6 Best Drug Store Hair Dyes for Hair Extensions (With How To's)

Enhance Your Look with Hair Dye

Hair dying is one of the famous chemical experiments that we love to do with our hair extensions.

We have the free option to change our defined look or appearance with the availability of a range of colors. That includes natural hair colors such as blonde, red, and brown and fun colors such as purple, green, and blue (If you aren't sure what color to use, check out this article: what color hair should I have).

bold colors

Everyone Wants to Change Their Hair Color, Even Celebrities!

In the media, we see many celebrities that love to change their hair colors.

Actress Lindsay Lohan is one example of a diva that continually likes to change her hair and to natural colors. Although a natural redhead, Lindsay has had her time changing her defined look.

In 2006, Lindsay attended the Entertainment Weekly and Matrix Men upfront party at the Manor in New York City with a brunette colored hairstyle. Again in 2006, Lindsay graced the AFI Fest 2006 Opening Night Premiere of "Bobby" with a black/brown colored curly hairstyle.

Switching again in 2010, she showcased her “diva-Licious” style at the red carpet with blonde hair at the MTV Movie Awards that year.

Celebrity Kylie Jenner is also known for her constant hair color, and wig changes. Whether it is purple or green, Kylie loves to show her fun and colorful side. Her hairstyles reflect it. In 2014, Kylie wore a black and blue ombre styled bob hairstyle at the Billboard Awards where she graced the red carpet. In 2015, Kylie had a dramatic long mint green hairstyle at the grand opening of the Sugar Factory in New York City. Kylie ultimately switches her style to her liking.

Although Lindsay and Kylie are one of many celebrities that love to change their hair and hair extension colors, we obviously know they use professional hairstylists that use professional hair dyes that have the expertise to mix colors around to get the perfect shade or highlight.

And although it is great to go to professional hair stylists to color hair or hair extensions, it is possible to “do it yourself.”





Preferences, preferences, and more preferences with hair dyes

Professional hairstylist, Justina, from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area is talented in dying hair extensions.

I asked her about her hair dye purchase preferences regarding whether she would use “drugstore” hair dyes or professional dyes. She states “...for hair extensions I prefer professional use dyes because of the quality of the dye. I try to use quality products for both my natural hair and extensions because they’re both real hair. Yes, the extensions aren’t mines, but it’s good to treat your quality hair the same as your natural hair like it is your own.”

I then asked her for her favorite hair dyes. “I get all my hair dyes from Sally’s Beauty...”, a well-known beauty supply chain that offers brand-name beauty products & supplies that in various countries.

She continues to state her favorite hair dying brands, “Wella, Ion Color Brilliance, L’Oréal HiColor, and Agebeautiful.” The best-boxed hair dye varies on each person. Make sure to try out different brands!

These were some great brands. I did some research on these professional brands and found that 4 out of 4 of the professional hair dye brands Justina mentioned were very affordable. Even the best drugstore hair color doesn't compare to these great professional real brands. The average costs for the hair dying brands that she considered were $7 for Wella, $6 for Ion Color Brilliance, $5-$7 for L’Oréal HiColor, and $7 for Agebeautiful.

Note: You will need to purchase a developer that you mix with before applying the created hair dye to your hair extensions. Professional hair dyes and developers sell separately.

Although getting colors such as bright green or orange, colors that Kylie Jenner has rocked in the past, I recommend using professional hairs dying products.

Justina mentioned that "If a client wants vibrant rainbow colors, drugstore dyes won’t cut it." She suggests going to a hairstylist for those high and vibrant colors. But if you are a DIYer that wants to go with natural hair colors and styles, and are a frugal shopper, maybe drugstore boxed hair dyes are for you.

Coloring Hair

Drugstore Boxed Hair Dye VS. Profession Hair Color Products

One of the main differences between boxed hair dyes from the drugstore and coloring your hair using professional products is that the color and developer are purchased separately, as mentioned earlier.

The big misconception is that those that are not professional hairstylists cannot achieve coloring our hair extensions at home by ourselves. This is false. As long as you are dying your hair extensions, you can do it at home. But you have to know what you are doing. Mixing is quite tricky and understanding your developer volume can a bit challenging when you first learn about it.

The art of hair dying is mixing colors to get that hair color you desire and to make sure the desired hair color shows depending on your hair color. For example, you may have blonde hair extensions and brown hair extensions, and you may want to dye both hair extensions mint green.

You may have to use a specific developer volume percentage to make sure both colors come out the same. It is possible for the blonde hair extensions and brown hair extensions to have two different shades of green.  One could be the exact mint green color you wanted, and the other may be a different shade of green.

Sometimes, you can have a specific color in mind, but if you do not understand the process of coloring hair, that hair color might not come out the way you imagined.

Foil Hair Dye

What Makes a Girl Want to Use Boxed Drugstore Hair Dye?

In reality, many people use boxed hair dyes to dye their hair extensions. It’s a common practice. For those that want a particular color, I would recommend the professional hair coloring route (Check out this article: hair coloring techniques).

The reason that drugstore boxed hair dyes are popular is that it is a quick fix type of product. If we want our hair to be a color that a boxed hair dye provides, we instantly get it without the time to mix and blend colors around as professional hairstylists do.

