Thinking of hair colour?

13 Sep

I have to say upfront that I have never had my hair coloured.  I have thought of doing it several times but always chickened out.  I was always afraid I would hate the colour once I got it.  My natural hair colour is dark brown.  Years ago it would even go to a very light brown, this I eventually discovered was because of relaxer over processing when I would apply relaxer cream over preciously relaxed hair.  The hair would become extremely thin and light in colour.  Right now my hair is a dark brown.  I have been using honey regularly and I had been told that honey can lighten hair but I am yet to see this.

I decided to write a post on hair colour after a friend called me last week telling me her hair was breaking terribly after getting her hair coloured at a salon.  She described seeing hair all over the sink in the mornings as she was combing her hair.

Hair colour is very popular in hair care especially with celebrities changing their hair colour (or should I say weave colour!) so often.  We need to gain an understanding of hair colour and how to take care of coloured hair before taking the plunge.

There are essentially two types of dyes to change the colour of your hair – semi permanent (including rinses) and permanent hair colour.  Semi-permanent colour can deepen the shade of your hair or enrich your natural tones but it will not make any drastic colour changes.  This is because semi permanent colour only deposits the colour on the hair strand.  The colour does not penetrate the hair shaft.  This is why you cannot lighten your hair colour with a semi permanent colour.  It is a much gentler way to colour your hair and it is also great for covering grey.  The colour washes out after about 6 to 8 shampoos.  Semi permanent colour should not contain any of the harmful ingredients found in permanent dyes like ammonia, peroxide and alcohol.

For a significant colour change you need a permanent hair colour.  This is what you would require to change your hair to a lighter colour or into a colour far from your natural colour e.g. blond.  These dyes contain ammonia and peroxide.  Tiny molecules enter all the way into the hair cortex, where they react and expand to a size that cannot be washed out.  The dyes work by lightening the hair’s natural pigment and then add a new permanent color.  The resulting colour is a combination of your own natural colour and the shade of the dye you choose.  This is why the same colour appears different when used by two people.  This is also the reason why the colour may look different than what is on the box you bought the dye in – a source of disappointment for many women! When they say on the box ‘do a strand test’, that is one of the reasons why!

So how do you look after hair that has been coloured?

Hair that has been coloured needs extra care to prevent breakage.  This is especially so if you are relaxed and also if you use permanent colour.  If you are relaxed and also use permanent colour then this is viewed as double processing as the both the relaxer and the dye are chemical processes.  Without proper care the hair would become extremely dry and break off.  If relaxed consider using a ‘mild’ relaxer.  If your hair is natural then at least you only have one chemical process to worry about.  Some women have chosen to go natural so they can experiment with colour in their hair.

When you colour your hair take the following precautions:

  •          Remember that any dye that lightens the hair has a ‘bleach’ component to it (ammonia and peroxide).  The key is to balance moisture and protein in your hair.  The hair loses protein in the bleaching process and can break because it has lost a lot of protein.  Maintaining the moisture and protein balance can be a lot of work.  Just look at it this way – however you are taking care of your hair without colour, once you apply colour you have to almost double your efforts to maintain your hairs health.
  •          Wait at least four weeks after a relaxer before applying colour to your hair.  Also wait the same amount of time after the colour to relax again.
  •          Get yourself a mild shampoo.  This is so as to preserve the hair colour as well as minimise cuticle damage on the hair.
  •          Moisture is also very important.  Keep the hair adequately moisturised.  Dry hair will simply break.  Moisturise daily as well as do weekly / bi weekly moisturising deep conditioners.
  •          Just remember that hair will need extra care and attention when coloured in order to maintain its health.

If you decide to colour your hair at home, know which type of dye you are buying i.e. semi permanent or permanent.  The boxes come clearly labelled.  The ingredients list will also let you know if the dye contains ammonia and peroxide.  Going into it informed will ensure you know what to expect as well as know how to take care of the hair once coloured.



6 Responses to “Thinking of hair colour?”

  1. NOMAHLUBI TYATYEKA 13 September, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    I have just taken my weave off, relaxed (Organic Relaxer Creme) & dyed my hair permanent black. Have the same problem in that my hair colour is brown, very thin and looks dirty and makes me feel ugly.

    • Tendayi 13 September, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Iol Nomahlubi! I actually like my brown colour. If I was to dye my hair I would most likely enhance the brown by colouring it mahogany! Do you apply relaxer to all your hair? Thats what thinned out and lightened my hair the years ago. Since relaxing only the new growth I dont have that issue anymore.

  2. Rumbi 14 September, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Can the dye process straighten my natural hair? Or help to soften it?

    • Tendayi 14 September, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      hey Rumbi! As far as i know the process wont change your hair – just the colour!

  3. Iris 03 May, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I use Caivil Safe& Gentle Semi Permanent hair colour, racy wine or cherry colla. I used it immediately after the relaxer. Does not damage my hair cause it has no alcohol,no peroxide and no no ammonia. I sometimes mixed the two to get a nice colour. I do it myself at home with the help of my hubby or a friend. I only cut my hair at the salon the rest I do at home.

    • Tendayi 06 May, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Do you colour your hair with every relaxer Iris?

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