Permanent Coloring

Another moisture buster. Permanent hair color, by design is damaging to your hair. First, the cuticle has to be lifted and the color molecules are deposited into your cortex. These molecules have to be large enough to not wash out, hence become your permanent color, and as a result, will make your hair shaft swell slightly. A slightly swollen hair shaft means your cuticles separate even more. If you’re simply enhancing your natural color and trying to totally cover up gray hair with something close to your own, you may not experience any horrible adverse affects. The bigger issue comes into play when you lighten your hair. First your natural color has to be lifted (striped…bleached) out and then the new color has to be deposited into your hair shaft.. Quite frankly this two step process literally traumatizes most nappy hair and in many instances ends up leaving it feeling straw, which eventually will have to be cut off. Even nappies who swear they don’t have any “problems” admit that they have to jump through a lot of hoops just to keep it moisturized.


Still wanna color? Best to stick with something close to your own that doesn’t involve a two-step process. Maybe a semi- or demi-permanent hair dye. These are designed to coat your hair shaft and deposit a small of color under the cuticle but not into the cortex. The color molecules are small enough to wash out over time, but how long the color lasts depends on the how often you shampoo. Also, demi permanent hair dyes last longer the semi and neither provides total coverage of gray hair. There are other options on the market as well such as hennas and other organic hair dyes that are supposed to be gentler on the hair than regular ones. But I suggest you be proactive and do your research before deciding to put anything on your hair that could cause potential damage to your hair. That way, at least you’ll be making an informed decision.

7 Responses to “Permanent Coloring”
  1. S Dean says:

    Well, I just colored my hair. I coulden’t stand being over 50% gray any longer. Last colored it black about four month’s ago. And my hair had grown in this period half/half. Meaning half was gray and half black. I was very nervous so I spoke with my sister. She convinced me since I’ve been natural for about 1year and half try it . But only if I wanted to. So I took the plunge using Garnier.dark brown. The results are pleasing to me. Where the gray was there are reddish/strawberry highlights. And the remainder blakish brown. My hair is incredibly soft from the two hour conditioning. I used the one in the package inconjunction with my own concoction. I will let you know a couple of month’s from now whether I’ve made an incorrection. I won’t say mistake because it was my choice. However, as of now I am happy. I would never suggest anyone strip their hair. To color for me was fun since I care for my hair daily. I cover it from the sun(before coloring)and wear twists, braids and buns mostly. On other days I wear a hair piece and aloose on Sundays. Furthermore my face is youthful so I can pull the color off. I dust when necessary. And I have conditioned my hair faithfully. So far it’s working for me. My hair is in excellent concition. When I transitioned from the perm it was in dire straits. I immediately did the chop. Then chopped again two inches above the neck. It is growing at record speed,strong and healthy.

  2. nappyme says:

    S Dean that sounds like it’s really pretty. I’d love to see it. If you’re able could you send me a pic to view at I hear you on the gray hair. I really want to take the plunge too. I’m sooo chicken on the one hand and too lazy on the other. Not sure I’m ready to deal with the maintenance.

    Also, please do keep me posted on your progress. I’d love to hear from you again.


  3. S Dean says:

    I certainly will soon as I can work this printer lol. I am really pleased that the gray, especially is gone. And the color is gorgeous. I’ve always had a problem getting color in the front. So, I just let it go for awhile. Thinking I need to nourish it more. And it seemed the correct thing to do. Since, I do nothing else to my natural nappy but co-wash & shea butter the ends. I will use my coconut concoction on length. Only after the co-wash though. I will send soon.

  4. nappyme says:

    Thanks S Dean. I look forward to seeing your pics!

  5. Afro Chic says:

    I found your blog this morning while looking for something afro related. Like what I’ve seen so far.

    I’ve been natural for close to 5 years years now and I colour my hair pretty often.

    The only problem I’ve had with colour is when I decided to go blonde, which involved stripping the hair to lighten it and the hair needed EXTRA moisture cause it DID feel like straw!

    I’m no longer blonde, I use Clairol Textures and Tones (Cherrywood and Flaming Desire) which has no lye and a really nice conditioner.

    I would say though that colour does change the texture of your hair over time.

  6. Nappturall says:

    Henna is really good coloring grays. and henna is natural..have any of you thought about henna’ing your hair?

  7. Kenya says:

    I tried a semi-perm color and it did not take. My hair is still black as ever…I havent decided if I want to do permanent or not.

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