Style Icon Deni­sio

By Jc of The Nat­ur­al Haven

Click here for part 1.

*Editor’s Note: The British spelling of the world col­or is used through­out this arti­cle.

In the first part, I dis­cussed what is actu­al­ly in bleach and per­ma­nent hair dye that allows hair to change colour. The next step is to under­stand the­p­rocess and why cer­tain tests are nec­es­sary before your hair is coloured. Here is what you should expect from a pro­fes­sion­al salon.

What to do before colouring your hair

Before dye­ing your hair, you will need to do a sen­si­tiv­i­ty test/patch test and a strand test. A sen­si­tiv­i­ty test involves apply­ing a small amount of the hair dye to be used usu­al­ly behind your ear. After 24–48 hours (yes that means you go home), you can pro­ceed with the colour appli­ca­tion pro­vid­ed you have not expe­ri­enced any adverse reac­tions to the hair dye ingre­di­ents (swelling/ itching/ red­ness). Some peo­ple are sen­si­tive to hair dyes and reac­tions can be very severe (hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and even death). Nev­er skip the patch test.

A strand test is com­pul­so­ry for any colourist worth their salt. This is a test on your hair — usu­al­ly snip­ping a few strands and test­ing them in thedye/bleach. This hair is test­ed to see the colour result that can be achieved and more impor­tant­ly if the hair is sus­cep­ti­ble to seri­ous dam­age. Nor­mal­lythe colourist will try to see how much force is need­ed to snap the hair or if the hair dis­in­te­grates due to bleach or high pH (which is not uncom­mon if the­hair is dam­aged or has been pre­vi­ous­ly coloured).

Some hair can­not with­stand bleach­ing or per­ma­nent hair dye. This is not a flaw or a mark of dam­age, it is just the case that some hair sim­ply is not suit­ed to the com­mer­cial dye process. A good colourist will refuse to dye your hair if they can pre­dict that your will be dam­aged seri­ous­ly as a result.

Going from dark to light

It is gen­er­al­ly not rec­om­mend­ed to attempt to bleach from a very dark colour (e.g black) to a very light colour (e.g light brown or blonde) in one sit­ting. Often a good colourist will try to lift the colour grad­u­al­ly over a course of a few weeks. Hair bleach is gen­er­al­ly  not kept on hair for more than 10–20 min­utes in the inter­est of reduc­ing dam­age to hair and your scalp. Keep­ing bleach for longer can induce a strong burn­ing sen­sa­tion. How­ev­er, this time peri­od (20 min­utes) is not usu­al­ly enough to dye hair from black to blonde. Fur­ther pro­cess­ing can be done on hair in a few weeks pro­vid­ed the hair is strong enough to with­stand fur­ther bleach­ing (i.e a new strand test will be per­formed).

Post colour/bleach care

Per­ma­nent­ly dyed hair or bleached hair will tend to have a com­pro­mised cuti­cle as the process requires the cuti­cle to be lift­ed. As a result it may be more dif­fi­cult to main­tain mois­ture and some­times humec­tants such as glyc­erin can actu­al­ly lift the hair dye. Semi per­ma­nent dye will tend to fade with every wash which may make some peo­ple want to reduce fre­quen­cy of wash­ing which may fur­ther impact mois­ture lev­els.

It is impor­tant to do reg­u­lar con­di­tion­ing with a prod­uct intend­ed for coloured hair (which will nor­mal­ly con­tain ingre­di­ents that do not inter­fere with thecolour/preserve hair colour). Pro­tein treat­ments may also help both in fill­ing gaps in the cuti­cle and also with mois­ture reten­tion.

Bleached hair is mechan­i­cal­ly weak­er and it is there­fore impor­tant to be more care­ful than usu­al when han­dling hair (dur­ing wash­ing, detan­gling and styling).

Ladies, how do you man­age your colour treat­ed hair?

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35 Comments on "How to Care for Bleached/Permanently Dyed Natural Hair"

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Yay! a British spelling arti­cle! :-) Oh… very infor­ma­tive too of course.

I bleached and dyed my nat­ur­al hair but it won’t stop falling out. It hap­pened grad­u­al­ly over time. I noticed a month after there was a big spot on one side of my head. Now there’s lit­tle spots pop­ping up all over. It took out my hair around the perime­ter one inch, with the top still being long in length. I don’t know what to do. I real­ly didn’t like my nat­ur­al hair black because I couldn’t see the coils or tex­ture. I was hap­py when it was col­ored and now my hair is falling out. I didn’t feel com­fort­able… Read more »
Have you tried Aphogee pro­tein treat­ment or Aubrey Organ­ics GBP? This may be help­ful to bring some mois­ture back to your hair. I recent­ly used Aphogee on my col­or treat­ed hair and I got some mois­ture back :) This can be done safe­ly every six weeks. If you haven’t done so already, try sul­fate free sham­poo and deep con­di­tion week­ly. Art an oil and jojo­ba oil can work well, espe­cial­ly for the scalp. Hope­ful­ly I didn’t seem over­bear­ing, just hope these strate­gies work for you if you are inter­est­ed. Have faith and good luck with your jour­ney!
Venice Florentina

