They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life. As life constantly changes on its own, mixing up your hair is totally up to you. Dying naturally curl hair can be tricky and stressful; I used to even think it wasn't possible without truly damaging it.
Excuse my ignorance, but I didn’t think I could effectively dye my curls. I thought if I bleached my hair and went blonde it would all fall out or my curls would lose their pattern. On one hand, this is true – not taking the proper precautions can cause both of these horrors. That’s why I went back to The Curl Suite salon in Chelsea for more hair care knowledge about what to know before you dye your curls.
What To Know Before You Dye Your Curls
I will say I am not a curly hair blogger, more so, I am a blogger who happens to have curly hair. I reference this because my views on natural hair come from a woman who genuinely wants her curls to flourish and hopes by writing about her journey can help someone in the process. That being said, I spoke with The Curl Suite’s Founder and owner, Alex Mnayarji about safely coloring curly hair and she had some great feedback on what you should and should not do.
Tip One: Do not use foil when bleaching and dying curly or natural hair.
Going in for a belyage, I was most surprised by this method because all I ever see are foils when bleaching hair. This is said to be a safer way to bleach your hair because it still allows your curls to access oxygen as well as being less heat intensive. The hand painted motion of this technique creates an illusion of a more natural look seen throughout your hair than strategic placement.
Tip Two: Deep conditioner your hair often.
I’ll be the first to [unwillingly] admit I do not deep condition enough, which is a huge no for naturally curly hair. When it comes to dying or bleaching your hair, deep conditioning treatments are even more imperative because like all-over color, lightening and bleaching also affect the hair cuticle, causing greater damage, dryness and dullness. This causes the hair to permanently lose its sheen and ability to hold color, allowing for frizz and dryness to seep into your curls. Try deep conditioning at least 1-2 times a week; a good way to measure this is by tying in shampoo days with deep conditioning.
Tip Three: Use the right product and application technique.
This is the topic in which I’m most frequently asked: what products do you use and how do you apply them? My “product formula” changes as I’m always on the hunt for products that really moisturize, particularly in the crown area of my head. I have my tried and true products including Jane Carter, Curls and Cantu, but I most recently tried the Alias Collection by The Curl Suite and love the results! Lightweight and with minimal residue, I’ve fallen in love with their leave-in conditioner and mousse.
Typically, I’ll divide my hair into sections and apply each product, allowing for every strand to evenly receive each one. I used to scrunch my hair, but Alex recently taught me the technique of combing and then loosely allowing the strands to fall, letting the hair naturally take its shape.
Tip Four: Diffuse.
During the summer months I let my hair air dry and diffuse during the long, cold winter months. Using a low-heat setting, diffusing until the hair is dry is key to helping eliminate frizz and having beautiful, natural curls!
I love my new hair color and am so happy I took an even bigger plunge with the belyage. As an Afro-Latina, hair is so much a part of our culture, particularly Dominican culture with rich and sometimes ugly history on how our natural hair is viewed. I don’t ever feel as if my natural curls are part of a “movement,” but embracing what you are given is freeing. Whether you choose to go natural never, often or always, be empowered by taking on what you are given and the joys of your hair’s ability to adapt. Until next time.