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How To Avoid Damage And Care For Colour-Treated Natural Hair

How To Avoid Damage And Care For Colour-Treated Natural Hair

Colouring your natural hair has got to be one of the best ways to revamp your look and get creative with your personal style. However, the colouring process is a major chemical transformation that can leave your hair badly damaged if not handled correctly. This is why maintaining the health of your hair before and after colouring should be your top priority. 

In this article, we'll be discussing how to care for colour-treated hair and avoid damage. Whether you've just gotten fresh highlights, or you are considering bleaching your curls for a bright pop of colour, keep reading to find out all you need to keep your curls healthy while rocking the vibrant hair of your dreams. 

How Do Colour Treatments Change Your Natural Hair

Whether you are dyeing or bleaching your hair, all colour treatments must interact with certain layers of the hair’s structure to work properly. This results in some significant changes to the look and feel of the hair Wondering what some of these changes are? Well, let's have a look at how dyes work.  

As we all know, there are generally two types of hair dyes–permanent and semi-permanent dyes. Permanent dyes swell and lift the cuticles allowing full penetration of the colouring mixture into the cortex (innermost layer) of the hair shaft. Once in the cortex, the dye mixture neutralises the hair's natural colour and the colour pigments of the dye are directly deposited in the cortex. This is why permanent hair dyes last so long; the pigment molecules remain directly inside the hair. 

Semi-permanent dyes on the other hand simply deposit pigment directly on the cuticle (outermost layer of the hair shaft) and do not penetrate the hair shaft. However, they can sometimes cause the cuticles to be slightly lifted. 

These changes to the cuticles and cortex of the hair leave your hair at risk of damage after colouring, especially if it is not properly cared for. With your cuticles swollen or lifted, your curls lose moisture much faster and can easily become dry and brittle. You may also notice an increase in frizz and roughness. Over time, all of these symptoms will eventually result in weaker, damaged strands that can start to break off. This is why it is very important to give your hair a little more TLC before and after colouring it to prevent any of these colour-related issues. 


Before Colouring Your Hair: The Basics

Consult A Professional:

Improper colouring techniques are one of the biggest causes of damage to colour-treated natural hair. Instead of trying to DIY your dye job, consult a colouring expert who is used to working with textured hair. This will ensure your curls get the best treatment and minimise the chances of damage.

Do A Strand Test:

Whether you are getting your hair coloured by an expert or trying to do it yourself, it is very crucial to test the colour treatment on a single strand of hair before applying it to your whole head of hair. Doing this strand test lets you see how your hair and scalp react to the dye or bleach, minimising the risk of damage or irritation. 

Shampoo Your Hair:

Clean hair is an important base for dyes or bleach as it ensures better penetration of the colour. Before shampooing your hair, make sure it is properly cleansed with a shampoo like our Hydration Shampoo. This will remove all traces of oil and build-up on your hair without completely stripping it of its natural moisture. 

Condition The Hair:

The chemicals in most dyes and colour treatments can weaken and dry out your curls. So, before colouring, make sure the hair is nourished with our Moisture-rich Conditioner to help smoothen the cuticles and hydrate your tresses. 

Check The State Of Your Hair:

Dyeing or bleaching your natural hair is a big change that can alter the state of your hair both internally and externally. This leaves your hair at risk of serious damage, especially if it is not healthy. Before colouring your hair, have your stylist check the state of your strands to see if they are suitable for such a big chemical change. If your hair is already damaged or extremely brittle, colouring can further weaken it so you may want to wait until your hair is healthy before dyeing or bleaching it. 


How To Keep Natural Hair Healthy After Colouring:

Avoid Harsh Shampoos:

Harsh shampoos that completely strip the hair of its natural oils and moisture can leave your colour-treated curls feeling extremely brittle and dry, increasing your risk of breakage. Instead of using such shampoos, opt for gentle formulas like our Manuka Honey Hydration Shampoo. This will ensure your hair remains as healthy and moisturised as possible. 

Limit Chlorine Exposure:

If you want your hair colour to last long it is important to avoid exposing your hair to excess amounts of chlorine. This means limiting the amount of time you spend in swimming pools as chlorine not only fades away colour pigment but can also further dry out your hair. If you cannot avoid dipping your hair in the pool, then wear a swimming cap to protect your curls while you swim. 

Give Your Ends Extra Attention:

The ends of your hair are the oldest and most delicate part of your hair and when you get colour damage, they are always the first to experience breakage. So, it is crucial to be very gentle with them and give them extra attention after dyeing or bleaching your hair. Apply ample amounts of moisturiser and conditioner to your ends on wash days and try to avoid pulling too hard on them while you detangle your curls. 

Deep Condition Regularly:

When you have colour-treated hair, using a deep conditioner like our Manuka Honey Deep Conditioner is one of the best ways to keep your curls and coils happy and healthy. A deep conditioner will strengthen, smoothen and moisturise your hair while preventing breakage and frizz. 

Moisturise Consistently:

Colour-treated natural hair is prone to extreme dryness that can easily result in breakage and split ends. This is why making sure your hair is always moisturised is extremely important for keeping it healthy. To keep your hair hydrated and soft, apply Sofnfree's Manuka Honey Leave-in Conditioner 2-3 times a week.  

Protect Your Hair At Night:

It is also important to make sure your hair is covered with a silk or satin bonnet when you go to bed. This will reduce friction on your hair strands and prevent dryness and breakage. If your bonnets tend to slip off your hair while you sleep, you can switch out your cotton pillowcase for a silk pillowcase to give your hair extra protection. 


Incorporate Protein Into Your Routine:

A protein treatment can help fortify your strands from the inside and fill in any cracks along the cuticles that may have been weakened by your colour treatment. If you notice your hair feels weak, gummy, and unable to hold its shape, it may be a sign you need a protein treatment. While there are many at-home protein treatments out there, we would recommend getting your protein treatment done by a professional when you have colour-treated hair, so they assess your hair and recommend the ideal treatment to suit your needs. 

Seal Your Hair With An Oil:

For long-lasting moisture, use an oil like our Hair & Scalp Oil to help nourish your strands and seal moisture into your hair. This is an extremely important part of any post-colouring routine as colour-treated hair tends to be high in porosity, which means moisture evaporates out of your strands very quickly. Apply a few drops of our oil on your hair from the roots to the ends after using your moisturiser.  

Try Hot Oil Treatments:

Including hot oil treatments in your wash day routine is another great way to keep your colour-treated hair healthy. Consistent hot oil treatments will help strengthen and nourish your strands while preventing moisture loss and improving the shine and smoothness of the hair. To do a hot oil treatment, simply pour half a cup of our Hair & Scalp Oil into a bowl. Then place the bowl into a container filled with hot water and cover the oil for 10-15 minutes. Once the oil is warm, apply it all over your hair after shampooing, then cover the hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes before rinsing off the oil. 

Limit Heat Styling:

Colour-treated hair by definition is already slightly weak and easily susceptible to damage so the last thing you want to do is further weaken it with excessive use of heat. Heat styling natural hair is another major change that can cause damage when overdone so keep it to a minimum. Ideally, it would be best to try to avoid heat completely but if you cannot let go of your flat iron, try to use it no more than once a month. 

Colouring your hair in an enchanting way to rock your natural curls with a fun twist but it also requires a perfect balance of nourishment and protection to keep the hair healthy. Whether you're opting for a temporary dye job or completely bleaching your curls, with the tips and tricks from this post, your colour-treated hair will be safe from damage and flourish. 

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