There should be a healthy balance between caring for aesthetics and caring for health. With hair, especially, these two things should not be mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand. Two months after dyeing my natural hair, I am guilty of not paying as much attention to the health of my coloured hair as I have to the way the hair looks. Not good. Regardless, I am having tons of fun with my colour and I have written about the dyeing process here! Here are five things that have happened to me and my hair since I became a coloured girl.
1. My Natural Hair Texture Changed
To allow my hair receive the grey and blue dyes, my hair was bleached. Twice. Hair bleach is a chemical. What it does is to destabilize the melanin in your hair shaft so that your original colour will be washed down the drain with water. The bleach that was used gave off an ammonia like smell. Before I started my colour process, one of the girls smiled at me and said “you’ve chosen the good evil”. Of course, I did not understand what she meant until much later. Relaxer and bleach are two hair “evils”. So she was saying that in her opinion, the bleach and colour is a better “evil” than the relaxer (if you had to choose one).
Before dyeing my natural hair, I had read that bleach alters some people’s curl pattern. However, from my research, it did not appear that the alteration was permanent. My hair was bleached twice. By the second time, my curl pattern had been clearly very altered. Of course, I did not appreciate the change so much until after the first two weeks when I washed my hair.
2. I Notice Every Woman (and Man) with Coloured Hair
This one happened immediately. The moment I walked out of the salon, it was like my eyes had been conditioned to especially notice coloured hair. And oh are there lots and lots of people around with colour in their hair. I don’t just notice their colour, though. I study it. Creepy, eh? Many times I am behind them so I can be as obvious as I want without fearing that I’ll be noticed and scolded. I have blue in my hair and from studying other people’s hair, blue is not always the most flattering colour. Sometimes, I wonder if their blue started out as mine and overtime became what it was – a somewhat dirty blue/green colour.
3. My Coloured Hair is too Soft and is Breaking
I did not colour all of the head on my hair – only a small portion in the front. For this reason, I can readily compare the health and look of the rest of my hair with the coloured part of my hair. Apart from my changed texture, my coloured hair feels fluffy. I have thin natural hair, so my hair is not very thick. The coloured hair feels even thinner, lighter. It does not look sparse, however, it just feels that way. Feels like cotton. Somebody once said that the grey on my hair looks like lint. Lol. Feels like a ball of it too!
I believe that the breaking started probably almost immediately after colouring. However, I have been too preoccupied with the beauty of the hair that I have not paid any attention until recently. The barest movement of the hair (with fingers or a comb) causes shedding. It literally looks like lint falling freely from the hair – it’s scary.
4. I’m not in a hurry to hide my hair
If you know me, you know that I am queen of protective styling. I hide my hair every chance I get. Not because I don’t like my hair but because I love protective styles. In the two months that I have coloured my hair though, I have not wanted to hide my hair. I love, love, looking in the mirror at my colour. I love touching the colour. Now, I would like to braid my hair but my dilemma remains that I don’t want to hide my hair colour. I am still on the hunt for blue extensions that match my blue.
5. I’m Craving More Colour in my hair
I was warned. My stylist said colouring is addictive. I was like, yeah whatever. But see, two months in and I am desperately itching to go back and colour more of my hair. I still like my grey and blue but the patch looks too small for me now. I want more! Gimme more!
If you don’t take anything else away from this post, I want you remember that after dyeing natural hair, the way you treat your hair is not the same as the way you treated your hair before colouring. Especially if bleaching is involved in your colour process. You will need to tweak your regimen. I am now going to include a protein treatment in my regimen, periodically. I plan to focus on my coloured patch. In addition, keep your eye out for products specifically made for coloured hair. At the moment, I am about to try out Davine’s Minu Shampoo and conditioner formulated for coloured hair. I will be sure to let you know how that goes.
Remember that the moment you decide to alter the natural state of your hair, you have to be ready to do the extra work to maintain healthy hair. It is doable. It is possible. But it requires work. So girlfriend, if you have been eyeing a particular colour, by all means, go for it. But girl, be ready. Do. The. Work!
My coloured girls in the house, do you have any advice for me and anyone else thinking of colouring their hair? How have you been able to maintain the health of your hair while been coloured? I would love to hear from you!