Whether you’re ready to change your hair colour change, correct a hair shade gone wrong or simply cover those gray hairs again there are precautions you should take to ensure you’ll get the desired hair colour and to preserve the integrity of your hair. Here are a few things you should do before colouring natural hair to ensure you start off right.
It’s important to make sure you remove all product build up and hard water minerals from your hair since these will interfere with colour uptake. Both create a film around the hair strand that will make the penetration of the hair dyes harder, therefore not giving you the expected results. To avoid this use a clarifying shampoo to remove build up and hard water minerals. You can easily do this with an apple cider vinegar rinse (read more) or with a clarifying shampoo such as Joico K-Pak Chelating Shampoo that removes hard water minerals and build up. Read more about clarifying your hair here and about product build up here.
2| Trim Your Hair
If you have a few split ends on your natural hair it is a good idea to go to your hairstylist and book a little trimming session. Split ends not only look bad, but they are also unhealthy. They can easily extend along the hair shaft or escalate to breakage. Plus, once the hair is coloured it usually becomes drier and if you have split ends the problem will increase. Remember this is not a hair cut it’s just a little trim that will ensure you really don’t need to cut several inches off a few weeks after colouring. Read more about when to trim your hair or about the difference between breakage and shedding.
3| Deep Condition
Deep conditioning should already be a regular practice in your curly hair regimen. It restores the hair’s moisture, nutrition and protein levels that are taken from your regular hair washing, manipulation, heat tools or weather conditions. When hair is coloured the internal structure of the hair is altered and weakened as a result. To minimize these effects, a protein deep conditioning treatment should be done a week before your scheduled colour treatment. It will strengthen the hair and correct any porosity issues by patching existing holes in the cuticle layer. Read more about your deep conditioners here and why you shouldn’t deep condition overnight here.
4| Don’t Wash Your Hair
Refrain yourself from washing your natural hair the day before your chemical treatment. You might think that this will make the colour adhere better, but the reality is it is quite the opposite. A clean hair becomes almost too slippery for the dye to hang onto. Leave a few days between your last hair wash and your colour treatment. The sebum and dirt on your hair allow better colour adhesion, moreover sebum will protect your scalp from becoming too sensitive to the chemicals. Read more about Reducing Hair Breakage When Washing Transitioning Hair.
5| Hair Shades
Try not to make any dramatic changes to your hair colour. Ideally, you should not go for more than two or three hair shades lighter or darker that your natural hair colour. If you do this you will be bleaching your hair, a harsh process that removes the melanin in your hair (pigmentation that gives our hair its colour) and leaves it ready to receive another hair dye. This process of stripping and adding back if too extreme from you original hair hue can leave your hair brassy, dry and brittle.
Ultimately, you should remember that going lighter strips your hair and has more damaging effects the further away from your natural hair colour you go while going darker only deposits colour on the hair strand and has less damaging effects. Have you heard about henna? It’s a plant dye that will allow you to colour your hair without any damage.
6| Stock Up
Since you are going to colour your hair you need to put your regular shampoos aside if they have sulfates in it as these will slowly remove the colour on your hair and make it look dull. Invest in a sulfate free or a shampoo that protects your hair colour. Joico Color Endure Violet Shampoo is a sulphate free shampoo for normal colour treated hair that will protect and maintain you hair colour for longer while leaving your hair softer, and more shiny and manageable. It has a Defense Complex with green tea, antioxidants and UV protectants to fight fade-out even after 18 washes and a Peptide Complex to aid in reconstruction. If you want to prolong these effects you should buy the accompanying conditioner Joico Color Endure Sulfate-Free Conditioner.
These are a few hair care tips you should account for before colouring you hair, and they will make a difference in how your hair responds during and after your the chemical procedure.