If you’re about to dye your hair, whether you go to a salon or do it yourself at home, you may want to take a moment and read through these tips and truths about hair dye and coloring processes.
What Does Dye Do to Curls?
Since hair is a fiber, like wool, it’s bundled and protected by the cuticle. There are three layers that make up a strand of hair. The outer layer, the cuticle is damaged during the coloring process.
Damaging the cuticle layer can be drying, cause hair loss and lead to a coarse appearance with a lack of luster and shine.
In his book "You: Being Beautiful," Dr. Mehmet Oz explains that “artificial coloring on your hair, whether you're bleaching it or coloring it, is the equivalent of artificial coloring in food - it may make it look as pretty as can be, but it's not always the healthiest thing you can do to your head.”MORE: 5 Double Duty Oils
Before You Dye
Before you coloring your hair, be sure that you wash your hair immediately before the color process.
Using a hot oil or deep conditioning treatment one or two days before your color application can also help to protect your strands and scalp. The idea is to keep as many natural oils in your hair and scalp as possible, to achieve better, more even color.
MORE: How to Color Type 4 Hair
Lightening Your Curls
Like all-over color, lightening and bleaching also affect the hair cuticle and cause even greater damage, dryness and dullness. With each application, the damage will worsen.
The hair will permanently lose its sheen and its ability to hold color. You can expect increased frizz and dryness to your curls.
Permanent vs. Semi-permanent Color
Ask yourself how long you want the color to last and how much change you are looking for. This will determine the type of color to use. Semi-permanent color is a less damaging option as it coats the outer layer of the strand as opposed to opening the cuticles. It doesn’t contain ammonia or peroxide, therefore, it can only serve to darken the hair. Lightening can’t be achieved with semi-permanent color. Semi-permanent color typically washes out after four to six weeks.
If you’re looking for a more dramatic change, then you want to use a permanent color. For gray coverage, this is also the better option. Depending on your hair and grays, you may need to repeat the coloring process every six to eight weeks.
It may be tough, but try and wait to wash your hair for 2 days after your color process. When you’re ready for a wash, be sure to have a shampoo and conditioner on hand that is made for color treated hair. These shampoos and conditioners can be gentler on newly colored hair and help to maintain the tones and shades of your new color.
A Natural Alternative
As curlies we are hyper sensitive to moisture and damage, so many women have sought a less damaging alternative to hair dyes. Henna is a popular choice among curlies because it does not contain the harsh ammonia and peroxides, and can even have some benefits like added thickness and shine.