Desiree Stordahl, a beauty myth-buster from beautymythbusters.com is a researcher and co-author of The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here, gave some talk about boxed hair dyes and dyeing your hair at home.

"It is common to hear that drugstore hair dyes are inferior or harsher than the hair dyes used in salons, but that generally isn’t true. The way hair dyes function and the ingredients used to make them are not that different from the drugstore boxed hair dyes and the professional salon dyes."

Disadvantages to a Boxed Drugstore Hair Dyes

A disadvantage of boxed drugstore boxed hair dyes is that the color fades at a faster rate than professional hair dyes.

And the color presented on the dye box might not resemble the color you get after the dying process. Drugstore hair dyes are up to par with the coloring process, but of course, boxed hair dyes are a “one size fits all” type of product.

That means that the color on the box may not be the color you end up having at the end of the hair dying process.

Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Why Some Women Prefer Boxed Hair Dyes

As real as a consumer of hair dyes gets, and a hairstylist, Chelsea stated “I like drugstore hair dyes.

They’ve worked very well for my hair extensions. I don’t see the need for salon dyes because it’s not my hair, so I don’t have to worry about it damaging my hair. There are so many tutorials on learning to do it yourself that you can even buy cheap hair and practice. Dyes in-store cost $5-$10 each while you may spend over $100 trying to achieve the same result.”

Chelsea is one of many women who have a similar preference when it comes to coloring hair extensions. As a hairstylist, she believes that drugstore boxed hair dyes are as effective on hair extensions. I randomly asked ten women about their preferences on how they would go about dying their hair extensions.

Those that responded back answered:

  • "Boxed and Youtube."
  • "Do it myself and visit Youtube."
  • "If I have money professional, if not boxed."

DIY is a trend that many people are accustoming to.

Although going the professional route is excellent when you want that beautiful looking hair color for weddings, birthdays, and galas, etc. But for an everyday look, people want to do things themselves, and a part of that is hair. You can achieve the same hair color result in your own home.

As Desiree Stordahl mentions, going to a professional hairstylist, you're merely paying for the experience and the labor of a hairstylist.

Wella Color Charm Products

Six quality DIY brands of boxed drugstore hair dyes

For those on the cheaper side and are not a fan of spending a lot of time coloring their hair, there are effective drugstore products that you can use for your hair extensions. DIY hair dye brands are a great way to save money.

1. John Frieda® Precision Foam Colour

This drugstore hair product sells for around $12. This product can achieve quality results with your hair extensions.

2. SheaMoisture’s Hair Color System

This hair product uses shea butter in their dyes.

This hair product company, SheaMoisture promises that they do not use these harmful ingredients in their products: Parabens, phthalates, paraffin, mineral oil, DEA, petroleum, formaldehyde, and propylene. This product’s average price is $14.

3. L'Oréal Paris Féria

This product has an excellent reputation for less fading and deep conditioning. The average price is $8.

4. Clairol Nice 'n Easy

This hair dye is known for natural-looking shades and less damage. Their boxed products average at $6.

5. Garnier Nutriesse Color Creme

This hair product is great for DIYers. The products state that they have vibrant and long-lasting colors with 100% gray coverage. Their boxed hair dying products average at $7.

6. Dark and Lovely

This product is a great go-to if you want to shine and long-lasting hair colors for your extensions. These dye products average at $5.

Note: Before coloring your hair extensions, you may need to bleach the hair before coloring.

Trying to color naturally black hair extensions with a brighter color such as red most likely will not work as effectively. Drugstore boxed bleaching dyes are available.

Coloring Tool Kit Brush, Comb and Model applying color

Hair Dying with Drugstore Boxed Hair Dye Tutorials

Youtube is a great place for hair tutorials, and it is even more fun watching other people dye their hair extensions and learning tips and tricks and also learning from their mistakes.

Youtuber Beige Ojai shows us how she dyes her black hair to a reddish-brown with a video tutorial.

Here is a video of a very popular Youtuber Breanna Rutter, coloring her hair extensions, black using a drugstore boxed hair dye.

This is another video of coloring and bleaching hair extensions by Youtuber MsRoshPosh, also using drugstore boxed hair dye.

Do you know you can dye your kinky clip-ins? Definitely! Youtuber Fro Plus Fashion shows using a slight ombre utilizing a drugstore boxed hair dye.

Unicorn Hair Dye

Quick Hair Coloring Tips and Takeaways

Each drugstore boxed hair dye has specific directions on how to achieve your desired hair extensions color.

Read all the directions in the manual before you start. Sure, you have dyed your hair plenty of times, but make sure that you have not skipped an important step. Every drugstore boxed hair dye direction manual is not the same.

It is relatively challenging to dye dark hair if you want to achieve a lighter color. The best thing to do is bleaching the hair extension first before you use your desired boxed hair dye.

Coloring your hair extensions is always a risk whether it is a professional hair dye or boxed hair dye.

Tip: Buy two boxes. You will never know if you need more hair dye. If you have long hair extensions, you may need three, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Tip: Use a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners are less likely to wash away your hair dye away.

Frost Hair

Easy As 1-2-3

These six brands have excellent drugstore hair box dyes that you can do at home versus using professional hair colors versus going to a professional to get your hair extensions dyed. It is a preference and decision to which extension hair dying route you would like to take.

How do you dye your hair extensions?

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.