

How to bleach hair extensions with household bleach?

Sure, but we’d advise against that even more strongly. If you’re dead-set on trying, one DIY recipe we can recommend looks like this:

  • 1 tbsp of liquid cleaner bleach
  • 1/4 cup 30 volume developer
  • 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of stain remover
  • 2 tbsp of honey

Mix 2-5 first and then add the bleach. Beware of the foamy reaction. After that, just apply as you would otherwise. But, again – this is an even more damaging solution than a cosmetic bleaching kit so only do this for hair extensions you won’t miss.

Categories Boldbarber hair advice
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