I bleached my hair with L’oreal Wild ombre col­or 060 and my hair has nev­er been the same I get knots in my curls after wash­ing my hair is falling out from the root in num­bers and I can’t get it to grow like in the past should I dye it brown and try my nat­ur­al growth from then on ? I don’t want this col­or any­more it was a big mis­take (Befor and after pics) ??


Hi Venice, try doing a deep con­di­tion­ing once a week and ensure your hair is always mois­turised and sealed. Also do pro­tec­tive hair­styles and braid at night.


I recent­ly col­ored my hair blonde and I was won­der­ing if there were any prod­ucts you would sug­gest to use for col­or treat­ed hair. I kept my hair in sew — ins and my hair grew a lott I want to make sure I keep it healthh.

How to bleach your hair

You’ll need to nour­ish your hair and con­di­tion it to keep it from
break­ing, get­ting split ends, or falling out.
The best way to boost the appear and feel of the head of
hair is always to get the max­i­mum amount of under­stand­ing
of the sub­ject as is pos­si­ble. Hair bleach­ing 101 put aside, how can Feria
boast that their Hi-Lift B61 (Down­town Brown) in a box could actu­al­ly lift your
dark brown hair col­or up to 4 lev­els AND with­out brassi­ness.
This will help to strength­en your hair result­ing in a
healthy shine.

While in cos­me­tol­ogy school, about a week before my birth­day in Novem­ber, I made a quick deci­sion to add some high­lights to my hair. … TERRIBLE! I have chunk slices added towards the front. .. bleached it & added a cop­per-ish col­or to it. After about a week, my hair felt brit­tle & down­right dis­gust­ing. .. and add if noth­ing I tried to keep it mois­tur­ized was work­ing :( Long sto­ry short, I did a deep con­di­tion with coconut oil, con­di­tion­er, Pink lotion, & hot 6 oil this morn­ing. .. all in all after a quick trim, my hair has… Read more »

So I real­ly want to get my dyed but here’s the thing my hair is not permed or relaxed it’s just straight­ened but looks like it’s been permed/relaxed is what I can guess since so many peo­ple ask if my hair is permed, my hair can be very frag­ile when I don’t greas­es it reg­u­lar­ly and my hair is shoul­der length should I dye it or shouldn’t i?


It’s dif­fi­cult to find well-informed peo­ple in this par­tic­u­lar sub­ject, how­ev­er, you seem like you know what you’re talk­ing about! Thanks


Do you mind if I quote a few of your arti­cles as long as I pro­vide cred­it and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the exact same niche as yours and my vis­i­tors would gen­uine­ly ben­e­fit from some of the infor­ma­tion you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

Betty Achom

I just dyed my hair bur­gundy and what i actu­al­ly use as a mois­tur­iz­er is sim­ply coconut oil and shea mois­ture curl enchanc­ing smooth­ie. Hon­est­ly my hair has been doing fine and i think i would stick to it i seri­ous­ly sug­gest some­one out there should try it.


For most up-to-date infor­ma­tion you have to pay a vis­it the web and on the web I found this site as a best site for newest updates.


Your means of telling all in this arti­cle is tru­ly nice, every one be capa­ble of eas­i­ly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.


If you wish for to obtain a great deal from this piece of writ­ing then you have to apply such meth­ods to your won web site.


Yay it looks fan­tas­tic! I’m in the oistp­poe sit­u­a­tion right now and des­per­ate­ly try­ing to grow my hair long before I loose patience and chop it all off again.

plastic surgery gone wrong celebrity edition

Whats up! I just wish to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you’ve got
here on this post. I can be com­ing again to your blog for
extra soon.


Hel­lo ! You are beau­ti­ful. As you can see i did the big chop and bleached my hair. It is grow­ing and i want to bleach the new growth and my whole head because i have hair in the back (which is dark because i missed it when i was bleach­ing my own hair.) is it okay for me to put bleach back into my pre­vi­ous­ly col­ored hair?
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If you are seek­ing a new and dif­fer­ent expla­na­tion of the truth that makes sense, search for “Truth Con­test” in Google and click the 1st result, then click on “The Present” and read what it says. This is truth you can check.
What it says will turn this world around if it reach­es enough peo­ple. You will see what I mean when you read the first page.


