If you have color treated natural hair, your hair care regimen will require some tweaking. Coloring with an ombre effect or even just adding some highlights can have a dramatic effect on your hair’s health.
Your hair porosity can change because of the nature of hair dye. Lightening your hair is also known as lifting the color, and it strips the hair of its natural pigment. The chemicals break down the hair’s structure to open the hair shaft.
It’s the breakdown of the hair strand that causes dryness and damage. When you lighten your curls, you remove color and protein, destroying the integrity of the hair.
If you have grey hair, you may have already tried darkening your hair instead. Darkening the hair is less damaging to the hair shaft because you’re depositing color onto the shaft instead of stripping it of pigment.
So, dyeing your hair black is less damaging to your natural hair, but what if you don’t want to go darker?
Here’s the good news: You can still lighten your hair to platinum blonde if you want to. You just need to change your regimen and become ultra-vigilant about taking care of your hair. Coloring your hair will increase the time and energy you spend maintaining your hair, but you may decide it’s worth it.
In this post, we’ll take you through tips for taking care of your color treated natural hair so you can keep your curls beautiful, healthy, and moisturized.
1. Moisturizing Your Color Treated Curls
You probably already know that moisture is a must if you have natural hair. But hydration becomes even more crucial if you have color treated natural hair. It can make the difference between whether you rock cute honey blonde curls or dry frizz.
One of the best ways to moisturize your hair is through deep conditioning. Deep conditioning for at least 30 minutes per week will allow your hair to soak up moisture and nutrients. Using an overhead dryer will help your hair absorb the nutrients, but if you don’t have a dryer, you can still use a plastic shower cap and a towel to create body heat.
You cannot get everything you need from one product alone. That’s why it’s a good idea to incorporate ingredients to your deep conditioner that will aid in the health of your newly colored curls.
When you strip the color from your hair, it becomes dry and prone to breakage. Adding vegetable glycerin or honey will combat dryness and add shine. These two humectants draw moisture from the air into your hair.
Vitamin E makes another perfect addition to your deep conditioner because it helps repair the damage that comes from lightening your locks.
You also have a wide array of oils you could add to your deep conditioner. Two of the best oils to add are jojoba and avocado. Jojoba is a wax ester that mimics your scalp’s sebum. It protects the hair strand and helps you retain growth by coating the hair like your scalp’s natural oils would.
Avocado oil is an excellent conditioner for color treated natural hair because it penetrates the hair cortex with ease, and in the end will make detangling quicker.
When you use chemical-free concoctions frequently, you almost guarantee hair health. The key is to build a routine of applying them to your curls.
2. Protein Treatment to Strengthen Color Treated Hair
Coloring your hair will increase the likelihood of having high porosity hair. High porosity hair is easy to moisturize. The problem is, it becomes dry just as fast. The perfect solution is to use a protein treatment.
Using a protein treatment will strengthen the hair shaft and fill in the gaps. Closing some of the pores will make it easier for your hair to hang on to moisture, and you’ll get shinier hair as a result.
Hydrolyzed protein is one of the most effective proteins for hair because its molecules are small enough to penetrate and bind to the hair shaft.
Balancing protein and moisture is crucial when you have color treated natural hair. Your color treated hair needs more protein now, so you want to use it to repair damaged strands, but you don’t want an overload. A protein overload will lead to breakage and sabotage your efforts to have healthy hair.
And if you use moisture without regular doses of protein, your hair will not regain the strength that it lost during the coloring process.
The best thing is to make sure you have both moisture and protein, so they can work together as a team to restore and repair damage.
3. Layering Hair Products with the LOC Method
Layering your hair products are a great way to lock in moisture help your curls to stay hydrated. One of the best layering methods for naturals is the LOC method.
This technique allows you to lock in moisture to the hair shaft and protect your hair. Here is a breakdown of the LOC method:
Liquid. The best liquid to use in this process is water. If you don’t want to get your hair soaking wet every day, you can keep a spray bottle filled with distilled water and some drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil to use daily. This is also the best time to use a detangler like Kinky Curly Knot Today.
Oil. Layering an oil on top of the liquid will help you seal in hydration. The best oils for color treated natural hair include jojoba, avocado, coconut, and sweet almond.
Cream. Creams will help you coat and lock in moisturization. Your cream could be a butter like shea or mango, or it could be a store-bought curling cream.
Now that you have your moisturization locked into every strand, you’re all ready for styling. The LOC method is one of the most important techniques to master in your natural hair care regimen.
Coloring your hair may turn your locks into high porosity strands, but you can maintain health and avoid damage by adopting a new natural hair care regimen. You’ll love your new color if you can define your lightened curls and keep frizz away.
Coloring your natural hair is a great way to express the beauty of your curls. You’ll need to spend more time adding protein treatments and locking in moisture, but it may be worth it if you fall in love with your hair all over again.
Now it’s your turn to discuss. What’s your routine for taking care of your color treated natural hair? Share with a comment.
CONNECT WITH Patrina Haupt
Patrina is the founder of Natural Hair Queen; a blog to educate and inspire women with natural hair. Patrina just celebrated her 10-year natural hair anniversary, and achieved her goal of waist length hair. With the knowledge she has learned over the years she is dedicated to share her knowledge, and experience to educate women who wish to have moisturized, healthy natural long hair.