I woke up this morning with a craving for color! Of course I did, I mean, this blog is called Craving *Yellow*! Hhaha! Okay, that was lame, I know!
But seriously! I've been drooling at pics of colored natural hair all morning! The last time I dyed my hair, was right after my last relaxer. Read this post, for pics of the hilariously devastating results! I haven't chemically dyed my hair since then, but I have used henna very frequently, and my hair has slowly morphed into a deep burgundy brown as a result. I don't think I'll be picking up a bottle of dye anytime soon!
But in case you are planning on it, here's everything you need to know about coloring natural hair:
1. Dyes Chemically Alter Your Hair!
Yep! Chemically dying your hair can alter your hair's porosity. Hair porosity refers to your hair's ability to keep moisture - this in turn is closely linked to your hair cuticles. If your hair cuticles are raised, you are most likely to have high porosity hair, meaning your hair easily loses moisture. Type 4 hair, is most notorious for its high porosity hair because of its tight curl pattern. Chemical dyes, can increase your hair's porosity, which means that your hair dries out faster. :-/
2. There Are Different Types of Dyes: Temporary/Permanent Dyes
Permanent color lifts the hair's cuticles and alters the proteins that give our hair its natural color. Permanent color usually involves "bleaching" - that is, the use of ammonia to create a clean slate (more of a damaged/stripped strand) for color deposition. Contrastingly, temporary color merely deposits a layer of dye on top of the strand. There are some dyes which are in-between and are called "semi" or "demi" permanent dyes. Many store-bought brands are semi-permanent dyes.
3. There Are Different Levels To The Coloring Process: Full head/Highlights
Some divas want to rock a full head of blonde, auburn or even blue hair! That's A-Okay! Do you, boo! While some, just want a few streaks of color. Highlighting your hair is great for a change! I know lots of naturalistas like to lighten their tones for the summer then darken them again for the winter! That's cool too! However, the more color you use on your hair, the more at risk you are of chemical damage! If you have naturally weak/thin hair, you're probably better off sticking to highlights. However, if you do want a full head of color, you're in for a "full time job". So said Kim Kardashian.
4. All Natural Dyes Are A Great Alternative!
Believe it or not, there are all-natural coloring processes. The top on my list is henna! Check out my henna recipe by clicking here. Henna deposits color on your strands over a long period of time. If you have dark (1B) hair, it might take upto 20 applications to see some color payoff. However, it's well worth it, as henna is known for its strengthening benefits!
5. Do Your Research!
So now that you have some hair dying options, do your research. Find out what dyes are best for your hair type. Remember, there are lots of marketers out there trying to get you to purchase their products! Don't be fooled hunnney! Take time to know exactly what it is that you are investing in!
6. Go To a Professional!
I reckon that at the end of the day, you've invested lots of time and energy into growing your glorious mane! The last thing you want to do, is burn it all off in one afternoon! I know someone who went through this actually! Sh*t is reall!!! (Excuse my French!) Rather than take this hair-risk, find a reputable stylist to handle your tresses. Tell them exactly what look you'd like to achieve - show him/her a few "hair goals" pics if you can - and then let them handle it!
7. Watch Out For Your Health!
This is most probably the most critical point of all. There's a TONNE of dyes with carcinogenic ingredients! Sad, but true. Before you unleash a can of color upon thy head, make sure that it is purely that. A can of color. Not color + life-threatening chemicals and preservatives! Our skin is porous, and as an organ it is constantly absorbing the elements to which it is exposed. Make sure to protect yourself and your health from the potentially dangerous effects of dyes!
8. Take The Plunge!
Unceremoniously, shifting gears now, take the plunge! You never know till you've tried right!? Now that you know all the bits and pieces to coloring your hair, go for gold...or bronze or purple or ombre! Your hair, your choice!
9. Prepare Your Hair for Color
Make sure to use a protein treatment prior to applying colour on your hair. See this post here for details on protein treatments. Strengthening your hair with protein will protect it from excessive breakage in the short and long term.
10. Switch Up Your Regimen Post-Color!
As Kim Kardashian said, "Having blonde hair, is a full time job!" PS- I'm not a Kim K fan, (okay maybe I am *hides face*) but that is what she said!! Lol! Colored hair is more "needy". It's naturally weaker and more prone to breakage because it's been stripped of a lot of proteins. Also, it's more likely to dry out! This means that you have to come up with effective strategies to retain moisture! As if that's not enough, you have to "maintain" your color. Blonde hair is known to turn into a brassy yellow and red hair is known to turn into an orangey brown! Hmm..not so luscioius I tell ya! Whatever you do, keep to your regimen as best as you can!
What's been your coloring experience? What lessons have you learnt along the way? Are you rocking a killer dose of color at the moment? Or are you turban-ing till December because you colored your locs to oblivion?!
Whatever the case, I'm sending you lots of love and sunshine!