“I want to dye my hair pink but I’m not sure how to go about it or how to check that my stylist is doing it right. My hair is tightly curled, type 4 hair and I want to make sure I keep as much of it on my head as possible. I’ve colored my hair dark red before and it was fine but I realize pink is on another level. What is the process like for going pink and what signs should I look out for to make sure that my hair is being colored healthily?”

As a color specialist I’m going to say this up front, if you don’t explicitly trust your stylists ability to perform the service properly having advised you of the risks and aftercare of any service, please find another unless you are willing to live with the results.

With that said, the process of wearing “fashion colors”, in which pink hair certainly qualifies, as does colors like purple, blues and lavenders and other pastel colors, is generally a double process which requires lightening your hair to a blonde or very light blonde level and then depositing the final color over your pre-lightened hair. This process does weaken hair the further you take your hair away from its natural level. However, it is less damaging for someone with naturally light brown or dark blonde hair to go blonde than someone with dark brown, black or even previously colored hair.

The best thing you can do when choosing a colorist is get a personal referral from a client or two of theirs whose hair can attest to their skills. The second best thing you can do is look to the condition of their own hair coupled with their portfolio and public recommendations. Search for a stylist with in-depth knowledge of color theory and the products being used to dye and care for your hair afterwards. You can start with salons like Aveda and Redken which have stylists that have training as colorists.

Keep in mind that the process of blonding dark hair, kinky hair and hair prone to dryness can result in minor to significant curl pattern loosening and does make hair more porous and prone to breakage, requiring safe and infrequent heat use. Caring for hair that has been high lift colored or bleached will require incorporating protein conditioners and treatments as well as regular deep moisture conditioning to keep hair in best condition. This is not an option, so if you’re a lazy natural, high lift color spells certain death for your strands. What is the best shampoo for curly color treated hair, you ask A few of the products we like for taking care of colored natural hair are EO Sulfate Free Coconut And Hibiscus Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner, KMS California Color Vitality Blonde Shampoo and Pureology Colour Fanatic are just a few. You can find our current top picks by reading, The Best Shampoos And Conditioners For Curly Color Treated Hair.

Your other option for wearing fashion colors without the potential of damaging your hair would fall into the temporary hair color realm of chalking and shadowing your hair. You can learn more about temporary color by reading our coloring tips in The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Coloring.

If you plan to take the risk of coloring your hair at home (and this level of lifting and coloring we definitely consider very risky) any at home high lift coloring and bleaching should be done following the label directions to the letter. Be sure to read How To Fix And Avoid Over Processed Hair Color. However, I don’t recommend at home hair coloring for your case as there is no analysis of your hair and scalp prior to ensure that your hair can take the process of going pink without significant damage.

Lastly, but definitely no least important, if you’ve never colored your own hair before or even if you plan to go to the salon, before your appointment, be sure to read What You Need To Know About PPD And Hair Dye Allergies and make sure you have our colorists test you for allergies.

We understand that colored hair is fun, but it’s always wise to be aware of the repercussions of lifting your hair so that you don’t find yourself blindsided in the end if things don’t turn out the way you expected them to.

Best of success with your Pink Hair ambitions!

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