Category Archives: Ask Donna Bella

Using Toner on Hair Extensions

When it comes to coloring your hair extensions, there are various methods and tools you can use. Depending on the permanence of the look you want, the shade you’re trying to accomplish, or the shade of your natural hair, different color products and combinations will bring about different results. Within the varying subcategories of custom coloring, we occasionally get asked about using toner on hair extensions.

It’s a good question. Toner—occasionally called gloss—is a semi-permanent color. Unlike semi-permanent color that deposits pigment on top of the hair to alter the shade, toners contain small amounts of ammonia to change the chemical pigment in the hair shaft. While we can never condone bleaching hair extensions outright, toners are OK if you follow these directions. Traditionally, toners are used to alter the brassy tones in hair after it’s been bleached, specifically to eliminate the dreaded “zebra stripes” effect of a harsh dye job. It works by taking different shades of orange and yellow and neutralizing them to blonde, silver or pastel for a softer blend. Toner lasts anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, depending on how often the client hair, and hair care regimen.

To add toner to newly colored blond hair extensions, simply treat them like you would real hair. Shampoo them, lay them out and color them with the most gentle gloss or toner you can. Never walk away from the extensions because they can tone really fast (though they can also take longer than usual). So it’s really important to keep an eye on them. Sometimes you may even have to tone more than once to get your desired effect.

To dry your newly toned extensions, simply lay them out on a towel to remove excess water from them. This works much more effectively than wringing them out. Once the extensions are dry, brush them out (we recommend using the Donna Bella Hair Extensions Brush) to eliminate flyaways and tangles.

Additional Tips When Toning Hair Extensions
– Always perform a strand test first to ensure it’s not going to turn your extensions a color you hadn’t planned!
Never bleach your extensions. While toners contain trace amounts of ammonia which has lightening effects, bleach and peroxide will dry your extensions out into an irreversible state.
– Treat your extensions as you would your own hair. They’re a product that requires regular maintenance and care to stay looking good, and will last longer when they’re cared for.

That’s all there is to it! For more info, tips, and hair extensions tricks, stay tuned to the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal.


What’s My Color?

whats my color

The first question I get asked by the majority of Donna Bella Hair first timers is, “How do I know what color to get?” Because all of Donna Bella’s products are only sold online, it could be tricky trying to match your color through a computer screen. Am I right? If you have never worn Donna Bella Hair before, my recommendation is to have the color ring in hand. There are 2 ways you can get your hands on one— visit your nearest Certified Donna Bella Hair stylist or purchase one before making your big final purchase of hair extensions.

If you choose to go the stylist route, let me just say, it’s the best way to go. Certified stylists usually do consultations for free so they can match your hair color and even suggest a shade or two for better dimension. They will also be able to tell you which method is best for your hair type and give you an estimate on the installation cost. You’ll need someone to install your brand new hair anyway, you might as well go to a consultation with a certified stylist and schedule your installation appointment while you’re there.

You can also purchase the color ring to have all the Donna Bella Hair colors available to you for future purchases. The best thing about the color ring—as new colors get added to our selection, you can purchase the individual colors and clip them on to the keychain-like ring. That way your color ring will always be up-to-date and you’ll never have to purchase another color ring again!

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance, we’re always here to help. Drop your concerns below or give us a call at 888-424-7548.

See you next week,

Jane. Xo.


Drying Your Donna Bella Hair

drying your dbh

We have a rule around here, the less heat you use on your Donna Bella Hair— the better. So with that in mind, let’s talk about drying your hair extensions on wash day. First let me just say, the best wash days are days where you’re just lounging around or an evening with no plans. That way, you can let your hair air dry and you can skip the time and pain from tired blow-drying arms. Air drying helps to preserve the appearance of your hair extensions and avoid splitting ends or dry, brittle hair. Keep in mind, however, that when you air dry, you do need to make sure your tape, beads, or bonds don’t remain wet too long (moisture will try to seep into them and you may have some slipping hair extensions). To be safe, try blow-drying just your roots.

