Q: I like to mainly color my hair at-home. Is there anything else I should be doing to prevent breakage aside from deep treating?
A: Many naturals love to color their at-home, which is a very affordable way to change up your look. To maintain healthy hair, you’ll need to first assess the health of your hair. Have you suffered from recent damage? Do you have extensive scalp issues? If so, skip the permanent and stick with a rinse or a professionally-applied demi-permanent.
If your hair is in good condition, you can prep strands the day before by applying a deep conditioner or masque. Rinse, dry and keep your hair product-free before coloring the next day. Use a quality box color that’s known for gentle, deep conditioning like Creme of Nature Moisture Rich Hair Color or Clairol Textures & Tones.
Let your color sit for no longer than 30 minutes and DO use the box conditioner, which is formulated to replenish moisture. Color-treated hair is more porous than untreated hair, so you’ll want to use something nourishing to fill up your strands. Add in a copious amount of an additional deep treatment like Cantu Sulfate-Free Hydrating Cream Conditioner mixed with your Cantu Curl Stretcher Cream Rinse. Set hair under the dryer in saran wrap (or a processing cap) for at least 30 mins.
Here are some top tips to keeping your hair healthy while coloring:
CUT IT: If you’re seriously in love with coloring your hair, consider rocking a short cut that will allow you to color more frequently. You don’t necessarily have to buzz it, but, with summer coming, a brand new cut might be exactly what you need. You can go from blonde bombshell to red head in a day with a rinse, and switch it up in three weeks.
CLIP IT: Curly clips-ins work well when you want to add in a little color from time to time. Try Kurly Klips to add in a pop of color in a honey brown shade. Try a virgin hair sew-in to apply blonde, indigo, pink or any other loud color that would usually require several levels of lifting on your natural hair.
CONDITION LIKE A MANIAC: The main issue most curlies have who color frequently is loss of moisture and dryness. Dryness leads to breakage. Breakage leads to “welp, I might as well cut it and start all over again.” Don’t miss your deep treatments every two weeks and do penetrative oil treatments with avocado oil to maintain the strength of your locks.
MOISTURIZE YOUR HAIR EVERYDAY: Don’t give your hair an opportunity to get dry and brittle. Make sure to scrunch on a moisturizer or spritz in a leave-in conditioner. The L.O.C. method (liquid, oil, cream) works wonders to keep color-treated hair soft and hydrated.