Saturday, March 17, 2012

Choosing to Color Your Natural Hair: Part 1

After 2.5 years of being  natural, I've suddenly become interested in hair color?! Never thought this would happen, but there is something about seeing natural curly,coily, cottony hair texture in color! It's beauty in color can not be denied.  But, I haven't  considered a chemical color for my own textured crown until now. Yes, you read right, I've been considering "chemically" coloring my natural hair.  Now me being the healthy hair enthusiast that I am, this sudden interest in color has put me in major research mode.  Of course we don't have to be hair scientists to understand that once you chemically treat your hair that you are putting your hair at risk for damage. But, if you  are curious about coloring your natural hair you should definitely take time to research  your options. Also consider the amount of  maintenance your processing choice will need to keep your hair as healthy as possible. 

Below I have listed coloring processes/options that many undergo. This can be used  as a guide to make the best decision ....
Henna/Henna and Indigo: A natural option for coloring your hair. Henna is a plant derived from Eastern countries. This plant naturally releases a low red-orange dye content when mixed with an acidic liquid. The color deposits on the surface of the hair, and is permanent. The color that each person receives from henna varies based on your current hair color.  When covering henna with Indigo, you can achieve a rich black color. Because this coloring process is natural and safe you can do it as often as you like, but must be sure to use a deep moisturizing conditioner immediately following.  For more information visit

Permanent Coloring:   Is needed if you want a drastic color change. This process involves using a hydrogen peroxide and or ammonia as its base. These ingredients lift the cuticle layers to allow color deposits that can not be washed out. This process strips away some of the protein from your hair, making it weaker and more vulnerable to breakage. Frequent deep conditioning with protein and moisturizing conditioners is recommended.  (If you are at all concerned about the overall health of your hair, you should see a professional Colorist for a consult before undergoing this process.)

Semi/Demi Permanent Coloring: This includes partial penetration hair color as well as a deposit-only color.  The color from this process does not last as long as the permanent, because the molecules are too large to enter deep into your hair shaft.  Semi- perms are not effective at lifting or lightening  hair color.  Also with Demi coloring, there are no visible color line as the hair begins to grow out, your natural hair color and the color from your demi blends, and color appears more natural. There is no hard color line.      

Temporary-Color Rinses:  This process of all the "chemicals" have been  labeled as the safest because similar to semi/demi the molecules are too large to enter the hair's cortex.  Instead this color or glaze only coats the outside of the cuticle layer(similar to Henna) but this will only last for 10 to 15 washes.  This will only enhance your natural color by making it darker, richer, or glossier, it will not lighten... 

*Benefits of coloring: A wonderful change in our cosmetic appearance, and depending on which process you choose, color can protect your hair from sun damage(primarily the darker colors). Coloring with Henna will also thicken and strengthen your hair.

*Disadvantages of coloring: With permanent coloring,  cuticles are lifted and hair is more prone to damage. If not properly cared for hair can become dry and experience breakage. Vibrant colors can become dull and lack luster tempting one to use color too frequently. If choosing Henna, the process can be messy and time consuming.

*Helpful pre-coloring tips: Be sure the current state of your hair is as healthy as it can be. Seek a consult with a professional colorists before undergoing a chemical process. Have him/her do test patches before committing to color your entire head of hair. If you are interested in a permanent color but afraid of a full commitment you could opt for a few highlights to see how those areas will react to being colored.

*Hopefully this post provided you with some helpful information in making a decision to color, if you were contemplating it.   In Part 2,  I will  highlight a few naturals who have undergone coloring their natural hair, and their experiences. They will also offer advice to those who are curious about coloring their natural hair.  

*Primary source used: The Science of Black Hair 

Until Next Time.... 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Protective Style: Crochet Braids!

My New Protective Style!

Hello Everyone! It's March Already?  Wow.  Here in Texas we didn't have much of a winter,  It was in the 80's today and we hung out in the 70's for most of February.  So what am I protecting my hair from?  ME!!  lol. I flat out enjoy the break from the daily manipulation.  Truth is,  I don't need a special season to go into a long term protective style. It is whenever I want a break from doing my hair!   
For most of you who've followed me or this blog, you know braids have always been my favorite long term protective style, but because my hair has grown a lot longer I had to let go of my love for curly individual braids.   But when I started to  notice this "new way"(well  new to me!) of doing crochet braids, I had to try them out,  and I LOVE Them!  They are a lot simpler to install on my self than individuals and are not as time consuming.    Before going into braids  I deep conditioned, moisturized, added a leave in, heat protectant and did a "tension method" blow out.  When blow drying I used medium heat and didn't blow dry straight, just enough to stretch to prevent tangles when braiding. 

blow out..tension method
  I then added cornrows to my hair. This was the first time that I've added cornrows to my hair since being 100 % natural.  Not as quick as adding them to relaxed hair, but  I got through it!  : )  
After adding my cornrows, I pinned my braids upward and crocheted  my curly synthetic braiding hair. I then cut and shaped it!  

Not bad for my first crack at adding any kind of extensions to my own hair, I'm loving this braid style because it looks very  natural.  

I'm excited because my hair thrives in braided protective styles, and this one has lower risks of damage because the hair is crocheted onto my cornrows,(which are not tight) I can still style the hair without worrying about any of my hair or edges being pulled.  I will probably do these throughout the spring and summer off and on...with regular Ayurvedic and deep conditioning treatments in between.  If you are local, and  want to know how you can achieve this style, please look me up at

Until Next time.. Keep it Healthy and Happy!