Written by

Sarah Ingham


All About Colour Change

If you have noticed your hair extensions change colour and are in a panic thinking “what on earth has happened to them?!” we may just have some answers for you. Just like your natural hair, because our hair extensions are 100% human hair, these are susceptible to a change in colour. So, if you've observed a change,  it's very likely your extensions have experienced either “Colour Fade” or “Discolouration”. 

“What is Colour Fade and Discolouration?” “what is the difference between the two?” and “how can I prevent this from happening?” may be some of the questions you have in mind and we are here to help. So, put down the cup of coffee if you have Googled a rumoured way to refresh your colour at home and have a read through our expert information…


What is Colour Fade?

Colour fade is usually a gradual process where over time the colour starts to fade and change shade. As mentioned, this is completely natural for your hair extensions to experience, similarly to your natural hair. This is due to the wear and tear it is experiencing such as through styling products, washing and heat damage. 

Your hair extensions experiencing colour fade is just like if you were to go to the salon to get your natural hair dyed. After washing it every few days and experiencing wear and tear, in a few weeks or months the colour you have now will not be the exact same as the one when you left the salon. The same goes for a new pair of jeans for example, once a bold black, after a few washes the colour starts to fade.

However, problems can arise when the colour fades at a quicker rate than it normally would, which usually occurs when your hair is exposed to certain ingredients, substances, and UV rays. Make sure you continue reading for some top tips on how to prevent early colour fade…


What is Discolouration?

When it comes to discolouration, many recognise this as an instant change in their hair but sometimes, this can actually be a gradual change. Overall, we find that this is mostly seen in blonde hair as a green, brassy, pink or peach colour coming through. 

Discolouration is also sometimes known as “Holiday Hair'' due to the “hard water” experienced whilst on holiday. The discolouration is caused by a chemical reaction from mineral elements in hard water and chlorine, such as iron, that is reacting with your hair colour.  

It’s important to note that holiday destinations where you can’t drink the water because of minerals it contains, can not only be bad on your body but can also cause discolouration on your hair. This can then be further sped up by the reaction with suncream, other products and heat to the hair. 

If you have experienced discolouration and are slightly confused as you have not been in a pool on holiday, remember that as you are washing your hair with hard water in the shower, this can cause the discolouration. 

However, it’s not always holiday settings that cause discolouration. For example, some perfumes include the same product(s) to those in sun creams. Therefore, if you have been wearing a sun cream or perfume on your neck and this transforms into your hair this will influence the colour. 

This post from @ryancarnehair.neww shows exactly how products can influence your hair, in this case fake tan…



You can also get different areas of hard water. In the UK, we have certain areas with hard water and the majority of people who live in hard water areas have water softeners attached to their houses. As the hard water is not as strong in some areas you may find the discolouration being gradual compared to other destinations where this can be instant.


What Is The Difference Between The Two?

The best way to identify whether its discolouration or fading particularly in a mixed colour tone is to look at the reaction of those two colours e.g if the blonde shows aspects of its true colour it is fading. Overall, discolouration happens to the whole piece of hair that was exposed to those elements. 


How Can I Prevent Early Colour Fade?

We have a number of tips here at Additional Lengths on how you can prevent early colour change to your hair extensions but we always recommend that you use the manufacturer's recommended hair care products. Here are some of our suggestions… 


1.) Be careful when using styling products

Certain styling products do not dry transparent so if you apply them to your hair it can have a negative effect on your hair.  

Check before you use your styling products, particularly leave in conditioner and wax to see whether they will leave any deposits on your hair. This can be tested by placing a small portion of the product on a sheet of paper and leaving it to dry. If it doesn’t dry clear, maybe this is one to avoid for now. 

Although great for cleansing, Sulphates speed up the fading process as it’s more abrasive to the hair compared to products without it. Take a look at our Remi Cachet range that is sulphate free across, treatments, masks and more. 

Also, why not check out our Aftercare page to find the essentials you need to maintain the quality of your hair extensions and to help prolong their life? This includes the Aftercare Gift Set which enhances the hair's natural beauty by moisturising and strengthening the hair and leaving it noticeable radiated and rejuvenated.

2.) Get a bit cooler

A big factor in how long your hair colour stays vibrant is temperature. Heat can make the cuticles of the hair swell, which allows the colour to come out of your hair. 

When you are washing your hair, be sure to turn down the temperature, opting for lukewarm levels rather than hot. We promise that your colour will thank you!

3.) Styling with heat

Applying heat to your hair can make the colour fade quicker than normal, but it doesn’t have to mean that you need to avoid the straighteners and hair dryer completely. 

Hair dryers often come with a ‘cool’ setting that enables you to dry without the hot heat. And don't forget, a good heat protecting spray should help to reduce the fade. 

Shop the Remi Cachet Miracle Mist to help extend the look and life of hair extensions. This includes heat protection to help protect against damage from harsh temperatures so you can use your favourite styling tools with confidence.

4.) Every other day

One important thing to consider is when you wash your hair, and whether you do it too often or not. A good rule of thumb is to wash your hair every other day, giving it time to produce its own natural oils, which can actually help to keep in the colour. Try some dry shampoo if your hair feels a little lacklustre.

5.) According to the environment

    In the summer, the warm and dry air can be hazardous to your hair colour and in the winter, the weather can result in your hair drying out. 

    To combat this, you need to use products that compliment the time of year, such as shampoos without UV filters like the Remi Cachet Hair Extension Shampoo moisturising masks such as the Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask. Doing this will help your colour last longer and be more vibrant.


    How Can I Prevent Colour Discolouration?

    1.) Use the correct aftercare

    For those specifically experiencing discolouration Malibu C is your answer… With a range of products to reduce the risk of discolouration and dehydration caused by hard water on your locks, our range from the brand also helps restore the shine to your hair. Included in the range is the Hard Water Wellness Remedy that naturally removes hard water deposits and impurities to eliminate brassiness, discolouration and damage caused by mineral absorption.  

    2.) Use the correct products

    As mentioned, we always recommend that you use the manufacturer's recommended hair care products. Our advice from Additional Lengths is to use the Remi Cachet Aftercare set previously discussed. This will give an intense glossy finish, great softness that leaves the hair looking rejuvenated.

    3.) Don’t expose your hair to something you shouldn't. 

    If you are going somewhere with hard water, it is best to avoid exposing your hair to this. It’s also worth checking with your local water provider if you live in a hard water area. 


    Speak to your stylist or contact us if you have any questions about colour change or are after some further advice. Also, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram using #additionallengths, we’d love to see your holiday pics ✌️☀️

    Life isn't perfect but your hair can be...

    We are a multi-award-winning hair extension specialists also supplying hair care, hair tools, and lots more.

    Thanks for reading! With love, Sarah at Additional Lengths xx