Category Archives: Hair Care

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.

 

Heat Control

August in the northern hemisphere is no friend to hair or hair extensions. The air is heavy, the sun is blazing, and you (poor thing) are sweating through your bonds. Don’t worry, Donna Bella hair extensions are designed to last through even the most treacherous summers (with proper care, of course), and we have some tips to help you shield your hair and body from the worst of this season’s challenges.

Keep an eye on the time
Knowing the hottest time of day in your area means knowing when to concentrate your heat-busting techniques, or when to stay inside altogether (that’s the best way to keep your hair extensions safe!).

Reflect the light
Opting for white rather than black or dark-colored clothes is known to reduce the sensation of heat because white reflects light and black absorbs it. Use this knowledge to your advantage by wearing lighter-colored clothes during the summer, in addition to lighter-weight fabrics. Also, a hat can add extra protection to your hair extensions when you go out in the sun, and it looks cute too!

Stay close to something green
Not only do trees and plants provide refreshing shade during the warmest hours of the day, they also influence actual air quality and temperature by absorbing pollution and releasing moisture. Alternatively, some plants—like ferns, ficuses, and aloe vera plants—are natural dehumidifiers. Plan your indoor garden wisely to lessen your heat-related woes (and to add a great pop of color to your next selfie!).

Don’t underestimate a simple fan
Fans are a good, old-fashioned way of simulating a breeze on a windless day. Carry one with you for an instant pick-me-up and add some mystery to your look in the process!

Drink plenty of water
A nice cold glass of water is perfect for cooling down, but it’s also vital for replenishing your body’s fluids after a long day of sweating. Plus, it’ll keep your hair looking nourished and moisturized. Always remember to bring a reusable water bottle with you when you leave the house!

Take a cold shower
Opt for colder showers during the summer months. Cool water seals the cuticle of your hair, making your hair look smooth and shiny. It also cools you down and improves your circulation.

Apply some essential oils
Essential oils are good at hydrating hair and hair extensions, and they can also have a cooling effect! Try some peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus oils, either directly on the skin or diffused into the air. You’ll also benefit from the ultra-relaxing aroma, which can freshen up even the stuffiest of rooms.

For more summer weather-related reading, check out these hair extension blogs:

Summer Clip-In Care
Your Guide to Beach Hair
Donna Bella’s Summer Favorites

 

Aftercare Done Right

Summer is mere days away, so we’re stepping up our aftercare game to make sure your hair looks fabulous all season long. For the next few days*, take 20% off the following aftercare products, and be sure to read up on how to use them for maximum protective effect!

Remy Care
Donna Bella’s proprietary hair care line is professional, color-safe, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and designed to extend the life of your DB extensions with the latest hair care technology available. These products boast concentrated botanical extracts and address a variety of different hair conditions, from smoothing tangled hair to strengthening damaged hair, prepping hair for installations, and more. Get acquainted with the line-up by purchasing one of our pre-arranged kits, or read more about the products right here.

Twisties
This one is among our newer hair extension tools. Twisties are essentially better, safer scrunchies that will hold your hair up while you sleep or sweat without crimping your hair or tugging on your scalp. Opt for these guys to prevent unnecessary bond slippage, and to protect your hair from the elements when you go to the beach. Best part is, they stay in place all day long!

Hair Extension Brush
The Hair Extension Brush is an oldie, but a goodie. Furnished with staggered 100% boar hair bristles for the perfect, gentle touch, the Hair Extension Brush will detangle strands while gliding easily over bonds and distributing natural scalp oil to the lengths of your hair (super important for keeping hair extensions nourished and hydrated during the scalding summer months!). Use it twice daily, morning and night, starting at the ends of the hair and brushing downward.