Your roots should always remain dry and free from any type of moisture, whether it’s water or oily products. The ends of your hair and hair extensions tend to be weaker because they’re more exposed to damage than your roots. Letting your ends air dry will give them the break they need from all of that. Make sure you always apply a heat protectant on your hair before using any heat tool. Personally, one of the ones I love is Redken’s Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer. Even if I’m just blow-drying my roots, I will apply this lightweight spray on my damp hair and comb it through before drying my roots with the blow-dryer (staying away from my ends). As a side note, try to use the lowest setting on your blow-dryer that will still get the job done. On my damp ends, I will apply a couple drops of one of my favorite argan oils (staying completely away from my beads, tape, or bonds) and leave them loose to air dry.

By the way, the same rules apply to your Donna Bella Hair Clip-Ins. Give your Donna Bella Hair a break and let them take in a breath of fresh air on your next wash day. Let me know if you can feel a difference!


Jane xo.


2016 Donna Bella Hair Shows

hair shows 2016

Hey Donna Bellas! Now that 2016 is here we’re locked and loaded for a new year of hair shows that include free installations and hands on training. We’re kicking 2016 in Long Beach, California at the ISSE show January 30 through February 1.

Why should I attend?

Free installations. If you’ve always wanted to have hair extensions but don’t have the extra budget to spend on them, then you NEED to make it to one of our hair shows. Our certified Donna Bella Hair stylists will ensure proper installation, giving you the best hair extension experience at no cost to you. As long as you buy the hair of your choice at the show, we will put them in for you absolutely free. If you were to walk into a hair salon right now, a stylist will give you an estimated cost of $300 and up just to put in the hair extensions alone (it does not include the price of the hair). Think about it, wouldn’t you want that cost going towards the price of your hair instead? I know I would…

Special show pricing. Not only do you get your Donna Bella Hair extensions put in for free, you also get to purchase the hair at a special discounted show price. All Donna Bella Hair extension products are marked down at the show. Stylists can also take advantage of this discount for hair and tools. Want to stock up on bond removers? Need a new hair extension tool? Get it all at a discount. The more you shop, the more you save!

Hands on classes. If you have never worked with Donna Bella Hair, this is your chance to get to know who we are and what our products are all about. Included in the class is a free hair extension kit ($225 value), a mannequin head and practice hair ($72.50 value), and certification. Our in-person training is designed to help stylists become skilled in hair extension installation. The class covers consultations, preparation, installation in all 3 methods, blending, styling, aftercare, and removal.

Ready to sign up for your free installation? Want to sign up for a class? Click here to see a list of all of Donna Bella’s Hair Shows for the year of 2016. We’ll see you soon!


New Year, New Look

new look new year

As much as we hear, “New year, new me” you would think people would act on it more. I mean, who wouldn’t want a complete makeover for 2016? If you started the year with short hair, why not go long? If you’ve always coveted a hair color, why not go for it using Donna Bella Hair? Let’s face it, changing hair color is easier than going to the gym to shed those new year resolution pounds or getting a new attitude (insert smirk here). Not saying you shouldn’t do all of the above, but at least you can get started on a head to toe transformation— literally.

The number one reason for hair extensions is to add length. However, you don’t have to go super long, you’ll be surprised at how much difference a couple of added inches will do. Donna Bella Hair extensions range from 12 inches to 22 inches. If you’re not into length as much as you’re into volume, adding a pack or two will give you just what you need. But you can enjoy best of both worlds with a full head of hair extensions.


Ditch your old monochromatic color for one of the biggest color trends right now like an ombre, balayage, or silver hair. There are 8 ombre colors to choose from and with the wide selection of colors, you can create your own custom balayage with lowlights and highlights. Donna Bella Hair makes it easier to add these colors without processing your hair through chemicals, keeping your natural hair safe and healthy.

Ready for your big 2016 makeover? Let us know how we can help or visit a Donna Bella Hair Certified stylist near you. Most consultations are free and there is no pressure. Make sure to hashtag #donnabellahair with your new makeover so we can feature your new Donna Bella Hair makeover on our social media pages!


