What Causes Tape Extensions To Turn Pink? Guide To Tapes Changing Colour

What Causes Tape Extensions To Turn Pink? Guide To Tapes Changing Colour

Tape extensions are an investment. They’re an investment made by clients, with their money, for their looks and self-confidence. For a salon, tapes are an investment into the services they provide, the staff they employ and the customers they work with. And so, like with any investment, you are going to have concerns that something could go wrong. 

At North, we are committed to not only being a tape extension brand but also industry-leading educators. Not only do we sell everything you need for a successful tape extension service, but we write educational articles like this one, and train salons and stylists into becoming tape extension superstars. 

It is a fact that, at some point in the lifespan of a tape extension (North or otherwise), the colour will change. The colour may fade, go brassy or dull, or it could turn from blonde to pink or green without warning. Colour fade is always inevitable, but there are always factors that will speed up the process or wholly instigate the tape’s change in colour. 

In this article, you will learn what causes both colour change and colour fade in tape extensions, alongside how to remedy and prevent the different factors from doing so. By the end, you will feel confident in recognising the causes of tapes changing colour, have a bank of knowledge on best practices to prevent it and ideas on how to fix the change, if possible. 

What causes tape extensions to change colour? 

Many different reasons can cause your tape extension colour to change, ranging from dyes in products to chemical reactions. With the proper knowledge of these reasons, they can all be completely preventable.  

Here are our top 3 reasons why your tape extension colour has changed:

Dyes In Hair Care Products 

Dyes in hair products seem like the easiest explanation for the colour change. If there is a pigment in a product you use on your hair, the product will likely stick to the hair. The dye is even more likely to stain the hair if it is already compromised, such as dry or lacking nutrients. 

Chemical-based Suncream

When coloured tape extensions are exposed to chemical-based suncream, reaction can happen, causing even the highest quality hair human hair to turn orange or, more commonly blonde hair, pink. 

These chemicals, found in suncreams and other common products, are added to absorb UV rays. When the chemicals absorb the UV rays on the hair, it can cause a reaction resulting in the cells in the extension hair breaking down. As the cells break down, the hair changes its colour - darker colours to orange, lighter colours to pink. 


Chlorine, a chemical often found in swimming pools and other leisurely water sources, can also cause chemical reactions to change hair colour. 

High levels of chlorine in the water, and subsequently on your extensions, can have the power to lift your hair colour - quite like bleach. However, the most common chemical reaction caused by chlorine is when it changes hair colour to green or blue. 

It is not just the chlorine that turns your hair green or blue - it involves a chemical reaction with copper. Surprisingly, copper (the metal compound) is very commonly found in swimming pools. When copper and chlorine combine, this causes a chemical reaction, which can form a green or blue film that sticks to the top layer of your hair.

How to fix and prevent tape extensions changing colour

Seeing the tape extension’s colour can be worrying, but with the right knowledge, there should be no reason to panic. And whilst we always promote prevention, sometimes we have to rectify what has already been done. 

If you are concerned about why the hair extensions are changing colour, you first need to assess why it has done so. From there, follow this guide on how to remedy the hair colour and prevent it from happening again. 

Dyes In Hair Care Products

Have you noticed that colour pigments from your hair care products are clinging to the extensions? With a thorough wash with a little clarifying shampoo, a toner or a colour corrector, you may be able to remove it. However, the best way to prevent colour transfer from products is to always read the ingredients and avoid products with coloured pigments. 

Salon-recommended ‘colour-safe’ hair care products are always the best course of action!

We suggest using Kevin Murphy’s Everlasting Colour range (RRP £8-32) - products that are sulphate, silicone, pH balanced and oil-free, that also protect against colour fade.

Chemical-based Suncream

Has the hair turned pink or orange? This is most likely an chemical reaction. The easiest way to avoid this is to avoid suncream and other products that contain artifical chemicals, in favour of other mineral-based products. 

Malibu C’s Hard Water Wellness Shampoo 33.8oz (RRP £31) has been known to help remove the discolouration from these chemical reactions - simply shampoo the hair as normal, though it may need a couple of tries. 

Though we know we should wear suncream every day of the year, most people tend to only wear it on a really hot day or on holiday. If the wearer is going on holiday, for various reasons but also to prevent a chemical reaction, we suggest removing their tapes. Alternatively, they could use synthetic clip-in extensions, which are not at risk. 


Hair turned green or blue after being exposed to chlorinated water? The best way to avoid this is to recommend avoiding swimming, or if not, wearing a swim cap to prevent the hair from getting wet. There are many known ‘hacks’ to remedy green hair after a chlorine reaction, however many can actually have a drastic drying effect. 

Instead, we recommend using a sachet of Malibu C’s Swimmers Wellness Remedy 0.17oz (£4.25+VAT). Shampoo the hair as normal, then pour the crystals across your wet palm. Using water, rub hands together to dissolve crystals and then scrunch throughout the hair - leaving on the hair for up to 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, shampoo and rinse again. 

If the wearer isn’t a swimmer but is going on holiday (where their tapes may be exposed to chlorinated water) we suggest removing their extensions before going on holiday. Instead, they could wear temporary clip-in extensions, which can be taken out before going in the water.