Sono by Donna Bella Hanger, Sleeve, and Brush
For you Ready-to-Wear ladies, you can’t go wrong with the full Sono hair care set. Store your hair neatly and safely after use with the no-slip Sono Extension Hanger, shield it from dust, dirt, friction, and moisture with the durable (and recyclable!) Sono Sleeve, and brush it to silky smoothness with the all-hair-friendly Sono Extension Brush. These tools also make for great travel accessories, so make sure you never depart without them!

*The 20% Aftercare Sale goes from now until 11:59pm EST on June 26th (2017). Shop now to take advantage of the deal!

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6 Safe Practices for Coloring Hair Extensions

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In and of themselves, hair extensions are transformative. They add volume, layers, and an all-around “oomph” to any hairstyle. Throw some color into the mix? The hair creation possibilities multiply to infinity! That’s right, you can (and should) color your hair extensions! It’s totally safe, and with features like Donna Bella Hair Insure, awesome coloring jobs are guaranteed if you follow our instructed methods. Here’s our quick and easy bullet list of best practices for coloring hair extensions. Be sure to follow these basic tips before you begin your color journey.

Always Conduct a Strand Test First!
No matter what color results you anticipate, ALWAYS do a strand test before coloring a full set of extensions. To strand test, mix some of the color you’ll be using into a bowl and apply it to a small section of the hair extensions. Once the color has fully developed, you can determine if it will be the right shade and can color the rest of the extensions, or make adjustments to the formula or processing time as deemed necessary.

Deposit Color, Never Lift
When coloring extensions, always aim to color the hair darker to suit your needs, rather than lifting color to make it lighter. Donna Bella 100% Remy human hair extensions have already gone through a gentle coloring process, and attempting to lift the color will actually damage the hair!

Stay Within 2 Shades
Our best recommendation for safe coloring practice is to work with extensions a shade or two lighter than what you need and then deposit color for your custom color. If you find (via your strand test) that you wish to color a particular extension more than 2 shades darker than its original shade, exchange that extension for one that’s a shade or two darker, so you’ll be starting off closer to the 2-shade threshold for coloring (unless you’re coloring #60 extensions, that is).

Color the Extensions Before Installing Them
Always color hair extensions before you install them into the hair. Not only will they be easier to work with when they’re not attached to the client’s head, it will save you (the stylist) time in the long run! Plus, it’s easier on the extension bonds and means your client can spend less time in the chair.

Use Semi- or Demi- Color only
Permanent color puts a lot of strain on the hair, and literally dehydrates it. This is especially true of extensions. Using direct, demi- or semi-permanent colors will achieve the same color-centric effect of a permanent without putting the hair through the chemical wear and tear of permanent color.

Treat the Extensions With Love
Donna Bella extensions are Remy human hair and must be maintained as such! Treat them just as you would your own natural color-treated hair. Don’t wash color-treated extensions for the first 24 hours after they’ve been installed. Keep them hydrated, wash them with sulfate-free, color-safe shampoos and styling products, and strictly avoid chlorinated water.

Follow these basic maintenance tips (and your creative spirit!) and you’re sure to have a safe and successful custom coloring experience. Be sure to stay tuned to the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal for more hair tips and tricks!

 

When Is Coloring a Bad Idea?

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Just as with hair extensions, custom color jobs are not for everyone. Whether you’re looking at existing damage, the potential to cause damage, or a generally non-compliant client, there are cases where you should skip the color and focus just on treatment, or on hair extensions alone. As part of our Color Takeover series—a series of hair extension-specific coloring resources designed to turn you into a virtual color expert—we’re going to share a few examples of these cases, including warning signs for how to spot them! Be sure to read up on more hair extension coloring tips at the Color Takeover Portal today.

