How to Lighten Hair Extensions

By Kim Walton

Your hair extensions can definitely be lightened, but it may take a bit of work. The key to achieving a lighter color is that the hair must be human hair. Lightening hair extensions is actually easier than lightening your own hair, if you lighten them before putting the extensions in your hair. You can opt for the natural way to lighten the extensions, or use a permanent hair dye. Just keep in mind that you can damage the hair extensions if you are not careful.

Lighten your extensions

Lighten With Permanent Hair Color

Step 1

Choose the color you would like for your hair extensions, then buy the color formula that is two shades lighter. For example, if you would like the hair color to be medium brown, you would purchase light brown or dark blond hair color.

Step 2

Shampoo the hair extensions to make sure the hair is clean and free of buildup. Follow the hair coloring directions provided by the manufacturer. If the hair is not as light as you desire, leave the hair color in longer. Do a color strand test every five minutes. Remember that hair appears darker when wet.

Step 3

Condition the hair using the product provided by the manufacturer. The lightened hair color may change if you use the wrong conditioner, so use products specifically made for color-treated hair.

Naturally Lighten With Lemon Juice

Lemon lightens hair naturally.

Step 4

Shampoo your hair extensions before beginning the lightening process. Make sure the hair is clean and stripped of any oil, buildup, and hair spray. Towel dry the hair extensions, but do not allow the hair to dry completely. The hair should be damp for the next step.

Step 5

Apply enough lemon juice to saturate the hair strands. Place the extensions in the sun until the hair reaches your desired lightness. This process takes longer and may need to be repeated if you desire a very light color. According to the L.A. County Public Works Department, the lemon and water recipe is a natural alternative to lighten hair. Their recipe consists of one gallon of water mixed with one tablespoon of lemon juice.

Step 6

Condition hair extensions after rinsing lemon juice from the hair. Do not leave lemon juice in the hair extensions overnight. If the hair feels dry after rinsing out the conditioner, apply a leave-in conditioner.