A lot of folks would love to color their hair but are scared of breakage and dryness. What kind of product would you advise them to use?
Colouring our hair can be a fun way to switch up our look but if care is not taken, you can be left with damaged weak hair or even suffer from an allergic reaction. In order to get good results find out what you want. There are different types of dyes out there but most of them fall under three categories; temporary, semi-permanent and permanent colouring agents. Some of them can be really harsh, so for those of you who want to be on safe ground try plant based dyes. Here you’ve got henna (Lawsonia inermis), indigo, Cassia obovata (also known as senna), hibiscus (what we call zobo), turmeric, and beet root juice amongst others. The great thing about these dyes I mentioned is that unlike the synthetic dyes they do not damage the texture of our hair.
Henna only ever imparts a red color. What can I do to change things up?
Mix your henna with coffee to get a dark brown hue. For red highlights try mixing it with hibiscus powder (zobo) or beet root juice. For dark/black hair mix your henna with indigo. Something that I like to do is add lemon juice, cinnamon and honey to my mix, this gives me temporary highlights. The thing to note about henna is that it works with your natural hair colour so don’t expect too much. You get the best results over time. That is, don’t expect a dramatic change after the first application.
What are the things I should do before colouring my hair to prepare it?
Before colouring your hair check its condition. If it is dry and/or limp, do a moisture and protein treatment. If you are not sure, then just go ahead and do both but emphasis should be on moisture. This is because dyes (including henna) can be drying to hair.
How do I maintain my color?
To maintain your new colour, wash your hair less frequently and with a sulphate free shampoo. The more you wash, the faster the colour will fade. Rinse your hair using cold or luke warm water as hot water opens up the cuticles allowing your new colour to escape. Lastly, use a shampoo and or conditioner designed for coloured hair and always follow up with a deep conditioning treatment that’ll help close your cuticles to prevent breakage as a result of dryness.
Under what conditions should I never color my hair?
If your hair is damaged and weak, avoid doing more damage. Go for a trim and grow healthy tresses first before experimenting. If you are one of those people who rely 100% on your local stylist and you have experienced an allergic reaction even after following clearly written manufacturer instructions, then avoid dyes.
Safety is key. The off-the scalp colouring technique is a safe way to dye your hair when using synthetic dyes. Dyes not properly mixed and or applied directly to the scalp can cause allergic reaction or burn your scalp leading to irreparable damage. Also, avoid colouring hair that has just been relaxed or coloured. For emphasis, try not to follow one chemical treatment with another.
Nat. Mane is a professional hair stylist working from Abuja, Nigeria. She can be contacted via her blog: Deep Brown and Kinks for stylist appointments.