The Basics Of Colouring African Hair

The Basics Of Colouring African Hair

It’s summer time and there are vibrant colours all around us.  To switch things up, most of us, at one time or another, consider changing our hair colour.  The trick is to do it in such a way that minimal damage is done to hair.  Colour-treating African hair has the potential to seriously damage hair fibres, therefore it is important to make sure hair is well-maintained before, during and after any colouring treatment has been applied, especially if you still want to experience hair growth after colouring hair.

Colour-treated hair can often feel dry to the touch, and start looking lifeless a few weeks after colouring.  This is true whether you are colour-rinsing or going the extreme and bleaching hair.


Different Methods Of Colouring Hair

Permanent colouring treatments usually contain hydrogen peroxide or an ammonia base.  These chemicals open the hair cuticles to allow the colour from the dye into it.  During the process of lifting the cuticle, the hair loses important protein, and this makes the hair weak and susceptible to breakage.  Protein is the building block of hair.  Permenent colouring can cover most grey hairs and lighten colour shade of hair because of the ability of the chemical to enter deep into hair shaft.  Bleaching hair falls in this category.

Semi-permanent colour does not penetrate hair shaft as deeply and washes off over a few weeks.  This type of colouring system usually covers 50% grey hairs and is good at darkening African hair.  It is however not good or effective at making hair colour lighter.

The safest of hair colouring systems are temporary colour rinses.  Their molecular formulation is too big to enter hair shaft and cause damage to hair.  They instead coat the hair on the outside and wash off in 10 – 15 washes.  This colouring technique is only usefull if you want to darken hair colour, not lighten it; only products with ammonia or peroxide will lighten your hair colour.  Because colour rinses coat the hair, they have the ability to give hair a thicker appearance.  They also have the ability to dry hair as well because they behave like protein-based products; too much protein makes hair brittle and dry.  Colouring with henna falls within this category and we will discuss colouring with henna in the next post.


After Colouring Care

Colour-treating hair, especially permanent colouring or bleaching will always make hair drier and coarser.  The cuticles have been lifted and so hair cannot retain moisture well.  This leads to dry, brittle hair that will break easily.  Therefore maintaining a healthy hair regime that will restore moisture by strengthening damaged protein structure of hair.

1st Week – wash with sulphate-free shampoo and condition with a moisturizing conditioner.  Give your hair a deep conditioning moisturising treatment, preferably with heat. Moisturise it daily.

2nd Week – wash with sulphate-free shampoo and then protein treat hair, then follow with moisturising conditioner for ten minutes without heat.  Moisturize hair daily.

3rd Week and Beyond – interchange between moisture and protein treatment of hair and moisturise daily.


How Will You Add Colour To Your Hair?

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