Can I colour or bleach my hair extensions?

Long Blonde Balayage Hair

It’s a very good question because the nature of your real hair and that of the extensions is different. For extensions, there can be natural, albeit dead, hair and synthetic hair.

First and foremost, we’d advise to choose the right hair colour for the extensions straight away. Your favourite stylist can help you choose the colour that is closest to the shade of your current hair.

Colouring hair extensions

Colouring won’t work on synthetic hair. Or rather, regular hair dyes won’t work as synthetic hair lacks the natural pigment contained in human hair. There are ways to colour synthetic hair but we won’t delve into this.

It’s possible to colour to colour human hair extensions, although it’s trickier than colouring your natural hair, and you can usually only darken them. Under normal circumstances, several factors can influence the final result of a colouring: the state of the hair (damaged, porous), its capacity to absorb the colour, the difference in colour between the root and the tip, etc. Most hair extensions are coloured and go through a pretty aggressive processing. Dying them a shade or two darker isn’t’ usually an issue but we don’t recommend going any further than that, otherwise the hair may get damaged with an unpredictable outcome.

Colouring the extensions should ideally be done before they’re fitted as it’s a lot easier.

Bleaching hair extensions

We’ strongly advise against bleaching hair extensions, whether they’re natural or synthetic.


Bleaching synthetic extensions will do nothing but burn them (plastic!). As explained above, as almost all natural hair extensions are processed and coloured, their cuticle layer is usually damaged. Bleaching them is likely to cause further damage, and one of these 2 outcomes is likely to happen:

  • You won’t get the results you wanted

  • The extensions are so damaged that they end up in the bin


In any case, don’t lighten your natural hair extensions by more than one or two shades.