Many of us want gorgeous locks for summer and especially when we are on holiday, but just how many of you have experienced your hair extensions turn pink or orange when on holiday? Just look at the girls on Love Island…. Their blonde extensions often slowly turn pinky / orange during their time in the villa and that is not what we want! Read on to find out what causes this discolouration and how to correct it.
Hair extensions can discolour due to a number of reasons such as, chlorine from swimming pool water, minerals from shower water (hard water), sea water and sun exposure. If hair extensions are exposed to any of the above, the violet and ash pigment will gradually be removed as it would also from your natural hair, leaving an orangey/pink tone.
Our hair is exposed to all of these when on holiday so we recommend wearing our Clip-in Hair Extensions on holiday so you can remove them during the day and then wear them at night when they are less likely to become damaged.
Why do these triggers discolour hair extensions?
Water content has a big impact on the colour and texture of your hair extensions. Hard/high mineral content water can leave limescale and residue on your hair. With your natural hair, your scalp produces the necessary oils to counterbalance these minerals. However, as hair extensions are not attached to the scalp, these minerals aren’t able to counterbalance the minerals. Washing your hair extensions repeatedly using this type of water will make them dry and could potentially make them very damaged.
A lot of people think salt water is great for your hair, but it can be really damaging for your hair extensions; salt is a natural dehydrator and can potentially strip your hair of moisture and natural oils. This could lead to discolouration as the salt water will remove the hair pigmentation in your hair extension colour and will leave it a different colour to what it was before.
Chlorine is a chemical that basically keeps water clean. It can strip the hair of its colour and can leave it dry, broken and discoloured. We recommend removing hair extensions in the day so when you’re swimming you don’t have to worry about your hair extensions becoming discoloured or damaged and then easily clip them back in in the evening. Too much Chlorine can also leave hair with a green tone.
Sun exposure can have a significant impact on your hair extensions; sunlight will lighten the colour of your hair very quickly which will leave your hair extensions a lighter shade than your natural hair colour.
Some sunscreens have certain ingredients in them that can turn Hair Extensions orange or pink. The worst offender is Avobenzone (Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane), a quick google search of 'Avobenzone free suncream', should give you a wide choice of safe options.
In addition to this, strongly pigmented oils and hair styling products can stain hair extensions; this is why it is important to use sulphate free shampoos and conditioners.
Take a look at our previous blog post about the best products to use on your hair extensions.
Looking after your Hair Extensions in the sun
Hair extensions are much more porous than your own natural hair, this is because the extensions aren’t attached to the scalp so they do not receive the nutrients that your natural hair usually gets which act as a protective barrier. This is why your hair extensions might turn a pinky/orangey shade very quickly.
Working out the reason for the discolouration of your hair extensions is very important before trying to correct or reverse the damage; doing this will help you avoid the same thing happening in the future.
To restore your hair extension colour you will need a shampoo or toner that will reintroduce the ashy/violet pigment back into your hair; we recommend going to your hair extension specialist so they can use the toner with care.
A product we all love here at Hair Rehab HQ (especially as many of us paddleboard and sea swim) is Malibu C Hard Water Wellness; it is a hair treatment that is full of vitamins which stops oxidative action to prevent breakage and removes hard water damage to restore your hairs body and shine. It aims to remove mineral and product build up as well as discolouration caused by mineral build up.
Another product we recommend trying is a chelating shampoo; this type of shampoo is made to remove mineral build up in your hair, so it leaves it shiny and luxurious. We found a great example of a chelating shampoo by Living Proof. This specialised shampoo deeply cleanses your hair so your hair extensions can get back to being your favourite luscious locks!
So when heading off for that much awaited holiday in the sun, or making the most of the recent heatwaves on a staycation, the key is to treat your hair with as much respect as your skin - use a reputable sun protection spray on your hair, cover up with a cute headscarf or striking wide brim hat and maintain the right moisture and balance by using a good chelating shampoo.