Coloured Colour Colorblind Coloring - you say potatoe, I say potato

I usually mull and chew on a post before actually posting it (my drafts are growing which is a good thing, more posts woop woop).
But, mulling, no rereading and rereading and I shall just get on with it and post and if I need to say more, then, I shall say more in another post and if I need not have said anything then is what is it - in life we do not go back to yesterdays, we go on, forward - agreed - (o:

I read a beautifully written piece on another blogspot about colouring natural hair. It was straight forward, brief and easy to understand. Below is an extract and please read it in full HERE.

Beginning of Extract:
Demi-Permanent Color
This hair color is typically offered as a professional service and is considered a professional product. Demi-permanent color is naturally ammonia-free, has a low pH, and uses a very low-volume developer (1:1 ratio) to gently lift the cuticle to penetrate beneath the surface to the cortex; therefore preserving the integrity of the hair. It can cover gray up to 50% and can last up to 28 shampoos. According to Goldwell Colorance, some formulas can even strengthen the hair shaft and boasts of 35% improved hair structure with its line.

Semi-Permanent Color
This form of color adsorbs onto the outside of the hair shaft with some molecules absorbing beneath the cuticle layer based on the porosity of the hair. Porous hair will receive more color than non-porous hair. With each shampoo, color is removed and can last up to eight shampoos. Semi-permanents are typically retail products rather than professional and provide up to 30% gray coverage. With each shampoo, the color will rinse out of the hair. Semi-permanents utilize no developer, thus preserving the condition of the hair.

Temporary Color
This option requires the least amount of commitment with color lasting around 1-3 washes. Semi-permanent color works with large color molecules attaching to the outer cuticle of the hair. These color molecules are much too large to absorb beneath the surface but will adhere to the shaft based on the hair’s porosity. This type of color is safe for multiple uses and even safe after a chemical relaxer treatment. No developer is used and little to no gray coverage is expected. However when applied to pre-lightened or damaged/porous hair, temporary color may stain the hair shaft. To make your temporary hair color last a bit longer and look a tad brighter, cover with a plastic cap and sit under heated dryer for 30-45 min.
End of extract

I used to colour and relax...can you imagine. Oh where my hair would be had I done things differently and just embraced it for what it is...but we learn from our past and we move on right! I never push anyone to take the colour route, I can only advise on the pre care and after care otherwise it is quite a personal decision and one not to be taken lightly, unless of course, like me, you are of the thoughts that hair is hair and if you got this far come what may you can do it again and with all the Natural Hair care products becoming available in South Africa, you can do it even better. I say this because colouring hair has a few risks and requires more moisture above all else. (especially as our atmosphere and hemisphere can get quite dry)
- Your hair may not come out the colour you expected
- Having it done professionally in a salon vs having it done at home - by yourself or with help - does not guarantee better results. I have sat with friends who have had their hair done professionally only to have have it start breaking soon after- 2 vowing to never colour again and others never wanting to colour for fear of having the same result. I too have had it done professionaly maybe perhaps 3 to 4 times in the last 100 years and its only my most recent experience where I have once again begun to trust the Professional. I have always used home colouring kits from Dark and Lovely, Garnier, L├ôreal  to Inecto. I used permanent colour and I will say that I started noticing some thinning - my hair path has grown wider - and I'm not sure if its age or the permanent colouring catching up with me - thank you JBCO, we will overcome.
- Doing it at home: It can get messy; you can't correct the colour (unless you have a colour remover which used to be hard to find but I have seen them at Dischrm and Clicks) whereas a professional can do the correction and if they did the colour in the first place then some are happy to correct it if you are not happy or the mistake is on their part and at no extra charge. Please find a good professional, especially ones who know how to deal with our ethnic/natural hair.
- Your current care regimens and current products may not have the same effect on your hair once you colour
- Your current use of heat may damage your hair further
- Using Permanent colour increases the risk of damage
- Using Semi and Demi colours may mean more recolouring sessions meaning may cost more if done professionally and may not always render the same results
- There may be no change in curls but you notice a slight loosening of your curl, like expanding of it so to speak, this will vary and is sometimes welcomed in terms of helping with softening hair texture.

Why all the 'MAYS" your hair is your hair and your hair may act or react differently depending on your hair.

