Stephanie Lahart once said "Natural hair is an Exquisite Crown. It's a wonder and fascination to many" And it really is! What is even more fascinating is our ability to creatively manipulate our natural hair to favor our self-expression. Especially, our self-expression through colors.
But sometimes these colors and the processes involved to get our desired result can be harmful to our hair.
In this Blogpost, we will be suggesting several tips to repair color damaged hair. But before we dive into the solutions, what is color damage? And how can you identify it?
What is Color Damage and how can you identify it?
Having a new hair color is always the cherry on top of any major makeover. And it's awesome how a twitch in color can change your entire aura! But it's good for us naturals with darker shades of hair ( brown or black hair) to know- we need to strip the color out of our hair strands for the hair dye of our choice to show and this process, called bleaching, leaves our hair more vulnerable to the negative effects of the sun, wind and rain as well as physical hazards such as heat styling. This can be very harmful to the hair.
A visual representation of the negative impacts of this would be
- the presence of split ends and tangles.
- There will be little to no growth or length because of breakage.
- Your hair will look voluminous but frizzy, dry and coarse to touch.
- If you're a curly girl, your curls don't bounce or are not reverting to your natural curl pattern. (Less elasticity)
- And when you caress your hair, it seems brittle or fragile, like it's about to snap between your fingers.
- Sometimes you may actually notice your hair thinning
If your hair identifies with some or all of the bullet points above, there is a high chance that you’re experiencing color damage.
But no worries!
By taking the appropriate steps to repair your hair and prevent any more damage, your hair will get back on the good health and appearance track in no time!
How can you fix Color damage?
Fixing color damage is one thing, maintaining your hair's health and preventing further damage is another. These 8 helpful tips will do the trick to fix and prevent color damage.
1. TRIM SPLIT ENDS
Split ends appear at the ends of your hair strands and give your hair a frizzy appearance. Once a hair strand splits, it cannot be fused back together. So not only is it not reversible, the split will also continue up your hair strands and worse case scenario, it may reach your roots. That is why it is necessary to trim the damaged ends of your hair, to prevent further damage to the rest of your crown.
Conditioners, shampoos and creams specialized to treat split ends and curb frizz, only coat the cuticle momentarily to improve the hair's appearance. The long term remedy is to trim them off.
Note that trimming your hair shouldn't be a daily or weekly practice. It is advised that you trim it properly once every 6 months, depending on your hair type.
2. AVOID USING PERMANENT HAIR DYES TO TOP UP YOUR HAIR COLOR
Overtime dyed hair begins to dull out and fade, and most people are tempted to re-dye their hair. But by now, we both know the damage permanent or semi-permanent hair dyes have on the hair. This damage intensifies when the bleaching process is repeated ( i.e the cuticle will be raised even more) and worse case scenario, may leave your cuticle highly porous (raised) permanently.
If you're looking for a safer alternative for your top-up, you could use non-damaging temporary hair colors like the ones at Curlfit.
Curlfit temporary hair colors don’t penetrate your hair strands to color your hair, rather, they coat the surface of your hair strands - just like makeup, but for hair. This is one of the reasons it will show up on your hair without needing to bleach it, thus preventing damage.
(Super innovative, right?)
3. SAVOUR DEEP CONDITIONING
Conditioner is your hair's water.
Since color damage involves dryness, it is necessary to introduce moisture into your hair strands. A good deep conditioning would plump your hair with moisture, therefore, lessening the risk of breakage and split ends, and giving it more elasticity. Deep-conditioning will also help you get back your curl definition.
But remember, too much of everything can make you sick. Too much deep conditioning can cause product build-up. So we advise you to deep condition once a week to put you hair on track and apply conditioner twice a week to put your hair on track
4. DETANGLE OR COMB WITH CARE
Curly to kinky hair is very delicate and detangling or combing with force may lead to breakage. We don't advise Detangling or combing your hair when it’s dripping wet, or when it's desert dry. Do it when your hair is damp. Apply a leave-in conditioner prior and detangle sectionally from ends to roots.
Even Rapunzel did it!
Detangling is very essential to reduce friction between your hair strands and it has been scientifically proven to increase blood circulation through the scalp.
5. USE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONERS AND HAIR OILS
Feed your crown with hair food! And I can guarantee that leave-in conditioners and oils are your hair's absolute favourite!
Leave-in conditioners add extra nourishment and moisture into your hair while oils traps them in. The type of oil varies across hair types. The best oils for low porosity hair (especially kinky curly hair) are light oils such as argan oil and jojoba oils, so that your hair is not weighed down and the oils can easily penetrate through your hair. For high porosity hair types, heavier oils such as olive and castor oil are advised.
6. MINIMIZE USE OF SHAMPOO, COWASH INSTEAD
Co Washing, short for Conditioner-Only Washing, means replacing your shampoo with a single product that can simultaneously serve as a shampoo (cleanse hair) and a conditioner (adding nourishment and moisture to hair). Shampoo is designed to cleanse your hair from grease and dirt. In the process, it may strip your hair off it's natural oils and we want this for color damaged hair.
So instead of shampooing you could use your normal conditioner, leave in or brand specialized co-wash to substitute for it. Massage it on your scalp just like normal shampoo, and rinse thoroughly. The only difference may be the less lather it produces but don't fret, you're doing it right!
7. MAXIMIZE PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES
A major factor of hair damage is wear and tear- friction between your hair strands.When you unconsciously play with your hair ends when reading, or walk through a harsh wind your hair rubs against each other and can lead to damage. Over time you may notice tangles and they aren't really the best. You may also notice your ends tapering ( this is especially for the unconscious hair touchers) . Protective hairstyles such as twists and braids that don't tug on your baby hair is the best protection against that.
8. MINIMIZE HEAT STYLING
When curling or straightening hair, heat is involved. And it's not necessarily bad to do them, but if you want to, it makes sense to apply a heat protectant before heat styling. Because too much heat doesn't only burn your hair strands, it dries them out.
Taking care of your natural hair isn't a one-time thing, it requires consistency and a whole lot of self-love and just like how you take care of your skin everyday, your hair needs love too.
From the tips above you can tell that it is aimed to aid your hair in moisture and nourishment retention.EXTRA TIPS ✧
If you really want to dye your hair, your best option is to meet a professional hairstylist to do it for you. And it is also good to prep your hair for it prior to the hair dye appointment.
Another option is to easily do it from home with Curlfit temporary hair colors. Not only are they easy to apply, they rinse off in just one wash so you can switch hair colors all you want!
Experience is the best teacher.
Wanna share your suggestions and stories to other naturals?
Let's hear them in the comments below!