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Thinking About Coloring Your Natural Hair? Weigh the Pros and Cons First.6:00 AM
This article is something like the latter. Now, I'm not saying that dyeing my hair was a mistake. Although to be quite honest, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't. This is not an indictment of Carleen (who did a fab color job that I get complimented on all the time), but rather an honest reflection of living the dye life. But you live and you learn, right? Before I get too far in to my own personal musings on hair color, let me get to the heart of the matter at hand.
Deciding to dye your natural hair can be thrilling and fun, or a complete pain in the kituckus. There are some definite benefits and drawbacks to the process. But before you pick up that box of dye or book a salon appointment, there are some serious factors that should be taken into consideration. Prior to taking the color plunge, consider the following list of (my personal) pros and cons:
Pros of Hair Color
1. It's a New Look!
The thought of adding a little flair to your hair is exciting. Hair color is a relatively painless way to give you and your hair a new attitude. Go dark, go light, go ombre, go mermaid, go highlights -- the possibilities are quite literally endless, and when you have a talented colorist behind you, a great dye job can highlight your natural beauty.
2. Hair Color Adds Dimension
When my hair was dark, I felt like the color fell flat, and the depth/thickness was difficult to capture because my hair was pretty much all one color. With a custom dye job, although my hair is red, there are highlights, lowlights, and everything in-between that has given my hair vibrancy and dimension.
3. Natural Hair is the Ideal Hair
Some may fight me on this one, but from a hair integrity standpoint, natural hair is the perfect hair type to work on for a dye job. Hair that has not been previously damaged via heat or chemical process (whether it be relaxer or other dye) has a greater chance of withstanding the chemical changes the hair undergoes in the coloring process. Although some getting hair dyed may experience difficulty in uptake of dye (due to tightly compacted chemicals/low porosity hair), this is still infinitely better than previously damaged hair that breaks down with that same exposure.
|My dark versus light hair. Which one do you like more?|
Cons of Hair Color
1. It's Customized Damage. Period.
I once read somewhere (I think it was a blog that belonged to a stylist/colorist) that hair dye is customized damage. I wish I had known that before I got my hair colored. I'm a firm believer that straight talk makes for good understanding, and this is about as straightforward as it gets. Dye will change your hair. In the process of lifting melanin (because that's what bleaches and ammonia do) from the hair and depositing color into it, cuticles have to be lifted, which can cause all sorts of issues from changes in porosity to weakening of the structural integrity of the strand. These issues can lead to curls going limp, drying out, breaking, or a combination of all 3. Which leads me to con #2...
2. Color Requires an Entirely NEW Regimen
Admittedly, this threw me for the BIGGEST loop. I didn't think I'd have to start building my regimen from scratch -- especially after I had already pretty much figured out what my hair liked and didn't like. Quite literally, everything I thought I knew about my hair went out the window. As it turns out, I'm not the only person with this experience. If the process of re-learning your hair is unappealing, this is definitely something to consider.
3. Your Hair Will Be Lackluster (Literally.)
Making my hair shine while it was dark was pretty much a walk in the park. After my dye job, I have been having a dickens of a time getting the natural luster I used to have come through. I can use the same product to add shine to my roots and length, and my roots will look shiny and glorious, while the dyed length will remain....underwhelming. Dark hair shines more and appears healthier, while color treated hair is dull and lacks vibrancy. Dyed hair impacts the cuticle layer of the hair, which impacts porosity, which impacts shine.
Well, those are my 6 pros and cons -- solely based on my experience. In the beginning, I stated that if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have dyed my hair. Why? Although I love the red and get tons of compliments, the upkeep gives me night terrors. I'm a low-maintenance kind of gal, and juggling protein treatments with extra moisturizing deep conditioners, and counting the number of times I co-wash before shampooing can be a bit much, even for me. Not to mention throwing in my regular henna treatments, and trying to keep my hair decently moisturized. On that note, thank God for Be Kekoa Be Clean and Mud Rinses. Y'all the real MVPs.
|Even KD thinks so.|
Are you considering the color plunge this spring? If so, what are some of your concerns? Let me know in the comments below!