Applying color to your hair—like any other chemical process—will damage your hair’s structure. If your hair is color-treated, you must understand that it will require extra TLC to keep your bathroom floor from looking like a hair rug.
Many women are quick to advocate against the use of chemical processes like dyes, but you will find that they never took the time out to take care of their manes in its chemically altered state. Is your hair regimen working to exacerbate the damage? Or are you taking steps to keep the damage from getting worse?
Note: Ladies with relaxed color-treated hair need to establish a regimen that incorporates caring for both chemical processes.
Prepping Your Hair
Always make sure your hair is prepared to take the dye.
- Never wash your hair right before you dye it because it needs those natural oils from your scalp
- Do a protein treatment a week or two in advance for added strength (I also suggest doing one after the process)
- Do not dye your hair the same day you relax it, wait 2 weeks after the relaxer
- Examine the overall health of your hair. Is it dry? Riddled with split ends? If so, you need to hold off on dyeing
Shampooing & Conditioning
There are products on the market that are specifically formulated for color-treated hair. They provide moisture and prevent your color from fading. As always with black hair, moisture is top priority. Deep condition your hair weekly after shampooing. If you’re not a fan of hooded dryers, put your hair in shower cap and wrap it with a towel to generate heat. The heat will allow the deep conditioner to penetrate better.
Things to Avoid
- Heat tools. Stay away from blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons and heat rollers as much as possible. Go for heatless styling options.
- Chlorine. Use a swim cap while swimming.
- Sun exposure. A sun hat will prevent the sun’s rays from contributing more damage to your hair and fading your color.
- Brushes and fine-toothed combs. Your strands are much weaker now, so wide-tooth combs would be a better option to protect your hair from breakage while combing.
When it’s time for a touch-up, focus on the areas that need to be dyed. Coloring previously dyed hair will increase damage, so it’s better to concentrate your efforts on your new growth.
Remember, extra TLC goes a long way in preventing your hair from further damage. Color-treated tresses can and will thrive if you put in the work!
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