Quantcast

If You're Gonna DIY Dye Your Hair This Fall, Read This.

Before you break out the dye, make sure you know how to care for your hair.

Hair

I don't know if it's the fall season's vibrantly colored leaves that makes so many of us wanna switch things up or, it's because autumn kicks off the holiday season and we wanna look as fly as possible (that's our true motivator). But there's something about the here and now that inspires a lot of us to change our hair—more specifically, our hair color.

I totally get it because I've done it. But with age and experience come wisdom. So, now that I'm just as interested in maintaining length (check out "This Is Why Your Natural Hair Ain't Growin'" and "7 Tips For Getting The Edges And Nape Of Your Neck To Grow Faster"), as I am in throwing some color in, I wanted to share some tips on how you can get the bold and beautiful hue that you want without totally wrecking your tresses in the process.

Have You Considered Taking an All-Natural Approach?

media.giphy.com

OK, so when it comes to going the all-natural route on hair color, I'll be real with you—unless it's something like hair wax (which is dope but it only lasts a few days), natural options tend to lean more on the subtle side. Even henna (which is wonderful at also conditioning your hair) typically doesn't end up being as bold and brilliant as you might like it to be. But, if subtle is what you're aiming for, there are some things that you can add to your hair that are virtually damage-free. Coffee can create a brown richness to your hair (there's a DIY video here). Or, if you want a subtle red tint to your mane, beet juice can typically do the trick (check out a DIY video for that here).

If Louder Is What You Want, Assess How Healthy Your Hair Is First

media.giphy.com

If you don't want anything subtle or a hair color option that won't last more than a few days, before you decide to dye your hair, take it from someone who has failed miserably at this particular point in times past—you really need to assess the state of your hair before doing anything drastic to it. What I mean is, you need to check it to see how healthy it is—or isn't—first.

If you've got split ends, your hair is extremely dry, if it lacks elasticity (it breaks easily), if it seems extremely frizzy or won't hold a style or your ends are raggedy AF—these are all indications that color is the last thing that your hair needs right now; especially since inclement weather will only dry your hair out further.

For the moment, focus on restoring your hair's health by deep conditioning it for a couple of months, trimming your ends and, giving yourself a protein treatment if it needs one (Naturally Curly has a good read on how to know if you need one of those. You can check it out here.) Yes, all of this might delay the time that it will take before you can get the color that you want, but it's better to have healthy locks with beautiful color than beautiful color that will result in you having to big chop because of how damaged your hair was before you actually dyed it.

Then Determine How Dramatic You Want Your Color to Be

media.giphy.com

Once your hair is in a good and healthy state, the next thing to ponder is how dramatic you want to go, on the color tip. This consists of factoring in personal preference, trends and also what will stress your hair out the most. As far as trends go, colors that are popular for winter 2020 and spring 2021 include deep burgundies, rich and smokey shades of blue (midnight blues are super dope on us, by the way), caramel hues, sombre highlights (which is basically a technique that puts two shades of highlights over medium brown hair color), deep brown, cinnamon and even silver is still hanging in there.

One of the reasons why it's so important to know how light (or dark) you want to take it is because certain looks need peroxide to lighten your natural color so that drastic hues will take properly. When the pigment of your hair is stripped, that automatically damages your cuticles to a certain degree, which means that you'll have to "baby your hair" so that you don't experience a lot of shedding or breakage. Plus, based on what you desire the end result to look like, you might need to seek out a professional's help 'cause listen y'all—I don't care what those box brand commercials tell you, sometimes you can't get the results you want without significantly lifting your natural color and oftentimes, that requires a pro to make sure that your hair stays in good shape once you do it. Always keep in mind, the lighter the shade, the more vulnerable your hair will become. Vulnerable hair is fragile hair. Factor that in as you're making your decision.

