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This edition of BANtF, we’re going to talk about hair!

As a cosmetologist, this is something I’m very familiar with. Over the span of nearly ten years as a stylist and salon manager, I’ve seen some things.

Mostly, I saw people do stupid things to their hair.

You can’t afford everything done at the salon and there is all that hair dye at the store. Your stylist insists it bad for your hair, but is it really?

Well, the answer is yes, usually. But the reasoning isn’t quite what you think.

Yes, metallic dyes, blah blah blah. Most home hair dyes no longer contain those. What is important, is that home hair color is One Size Fits All. It will almost never give you what you want as a result.

A little beauty school lesson here,

Hair is scaled from 1 (black) to 10 (Gwen Stefani), now, all those boxes of hair color are only designed to lighten or darken by 2 levels.

It’s not strong enough

So if you have dark brown hair (5) but want light blonde (9), that’s 4 levels difference, the developer in those box colors won’t do that. Those of you who have tried to experiment with color at home will note that orange is a color that occurs often. Well, if your product isn’t strong enough, the color will do something orangish.

It’s too strong

So, what if you want to go from light to dark, that should be okay, right?

No. No, it’s not.

Peroxide lifts the hair’s color. Why are you lightening your hair just to darken it? If you go to a Sally’s or some other Beauty Supply, you can find a low peroxide developer. If you are determined to do it yourself, do it that way.

Keep in mind, darkening your hair drastically will probably require a filler color to make the dark color stick. Not sure what that means? That’s why hair color doesn’t take and looks gross.

Makes life harder

  1. The hair color process does not disappear just because you no longer see the color. You can lie about it and say you’ve never colored your own hair, but when the process doesn’t work, you’ll know why. Color cannot lift color. You cannot color your hair brown one day then use a blonde the next, it won’t work. So when you color your hair black and want your stylist to color it neon red, they will ask you “Have you colored your hair?” It’s not so she can lecture you, it’s to determine whether she can use color or if she needs to lighten and tone.
  2. It looks bad, and you’ll not only see it but feel it. Coating your hair in layer after layer of hair color will eventually catch up to you. Remember that scene in Sleeping Beauty with the dress? The fairies were changing the color of the dress until it turned into a patchy mess of pink and blue. This will be your fate.
  3. So you bit the big one and destroyed your hair. You’re now scared to do anything else to it. Color correction is expensive, starting at $200 an hour expensive. Color correction is unpredictable. Color correction takes time. Often times it requires several visits to fix the damage you’ve done.

Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with a self-touch up. Cover some grays, or using the same color you’ve known and loved for years. If you’re going to touch up your hair, use a temporary or demi-color to brighten the color. Do Not use your 20 volume color all over previously lifted hair. Doing that will just cause unnecessary damage hence a duller hair color. Again, seek out a Sally’s or something. Buy in bulk, make it easy to access.

PoC and hair color

Because your hair is normally very dark and textured, this makes hair color difficult. Yet it absolutely lovely when done right. If you relax your hair, this really limits what you can do color-wise. The integrity of your hair is the highest priority. I didn’t see too many PoC doing too much atrocity to their hair, thankfully. Asian and Hispanic hair is especially strong and sometimes the color doesn’t work!

Does this seem complicated to you? If it does…don’t color your own hair.