Oct 28, 2013

Amber's Hair Diary: Color Me Rad

Last hair diary we talked about why I dig short cuts on natural hair. This week we talk about my second reason for loving short hair, color.  A little quick history I started dying my hair in 2009 while I was in grad school in California. I wanted something to accent the graduated bob I was rocking back then so I went with a chocolate brown. 

grad school 2009

After that I knew that color would forever be a permanent part of my life. I have done it all with color and I have also seen the effects on my hair. While I love coloring my hair when its longer the maintenance and ability to keep my hair from becoming compromised is much hairder than with short hair and here's why.  

lifting to blonde 2011

With color especially if you are coloring everything 6-8 weeks as you should , the hairshaft is constantly swelling (the cuticle of the hair has to be opened to allow permanent color in and then closed or neutralized after you are done coloring). So with longer hair where your midlengths and ends are the oldest part of your hair you really have to be dedicated to keeping them strong and healthy. 

I love lightening my hair.  It gives me brighter color options and I usually perfer to lift my hair and then deposit color. My hair while thick and full is very sensitive.  It's kind of a one trick pony. I never color, and straighten its either one or the other.  The combination of the two for me is deadly and especially when my hair is longer.  

With short hair I have found that I can do more extreme color techniques lifting to the lightesteest levels of blonde and depositing color while keeping my hair in  healthy state and condition. Here's Why. 
  • I get my hair cut every 2-3 weeks, so dead or porous ends are always being taken care of.
  • For right now I only want 6 inches of hair or less. Which means I will never have older ends that require extra care. 
  • Color can be an awesome enhancement for sturctured cuts and fades. 
  • I don't straighten my hair. 
  • My color preserving shampoos conditioners and style aids go much farther because I have less hair and am less tempted to run the cheap route. 
I am by no means discouraging those with longer hair not to color either its just a trickier game and here are few more tips for those with long and short strands if you are thinking about coloring.

Feb 2013
  • A healthy head of hair is the best set of hair to color.  If you have compromised hair for any reason (heat styling, at home color etc) you need to have removed that damaged hair before coloring. 
  • Regular trims are a must
  • If you are going for more advanced colors and techniques I recommend you minimize heat styling. 
  • If you like to heat style consider going darker or simply doing a tonal change.  
  • You always have the options of demi permanents, temporary color, and henna. Beware with henna if you henna often and then go to a salon to have our hair colored it is not likely that it will be able to be done. Henna coats the hair shaft and can creat some pretty ugly results when permanent color is applied over it.     
  • When coloring and especially if you are lightening or bleaching the first time is the ONLY time you should be doing all over application. After that you should only be hitting your new growth and then toning to match colors in your midlengths and ends. 
  • Your hair is an investment. If you use box color and invest a mere $10 a box know that is how your hair will look. Not to mention metallic salts and the myriad of other things that come in box color that are horrible for the hair.  After your box color should you decided you want to go to a hairstylist you will end up paying way more to correct color than to have it done right the first time. 
  • Perserve your color with a proper home care regimen. Pantene, Herbal Essences etc are not good options. These lines are full of fillers and they rarely do what the bottle says they are meant to do. 
  • Color is also another way to accent or take focus away from face shape. 

What has your expereince been with color? Do you have any questions about color, because I am here to help! Happy Coloring!

summer 2013
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