Style Icon Saman­tha
Via The Beau­ty Brains

If you’re hav­ing your col­or done by a pro­fes­sion­al styl­ist, he or she should give you good direc­tion on how to pre­pare your hair. But if you’re doing it your­self at home, or hav­ing a friend do it for you, here are some tips that should ensure a bet­ter col­or­ing process.

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts For Col­or­ing Your Hair

1. Ban bleaching

Avoid chem­i­cal process­es like bleach­ing and high­light­ing in the weeks pri­or to get­ting your hair col­ored. The­se treat­ments can dam­age your hair, mak­ing it more porous and poten­tial­ly pre­vent­ing it from retain­ing some of the dye mol­e­cules.

2. Skip the stylers

Try not to go up your hair with a lot of heavy styling agents in the day or two before styling. If you haven’t done a good job of clean­ing them off your hair they may inhibit pen­e­tra­tion of the hair dye. If you typ­i­cal­ly use heavy con­di­tion­ers, like those con­tain­ing dime­thicone, you might want to fore­go that for a few days as well.

3. Do a deep cleansing

Just in case you do have residue on your hair it doesn’t hurt to do a good deep clean­ing right before col­or­ing. (Fresh­ly washed hair helps ensure there’s noth­ing that will inter­fere with the hair dye depo­si­tion.)

4. Stay away from straighteners

Here’s a tip that even your styl­ist may not know: don’t use tem­po­rary straight­en­ers before col­or­ing because the chem­istry involved in the­se prod­ucts dam­ages the pro­tein bonds in hair. Just like bleach­ing and high­light­ing, the­se chem­i­cal straight­en­ers can dam­age are hair to the point where the col­or­ing treat­ment may not be as effec­tive.

5. Watch the water

Last­ly, you want to be care­ful what you do after you col­or your hair. Research has shown that wash­ing is the main cause of hair dye loss. There­fore you want to be care­ful about how fre­quent­ly you sham­poo your hair after col­or­ing. There are prod­ucts on the mar­ket that con­tain tech­nol­o­gy that real­ly helps pro­tect wash out; for exam­ple, we have seen data show­ing Tre­sem­me Col­or Revi­tal­ize sham­poo and con­di­tion­er are effec­tive, par­tic­u­lar­ly on red­dish-brown shades. (Tip: Don’t waste mon­ey on hair prod­ucts that charge more because they con­tain expen­sive UV absorbers. Sun­screens do very lit­tle to pre­serve col­or.

Ladies, have you tried col­or? Are you con­sid­er­ing it?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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35 Comments on "5 Tips On Coloring Natural Hair"

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Con­di­tion­ers con­tain chem­i­cals, so does water. Please stop with the nat­u­ral­is­ta sanc­ti­mony. You want to be real nat­u­ral and chem­mie free?? Put NOTHING on your head (includ­ing water) dont comb or brush it, then git ta preach­in’ and see how many fol­low­ers you gar­ner.


Sounds like troll talk to me. Why don’t you stop being so defen­sive. If you hate “nat­u­ral­is­tas” so much you should prob­a­bly stay off a nat­u­ral hair site. Yes, every­thing is made up of chem­i­cals. But it is indis­putable that some chem­i­cals are good for you and some chem­i­cals are bad for you. 

Stop spread­ing your poi­son around here. Black wom­en have been told that their beau­ty wasn’t enough for hun­dreds of years. Now there’s final­ly a move­ment for pos­i­tive expres­sions of black beau­ty and peo­ple like you have to come here and ruin it.

Justine Monikue


Cee Cee

Yeah, Kay. Don’t be a trolling fag. <- *being a trolling gag*

Pret­ty good tips. Soon as I can I plan on col­or­ing my vir­gin hair for the first time. I real­ly want it done next mon­th because my class reunion is in May and I want to be able to wear my hair straight. Thought since I’m going from black to blond my hair will need weeks of TLC before being flat iron. Due to the high col­or lift going above four lev­els avoid­ing bleach is not an option for me, in this case iron­i­cal­ly it may be a ben­e­fit in more ways than one. Since my hair is most­ly low… Read more »

I was going to get my hair dyed pro­fes­sion­al­ly but my mom, a hair­styl­ist, said I would need to get it bleached AND col­ored. I won­der if that’ll dam­age my hair? Also, what if you straight­en it after col­or­ing? sooo many ques­tions, so lit­tle time.