One of the main reasons why people shy away from coloring their natural hair is because of the aftercare. Unfortunately, after you have colored your natural hair, you cannot afford to neglect it. Well, actually, you can – if you would want to have an unhealthy wiry mess on your head. And we don’t want that, right?
In line with this, I thought I should highlight some of the things that help to keep your hair growing, healthy and thriving. My top 5 tips include:
- Using Color-Friendly Sulfate-Free Shampoos
The first time I colored my hair, I still used ‘regular’ shampoos that ended up stripping my hair, leaving it dry and fading out the color faster. Colored natural hair already has enough problems of its own without having to pile on more. I switched to a sulfate-free shampoo (Crème of Nature Argan Oil) in the past year and I have seen a difference. My colored hair no longer feels as wiry and dry. You should go a step further and consider color-friendly shampoos. They help to keep your color vibrant so that it fades out slower. Pantene used to work wonders for my color but because of the sulfates, my colored hair was still not at its best. I’m on a quest to have cake and eat it too as I search for the perfect shampoo. Expect some shampoo reviews in 2019.
I think we have heard this song long enough: moisturizing is the magic ingredient to healthy hair. Now, if you thought it was important on natural hair, it is infinitely more important on colored natural hair. Hair that has been dyed tends to get dry much faster. You need to deep condition at least twice a month. Additionally, you need to spritz your hair (with water or leave in conditioner) at least once within the week and lock in the moisture with an oil and/ or butter depending on your mane’s porosity.
It might be a lot of work especially when you are trying to stretch out hairstyles such as twist outs and Bantu knots through the week. However, it is absolutely necessary if you don’t want to have a dried out mane.
- Fenugreek/ Tea Rinses
I’ll admit – I’m not consistent when it comes to fenugreek or tea rinses. You can read more about them here. As our teachers used to say, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Because of how easily colored natural hair dries out, it is also prone to breakage, especially at the ends. If you use combs and brushes regularly, the breakage can be worse. To keep breakage at bay, you need to incorporate tea or fenugreek rinses into your regimen. The frequency should be informed by how much hair you are losing. When the rinse is done correctly, there is no danger in doing it once a week until you tame the breakage. After that, you can reduce it to once every two weeks.
- Periodic Protein Treatments
There is a world of information about protein-moisture balance when it comes to naturally kinky, coily or curly hair. You should definitely read up on this before introducing protein treatments to your regimen. This information will help you to determine how often you need to do a protein treatment.
Personally, my hair often needs a boost in strength and elasticity so protein treatments work for me. This is especially true when my hair is colored. There are different DIY and store-bought protein treatments that you can opt for. I do protein treatments at least once a month or twice every three months.
- Regular Trimming
Before you turn into Edward Scissor-hands then blame me when you don’t retain length, listen. Colored hair tends to get split ends and single strand knots more easily than natural hair that isn’t colored. Again, this is because of its propensity towards dryness. Keep in mind that how you treat your hair also plays a huge factor. Are you always in open hair styles such as twist outs, wash-n-go’s or Bantu knots? Do you tuck in your ends at night and wear a stain bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase? If the answer to these is yes, then you are likely to need trimming more than someone who answers no to the questions.
Slightly trimming every few months will help to maintain healthy colored natural hair. You trim your own hair when it is stretched out or still in twists then get a professional to trim it at least once or twice a year. This helps your hair to grow and stay healthy, which is the ultimate combination. However, I did mention that I find it harder to retain length when my hair is colored because of the regular trimming.
These are some of my top tips when it comes to maintaining your natural hair. That said, there many more things you can do to ensure that your hair thrives even after you have colored it. If you have any that’s worked for you, feel free to share in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