Image Source: @curlybeviie
Back when I was in my 20s, there was no telling what color my hair was going to be on a week-to-week basis. Call it being creative. Call it being semi-indecisive. Call it not knowing a lot of what I know now. Personally, I think it’s a little bit of all of the above.
Anyway, these days, while I do still like color, I tend to prefer jet black the most (more on that in just a sec). If I do want to lighten things up a bit, I opt for hair wax instead of permanent dye. I think it’s because, with age comes wisdom and, not only do I care more about my health than I used to (more on that in a moment too), but I’ve been trying to get some length retention happening up in here and, let me tell you—if you want your hair to grow long and healthy, hair dye can be a real culprit.
That’s why I decided to write this. It’s not that I’m knocking bright, rich and even dark hues. Not at all. But I do think that sometimes, we can be so focused on our hair being any and every color but what we were born with, that we end up overlooking the benefits and blessings that come with being intentionally au naturel too. So, why should you consider going without dye? At least some of the time?
1. Permanent hair dyes come with their own risks.
Let’s start with the health risks first since, to me, I believe that is what’s most important. When I was growing up, my hairstylist used to say that no one should get a relaxer if they are under 12 or pregnant. When I asked why, she said that the chemicals can seep into your hair follicles and cause health issues. Even then, I was like, “Umm, if it can potentially harm kids and pregnant women, how is anyone else exempt?” Same thing with hair dye. If we know that artificial colors aren’t good in our food, surely there are problems with dye going into our hair follicles as well. And yes, there is. Not only can hair dye potentially cause allergic reactions and hair loss (because it aids in weakening your hair shaft and, if you lighten your locks, that can result in dry brittle tresses), but it’s linked to breast cancer risk—especially among Black women—too. That’s why going with something more natural alternative like henna or yes, hair wax is the wiser option if your overall health and well-being is your main concern.
2. Hair dye can sometimes be (high) maintenance.
If you get your hair color-treated at a salon (which is your best bet if you want the color distributed evenly and your hair to remain as healthy as possible), it’s usually not the cheapest and you’ve got to return to keep your roots on point. If you go with dye and developer at home, if you don’t do it right, you could end up with a hue that you absolutely didn’t want. If you go with a box color, let me tell you—you can be asking for all kinds of drama including super dry hair and breakage. Plus, the amount of extra deep conditioning that you’ll need to do so that you can maintain your inches can be exhausting (especially as you’re trying to find the balance between conditioning your hair and protein-treating it). Yes, color can be amazing. But if you think that it’s a low-maintenance hair styling option, typically, you’ve got another thing coming. On a few levels.
3. The hue you were born with is beautiful too.
When I decided to totally nix texturizers, while it took me a little bit of time to get used to my genuine hair texture, once I did, I asked myself, “Why didn’t I go totally natural a long time ago?”. A similar thing happened when I dyed my hair less too. My natural color, while it’s not bright or bold, is just as beautiful and, when I let my natural hue shine, my hair is far healthier too which is a huge bonus.
So again, while I’m not saying that you should never dye your hair or that there is something wrong with hair color, what I am pointing out is, if you’re color-treating your hair so much that you forgot what your actual hair color looks like, take a risk, let your dye grow out and take a look. Your health will thank you. The condition of your hair will thank you. And, you actually might end up loving it more than you actually ever thought that you could—or would.
What are your tips and tricks for coloring your hair? Share them with us in the comments!