|Dark and Lovely colors available at Target.com|
I’ve been coloring my own natural hair since I first did the big chop over 10 years ago. One day when I went to my stylist to she asked me, “Who did your color?” I proudly said, “I did it myself!” You can do it too with the right techniques. Below I’ll share my tips for achieving successful hair coloring.
Tip 1: Find the right color
Choose a color that will look pretty with your skin tone. Hair that is dark colored won’t dye well. So, if you are dying your hair from virgin, dark brown or black hair, you’ll want to select the lightest shade within the color range to want. So, if you want a red, pick the lightest, most vibrant red–same for blonde or brown. (and don’t chicken out and be too conservative with your color choice…!!)
Tip 2: Find the right product
I’ve found the most success with Dark and Lovely and Creme of Nature brands. I suppose any well-know brand for black hair will do. One, thing I noticed last time I colored my hair is that the longer my hair gets, the more product I needed. I started running out of hair color toward the end of the process. I managed to make it stretch, but I don’t want to go through that again. I may buy two boxes next time.
Tip 3: Protect your scalp
Base your scalp and ears with hair grease (yes I said hair grease…) or petroleum jelly. You can skip this step, but if you have been scratching or have a sensitive scalp this will really help. Remember, this is still a chemical process and you do run the risk of chemical burns and irritation just like with a relaxer. Since you are an amateur at this, basing also ensures you don’t dye your ears or neck red. So, make sure you get as close to the root as possible without dying your scalp.
Tip 4: Follow the instructions (with slight adjustments for kinky hair)
Apply evenly through the hair. Do the strand test. Part into eights sections instead of the recommended four sections. Use a small-tooth comb to spread the dye evenly throughout the hair. Work fast, but make sure each section is fully saturated with coloring. I like to comb and crunch. What I mean is that I squeeze the hair in my hands to make sure each section is fully saturated with the dye. This is very important with kinky hair because its so thick that your color treatment may come out uneven. (The crunching method is also good for coloring locs which I did years ago when I had them). Also, to ensure you don’t run out of dye to fast, squirt a little color on each section. Comb and crunch through that section and then start on the next section until your entire head is covered. Then repeat the the process with the remaining dye in the bottle until all the dye is gone. Keep combing and crunching until the entire process time is up. (Yes, your arms will get a nice workout.)
Tip 5: A note about processing time
I always leave the dye on a few extra minutes than the recommended time. (Again, this is a chemical process so use judgement.) Watch the hair as the dye begins to take effect. You should notice a change in color though it may not be dramatic the first time around. Wash out the color in the appropriate time. I generally don’t leave the dye on my hair past thirty minutes. Basing my scalp allows me to leave the dye on a little longer. Don’t sacrifice your hair for color. You’ll notice the results better when the hair is dry.
Don’t get discouraged with virgin. dark hair. Wait about 4-6 weeks and try again if the color is not as light as you would like.
What are your experiences with or questions about hair coloring?