Coloring is a bad idea when…

When the client is unprepared to maintain the color job.
You would think that preparing clients to maintain their hair would be easy, given the level of salon support and instruction offered nowadays. In a perfect world, every client would be open to their stylist’s input, and would follow their maintenance regimen to a T. But the unfortunate truth is that some clients don’t listen to their stylists, thinking they know what’s best for their own hair. Others distrust new processes out of habit, and favor their traditional hair care methods even when they don’t work. Whatever the case may be, if you have a client who consistently fails to follow their designated maintenance schedules, is argumentative or petulant during in-salon services, or is simply notorious for letting their hair go without proper care, a color job is probably not for them. Even un-customized hair extensions involve some additional attention, and allowing a client to invest in these often expensive services without hope of long-lasting results is bad news for everyone involved. After all, you wouldn’t want a faded, grown-out head of hair extensions walking around as your business billboard, would you?

When the client plans to sport the new color for a short amount of time, then change to a different color.
Short-term hairstyles and extension arrangements are a lot of fun, and they bring in extra income—so what’s not to love? Well, it doesn’t take much flip-flopping to realize that constant change-ups can be very damaging to the hair, and that’s not exactly the outcome we want from many hours of work. If your client is hoping to change the color of a single set of hair extensions several times in rapid succession, then permanent coloring is not the best way to go. Instead, offer a temporary color alternative, or set your client up with a couple sets of Clip-Ins in whatever colors they like.

When the extensions have already been custom-colored to a different shade, or when the extensions are old.
Aged hair extensions are easy to spot: the bonds are tired, the ends are frayed, and the cuticle layer is worn out, causing extra frizz and tangling. Double-processed extensions may be harder, especially when they’re colored using no developer and plenty of Olaplex for protection, but experienced stylists will be able to tell the difference between the new color and Donna Bella’s available extension shades. We do not recommend coloring old hair extensions or re-coloring colored hair extensions for the same reason: you’re more likely to cause damage to the hair when you do so. When possible, provide a new set of colored hair extensions to replace the outdated ones, or—at the very least—restore the old or double-processed extensions first, then apply semi-permanent color a few days afterwards.

When the color job requires that the client’s natural hair be colored, but their natural hair is in poor shape.
Donna Bella extensions are always provided in tip-top shape, but the health of the client’s own hair cannot be guaranteed. If your client insists on a total mermaid transformation, but their hair is fried or brittle from past services, tell them that you simply can’t do it because the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Clients with existing hair damage should undergo restorative services and hair care education before considering hair extensions and hair coloring procedures. They probably won’t like having to wait, but it’s really the only way to ensure that the transformation turns out well.

When the extensions are still installed.
Hair extensions should only ever be colored when they are removed from the client’s head. Whether this is pre-install, post-un-install, or what have you, the precaution is necessary because hair color can be damaging to the extension bond, causing the extension to slip prematurely. Additionally, coloring hair while the extensions are still installed means that your client’s hair will also be colored—except for the sections that are enclosed within the bond, producing splotches that will be evident once the hair is moved up. To avoid all of this, color the extensions and the client’s hair separately, then install the extensions after a couple of days. Remember, the client’s hair should be completely free of product prior to the installation appointment—that means no same-day color jobs and installations, for the sake of the bonds!

For more coloring advice and free extension coloring resources, visit the Color Takeover Portal today!

 

Pastel Dos and Don’ts

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It’s a new age, and that means we’re not living in grandma’s world of acceptable hair coloring anymore! Bold and vibrant fashion colors and every constituent variation in-between have long since become mainstream-acceptable, with celebrities and fashion icons splashing bits of neons and pastels into their look the world over. We love it! Still, there’re a few things to remember when going pastel, so here’s our quick list of pastel dos and don’ts.

Do:

Experiment: Go crazy! Whether it’s a splash of bubblegum pink, zips of green, or an all-over Easter Egg look you’re going for, remember that it’s ok to experiment to find the color combinations you like best. Use extensions to develop a new look and feel free to go off the beaten path a bit…just remember to also:

Strand Test First: Remember that the color you see on the label isn’t necessarily the color you’ll get in your hair. Also remember that all hair will accept pastel coloring in different degrees. Always test out the color on an inconspicuous section of hair beforehand so you will know for sure what it will look like before continuing and won’t get stuck with a color you weren’t planning on.

