Many women have a love-hate relationship with their hair. If it's curly, we want it straight. If it's short, we want it long. If it's brunette, we want some other color, and so forth. Next to chemically altering our hair, whether we are putting curls in or relaxing them out, dying our hair can make us the most nervous about protecting our natural texture. Even if we want to alter the tresses we are born with, we still want to maintain healthy locks.
An interview on Salon.com with Coleen Flaherty, the head colorist at NYC's Spoke and Weal, answered many common questions about what to expect when dying curly hair. For starters, you must be ready to deal with changes in your hair texture. Much of this has to do with the current texture and condition of your hair prior to applying color. In most cases, the curls will relax a bit.
The strength of your curls will be weakened further if your hair has been previously processed or has a naturally fine texture. The products you choose really do matter: "It also depends on the product that you use, because if you’re not using the right products, you might not get as much curl as before," Flaherty said.
The color-guru also said that you shouldn't worry so much about destroying your curl pattern: "The only time I’ve actually ever seen a destroyed curl pattern, it’s been in one area. I’ve never seen it completely over the whole head," she said. "It’ll maybe be one or two curls [that are affected], and maybe after a month, [the curl pattern] will start to come back again. But I’ve never seen someone’s curl go completely straight."
Flaherty also advised that highlights are going to appear differently everyday as your styling and curl pattern fluctuates. This is something beautiful that you should embrace. Just do your homework on a prospective stylist before you turn your tresses over to him/her. They need to have experience working with curly hair.
Of course, you'll want to keep your hair looking healthy and shiny in-between trips to the stylist. Flaherty said that using professional-grade products geared for curly and dyed hair is key: "I always recommend using a color-safe shampoo and conditioner and then always using a product that benefits your curl completely," she said. "If you’re not using stuff that’s going to help your color, then it could easily fade, but it also depends on your texture. If your hair is a little more dry, then maybe we would just recommend a shampoo to give it something more moisturizing for your curl."
If you're ready to try something new, find a great stylist who knows her way around curly locks and color charts. You'll fall in love with you hair all over again!