When Is the Blue Bottle Okay For Tape?

blue for tape

A commonly asked question regarding the removal of Donna Bella Tape-In hair extensions goes a little something like this, “Can I use the blue bottle remover to take the Tape-In wefts off?” Although we highly and strongly recommend the use of the clear bottle for the removal of Donna Bella’s Tape-In extensions, we’ll probably let you slide with using the blue bottle for rare occasions, like let’s say removing just a weft or two…

Let’s say your client is having an issue with a couple of wefts and need them taken out for a move-up. Using the oil remover is going to be more gentle on the hair. You do, however, need to be super careful and avoid getting it on the other wefts— or they too will start slipping. If you don’t trust yourself to be precise, we’ll go ahead and give you the green light to use the blue bottle. Since it’s not oil based like the clear bottle, be very careful when pulling the tape apart, that you don’t pull the natural hair with it. The blue bottle is alcohol-based so the tape won’t slide off easy. Once the wefts are out, you will need to remove the old tape from both the natural hair and the weft. And because it’s alcohol based, you won’t need to worry about clarifying the hair from the oil-based remover. Continue with the replacement as normal, making sure the hair is completely dry from the remover.

**We don’t suggest using the blue bottle for a full head removal. Doing so is running a high risk in breaking your client’s natural hair but a weft or two is fine.

Questions? Concerns? Don’t be shy, drop us a line!


Prepping your I-Links for Reinstallation

prepping your ilinks

“I can’t reuse my I-link hair extensions, it won’t fit through the bead anymore.” Does this sound familiar? Don’t panic, it’s normal. If you think about it, the tips of your I-Links have been clamped down for so long, how could they not be a flat shape? If you don’t already know how to get the tips back into their original round shape, keep reading…

What you’ll need:

Straightening iron

Removed I-Link strands

What to do: Set your straightening iron to 280 degrees. Once your l-Links are removed, take one strand and place your straightening iron on the flat tip of the I-Link (the part that’s been clamped inside the bead). Apply the straightener only for a few seconds, then take the ball of your thumb and index finger and roll the tips back and forth until you get a round shape. That’s it!

Here’s a money saving tip for clients: Stylists usually charge for the time they spend on prepping the hair extensions for move-up appointments. If you feel confident enough to wash your own hair extensions, dry them, and roll them back into shape, it’ll save you some reinstallation cost.

Disclaimer: If you don’t know how to take out your own I-Links, we do not recommend doing it. Please have your stylist take them out for you as they require the proper use of the hair extension tool.

Hope this helps dolls! And of course, if you have any Donna Bella Hair questions or concerns, please leave them below so I can answer them for you.


When in Maui…

when in maui

Recently I took a trip to one of the Hawaiian islands— Maui. As a devoted Donna Bella Hair wearer, I was not about to go on this trip without them, which meant I would need to take extra care of my babies. We hear a lot of stories on how tropical island weather and activities can affect hair extensions, so thanks to you guys, I knew exactly what to do. Needless to say, I’m back in the office and my Donna Bella Tape-Ins  are still in tact as the first day I got them. If you’re wondering how I did it, here’s what I did…

Installation. First off, shout out to my stylist for the amazing job!! We installed my Tape-Ins two days before my trip. As we blogged about it before, there is a 48 hour wait time after installation before you can get your hair wet. I knew I was about to spend most of my time in pools and beaches so this was perfect timing. By the time I hit those Maui waves, my wait time was over.

Hats and braids. Although I think those large sun hats are so cute, I prefer baseball caps (it must be the tomboy in me). Anytime I went to lay out at the pool or at the beach in the sun, I would make sure to ALWAYS wear a hat. Not only does it provide shade to protect your face from the sun, it also protects your tape from melting in that heat… and boy was it hot! (Before putting my hat on, I would place my hair in a braid and tuck it under my hat. I did this to protect my ends from the heat as well.)

Conditioning. Before hitting the ocean waves or the pool at the resort, I would apply a small amount of conditioner to the ends of my hair before placing it in a braid. This helped keep my extensions from matting in the water, while keeping my ends moisturized and safe from the damage the chlorine in the pool could cause.

Keep them dry. As soon as I was done with my water activities, I showered and washed my hair with Dermorganics sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and blow dried only the roots of my hair where the tape was placed to keep my tape dry and from letting any moisture seep in.

Be creative. Since Maui is extremely humid, it was impossible to keep my hair straight after straightening it and my curls would just go flat. So I got creative with my hairstyles. Loose buns and braids were my day-to-day hairstyle. While my fancy dinner nights consisted of a slick back side bun placing the traditional Hawaiian flower on it. Besides, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on doing my hair when I could be out on this beautiful island.

For my traveling dolls, this one is for you. Hope these pointers can help in your future travels with Donna Bella Hair.


Jane xo.


