How I Color My Hair And My Wash Day

I have always loved hair color but years ago circa 2007 when I was still relaxed, I never got the memo that it was a really bad idea to color relaxed hair. On a whim I did just that. I adored my hair immediately after but literally two weeks later, majority of it had broken off. In the end, I did a protein treatment and colored some sections black again (like that would make a difference) but it became obvious that a drastic cut was my only real solution. I kid you not, there was about 4 week between these two pictures.

mistake of coloring hair while relaxed

Anyway when I finally did the BC after transitioning for 18 months, one of the first things that I did was to revisit color and I loved it! Because of my tendency to use protein in my hair products color has never affected my length retention through the years.

Anyway, you may remember that I didn’t color my hair for the whole of 2012 in order to get an accurate picture of my rate of hair growth. Even with it already being February now, I thought that it was important for me to get a baseline for the year so that I could assess my growth rate this year too.

With that in mind I decided to color before this weekend’s wash. I prepood the night before with coconut oil and today the coloring process began. Because I use henna a lot, I have found out a long time ago that regular box colors simply can’t change the color of my hair.

The only thing that lifts color from my hair is a combination of powder bleach and peroxide developer. In the past, when I lifted color with just bleach and developer, I would wear the resulting color as it was waiting for my next henna to tone down the orange tones. Today however I wanted to tone down it down to my preferred brown color immediately so I opted to use Bigen golden brown powder color.

I braided my hair into 8 braids leaving the section that I would be coloring loose. Here’s what I used:

what is needed for coloring

Here’s what I did:

1. Mixed the peroxide and developer in a ceramic bowl using a plastic spoon.

2. Applied the mix to 3 pre-selected chunks of hair. I selected areas on or near my parting for obvious reasons. I only applied the color to virgin hair leaving previously colored hair untouched.

3. Covered said sections in foil and processed for 7 minutes. In that short time my hair had been transformed from black to garish orange!

4. Rinsed thoroughly and shampooed my hair with a clarifying shampoo. I really concentrated on my scalp to get rid of build up from the last few weeks.

5. Mixed the powder color with water and applied to the bleached sections letting it sit for 40 minutes. Rinsed and shampooed with my sulfate free shampoo.

color lifting process

6. Applied Tresemme Keratin Smooth conditioner hair mask over all my hair and deep conditioned with heat for 20 minutes. I let the conditioner sit in my hair for a further hour while I did some housework. I then rinsed.

The golden brown powder color mixed with the orange tones from my hair gave me this deep brown shade with reddish undertones. Very similar to the color that I usually get with henna! This was the final result:

final result coloring

Styling was simply a tension blow dry and a braid out. I will be wearing it down and loose on Monday and throw my hair into a bun for the remainder of the week. Here’s my braid out:

braid out on blow dried hair 2013

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