Ahhh… The question many of us Naturals ask when possibly experiencing the urge to want try to do something different with our hair, or just from being bored with it (I know I’m not alone on this!) One of the things some of us are most afraid of is coloring it. I will share my experience with you because I know how you feel…
I always wanted to be a blonde, since JHS so I eventually did so in my early 20’s and ended up having a bad experience with lightening my hair, which took place while I was still getting relaxer. Yep, it was bleached. The Fall of 2014, I decided that I could just go for it again since I was natural for a few years. I had also done a lot of research this time. I felt a lot more confident in getting the color because my hair was natural. I actually ended up getting it lightened. I don’t know what my colorist used so unfortunately I can’t direct you into anything about coloring your own hair or what your stylist/colorist should use but I will give a few tips on how to maintain your hair after coloring it.
CUT OUT HEAT!
First, as hard as it is to deal with shrinkage (for me) I ended up cutting out heat. Completely. I knew that if I kept applying heat to my hair with it being processed that I would be taking a big risk on actually damaging it and not coming back from it. If your hair is natural and coarse, it is already prone to dryness which leads to breakage. So, I swallowed my pride and put my blow dryer away. But wait a minute, I must be honest with you all, I later caved into using the blow dryer on a low setting to achieve a super fro (very large afro)…. my hair was so dry afterwards. So if you are considering using any kind of heat, even if it is a blow drier on a low setting, I highly suggest you used a heat protector that will seal your hair with enough moisture so that your hair doesn’t dry out. At first it might feel great, but after a while the heat WILL change your natural hair if done frequently. So please, be careful ladies!
As far as shampoo and conditioners go, I stick with the Shea Moistures brands. My hair loves that stuff and it really helped with keeping the moisture in my hair. I washed my hair once a week by shampooing it only ONCE then applying a mask that acts as a deep conditioner. Shea Moistures Jamaican Black Castor Oil Line held me down while I had color.
SEAL IN MOISTURE…DAILY
Now, THIS was the hardest part of my entire journey, which still continues and that is, twisting my hair out every night. Yes, every night I twisted my hair out. I know what you may be thinking, but this was a very important thing for me to do. Because I knew that I had chemically processed my hair, I wanted to make sure to stay on top of it! Twisting out my hair every night allowed me to add water and oil to it everyday. Like I said, my hair is naturally dry, so after it being chemically treated for color, it is essential to keep it moisturized. I’m not saying drench it with oil and water, but just a little of the solution on your hair while twisting it out is all you need. Don’t be afraid of water, it is your friend. Get a spray bottle and use olive oil and water mixed to achieve this daily treatment. Trust me, its so beneficial after chemically treating you hair.
DON’T OVER PROCESS
Just because we have healthy, natural hair does not mean that you should be getting it color treated every time you get an itch. Give your hair a break from the chemicals and try different styles that make your color look good. Buns, pin ups, and puffs were my go to while trying to preserve time from going back in my stylists chair. Protective styling is fine also.
GO TO PROFESSIONALS!!!
You will hear me say this a lot but I highly recommend when doing anything drastic to your hair and you do not have the experience, please save your hair the heartache and get a professional who is knowledgable about natural hair to do it. The last thing you want to do is mess around with these kinds of chemicals. Not knowing what you are doing can lead to a disaster! So key is go to someone you TRUST.
There are many ways and many products to keep your hair healthy while caring with color but remember that CONSTANT MAINTENANCE is key.
*Those of you who are in the NYC area, check out Hair Art NYC! They are great stylists. @sarabellum720 did my color.