4 Things You Should Consider Before Coloring Your Natural Hair

by West Parsons on December 3, 2012 · 9 comments

in hair care, hair styles

Taking your hair to the next level with color can be a really exciting experience.  Color can jazz up a boring puff, add dimension to locs and twistouts or really turn heads as a simple statement piece on TWAs.  While going darker, adding lowlights or coloring within your natural color range won’t cause you too many problems—the drastic color leaps upward (more than 3 shades beyond your natural color) can really take a toll on your hair.  Before you engage in any hair altering experience, first understand and weigh the risks.  Never ever color your hair on a whim or without a gameplan for aftercare.  Finally, decide if you trust yourself enough to do it yourself.  Be honest with yourself and say, Self— do you really know what you are doing?  What if this color is unsuccessful?  Am I prepared for breakage?  Am I prepared for a weird color result?

Before you take the color plunge, here are some things to consider. You May Experience:

Curl Pattern Changes
Yes, coloring textured hair can sometimes result in temporary, unpredictable changes in your hair’s curl pattern.  Sometimes, the changes are permanent.  Whenever you alter or manipulate the hair’s protein bonding arrangement a slight relaxing effect can occur.  These curl pattern changes are less likely to occur in coarse hair textures (coarse refers to the diameter of the hair fiber, not the feel of the fiber), and are more likely to occur in those with fine to medium hair textures.  Prior damage may also influence whether or not you experience changes in your curl pattern.  Using a protein reconstructor after coloring may help some lost curls find their way again.

Increases in hair porosity
Products that lighten the hair always require direct access to the hair’s cortical layers.  When the hair’s cuticle is breached in this manner, the hair’s natural porosity increases leading to a dryness that hardly ever lets up.  When porosity increases, dryness becomes a major complaint because moisture is next to impossible to hold securely within the fiber. Your hair becomes like a bucket with holes poked in the sides.  Color-treated hair can be unforgiving, too.  Miss a regularly scheduled deep conditioning and you may find yourself parting with strands prematurely.  A strict, moisture and protein-focused regimen is absolutely essential if the hair is to thrive in this condition.  If you never cared before, now is definitely the time to learn how to balance protein and moisture sources in your regimen!

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Sheila December 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

I use henna and indigo to color because I’m covering my gray hair. The henna changed my hair pattern, it is looser which I don’t like. I used to be able to wear my twist-outs for a week before re-twisting and now it’s every 3 or 4 days. I have to do henna because I’m allergic to hair dye.

AmeeraNakisha December 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I always wanted to try indigo, does it really cover gray or dark brown hair well?

westNDNbeauty December 4, 2012 at 8:39 am

The claim is that it should. It may make the gray hay a deep dark blue color. I indigo-ed a year ago and didn’t notice a difference. I called it as too much work for less than results so I never did it again. I probably did it wrong. I dunno.

Sheila December 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

It works well but if you have greys, you have to do the henna first because indigo alone will give you purple strands.

AmeeraNakisha December 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Uhhhhhh thats sounds like a lot of work, maybe I just need some dark n lovely LOL

No, actually the color I use is called KISS blue black and it works great sans the blue hands

AmeeraNakisha December 3, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I always color my hair blue black with a rinse BUT every time I was my hair, my hands have a blue tint…its’s annoying.

Anon December 4, 2012 at 10:52 am


You can always add amla to your mix when you henna or do a henna gloss. Also since henna builds up layers on the hair, perhaps applying it to your new grown may help.

Sheila December 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

Thanks Anon, I will try that.

Damaly June 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Well then I cant wait to color my hair, my low po hair so damn frustrating. If coloring increases porosity sign me up!!