It's a long post ...

Not only does every head of hair react differently to bleach and dye, the reaction for one person can be different over time. No one can guarantee you won't get damage.

It's a chemical process and so it has the potential to affect the integrity of the hair, like dryness is one common complaint. But there's a really good chance your hair will react without putting up a fuss if you're only lightening your hair a little (less developer will be used). You won't know till you try, really.

As already stated, you minimize the risk of damage or alteration in curl pattern by starting with un-damaged (or virgin) hair. Then (I think) GC hinted at the fact that the more drastic the lift in color, the more your hair is likely to react in negative ways. (Like an extreme would be starting w/very dark brown or black hair w/a goal of platinum blond.)

I have naturally brown hair and at one point bleached it to golden blond. That made it stretch out and die. Now that I think of it, even a chemical relaxer couldn't do that to my curls! On another occasion I bought an otherwise innocent looking box of Clairol Natural Instincts semi-perm. color and ... parts of my hair went straight. I suspect it was an error re: strength of the developer. Then found out a bunch of their other colors had just been recalled. At that point I decided to do the whole henna thing.

Henna is an option but it aint for everyone. It smells like a 5-mile hike through a cattle farm pasture, including cow "patties" stuck to your heels. It's messy and takes a long time to apply if you have a lot of hair, you have to keep it on a long time and then there's a learning curve if you expect a very specific color result. If you don't buy body art quality, unadulterated henna you not only risk ruining your curls, but your hair in general.

That said, henna is much more gentle than commercial dyes and can really strengthen hair and makes otherwise high-porosity hair shinier (it results in lower porosity hair, usually). It's all-natural and generally safe to use. Since it coats the hair, it can loosen curls for some people (the looser the curl, the bigger the risk, it seems), especially if full-head applications are repeated. Theoretically you can avoid that by adding amla to your mix and only coloring the roots after the first app. The result is pretty permanent (some methods will lift the color some), and it doesn't show up well on dark hair.

Ringlet Fandango! ... Where curly ideas roam free

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Last edited by Korkscrew; 11-05-2013 at 04:43 AM.