Can Dye Ruin Your Curls?

Recently I was tired of my red hair (mostly because of the roots poking out), so I decided to color it a dark brown. It didn't take on the first try, or the second. So I wound up using three boxes of dye to cover my hair.

I used to have loose curls mixed with corkscrews, now it's almost totally dead straight. Can dye permanently de-curl your hair, or is it possible it's just product build-up right now that needs to wash out from so many dyings so close together (within about four days of each other).

None of my "curl-enhancing" products are working, either. And I tried cutting off a lot of my hair, because my hair is always more curly when it's short, and if possible I think it's gone even straighter.

Has anyone else experienced this?

I miss my curly hair
I think sometimes that hair color can relax the curl in your hair.


I know that I have colored my hair, had highlights, as well as bleached it before and it always relaxed some of my curl.

What kind of color did you use?
I used L'Oreal Preference as well as 100% Color (which always smells toxic).

I know in the past that it has relaxed my curls a little bit, and that they usually spring back up after a month or so, but I've never had my hair this straight.
Well, when I had my hair professionally colored (Redkin shades EQ, I think) it was a little bit less curly then normal. My mom, who used to use Clairol in the 60s and 70s warned me that coloring my hair would take all the curl out. It did not for me - due to difference in our hair and/or different dye products.
Which is a really long-winded way of saying "I suppose it's possible that color would affect curl".
2c/3b ii CG since 27.08.08
Using:
Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose or Trader Joe's Nourish condish; Kiss My Face Upper Management Styling gel
Drying: with microfibre waffle weave dish towels from Walmart and a diffuser when I feel like it
Contemplating: trying a curl cream
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,530
I've never had any after-effects from coloring.
I used L'Oreal Preference as well as 100% Color (which always smells toxic).

I know in the past that it has relaxed my curls a little bit, and that they usually spring back up after a month or so, but I've never had my hair this straight.
Originally Posted by viklane


How long has it been since you applied the dye?

I don't think that the structure of your hair has changed. It may need to grow out some.

I would suggest that you really deep condition your hair. It may be damaged a bit as you said that you used three boxes.
"I don't think that the structure of your hair has changed. It may need to grow out some.

I would suggest that you really deep condition your hair. It may be damaged a bit as you said that you used three boxes." - Krazycurl

I would second this. First of all, it's not a good idea to just keep dyeing in quick succession like that. It's very likely that the hair is pretty damaged right now and that might have something to do with drooping curl. What you're going to have to do right now is back away slowly from any more hair coloring right now and really condition and treat your hair. A shorter haircut to speed things along might not be a bad idea either. No more haircolor for at LEAST 3 months or so, if not longer. Haircolorists continue to get a lot of business from people who try to "correct" their haircoloring jobs at home(meaning that they dyed right over a session that didn't come out right, and ended up with trashed hair that came out wrong anyway). Then the colorists have to fix this, sometimes it takes several sessions of professional corrective stuff to get it right, and major treatments to boot, in extreme cases.
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Speckla
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It depends on the ingredients in the dye. Chemicals can seriously make hair dry and damaged and damaged hair doesn't curl as well. Moisture can help restore the curl. Mine is getting curlier the longer I go without coloring.
like krazycurl said, color can relax your curl pattern. the front part of my hair is looser than the back because when i get my hair colored i usually have the front pieces lighter than the back. maybe the same has happened to you, especially considering you colored it thrice. if that is the case there really isnt anything you can do about it until it grows out.
Well, the hair itself feels very soft and looks shiney, but I did notice that when I used the deep conditioning treatment for after-coloring, it curled more. For some reason, I always thought more moisture made curly hair straight.

I'll try more conditioning treatments, but I've already hacked off a lot of the length, so I'll definitely hold off on dying... probably for about a year, actually. I wouldn't mind seeing my natural color again. lol.
I tried to dye my hair plum and it didnt work so the next week i dyed it black and i lost some major curl. I cut off about 4 inches and did nexxus emergencee which helped a little. basically im starting all over.
4a hair. MOD CG routine.