Adopt a Moisturizing Regimen: Color-treated hair needs to be maintained and moisturized. Though pastel colors may be faint, the hair will still be in desperate need of upkeep afterwards, including regular moisture treatments and brushing. Keeping hair clean and thoroughly cared for will not only keep the color looking brighter, longer, but (if the client is using extensions) will also keep the extensions in tip-top shape for much longer. Encourage a moisturizing regimen for your client, and extol the virtues of this upkeep. Knowledge is power!

Don’t:

Start with All-Over Color: It may be tempting, and it’s likely your client has seen a celebrity pull it off. We recommend that pastel first-timers start with partial pieces like peek-a-boos or streaks and work from there. If, after experiencing the transformative joy of a pastel streak, they wish for all-over color? That’s fine and good. Just know that it’s truly a transformation, so moderation is key in the beginning.

Attempt to Pastel Color Dark Hair: A bleached base creates the best pastel effect, so dark-haired clients will likely need a bleaching or lightening treatment beforehand. Attempts to color pastel directly onto dark hair will likely result in murky color combinations (if they show up at all), and won’t create the effect your client wants at all. Hair must be porous to accept color, and this is why dark hair must be bleached first, to have that color removed so it can accept new color that’s deposited onto it.

For more tips and tricks, including Dos and Don’ts for using Toner, Hair Chalk, and Semi and Demi-Permanent color on extensions, stay tuned to the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal!

 

The Only Color Products for Your Extensions

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When coloring your hair extensions, you may notice that instructions always call for demi or semi-permanent hair color (sometimes called “direct dyes”). Here’s why: permanent hair color literally dehydrates the hair cuticle, lifting its natural color so it can accept new pigment. These color jobs must always be used in conjunction with a strict hydration regimen and treatment schedule as anyone who’s ever bleached their hair can tell you: it can make your hair feel like straw! Using any color that lifts—be it a peroxide or bleach—on hair extensions will actually damage them and render them unusable. Because permanent color puts such a strain on the hair, demi or semi-permanent hair color is preferred for coloring extensions because they will pull off the same coloring effect without putting your hair, extensions, or scalp through the harsh treatment of permanent color.

What is Demi or Semi-Permanent Color?
Demi and semi-permanent hair color contain no ammonia and only deposits color onto the hair. Essentially, since these products do not lift the hair cuticle when adding color, the hair’s existing color stays underneath the new color. Semi and demi-permanent colors are mixed with low-volume developers, which help open up the cuticle so it can absorb the new color, and last for multiple shampoos: demi-permanent hair color washes out in up to 24 shampoos, with semi-permanent hair color lasting anywhere from 4 to 12 shampoos, depending on the amount used. These products are often used to blend gray, enhance natural color, refresh existing color, tone highlights, or for corrective work.

One distinct benefit of using demi and semi-permanent colors is that they can be applied to the extensions (after the strand test and other preliminary coloring tasks) straight from the bottle without having to be mixed with hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals. Since they perform without these strong chemicals and additives, they make the overall coloring experience much more pleasant for everyone involved as odors, the risk of chemical burns, and the sensory harshness of ammonia and peroxide are completely avoided!

It’s important to remember that Donna Bella Hair Extensions are real Human Remy hair and, as such, should be treated like your own natural hair. Proper maintenance, upkeep, and overall preparation are essential for keeping hair extensions looking their best. In that regard, using color products that will help maintain the hair without stripping it of natural oils and colors will go a long way in creating an ideal color effect that lasts. You can color your hair extensions! Just follow our advice, stay within 2 shades, and always deposit color instead of lifting. Whether adding fashionable colors or working to bring out existing highlights, demi and semi-permanent color applied to Donna Bella Hair Extensions will help you get the long, colorful hair you long for!

