About two years ago I decided to make the investment in some good hair extensions, I wanted to be able to have the option of long luxurious curls or big thick braids but I knew my hair would never grow that long or thick. As many of you may know you can’t go cheap when getting hair extensions, it’s one of those things that you must make the investment for good quality. After doing a ton of research and checking out what the celebs and other bloggers were using I decided to purchase a set of Bellami extensions, the set I bought ran me about 150$. First of all, let me say, I LOVE these extensions, they are full, thick, blend naturally into hair and can be easily styled. I was completely happy with my purchase and my first hair appointment after buying I brought them with me and had my hairdresser match my color even more seamlessly with them and angle the edges a little so they didn’t fall so straight across. At the time my hair was a very buttery blonde which matched great with the Bellami Bellissima 220g Ash Blonde set I bought.
Here’s where we start to have a problem, after several months I decided I wanted to change my hair color, and the only thing causing me doubts was knowing my extensions would no longer match and I couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on another pair. So, I brought my hair extensions with me to the salon once again and asked my stylist if she could color them to match my new hair color. Her face went from smiley and bubbly to the ‘I-want-to-say-no-but-still-want-to-be-nice-need-an-excuse’ look as she explained to me that we didn’t have time in this appointment and hair extensions are very difficult to color and easily damaged. After this appointment as my hair now had somewhat of an ombre going on so I could still kind of get away with wearing the extensions if I curled them or put them in a ponytail. But ultimately they ended up sitting in my closet for many months.
Current day and I have grey/white/ purple/ silver hair, I don’t even know if they sell extensions that come in that shade! So, one day I’m sulking around my house looking to get into a project, as always, and my hair extensions catch my eye. I think, huh, I wonder what would happen if I tried to color these myself. This was possibly a completely horribly dumb idea, as there was a very high possibility that I could ruin them forever but I figured it was worth the risk. As is, they were going to waste in my closet and I don’t plan on changing my hair color back to that shade of blonde anytime soon. I had an inclination that my shampoo might actually be the best way to lighten up my extensions and I didn’t think it could cause that much damage considering shampoo has far fewer chemicals in it than hair dye. Here why I thought this might work; after I dyed my hair grey I went to Italy and didn’t have any purple shampoo, I was disappointed when I got back that in a mere two weeks since dying my hair it had lost a lot of its grey color and was back to blonde again. I decided to order a purple shampoo I’d been dying to try and see if it would help, lets just say it worked wonders. I lather my head up with the shampoo and let it sit while I shaved my legs and when I came out of the shower I was back to being a silvery goddess (now with some purple highlights- I was ok with that) so I knew this shampoo had some coloring power.
SOOOOOOO… After all my rambling heres the part of the post you actually care about… how I turned my buttery blonde hair extensions to a grey/ purple using only shampoo! Because I only used shampoo and conditioner for this whole process the extensions acquired no damage! Remember these extension were already really old which is why I was ok with testing this out on them but thats also why they don’t look 100% in these photos.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Hair Extensions (I used Bellami Bellissima 220g Ash Blonde)
- Cheap Conditioner (you’ll be using a lot so don’t waste the purple!)
Ok so…. I modified this process a little based on what I learned when I did mine, when I did the first wash on mine I tried to keep all the extension pieces separate as I washed them as I didn’t want them to get knotted together. However, as I let them sit and soak up the shampoo they absorbed it so quickly and started drying out. I found myself starting to lather all the pieces together and pretty quickly they turned into a big ball of hair- so much from trying to keep them from getting knotty. For the second wash I divided the extensions up equally and tied them into ponytails, they still got a little knotted together but it wasn’t as bad, doing it this way allows you to really lather al the pieces together and make sure they are all absorbing color and being treated equally. One negative I will say about Bellami extensions is they do tangle easily, although these are the only brand of extensions I’ve owned so I don’t have anything to compare them to.
Alright here we go….
Step 1: Take a small test piece of your hair extensions and rub some shampoo on it, allow it to sit for 20 minutes and see how your hair extensions react… I don’t want you hating me if this doesn’t work or damages your extensions so test it first and make sure they react the way you want them to
Step 2 (assuming step 1 went ok): Divide your extensions into two halves and tie them into a ponytail
Step 3: Thoroughly wet the extensions (I did this all using my bath tub faucet)
Step 4: Cover those babies in shampoo then lay them on a towel (use and old towel) and let them sit for about 30 minutes- I checked mine periodically and would lather them with my hands a little, maybe add a little more shampoo if they were looking dry
** If you see clumps of purple where the shampoo is really concentrated your extensions will most likely be a light shade of purple in those spots- if you don’t want this rub the shampoo around a little so its less concentrated
** TIP: move the hair tie around a little so that shampoo gets under there and you don’t have a weird line
Step 5: Once they are done sitting you’ll want to rinse all that shampoo out- remove them from the ponytail and rinse each extension and them them out on a towel
Step 6: One by one apply a mixture of purple conditioner and any cheap conditioner to each extension as your apply conditioner and rinsing the extensions start working a brush through them- you may need to condition several times, if you do just use your cheap conditioner
Step 7: Lay them flat to dry and brush them every so often. I found it best to brush from the bottom up and make sure you brush both sides of the extension.
Step 8: After letting them dry for a few hours- if your impatient like me- start blow drying the extensions (I do this weird thing where I sit on the floor and hold the hair dryer between my knees, then hold the extension in one hand and a brush in the other. This way I can brush out the extension while its drying to ensure it dries straight and knot- free)
Step 9: ROUND 2!! You can stop here if your extensions are the color you want, for me they weren’t quite there yet but I saw a ton of progress so I decided to go in for another wash, and here’s how they came out….
YAYYYY!! I can wear my extensions again!
**One thing I’d like to add is that purple shampoos and conditioners are for blonde, brassy blonde, or light color treated hair. I would not recommend trying this on dark hair or dark extensions, I don’t even think it would have any effect.
This post contains affiliate links.