July 28, 2013
Not every woman of color has the luxury of hair that looks and feels like Beyonce’s, but for those who are looking for a new style, there are several options of hair color for African American women that can be taken into consideration. Trends over the years have given black women many different ways to express themselves with their hair, where previously they had only a handful of options. Any black woman, however, needs to understand that because their hair tends to be drier than non-black hair, there are limitations and different rules about how to apply particular colors.
Perhaps the easiest means of all hair color changes, a color rinse will provide the dye that is needed to enhance natural colors, bring out a new sheen, or develop a whole new coloration altogether. These rinses are free of chemicals like peroxide and ammonia that would have the potential to harm follicles. If you do not have the time or inclination to go to the salon and get professional-grade coloration done, a color rinse allows for at-home hair care.
Since these color schemes will wash out the next time that you use shampoo, they can only be used for the short term. In that short term, however, they have some of the brightest colors that you can find in all the styling world. These will not lighten, stain, or permanently impact your hair color or hair style, and have no chemicals that can damage follicles. They do not get deep enough to color roots, furthermore. Think of them as paint for your hair that can be washed out whenever needed.
Like the name suggests, a semi-permanent will last longer than their temporary cousins but not long enough to last for more than about two weeks. These can be done at home with nothing more than a sink, though they have to be activated by intense heat like a hair dryer or a curling iron. Semi-permanents are safe to use on processed hair and leave no marks or colors. The length depends on which one you use, but few will last past about a dozen shampoos.
More permanent than a semi-permanent but still not totally permanent, these can last up to a month or two and provide natural-looking color. They utilize a small quantity of peroxide in order to kill any germs on the hair itself, but otherwise have no chemicals like ammonia that would permanently affect your follicles. They do not lighten the color of hair, but are capable of enhancing a natural color or covering up grays. While these can be done at home, many women prefer to go to a salon to get it done.
The only way that a permanent fades is when the hair grows so long that you can no longer see the color. These need to be done by experts at a salon, and touch-ups every month or two are recommended to eliminate roots that peek out. This color wash will use both peroxide (to clean the hair) and ammonia (to lighten it), which can have long-lasting effects on your hair and your scalp.
Best Selling Types of Color
The most trusted brands for African American women’s hair outsell their competitors by large numbers. The Soft Sheen Carson line of Dark and Lovely is one of the better-selling black hair care products, specifically meant for coarse, kinky, curly hair. The Mizani hair coloring kits exclusively target black women, while the Cream of Nature offers all-natural and organic hair care products for both African American men and women.
Threat of Damage
Since black hair is less moisturized than non-black hair, a hair dye will cause damage if used frequently or improperly. A bleaching process to lighten hair can be quite damaging to the scalp and should only be done by cosmetics professional; black hair is not suggested to be lightened by more than five shades from its natural color.