November 13, 2020
What’s so different about coloring highly textured curly hair you ask? “Curly hair has the tendency to be dry, so when coloring and lightening curly and extra curly hair you want to do so with care.”
To get more pro tips, we sat down with Color&Co professional colorist Vauneeka to learn about what advice she gives to DIY color users with coarse textured curly or extra curly hair when using at-home haircolor.
What are the best ways to use haircolor to achieve your desired look?
Semi or Demi permanent haircolors are a great choice for coloring highly textured curly hair because they are ammonia-free. Less is more. Because of their gentleness on the cuticle layer of the hair, these won’t compromise the hair’s porosity that could cause damage and dryness. These are great when trying to achieve gray blending, color darkening, or tonal shifts. Most demi-permanent colors will leave curly hair ultra-shiny and offer some frizz control.
Permanent haircolor is necessary, especially when you need to cover grays completely, and will allow you to achieve some lightening of the hair, usually 1-3 levels. Keep in mind the further you take the hair away from its natural color level when lightening the hair, the more compromised the hair fiber will become.
Pro TipTo account for coarse hair textures, formulate color 1 level lighter than desired end result.
What about bleaching curly hair?
“I strongly advise bleaching to be done by a licensed colorist whenever possible,” says Vauneeka. When bleaching, the hair should only be pre-lightened to the desired level. Many people make the mistake of thinking the hair should always be lifted to blonde. But if medium brown, red or copper is your desired end result, bleaching just to the natural orange undertone that will be exposed will give a solid foundation for toning or glazing without causing unnecessary damage to the hair.
Vivid and blonde shades can and should be achieved in multiple sessions over a period of time, “keep those colors to a minimum if you are not maintaining your hair regularly with a stylist.” Getting highlights are a much better option versus all-over bleaching.
A common mistake people make when bleaching is to use too strong of a formula. “Just because the hair is curly, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult to lighten.” If your hair is delicate, or fine, use a low volume of developer with your bleach; if the hair is strong or coarse you may need a higher developer for an extra kick of power to penetrate the additional cuticle layers.
Pro TipWhen using hair bleaching products at home, a strand test is a must.
Learn more about how to perform a strand test here.
What are some tips for how to apply your own color?
Getting an even at home application can seem like a large mountain to climb, but it doesn’t need to be:
•First, “I recommend having a consultation with a licensed colorist to ensure you are able to achieve your desired end result at home.”
•Next, prepare the hair. Shampoo about 24-48 hours prior to coloring to remove any product creams, gels, and oils from the hair.
•After shampooing, detangle using a wide toothed comb and stretch out your curls, either by sectioning the hair into 6 and braiding each section allowing to air-dry or by using a cool blow-dryer and your fingers to gently pull the curl out. “Doing either of these steps will help with ease of application and prevent tangling.”
•Once you’ve gotten your Colorbox and are ready to color, divide your hair into 4 sections working the two front sections first and the back sections last. Use ¼” sections to ensure an even application. Take vertical or horizontal partings throughout the head (try both to see which feels more comfortable to you.)
•To complete the color application, always cross-check to make sure you are not missing any spots by using opposite sections as your initial application.
Pro TipIf you applied the color using horizontal sections, ‘cross-check’ using vertical partings and apply color to any hair left uncovered, and vice versa.
How should someone with coarse curly or extra-curly hair maintain their color?
Protect your color and treat regularly. “Curly hair already needs lots of moisture, but color-treated curly hair needs even more regular moisture care.” Use a deep conditioner like Infuse Replenishing Conditioner weekly, which is ideal for color-treated hair.
Try to keep heat-styling to a minimum and rock your natural texture when possible. Protective styles and methods like LCO or LOC will help to maintain your hair’s moisture level on a daily basis.
Last but not least Vauneeka begs, “PLEASE wear a satin bonnet or use a satin pillowcase at night to prevent breakage.” The curly hair nemesis is the friction of a cotton pillowcase while sleeping. “Your hair will thank you!”
So you’ve got the scoop on dying coarse curly hair at home straight from the expert! Need help with choosing which method is just right for you? Schedule a consultation with a Color&Co licensed colorist today.