What causes tape extensions to colour fade?

Many different reasons can cause your tape extension colour to fade, and I want to begin by saying it isn’t always something you have done to cause it. 

Tape extension fading can be a completely natural process, happening over time. Because tapes are made of human hair, they are susceptible to colour fade just as natural hair is.  

However, several factors will encourage the tape extension hair colour to fade faster or will ultimately cause it to happen:


Now, I’m not just talking about plain old water - the water’s purity, hardness and temperature can cause the colour to fade. 

Hard water, which has a very high mineral content, can coat the hair with a film over it, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate the cuticle. This can leave the hair very dry and brittle, which can result in the colour fading or turning your hair brassy. 

Saltwater works in the same way as hard water, however, saltwater can be even more drying than high mineral content water. 

Hot water, on the other hand, opens up the hair’s cuticle, allowing the water to wash the cuticle clean. This then allows the colour to be stripped from the open cuticle. 

When in water with chlorine, the chlorine chemically bonds with the artificial colour and draws it out of the cuticle, causing the hair colour to fade or wash away. 

UV Rays 

UV rays, found either every day from the sun or the use of sunbeds, can damage your extension hair and strip it of colour. UV rays break down the top layer of the hair, which can result in dry and dull hair. The rays will also break down the colour molecules, fading the colour and making it look brassy. 

Hair Care Products 

Harsh shampoos and other hair care products, especially ones branded as ‘clarifying’, can strip the hair of all the good things it needs and you want to keep (like colour pigment) as well as product and oil build-ups. 

Hair Styling 

Styling with hot tools is known to damage your hair, including your extension hair. In terms of hair colour, hot tool damage can cause the colour pigment to oxidise - turning your hair brassy. The damage will also dry your hair out, which will fade the colour.

How to fix and prevent tape extensions from colour fading

No matter what stage you are at with your or your client’s tape extension journey, revisiting the details of the initial consultation and refreshing with any new information is always the best way to assess the hair’s needs. 

If you are concerned about why hair extensions are fading, you need to do a deep dive into the wearer’s lifestyle and aftercare routine to narrow down where the change may be coming from. But once you have that narrowed down, how do you prevent it?


Figured out it has something to do with water? The best way to prevent water damage related hair fading is to ensure the hair is always washed in pure, soft water at a cooler temperature. Avoiding putting the hair in salt or chlorinated water should be gospel, but if not, coating the hair in a conditioner before submerging could be advisable. 

Our best advice, however, is removing the tape extensions before going on holiday (where most clients are exposed to salt or chlorine in water). Why not suggest opting for some temporary clip-in extensions, which can be taken out before going in the water?

UV Rays 

If you believe UV rays are causing colour fading, what can you do to prevent it? Wearing a hat is one way to protect the hair, however, it is always advisable to avoid being in the sun for long periods and sunbeds altogether. 

You can also invest in UV protection for hair. We recommend Wella Professional’s Invigo Sun UV Hair Colour Protection Spray with Pro-Vitamin B5 150ml (RRP £16.25). Spray on dry or damp hair, before UV exposure and do not rinse out. 

If the tape extension wearer is going on holiday (where they may be overexposed to UV rays), we suggest removing the tapes before going on holiday. For added length and confidence, they could temporarily use synthetic clip-in extensions, which are not impacted by UV damage. 

Hair Care Products

Has the hair started fading after using specific hair care products? To remedy this, try oils on the ends of the hair or deep conditioning treatments. The easiest way to prevent this from happening, though, is to always use gentle products that promote colour protection. Avoid terms like ‘clarifying’. 

Our favourite shampoo, perfect for human hair extensions is Kevin Murphy’s Everlasting Colour Wash 250ml (RRP £28). This product is a sulphate, silicone and oil-free, pH-balanced shampoo that also protects the hair against colour fade - suitable for all hair types and colours. 

Hair Styling 

Signs of heat damage with the colour fade? The best way to prevent this is to avoid heat styling altogether, however, we know this isn't realistic - especially when extension wearers generally must blow dry their hair. Our best advice would then be to lower the temperature as much as you can, and to always use a heat protectant! 

We love Kevin Murphy’s Heated Defense 150ml (RRP £30) as a heat protectant leave-in foam! This product is heat resistant up to 232℃ and creates a protective barrier over the hair, leaving it smooth and tangle-free. 

Next Steps

You came to this article because, regardless of whether you are a salon offering tape extension services or a client wanting to wear tapes, you know that they are an investment. And with any investment, you want it to be the best thing you spend your time, money and confidence on. 

Tape extensions changing colour, whether that's a drastic change from blonde to pink or ‘just’ the colour fading, was something you’re always going to be considered about. However, since reading this article, you now know why colour change can happen, ways to prevent it both at home and in the salon and remedies to reverse the change, if possible. 

But what now?

North Professional Hair is committed to not only being a tape extension brand but also industry-leading educators. We know that running a successful tape extension service isn’t just about the training you have or products you promote, but the knowledge you possess and can pass down to your clients. And that's why we write articles like this one. 

Visit our North knowledge bank of blogs for more educational content! Read articles on other common tape extension problems, best practices for aftercare and a guide to price and cost.

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