Am I Using the Proper Straightener for my Donna Bella Hair?


Whoever created the straightening iron— You’re the real MVP! With so many brands, sizes, and styles available now, it’s hard to know if we’re using the right one for our hair type, let alone our extensions. Thanks to an article I read recently, I’ve decided to help you decide which straightener is best for your Donna Bella extensions. Here we go:

Size does matter. You should not be using a ½” flat iron. While a 1” flat iron is great on short hair (use it to straighten your hair before your installation appointment), the best size to use is between a 1 ¼” to a 2” flat iron. Shorter hair should use the thinner iron and long hair should be using a wider iron. Why? If you don’t use the proper size you end up going over and over the section of hair so eventually your extensions will dry out from so much unnecessary heat. With a wide iron, you cover more sections of hair so you don’t need to go over it as much AND it saves time, keeping your extensions shiny and you on time.

Types of plates. There are 3 popular iron plates; ceramic, titanium, and tourmaline. To understand which is best, you should know a little background. If you choose to use a ceramic plate, make sure it’s made out of full ceramic. Ceramic coating can break off and cause the hair to snag. Ceramic plates distribute heat evenly and have a lower potential to burn hair. Titanium plates heat up faster than ceramic plates and distribute heat faster too. This can be good and bad. Faster distribution of heat means you won’t need to go over sections of hair much. It’s a bad thing if you leave it on too long because the extra heat can cause more damage. Tourmaline plates are made out of crushed up crystalline mineral used as a coating. One of my favorites because it keeps hair less frizzy than the other two options and it makes your hair shinier, which is best when trying to match the shiny texture of your hair extensions.

Stay out of the kitchen. Your natural hair and hair extensions can’t handle a lot of heat! Never crank up your straightening iron past 365 degrees. So although straighteners that sound like they came out of the future with a maximum heat of 500 degrees sound extremely beneficial, they’re incredibly unnecessary. The lower the heat setting the better. It may be that you don’t even need to go up to 365 degrees. It all depends on the texture of your hair. And for goodness sake, stay away from getting extra close to your beads, bonds, and tape! The heat from your flat iron will “soften” (melt) the adhesive of your hair extensions and make them slip…

Love hearing from our Donna Bellas so drop those comments or questions below!


Building Your Brand

building your brand

Have you ever thought of yourself as a brand? As a stylist, you’re not just a title, you’re a brand. Your work will always speak for itself but essentially, your reputation is what makes you unique and keeps your services in demand. The way you conduct business is part of your branding and as a rule of thumb you should always under promise and over deliver. With that being said let’s look at some ways you can build your brand using Donna Bella Hair.

Use the product. It’s easier to sell a product when you believe in it. Can we all agree with that? So if you’re wearing extensions to work, it’s more than likely your clients will notice and inquire about the details. It’s easier to get the conversation started once they can see the finished product, especially on their trusted stylist. Look at it this way, your appearance is part of your brand. It’s okay to have clients covet your hair (it gets the ball rolling) wink, wink.

Schedule appointments appropriately. The biggest turn-off and the one thing that can affect your branding is how you schedule your appointments. Donna Bella Hair requires shipping, therefore, it is best that you order your products at least 4 to 5 days before your scheduled appointments. If you doubt you’ll have the product on time, don’t over promise and under deliver by scheduling the appointment anyway. Take care of your client and take care of your brand. Some clients may have made sacrifices to be at their appointment (flying in from out of town, scheduling a babysitter, or maybe driving long distance) it’s way better to schedule with more than enough time to be fair to both of you— and avoid any disappointments.

Side-note: Try not to overlap your appointments. We’re human and at times we will be running late. Maybe a color took longer to process or a few hair extension strands needed to be re-done. If you can avoid overlapping appointments by giving the next client a heads up then do so. But always make sure you schedule your appointments with some leeway in case you need those extra minutes. Clients see a hair appointment as their personal time and there’s nothing worse than losing a client because of something so small as your timing.

Be strategic with your business cards. Want your business cards to really stand out? Take the perfect before and after photo of a Donna Bella Hair client and use it for the front of your business cards. Some of you may already be doing this but for those that haven’t caught on, don’t fall behind! Transformation photos are powerful and as a stylist, you should show them off every chance you get. Your business card should represent you and your brand. What better way than on your cards?