Color Me Curly: Dyeing Natural Hair

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.


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