I used argan oil on my hair after I bleached it because my styl­ist said that oil is the best for pre­serv­ing hair col­or and for mak­ing it strong and healthy. She was right! :) I use argan oil sham­poo (no sul­fates!) and the oil after a show­er. All from a brand called Pro Nat­u­rals since they’re chem­i­cal free and my styl­ist uses them too. Real­ly rec­om­mend them to any bleached ladies!!


Good arti­cle. I use a neu­tral­iz­ing sham­poo after col­or­ing to restore PH lev­el and to neu­tral­ize the prod­uct. I only wash once but I leave it on for 10 min­utes then fol­low with the prod­ucts con­di­tion­er. My hair comes out less dry after this step. Then I fol­low my nor­mal reg­i­ment for mois­tur­iz­ing and styling.


Sham­poo & con­di­tion as nor­mal

About how long would you rec­om­mend some­one wait to bleach their hair if using cas­sia? Is it okay to bleach a few days after or should I wait til before I’m in need of anoth­er cas­sia treat­ment? BTW: I have dark hair, just this side of black (about a 2 if you know any­thing about exten­sions). I’m nat­u­ral­ly low/normal poros­i­ty but like the cas­sia to kind of “bulk up” my fine strands. I want to frost my tips hon­ey blonde in the cen­ter front of my hair, and plan on doing it grad­u­al­ly (maybe over the course of three ses­sions?).… Read more »
The Natural Haven

Your plan sounds good — it would take 3–4 ses­sions to bleach dark hair to blonde. Cas­sia and hen­na (for any­one else) do not block the action of bleach. Bleach is quite pow­er­ful and when the pH is alka­line, the cuti­cle will lift to allow its pen­e­tra­tion into the shaft. The inter­fer­ence is usu­al­ly with get­ting a new hair colour because bleach does not remove hen­na (prob­a­bly the same for cas­sia but I have only seen research on hen­na). Cas­sia does not real­ly stain like hen­na so you should not have any prob­lem going to blonde.


Oh, yay! I feel so much bet­ter now. Lol. Thanks Jc, your research and advice is always so help­ful!


I got a part of my hair bleached in Decem­ber and I try to keep my hair mois­tur­ized as much as I can. I deep con­di­tion month­ly and use a leave-in when I wash my hair. I use Shea Mois­ture to style my hair every two to three days.


When I had locs, I would use per­ma­nent hair col­or to dye my hair from black to brown or brown­ish-red once or twice a year. I didn’t take any spe­cial care of my locs (such as deep con­di­tion­ing or using a good mois­tur­iz­er) and didn’t suf­fer any ill effects. That said, nat­ur­al hair in locs behaves very dif­fer­ent­ly from loose nat­ur­al hair. Now that my hair is loose, I wouldn’t dare to dye my hair per­ma­nent­ly because of the dam­age that it might do to my fine strands.


Deal­ing with col­or treat­ed hair is not dif­fi­cult yet you must be ful­ly com­mit­ted. It is not a time where you can be lazy with your hair. A deep con­di­tion is a must not an option, find­ing a good mois­tur­iz­er is also a must. Take it from some one who had to learn the hard way. I have been nat­ur­al for 4 years with col­or treat­ed hair.


Very help­ful. I learned the hard way hap­pens when you dont take care of col­or treat­ed hair and had to cut my hair all the way up to my shoul­ders. After that, deep con­di­tion­ing and using leave in con­di­tion­ers became my best friend. Thanks for the insight.


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Vis­it our shop on etsy at for all of your nat­ur­al hair care and facial needs. Were mak­ing prod­ucts for growth, mois­tur­iz­ing dreadlocks,transitioning and replen­ish­ing your hair back to health!!! Great for girls going nat­ur­al and any hair type… Also were mak­ing facial prod­ucts to get your skin clean and glow­ing.


Why dont you just send your prod­ucts to blog­gers and youtube nat­u­ral­is­tas with a good sub­scriber count instead of spam­ming this board? Peo­ple are not show­ing inter­est but rather appre­hen­sion because of your spam­ming.

The Natural Haven

I agree with Gia. This is spam and I would not pur­chase or try those prod­ucts for that rea­son.

Annie L.

I’ve had a few lifts on perm straight­ened and nat­ur­al hair, some suc­cess­ful, some not. I LOVED the look but I’m so…er..ah…‘low main­te­nance’ that I nev­er com­mit­ted to long-term prop­er care. A dis­as­ter 2 years ago was helped with pro­tein-infused shampoos/condish. If I had to do it again (I wouldn’t btw) I’d have gauged my com­mit­ment lev­el, stayed with only VERY expe­ri­enced col­orists and kept on top of those salon appoint­ments! Deni­sio looks so awe­some, nice arti­cle!

Annie L.

Oops! Wrong area, Lol! But do agree, SPAM bad :/