I get A LOT of questions about my hair and how I dyed it and so much more. So I decided to just give some advice and tips on how to PREPARE your hair and KEEP it healthy afterwards.
To get started, I decided to show a few pictures of my hair and my “colored hair” journey.
(1) My natural hair color, which is kind of dirty brown not quite black.
(2) My hair dyed with 3o volume (I’m not quite sure with this. I did get it professionally done, and I know she used 9V Redken Toner). [Dyed February 12, 2016]
(3) My hair dyed with 3o volume at the back (with the highlighting foil method) and 40 volume towards the front. I did not get this toned. It eventually toned itself out. But it was VERY yellow, bleached blonde at the beginning. [Dyed April 8, 2016]
I have had dyed hair before in highschool, I had the (2) color and eventually I put the Jazzing Fuschia Plum in which gave it a burgundy look. So I am no stranger to the dyed hair game. What is different now, is the fact that I am natural, which is a BIG difference.
Now that I have given you a little history of my journey, I have a few tips and advice that I experienced and I wish I would have known when I dyed my hair.
Tip 1: Your hair has to be ready.
When you are preparing to put bleach or any type of harsh chemical on your hair, your hair has to be prepared for it. Treatments are SO important with maintaining healthy hair. I have three treatments I keep in my regime: deep conditioning, hot oil treatments, and protein treatments.
- Deep conditioning: I have always did this every week on wash days. Deep conditioning is a healthy habit of mine, and I just don’t feel like my hair has enough nourishment unless I deep condition. Find your favorite deep conditioner and use it every time you wash, and if you are natural you should at least wash every week.
- Hot oil treatments: I mostly do this in conjunction with my deep conditioning. I put the oil in my hair before putting a deep conditioner in, and I sit under the dryer for about 15 minutes and continue to leave it in throughout the day. This helps the oil to penetrate the hair shaft and nourishes your hair thoroughly.
- Protein Treatments: I only do these when my hair really feels it lacks strength and a lot of breakage. I did do the protein treatments after each time I dyed my hair to prevent any breakage from the bleaching. Protein treatments can be a harm your hair if used too much, so be careful and only use when needed. I use the ApHogee Treatment System.
With whatever treatment you use, make sure you use it to prepare your hair before dying.
Tip 2: If you don’t know what you’re doing, go to a professional
The biggest mistake ladies seeking to dye their hair do is dying it themselves because of misuse of the chemicals. If you aren’t sure about the chemicals, I recommend letting a professional do it. You are putting your hair through a stressful state, so you don’t want to cause anymore harm than what you will do from dying it. They can tell you how to care for you hair afterwards based on your hair texture as well.
Tip 3: Oil, oil, and more oil
If you already don’t know, you know now. You will need to have oil stacked. With natural hair naturally being dry and coarse, DYED natural hair is 10x dry and coarse and needs even more attention. Some days you may find your hair really dry and it may need more oil than ever. It’s about making sure you are giving your hair what it needs, and making sure you’re paying attention to it.
Tip 4: Be ready
Be ready for your texture to become looser. Be ready for DAMAGE. Be ready for changes in your hair.
You have to be ready for whatever happens afterwards. I know this is scary, but I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t mention how SCARED I was after the last time I dyed my hair. I thought my hair had lost its thickness for that first wash after dying. Although, I gained it back and all its detangled glory; you have to be prepared for whatever your hair will do after its been dyed. Sometimes you may feel you have more shedding or breakage than normal, which can be a normal or not so normal thing. You’re hair is damaged after coloring and should be treated to be damaged. I am aware this is a mental tip, but a lot with dying your hair takes being mentally prepared for it. You have to be mentally ready to take care of it and all the setbacks it will do for you hair.
Tip 5: Don’t do anything different
A lot of people think that with dyed hair, you have to do magical things to keep your hair from breaking off. If your hair flourished while it wasn’t dyed, you did a great job maintaining your hair. I have taught myself how to, simply do it myself. There is nothing wrong with relying on a stylist, which is what I would do if I had the funds to do it. If you are someone who does their own hair, keep doing what you did before. It is also important that you know how to care for your hair before getting color. I have seen this so many times where a naturalista just getting into the game and decides to get color and her hair doesn’t do well because she didn’t know how to care for it. In comparison, ladies that are getting color for the first time think that they have to do 10x more to their hair to keep it from breaking off. I believe at first you have to get your hair back on track, but sometimes TOO much can be harmful as well.
Tip 6: Stray away from shampoos that have sulfates (obviously)
When having color, you have to be even more particular with products you use. Shampoos are especially important to watch out for. Sometimes ingredients can be so tricky when reading them. Even product labels with “sulfate-free” on them, can still have ingredients that can harm your hair. Another reason is that you have to stray away from sulfates is that it strips away color. Head and Shoulders is known as almost like a “hair dye remover” if used enough. It strips away color from the hair because of its sulfates. Just be cautious and lean towards products that label with “color safe” or “safe for colored/dyed hair”.
Tips 7: Understanding what your hair needs
This is what I struggle with a lot now. You hair speaks through the way it acts. I always say your hair is your baby and it needs just as much attention. When your hair is dry, it needs something; when it is extremely tangled, it needs something; when it is always itchy, it needs something. Your hair gives you the signs and its about you knowing how to care for it. Here is how I determine what my hair needs: (Please note that these exact things may not exactly work for your hair but keep trying different things and you’ll figure it out!)
- Extremely tangled hair: Your hair is naturally supposed to be tangled but it should not:
- Hurt when detangling
- Have knots within the hair
- Sound like ripping when detangling
Your hair will tend to do this more since you dyed it, well mine definitely did. Normally what I do in this case is deep condition my hair. The reason why your hair tangles is because the hair cuticle is damaged and deep conditioning keeps that cuticle slippery so it doesn’t tangle.
- Extremely dry hair: Dandruff, itching, and frizz are signs that your hair is dry.
- With dryness, naturalistas know it’s almost impossible to combat it completely. The best way to help the problem and keep it as moisturized as possible is to keep oil on hand. Oil is your best friend. If I didn’t get to you in Tip 3, this will help you understand. Oil is almost a fix all for natural hair. It helps with dryness, breakage, and detangling. Try it and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
- Too much breakage:
- There is a such thing as normal shedding; it is actually healthy for your hair to shed a little to get rid of dead hair. It becomes worrisome when you see a lot of hair when detangling. I naturally would say the “okay” amount of hair should be able to fit in the cup of your hand. (This all depends on hair type and size of the hand, obviously). Just use your discretion on whether you believe there is more hair than normal that is shedding. To help with any breakage, you hair really needs a lot of help and attention. I normally go to protein treatments when dealing with my hair feeling not strong or any possible breakage. Protein treatments help the hair get its strength back. Sometimes it leaves the hair feeling stiff and straw like, so I follow after it with deep conditioning.
I hope this helps with learning what your hair needs and some signs that it may be telling you.
Tip 8: Stay away from heat
Even though its important for naturalistas to stay away from heat without color, it is especially important with color. Heat causes more damage that we do not need, especially if we already dealing with dyed hair. I try to keep my hair done with some type of protective style to prevent wanting to use heat. I am really known for roller sets, and keeping curls in my hair until its time for wash day.
Did this help you decide to dye your hair?
Is your hair dyed and you have tips?
Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading Curls!