Visit the Color Takeover Portal for more coloring tips and tricks!

 

Coloring Hair with the Integrity-Focused Approach

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Stylists who go through our Donna Bella certification program know that we promote an integrity-focused approach when it comes to installing and maintaining hair extensions. This means that throughout the hair extension process, we’re acting in a way that ensures the continued integrity of the Remy extensions. This is every bit as true for coloring extensions as it is for installing them; coloring services should always be performed with an integrity-focused approach as this will produce the best, most vibrant outcomes. But what does that involve, exactly?

Firstly, you should always follow the 10 cardinal rules of coloring hair extensions.
These are:
1.  Use professional (semi or demi permanent) colors, only
2.  Do not lighten or bleach (only darken)
3.  Perform a strand test first
4.  Color extensions off of the client’s head (not when installed)
5.  Stay within 2 shades of the extension base color
6.  Pre-wash extensions with sulfate-free shampoo before coloring them
7.  Always flip extensions to color both sides
8.  Go with the direction of the hair’s cuticle when brushing color onto the extensions
9.  Remove all tape from Tape-In hair extensions before applying color
10. Use only sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair
Following these rules will help you achieve the color outcomes that you want without compromising the health of the extensions themselves.

Then, you should simply take your time.
No good will come from you rushing through a color job (or an installation appointment, for that matter). Though the process can be lengthy, shaving off a couple of minutes at the risk of botching the color and/or extensions is just not worth it. Time is the name of the game, and it’s the only way to get those top-notch, beautiful results. So roll your sleeves up and knock it out of the park.

Donna Bella is now offering custom coloring information for human hair extensions at our Color Takeover Portal—an online resource for any stylist looking to incorporate color work into their extension services. Get read up on the latest tips, the loveliest formulas, and the easiest how-tos today! You can even download a free guide filled with everything you need to know to perform the perfect color job.

Visit the Color Takeover Portal Now

 

All the Tools You Need For a Successful Color Job

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No matter how much experience, zeal, and creative whimsy they possess, a stylist can really only be as good as the tools they have at their disposal. Whether it’s a routine change-up, installing a full head of extensions, or a custom coloring for a full-on transformation, here’s our list of the top shelf tools you need for a successful color job.

Semi or Demi-Permanent Colors
For coloring extensions, we encourage the use of semi or demi-permanent colors. These products deposit color onto the hair rather than lifting it (which actually dehydrates the cuticle) for a gentler coloring experience. Plus, since they’re semi and demi-permanent, they put far less strain and chemical stress on the hair than permanent colors would. For fashion colors, specifically, we’ve found that Joico Color Intensity works incredibly well for coloring hair extensions!

Donna Bella #60 Extensions
Although all our Remy shades can be professionally colored, bright, bold fashion colors such as rainbow or pastel hair require a blank canvas for the full effect. In these cases, we recommend our palest, most neutral blonde shade: #60. It’s available in all four professional installation methods and will take on fashion colors vibrantly.

Olaplex Lightener
Olaplex, labeled as a “bond multiplier,” helps reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. By applying it to a lightener or hair color, your client’s hair will be kept strong during and after the coloring process, essential for keeping colors looking their best. It’s free of the silicones and oils presents in many other products and helps maintain hair’s natural strength and resilience after being treated. Note that in all our color formulas contained on the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal, we include Olaplex lightener. Clients can also use Olaplex as a weekly treatment for their hair.

A Quality Brush
Applying color to hair or extensions requires a quality brush that will distribute the color evenly. We strongly recommend the Famar brush because the bristles are extremely soft and reduce strain on the wrist and joints—especially handy when you’re coloring multiple extensions at once. Key points to look for when selecting a brush are how well it will distribute color, and the softness of the bristles. Softer bristles will probably distribute better and are less likely to damage the extensions in the process.