What I know for sure and talking from a general perspective:
- Colour can change not just the way you look but also complement and enhance your skin tone especially in the face area. I grew up with black hair always wanting to colour and once I left the high school that did not allow any major hair colouring - I was free - I changed my hair colour permanently and I don't think I will ever go back. (also I notice what colour does to my skin tone big time and find I look younger - hey, a girl can always try <grin>). 
- As a teen, I used to use Henna - the smelly messy way - and loved the rich hues and health it gave my hair. There was no major colour change but some colour in the sun and also warmth and richness to the existing hair colour. Its a great starting point if you want to try colour but are not too sure. If you would like to have a bit more of the henna hue i.e you want it to take more to your hair then, do a lemon treatment to hair prior - well if you plan wayyyyy in advance you can do the lemon treatment once a week for a few weeks (each time follow with a deep conditioning treatment to counter balance the lemons acid or acid residue) then apply the henna.
I used to apply henna to clean hair but others may advise on dirty hair - I just think if the shaft is already saturated with oils especially being a natural who uses various products then how will the henna take properly. Again - deep conditioning is key.
- I recently did my first Demi, having been a permanent colour girl, and the Demi DID strengthen my hair even though they had to 'lift' the colour I had and prepare it for the demi deposit - have you ever. As summer here in SA draws nigh I want to go lighter - I miss my golden curls- lets see what happens.
- Semis and Demis can be done on relaxed hair - even on the same day of relaxing. - A good deep condition applied a day or two before colouring will help and an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse after will help the cuticles lye flat again. as well as a deep conditioning treatment. (done professionally they would do various protein and moisture treatments after rinsing the colour out).
- If you do decide to colour - a good Semi and Demi won't do that much damage to hardly any at all provided you increase and enhance your moisture - use of water and products and what you do to retain that moisture. I also notice how products made for hair that has been coloured (I did not want to say coloured hair as here in South African that can mean something else), help prolong the colour or help with general hair health as they can be more intense then normal product, they are made to help maintain the health of colour treated hair. Products not Colour friendly may strip away the colour or fade the colour and if its a semi or demi then you won't enjoy your colour to its full staying capacity. It will fade quicker than 28 washes. (if you wash once a week thats an easy 20 to 28 weeks BUT as someone who wets and co-washes daily this will reduce big time).
- If you do decide to colour - stay away from heat the first few weeks of your colour or right through your colour if you can. Personally I will stay away the first few weeks and if due for a trim then I will have a blow out  (I prefer the trim on dry hair and its needs to be straight dry hair - no access to the Curl Doctor who trims each curl where possible - sigh).
- If you do decide to colour - conditioning is a must - deep conditioning is a must. Avocados are your friend
- If you do decide to colour and don't have time then visit your hair salon for moisture treatments at least once a week or every fortnight - especially with permanent.
- If you do decide to colour - oils with sunscreen protection properties are a must. For example Avacado Oil - available at Pick n Pay and most places, with SPF15 as well as  olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil all with SPF 4 to 8. Carrot Seed Oil has the highest SPF of 40....get rubbing or coating and one of the reasons why I follow the LCO method.
- Colour takes better to natural hair and even better natural hair that has not been washed prior to colour.
- If you go permanent - double up on all of the above!!! Permanents can fade but won't totally leave.

What I'm learning
- So much more to learn
- Most Natural hair care products are colour friendly
- Need to make a hair sunscreen mix or enhance my current products with some sunscreen properties or just coat the hair with a sunscreen type oil - Sunscreen is as important for your hair as it is for skin and if you have short hair then its even more important for your scalp.
- What was done to lift colour off my hair is now what my hair colour is and not the initial demi - and I like it.
- I am still on this journey to taking better care of my hair and even though I often ask time, wherefore art thou? I am a work in progress.

If you do decide to colour, know the risks, ask the questions, pay more than pay less in terms of hair dye, go professional where you can - I have mentioned Candi&Co quite alot but its just because they have gained my trust and I will try others provided they meet the standard - do the demi where you can for longer wear and semi for short term, more moisture, fear not. 

So much for a short post. 
Things come easily when you are doing what you love

Listen to your hair.

 Above: 2007 Still relaxed ends and no new relaxer with colouring and loads of heat
  Above: 2009 No relaxers with colouring and loads of heat
 Above: 2010 No relaxers with colouring red and not much heat
Above: 2011 No relaxers with colouring and some heat
Above: 2012 No relaxers with colouring and heat once in a while
 Above: 2013 No relaxers with colouring and heat once in a while 
Above: Early 2014 No relaxers with colouring and heat once in a while 


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