If you're ready to add a dose of color to your natural hair there are a few things you should consider before applying the dye. We asked to two pros who are experts in taking care of stars' natural strands to reveal their insider secrets. Takisha Sturdivant-Drew has ensured that Kerry Washington's mane is always red carpet perfection for several years now, and Felicia Leatherwood has worked her magic on Mad Men's Teyonah Parris. Ahead, the hairstylists share everything you need to know before coloring your natural hair.
Assess the Health of Your Hair
Just because your hair isn't chemically processed it doesn't mean it's automatically a great candidate for a dye. "If your hair is dehydrated or has a low porosity, it's going to be very difficult to maintain the color in a healthy way," says Leatherwood. The harsh chemicals in dyes can wreak havoc on dry strands and ultimately cause breakage. So make sure your hair care game is on point before adding any type of chemicals.
Adopt a Good Regimen
To get your hair in tip top shape for the process, a hair care routine is key. "If you don’t take care of your hair, and you don’t have a regimen, you’re asking for trouble," Leatherwood says. In addition to using a great hair moisturizer and conditioner with every wash, "make sure that you’re getting your trims every time the seasons change," she adds. Once you finally dye your curls you'll want to switch over to products that are geared towards color-treated hair.
Sturdivant-Drew also stresses the importance of impeccable hair care, and believes that nourishing solutions are a must. "As long as you're using the proper shampoo and conditioner, coloring natural hair textures can actually be a plus, as opposed to hair types that have chemical relaxers."
Stretch Your Color
Once you finally add color to your hair, both pros highly advise stretching the time in between each dye session to avoid over-processing strands. Sturdivant-Drew recommends waiting 6 to 8 weeks, and points out that visible roots can make some colors appear more natural. And if you want to keep your grays at bay between colorings, "pick up a mascara wand to camouflage roots," recommends Leatherwood.
So, don't be afraid to experiment with color. It doesn't matter if you're craving honey-blonde strands or a wild rainbow effect, a good hair regimen coupled with periodic color sessions will allow you to have fun testing different hues while still maintaining the health of your natural curls.