Present Loves
-Back on the (rajasthani) henna train! My hair is so much better now.
-KBB hair butter mixed with Hairveda Cocasta oil
-Spiral Solutions Deeply Decadent
I haven't noticed a difference at all in my curls. I use Nice and Easy, but I have used L'Oreal products also.
I have 3A hair. I've discovered Jessicurl shampoo and Too Shea conditioner and I'm thrilled! Long-time LA Looks sport gel user.
Certain dyes contain ingredients that can be more damaging than others. Since you used 3 different dyes I'm thinking your hair is probably pretty fried right now. I'd suggest trying a protein treatment, followed by a moisturizing DT.
Brooklyn, NY

Hair: 3A/B, Underlayer of 2B
HG products:
Winter- Giovanni Tea Tree (co-wash) & 50/50 (condish); Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Leave-In; Curls Milkshake & Quenched Curls; Re:coil; BRHG
Summer: DevaCurl No Poo & OneC; CK; Re:coil; BRHG; Honey!!!

fotki pw= crrrls
Something very similar just happened to me. In my case it was bleach that did it. I tried to get rid of some highlights by dying my hair back to its natural dark brown at home, but the color turned out black and uneven, so I went to the salon and shelled out $140 to have it redone. The stylist bleached my hair and redyed it a great dark brown. Now, after dye, bleach and more dye within a 48-hour period, my hair seems to have lost all its curl. I have the same question you do about whether it is permanent for the hair that was exposed to the chemicals or if, with enough conditioning, it will get back to normal. If I find something that works, I'll let you know.

Heather
I definitely think a protein treatment would help.

Dying damages the cuticle of the hair, and protein treatments help fill in those weaker parts, making your hair stronger and definitely restoring it to it's more natural texture.

It always helps perk up my hair when it goes a little limp and lifeless
CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08
CO wash/Cond: Kathymack & Flowermoon Castille soap bars, V05 Chamomile Tea, Suave Ocean Breeze, Biolage Conditioning Balm
Styling loves: DIFFUSING! CK, KCNT, KCCC, FOTE (on dry hair only), Re:coil, Proclaim gel
Not sure about: Boots, Tweek, KBB Milk, DMHJ
HATE: plopping, FOTE on wet hair, BRHG
THank you very much to everyone who responded to this.

As a follow-up, several months later my curls are back, and I tried a shampoo-free baking soda/vinegar wash last night and my corkscrew curls are back.

I think I'll be going shampoo-free for a while.
I use NaturTint, which has a lot more natural ingredients in it. It's a permanent color, and it's really gentle, and has never relaxed my curls. I get it at Whole Foods, but you can find it at plenty of other health food stores as well.
CG since 1/09. Protein and Mag Sulfate sensitive.
Hair Type - 3A.
Co-wash - Jane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner.
Low-poo as needed - Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Shampoo.
Cond./Leave-In - Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner.
Stylers - Jane Carter Solution Condition and Sculpt; Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel.
I have naturally curly hair, I got my first relaxer in 7th grade and my last relaxer about 7 years. My curl was really starting to come back and only a little bit of my ends were straight. A few months back I dyed it once with garnier and immediately after when my hair was wet, it was stick straight!! I can't curl it for the life of me. I wear my hair straight mostly by using a flat iron or curling iron but I liked the fact that I could wear it curly when I felt like it. What can I do? Did I permanently mess up my hair?? If I don't flat iron it now, it just dries frizzy with a slight wave. Please help!
I have naturally curly hair, I got my first relaxer in 7th grade and my last relaxer about 7 years. My curl was really starting to come back and only a little bit of my ends were straight. A few months back I dyed it once with garnier and immediately after when my hair was wet, it was stick straight!! I can't curl it for the life of me. I wear my hair straight mostly by using a flat iron or curling iron but I liked the fact that I could wear it curly when I felt like it. What can I do? Did I permanently mess up my hair?? If I don't flat iron it now, it just dries frizzy with a slight wave. Please help!
Bholley - it sounds like similar damage as the original poster. You too might want to lay off the color for a good while and just do major protein and moisturizing DTs.
Since hair coloring, especially applied very often(like people trying to fix a bad color job)often eats away at the hair's protein, AND often dries the hair out - that's a double-whammy that can affect curls. I know the more moisture I get, along with periodic protein treatments, the better my curls are(2c-3a, so I need all the help I can get in that department), but my hair isn't fried right now. I'm very careful with my coloring and condition like a fiend LOL! Not about to give up the bottle altogether though as I look really washed out with even a little grey in my hair. So that bottle is staying LOL!

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