When you color natural hair you want it to be a fun and carefree experience. Whether you’ve been dyeing your hair for years for just now thinking about taking the plunge, knowing how to do it is only half the problem. You’ve got to know what type of dye to try. As the natural hair movement has swept thousands of women up into a frenzy, using less damaging hair dyeing processes (like temporary hair dyes) has become increasing popular. It affords you the freedom to rock every color on the color wheel without permanent damage.
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Although, temporary dyes are always fun, some of us still want to use permanent hair dye to color natural hair and it’s perfectly OK to do it…as long as you know how to do it and what it is doing to your hair. I purposely waited a while before discussing color as learning about your natural hair and what it needs is vital to healthy hair. Now that we’ve covered just about EVERYTHING…let’s check out the deets on permanent hair dye and your natural hair.
What are Permanent Hair Dyes?
Permanent dyes are permanent hair colors that don’t need to be reapplied as often as its semi-permanent and temporary counterparts. This is due to the fact that permanent hair dyes are applied through what is known as oxidation where an oxidizer, such as hydrogen peroxide, is mixed with ammonia and applied to the hair before the dye.
One of the great things about permanent dye to color natural hair is the color selection, offering a wide range of colors from daring and bold to natural–looking. However, since permanent dye is stronger it is more damaging to the hair, causing dryness and breakage if the hair is not properly cared for.
How The Dyeing Process Works (if bleaching)
Before you color natural hair, the hair will need to be lightened so that you’re starting with a blank slate, which is especially important if you’re trying out a color that is lighter than your natural hair. Oxidation lifts the cuticle of the hair shaft, revealing the cortex and allowing the bleach to penetrate the shaft. After all of the color is removed from the hair, the actual hair dye is applied.
How Permanent Dye is absorbed by the Hair
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the texture of the hair doesn’t determine how well the color is absorbed by the hair; the porosity of the hair is what matters the most. The higher your porosity, the more color will be absorbed, but it is important that the cuticle is healthy enough to close back in order to retain moisture.
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If you have low porosity hair, the coloring process will increase your porosity level once the chemicals force the cuticles open, but the dyeing process may need to be prolonged a couple of minutes longer in order for the color to take properly.
No matter what your porosity is, you need to make sure you deep condition you hair regularly before and after you color natural hair. Since coloring increases porosity, it makes the hair become dry very fast. In addition to dryness, high porosity also means little-to-no elasticity which causes breakage and damage to the hair. Immediately following up your coloring process with a deep conditioner will not only help begin the reconstructing process for your strands, but it will also ensure that the hair will not dry out as bad.
At least 2 weeks after your dye job, you’ll want to provide your hair with a protein treatment in order to rebuild the cuticle and increase elasticity. Maintaining a consistent regimen of deep conditioning and protein treatments will nurse the hair back to health and reduce the amount of breakage and shedding that many women tend to experience after coloring their hair.
Have you dyed your hair with permanent hair dye since you’ve been natural? Share your experience below!