I know. So many people say that if you’re serious about keeping your hair healthy (and if you want to end up with the best results”>, you shouldn’t attempt dyeing your hair at home; you should see a professional stylist instead. But since I was in my twenties (which is roughly two decades ago”>, it’s been nothing for me to go to a drugstore and pick up a box of Dark & Lovely or Crème of Nature hair color.

ION Color Brilliance Permanent 10-Minute Crme Hair Color in Midnight Blue Black

Not to say that going that route was always the right decision, because rarely did my hair end up looking like the models on the packaging. Plus, oftentimes, after a couple of weeks (give or take a few days”>, my hair would feel much drier than I’d want it to. But back then, my hair was usually texturized, and super-short. So, I didn’t too much care about things like hair health and length-retention. If I didn’t like the hue or there was too much damage, no problem. I’d start all over with a new cut—and a different box of color.

Fast forward to today, and while I’m a naturalista (a mixture of 4a with a little 4b hair”>, I’m actually trying to grow my hair out. That means I can’t be nearly as pseudo-reckless as I used to be; especially when it comes to hair dye. Still, I was ready to deviate from my natural shade of dark brown/soft black. I wanted my locks to be as dark as possible. And no, I didn’t want to pay a professional to do it.

In walks ION Color Brilliance Permanent 10-Minute Crème Hair Color in Midnight Blue Black. And you know what, y’all? It’s dope.

ION Color Brilliance Permanent 10-Minute Crme Hair Color in Midnight Blue Black

Image by iStock/powerofforever

With the help of a sales assistant at Sally’s Beauty Supply, I discovered a hair color that is PPD-free (PPD is a chemical that is used in hair dye, printers and even gasoline; yep, it’s harsh”>, contains argan and pequi (a Brazilian fruit that protects and moisturizes skin and hair”> oil and has low-ammonia in it. Translation—although it’s a permanent dye, its intention is to do as little damage to my hair is possible.

I grabbed a box of it, some volume 10 cream developer, a plastic bottle and reusable black latex gloves, and then headed home.

I immediately mixed the hair dye and developer. At first, I was giving my plastic bottle a bit of side-eye, because the contents in the bottle remained off-white for a few minutes. But as I started applying it to my hair (once I put some coconut oil on my forehead, temples and around my ears”>, after about five minutes or so, I started to see a very clear shift. My hair was turning into a deep navy blue color; so blue that I was almost nervous for a moment.

I let the dye sit on my hair for about fifteen minutes, then rinsed it out and used the shampoo that came with the dye. The hair color rinsed out clean, and my hair felt really soft.

Next, I washed and conditioned it with my own products. Then I styled it like usual. For me, styling consists of blow-drying on low heat, and then braiding my hair at night until I wash it again (which is usually 10-14 days later”>. I know some frown on using heat, but I’ve actually gained more length doing it this way than when I was styling my hair with a water bottle (with an essential oil or vegetable glycerin in it”>.

Anyway, ever since I’ve applied the color, my hair actually feels healthier than it did before I colored it (I can’t remember the last time I said that about any kind of hair color!”>. There are no signs of breakage or shedding, and the color is very rich. All of the greys are gone, and it’s super-black. I must admit that there is no sign of blue (I’ve seen some YouTube videos of people having dark blue hair or blue highlights; it might be because they used a 20-30 volume developer”> but I’m cool with that.

All in all, I have no regrets with this little at-home hair dye project. Not one!

Have you dyed your hair recently, or in the past? How did it turn out? Let us know in the comments below!

Shellie Reneé

Shellie Reneé

Shellie Reneé has been writing full-time for two decades with bylines in everything from Honey, King and Sister 2 Sister (remember those?) to XONecole, Upscale, Little Things, Your Tango and Love, Live Health — just to name a few. Although most of her writing is relationships-related, she also enjoys writing on self-help, health and wellness and providing tips for women to celebrate the way they were born — both inside and out.

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