My baby sister loves color. She likes to go back and forth from light to dark, hues of blonde to red. And, most recently, she asked for a magenta tone. Often, we hear horror stories associated with dying natural hair, but usually that is a reflection of over-processing or use of color systems that can be harsh on curls.
There are ways to change hair colors without causing damage. In any case, you always have to first consider the condition of your hair. If you already have issues with dryness, breakage or excessive shedding, dye will be a hurdle, not a helper. Before you proceed, please read “To Dye, Or Not To Dye” where I explain what factors affect how color works and the different types of dye applications. Also, there are questions to take to a stylist consultation, which I always, always recommend before attempting any color process.
Below are the details on my sister’s most recent color transition, which I have named “Black Cherry Bomb!”
1. We are starting from a mix of colors. The hair on the ends is a result of old dye processes over the past two to three years. First it was dark brown (natural color) lifted to level six and eight blondes in the Ion Color Brilliance system, using 30 developer (this was well before the blog, so there is no post to link you to). Then, it was on to a dark red/brown mix, which has a tutorial you can view, “Color Transition and Flexi Rod Set.” At some point, months later, I applied a Ion Light Burgundy Blonde Demi-Permanent to brighten the dark red/brown mix. What you see in the picture above, on the ends, is the natural fading of those color mixes over time. The color from the roots is her natural color, dark brown.
2. I applied two packets of Ion Color Brilliance Pre-Color Treatment on dry hair. This helps balance the porosity of the hair so dye absorbs more evenly. Because my sister has new growth in her natural color and dye on the ends (high lift color processes can alter porosity), this will help the color process evenly across those porosity variances.
3. I am following the same application method shown in “Demi-Permanent Dye Application.” Please read and watch the tutorial for step-by-step instructions. The color I am applying is Ion Color Brilliance Master Color Series Demi Permanent Crème Hair Color in Black Cherry. I used two tubes of color with Ion Sensitive Scalp 10 Volume Creme Developer. I mixed three ounces of developer with two onces (one tube) of color. Using less developer gives a richer hue of the color. If you are covering grays, you can use two ounces of developer to every two ounces of color. For the truest form of the color, you mix four ounces of developer to every two ounces of color.
The color was applied then processed under my hooded dryer for 30 minutes. Always read the full set of directions to verify processing times. And yes, you need to process with hooded dryer heat.
4. This is where I added to the process shown in my Demi-Permanent Dye Application tutorial. After thoroughly rinsing the Black Cherry out, I applied one tube of Ion Color Brilliance Brights Semi-Permement Hair Color in Magenta (no mixing required, semi-permanent dyes are ready to use, as is). I chose this semi-permanent color to give the Black Cherry a pop of magenta tone without having to lift the hair (10 Volume Developer does not lift, it deposits). I applied it directly to wet hair and had my sister sit under my Huetiful Hair Steamer for 20 minutes to process. The steam helps the color absorb with more moisture and vibrancy. You can use your hooded dryer if you do not have a hooded steamer.
5. After rinsing the semi-permanent Magenta out, I shampoo’d two times with Carol’s Daughter Tui Color Care Sulfate-Free Shampoo, then applied the Ion Color Defense After-Color Sealer, detangled and allowed it to sit for five minutes, then rinsed with luke warm water.
6. Next, I applied Carol’s Daughter Tui Color Care Hydrating Conditioner and had my sister sit under my hooded dryer for 15 minutes, then rinsed with luke warm water. Next, I set my sister’s hair in a wash-n-go. I first applied Carol’s Daughter Tui Color Care Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner, then Mixed Chick Leave-In Conditioner. I let it set for 30 minutes, added some Chi Deep Brilliance Reflect and diffused with my Ion blow dryer for 15 minutes…done!
It is always my goal to apply color safely, without use of bleach and extreme processing. If my sister, or a friend ask me for a color that I know will require too much lifting to keep their hair healthy, I guide them to other options. Healthy hair is far easier to manage than over-processed hair that started off cute, but then began breaking and shedding like crazy.
Loves…my dear loves, I cannot say this enough: It is also always my recommendation that you see a stylist for consultation. Even if you do not book a service, it is best to get the opinion of a professional on what it will take to achieve the color you want, based on your hair type, natural color and porosity. The process I described in this post, may or may not work for you. That is why it is important to see a professional and not guess when it comes to chemical processes!
- See tips on how to maintain color-treated hair here.
- See a playlist of dye application tutorials here.
- See tips for summer hair care, which also apply to color-treated tresses in the sun.
- Learn more about porosity and how it affects hydration in your hair.