How To Dye Your Extensions Rihanna Red

Don't worry if your setup looks like a crime scene--that's supposed to happen.
Publish date:
November 12, 2014
extensions, red hair, colored hair, hair dyes, dying hair extensions

A few years ago, I woke up one day and was so tired with my sew-in extensions. I wanted to spice it up a bit and went to the beauty salon for a custom dye job. I was taken aback by how much they were charging, and I told myself, “I can totally do this!”

After some research, I found that dyeing hair extensions is not that much different than dyeing real hair. For those of you always on call who roll with an install, here’s a tutorial on how to custom color extensions at home.

4 Things To Know Before You Start

1. Select the right hair. One hundred percent Virgin Human Hair extensions is the best hair to use because it hasn’t been chemically processed, colored, bleached, permed, dyed, or altered in any way and the cuticles are intact, so they can be dyed without causing additional damage to the hair. If you choose packaged Remy Hair Extensions, choose a high-end brand. Although it has been chemically altered, it’s of better quality and won’t have as much damage as low-end hair.

2. Select the right hair dye. Use semi-permanent dye because it has a lower volume developer, resulting in less damage.

3. Be careful of the developing agent. If you want to lighten dark hair extensions, note that this can be very harsh. Use a lower developer to avoid damage.

4. AVOID DAMAGE. It may be fake, but ish can get real. Be mindful of the products you use, time spent on processing the hair, and how you handle and maintain the hair because it can cause irreparable damage, sending the weave straight into the trash can.


  • Wefted human hair
  • Semi-permanent hair color
  • Mixing bowl
  • Applicator brush
  • Gloves Plastic bags

Note on Hair Extensions: I am using Sensationnel human hair, 12 inches long. The color is S27/30--light auburn mixed with medium auburn. I chose this light color to avoid the bleaching process. I also like the subtle highlights, which will look amazing in red in different light settings.

Note on Hair Dye: I use Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color for a few reasons.

  • Boxed dye NEVER looks like it does on the packaging and comes out very dull in my opinion. This color is true to what you see right on the label.
  • No ammonia, no alcohol and no peroxide, therefore no harsh damage.
  • Blends well into the hair for luxurious, rich and vibrant color.
  • Infused with conditioners for lustrous shine.

However, this dye does wash out a bit with every wash but I found that it does not bleed or rub off on clothes and sheets like most vibrant dyes.

The Dyeing Process

  1. Lay out the hair on a plastic garbage bag.
  2. To avoid blinding bright “fire engine” red, I mixed Adore #64 Ruby Red with Adore #68 Crimson to get some dark undertones within my extensions.

3. For every 4 oz. bottle of Ruby Red, I used half a bottle (2 oz.) of Crimson.

4. Mix well.

5. Apply dye evenly onto dry extensions with an applicator brush.

Make sure the hair is evenly saturated. Note: I like to over buy hair colors because the worst-case scenario is that you run out of dye and have extra just in case.

6. Since this hair is not “real” aka it’s not growing from a human scalp, there’s no natural body heat that’s being generated to the strands. So, to correctly process the hair (and per the directions on the bottle), I inserted the hair into plastic bags, sealing it to create a warm environment.

7. The suggested processing time on the bottle is 15 minutes. But I have fallen victim to following the directions and not having the color take (I blame my experience with boxed dye). So, to be on the safe side, I let it sit for an hour.

8. Thoroughly rinse until the water runs clear.

9. I didn’t shampoo the hair to avoid stripping the color. Instead, I co-washed the hair with conditioner for added softness.

10. A blow dryer typically fries the hair. To avoid frazzled strands and to maintain its soft and sleek shine, let the hair air-dry over night. But if you’re in a rush, blow dry on low heat.

And here’s the finished result.

All in all, I am really content with how the color came out. Dyeing extensions at home is so easy to do. The only precaution is where you decide to do it because it can get messy if you are careless, and girl--red stains!

  • Will you guys attempt this on your own?
  • Do you dare to go as bold as this color red for your day to day?