“I want to dye my hair jet black but I’ve heard that this is just as drying as blonde hair color. Do you have any suggestions on how I can get my Cleopatra hair that I’ve been feigning for without it being dry and crunchy? Also, is there a special way I should maintain black color?”
Hair that’s in great condition can generally be colored any shade without experiencing a measurable increase in dryness – i.e. a negative impact in the condition of your hair – with the appropriate hair care regimen. It is for this reason that I strongly suggest going to a reputable professional to have a hair analysis prior to committing to color. They’ll be able to give you a thorough hair analysis as well as advise you on what changes are needed to keep your hair in the best condition.
Generally speaking because black color requires no lift, the part of the color process that contributes to drying hair out, most heads can handle a black semi permanent color sans adverse effects. Despite being relatively safe, here are six important things to consider when dyeing natural hair jet black.
ARE YOU GOING TO WANT TO CHANGE YOUR HAIR COLOR AT SOME POINT?
If yes, a semi permanent color is best for you as they are easier to remove from hair, resulting in less damage.
HOW FREQUENTLY WILL YOU NEED TO COLOR YOUR NATURAL HAIR?
If you have greys to cover, a permanent color will be the deepest penetrating, therefore longest lasting color option for you. However, if you are going to want to change your shade at some point you may opt for a semi-permanent and refresh more often.
ARE YOU COLORING YOUR HAIR BLACK AT HOME?
If so, this is the fastest route to over processing your hair with permanent color as the developer used is stronger than required for refreshing previously colored hair. When coloring at home, consider an oil powered or plant-based brand like Garnier Olia Oil Powered Permanent Haircolor or SheaMoisture Moisture-Rich, Ammonia-Free Hair Color System. The inclusion of oils in hair color makes for a more fortifying, less drying and longer lasting color. As a brand, Garnier does a great job of offering quality ingredients and highly pigmented colors at an affordable price, and SheaMoisture is moisture-rich, ammonia-free hair color made with natural and certified organic ingredients like shea butter and flax seed oil.
ARE YOU NO LONGER NATURAL? IS YOUR HAIR CHEMICALLY TREATED I.E. RELAXED, TEXLAXED OR PERMED?
Semi or demi permanent colors are the best options for you as they are unable to lift hair. High lift and permanent colors affect the hair differently and will aid in increased dryness and eventual chemical process induced breakage.
THINK OUTSIDE OF “BOX BLACK”
There is also an all natural alternative to achieve a more demi permanent behaving black hair color. It is called Indigo. These plant-based dyes can be used as often as you like but are a lengthy process to achieve hair color. Please see Henna For Hair for more information on Indigo and other plant dyes. Tip: When using plant dyes I suggest substituting aloe vera juice or green tea for the lemon juice when using them on kinky, coily or curly afro type hair as lemon juice is more drying than the previous two acid options. Throw in some unsweetened greek yogurt prior to immediate use to thicken and make your mix more moisturizing.
KEEP YOUR BLACK HAIR COLOR FROM FADING
The best maintenance for color treated hair is to wash with non-sulfate shampoos, use moisturizing conditioners that contain protein (optional with semi permanent or plant-based dyes) and protein treatments as needed (treatments are much stronger than conditioners are generally required at varying frequencies for high lift color or hair that has been colored with permanent color). Use cool to warm water when washing your hair as hot water leeches color the fastest. You may also want to incorporate color depositing conditioners between color services to keep color vibrant. Giovanni Colorflage Shampoo is a great option. It’s a berry-cocktail of blackberry and boysenberry along with licorice extract that brings out natural lowlights and blast dark-hair highlights to the surface.
Cheers to your color treated hair!
Amena BelledeSoleil is an Aveda certified cosmetologist and owner Hair Polish Natural Hair Studio in Los Angeles. Find her on Facebook.