Re-hydrating/Moisturizing Shampoo
Encourage clients to keep their hair plenty hydrated after coloring. A hydrating shampoo and even a mask treatment will go far in extending their custom-colored look. All hair types feature different levels of oiliness, and so different clients will require different maintenance regimens. The important thing is that they’re regularly hydrating their hair long after they leave the chair.

Bowl, Gloves, Paper Towels/Coverings
Maybe these seem like a given, but a color job always requires a place to do it, somewhere to mix the ingredients and, of course, appropriate cover for your hands and the furniture around you. Always make sure you’ve got these basic elements at your disposal to ensure clean and streamlined coloring in the salon.

Having the appropriate tools available, as well as a clean and functional workspace, is essential in making your color creation process smooth and hassle-free. Check out our Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal for more tips and tricks!

 

6 Dos and Don’ts of Coloring Hair Extensions

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At Donna Bella Hair, we firmly believe that you can (and should!) color your hair and extensions when creating custom looks. Still, there are some precautions you should take when coloring hair, so here’s our essential guide to general hair coloring protocol when working with extensions:

Do: Use Semi or Demi-Permanent hair colors
Since semi and demi-permanent colors aren’t “Capital P Permanent,” they last for a number of weeks (demi surviving 10 to 25 washes and semi surviving 6-12), and your client won’t be stuck with a color they don’t like for long should the unthinkable happen. Plus, because semi and demi-permanent hair colors deposit color instead of lifting it, they won’t break down the hair cuticle or damage it with chemicals, making post-coloring upkeep that much easier.

Do: Take Note of Your Client’s Skin Tone
Always keep your client’s skin tone in mind when helping them choose their new color. For a good rule of thumb, those with paler skin should opt for warmer tones, while those with olive or darker skin tones may find ashy and cooler colors to be more complimentary. Many manufacturers will provide color suggestions, so pay attention to those, too. If you’re going for pastel, however, don’t worry—pastel shades tend to flatter everyone.

Do: Maintain a Moisturizing Care Schedule
While it’s always important to keep hair moisturized and in tip-top shape, color-treated hair needs that consideration tenfold. Be sure to recommend sulfate-free moisturizing shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for distressed and damaged hair, and, if possible, throw in a once-a-week moisture mask. Advise your client to avoid applying heat tools to their hair, as well as over-washing as this can strip the hair of essential oils and actually cause the color to fade more quickly.

Don’t: Bleach or Highlight with Over-the-Counter Products
Bleach and peroxide strip the hair cuticle and should only be used under the care of a salon professional. Ensuring that the exact amount of peroxide is used, as well as accounting for varying shades and pigments, is a delicate balance that can very easily leave hair looking and feeling like straw. Make sure that your clients know the dangers of at-home color so they’ll resist the urge to bleach or highlight on their own.

Don’t: Over-Wash Color-Treated Hair
It’s important to keep hair clean and maintained for healthy growth, but you don’t want to overdo it! Washing hair too often will actually dry it out and strip it of the natural oils that it needs. Instead of washing every day, tell your client to try every other day or even every three days, depending on the general oiliness of their hair and overall lifestyle. Those with oily hair, or those who tend to work up more of a sweat, should invest in a good dry shampoo to replace some of their usual showers.

Don’t: Let Your Client Do It Alone
At the end of a coloring appointment, if your client is unhappy, set up a plan to address the problem before they leave the salon. Without a viable alternative, some clients may be tempted to keep adding more color to their hair to try to correct the hue, but they’ll risk making the problem worse and rendering their hair unmanageable. Adding more and more color on top of the problem will only confound things and make it more difficult to return to the hair’s original color. The last thing we want is for a client to attempt fixing their hair on their own!

Ultimately, coloring extensions is a straightforward process. With a little experience and adherence to protocol, you can ensure your color job goes smoothly. Just remember to stay tuned to Donna Bella’s Color Takeover Portal for more hair extension dos and don’ts.