The Basics of Dyeing Kinky Natural Hair

by West Parsons on July 6, 2011 · 4 comments

in hair care

Summer is here!  Are you looking to switch up your tresses a bit?  Check out the basics and science of coloring natural hair as told by NaturallyCurly.com

African American hair is versatile in many ways—certain products and styles, such as twists or braids, can achieve different curl patterns, from tight coils to waves and anywhere in between. Experimenting with these techniques is part of the naturally curly experience, but sometimes what you really crave is a burst of color, right?

Dyeing any type of hair may involve a chemical process that should be taken seriously. Fortunately, there are many ways to ensure that your new color comes out right, and the health of your hair stays intact.

How does it work?

There are 3 main types of color—permanent, semi or demi permanent, and temporary.

Permanent color requires the hair cuticle to be lifted and alters the proteins that give us our natural hair color.Temporary color, on the other hand, puts a layer of color on top of the hair strand. These are usually sold as “rinses,” and will fade with several shampoos.

Coloring hair has less to do with texture (coarse, fine, etc.) and more to do with porosity. Porosity is the hair’s ability to hold and retain moisture. So not only do the layers of your cuticle have to lift to let color/moisture in, they have to close back down to keep it in.

Titi Branch, of Miss Jessie’s, says, “A cuticle that is rougher (kinkier textures) is actually more porous and more likely to take color faster. Wavier textures tend to have a smoother cuticle (and are more likely to be more resistant to color) unless there has been some chemical processing to cause a looser curl pattern to be more porous.”

“Coloring curly hair is like caring for a baby’s skin. Curly hair is more fragile and requires more moisture than other hair textures. It is healthiest when lifted/lightened no more than 3 levels,” says Nicola Forbes Martin of Design Essentials. “Remember, slow and steady wins the race when coloring curly hair.”

While it’s true that afro-textured hair may be more porous, which is good for retaining color, hair can be overly porous—the cuticles layers don’t close back tight enough to hold moisture in. This means extremely dry hair. Remember! Different porosity, texture, curl pattern are something we have naturally. Learn to maintain, not complain.

Read More @ NaturallyCurly.com

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Daphne July 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Great info. I am still too much of a punk to dye my hair though!

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Jen July 6, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I took the plunge and colored my hair auburn and I absolutely love it. The color goes perfect with my dark skin. I did it myself (which was a mistake) so the color isnt even like I wish it was but because its mainly in my roots I love it. I am actually going for a touch up at my hair dresser this week. One important thing is to MOISTURIZE DAILY.
Love your blog btw :-)

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MzNaturalHigh August 16, 2011 at 1:45 am

Jen what was your natural color and what did you use? I want to go auburn too!

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Sharon Lea February 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm

My 18yr old bi-racial grandson wants me to color his hair. He has medium brown hair which is short and very tightly curled. He wants it to be lighter, blonder. Is there a particular product/brand I should use, is it something I should be doing, don’t want to ruin it. Is there a website I can go to to get more information on coloring a mans hair the right way. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

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