Will Semi-Permanent (or a Rinse) Do the Trick?

media.giphy.com

When I was in my 20s, my hair color was all over the place. Because I rocked a short 'do, pretty much most of the time, it could easily be blonde one week, red the next and then some shade of brown the following month. In my 40s, I like jet black a lot. But because I've known that dark hair dye has a breast cancer link, for a while now, I've been going with a black hair rinse which is basically a lower level option of semi-permanent hair color. How is that the case?

Well, while semi-permanent hair color can last through eight or so shampoos, rinses sometimes go away after only a couple. A plus with rinses is, since rinses coat but do not penetrate your hair shaft, they are considerably better for your hair.

As far as semi-permanent hair colors go, because they don't contain the bleach or ammonia that permanent dyes do, this makes them a much gentler option for your hair that permanent dyes are. Does semi-permanent hair color pose the same amount of a health risk as permanent dyes do? From what I've read, not exactly. But there is still some risk. Anything other than an all-natural hair color option poses at least a little bit of one.

Anyway, the main thing to keep in mind when it comes to going with a rinse or semi-permanent hair color is it's not permanent. You will have to apply more color, more often. A good maintenance hack is you should wash your hair with cool water so that your color stays longer. Personally, because I don't shampoo my hair any more than twice a month, rinses are just fine for me. Plus, I've only seen my hair thrive since I made the decision to leave permanent hair color alone.

If Not, Go with a Gel Color and Get More than One Box of It

media.giphy.com

If after reading all of what I just said, you still wanna go with something permanent and you still wanna do it at home, make sure that you go with a gel color. Why? It's honestly the kind of dye that will give natural hair textures the type of coverage that we truly need (a good runner-up is liquid hair dye). Also, make sure that you purchase more than one box. I don't know one person, pretty much regardless of what their hair length is, that is able to fully cover their entire head with just one bottle of hair dye. And again—and it really can't be stressed enough—if you want to go significantly lighter, the box alone is probably not gonna do it. You will need to lighten the base of your hair first. They sell them at local beauty supply stores. (Although I've watched a couple of naturalistas offer up a few non-lightener hacks. You can check out two of the videos that I've seen before here and here).

Prep and Maintain Your Hair with Wisdom—and Consistency

media.giphy.com

Once you've decided what kind of dye you want to use, it's equally important that you have a hair prep and hair maintenance play in place. As far as hair prepping goes, while I hope that you're already doing this, please make sure to deep condition your hair, every week, the month prior to coloring your hair. The more moisturized your tresses are, the better they will be able to handle the stress and strain that dye can cause your cuticles. Also, shampooing your hair with a clarifying shampoo, about a week before adding color, is a good idea because it will remove any product build-up that could make it challenging for your color to fully take.

As far as maintenance on the backend, it's important that you use a color-safe shampoo because it will help your color to last longer. Definitely do not slack up on your deep conditioning routine. Make sure to seal your ends with Jamaican black castor oil or something like avocado oil (you can watch a video on how to do that here). Try and rock protective styles at least four days a week (to protect your vulnerable ends). Oh, and since we are headed towards much cooler weather, make sure to line your fly hats so that they don't dry your hair out.

If you are diligent in doing all of these things, I have no doubt that you can end up with the color that you want without sacrificing the health of your hair. You will be looking amazing all fall and winter with extra inches to bring about, come spring. Dope, right? I know.

Join us in the xoTribe community and gain access to Mentor Mondays, bi-weekly workshops from our dating and career coaches, an archive of digital fireside chats, and virtual happy hours. Plus, connect with Necole, the xoNecole squad and a community of empowering women committed to being their best selves. Find your tribe today!

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Because I write so much about sex, there are never a lack of random questions that pop into my mind. One that I was wondering semi-recently is if there's a particular time of the day when men and women are hornier than others. Chile, when you decide to go digging for information, you'll be amazed what you'll find.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Growing up, Eunique Jones Gibson didn't have to look far for positive imagery that reflected who she was and where she came from. At a young age, Eunique's parents wasted no time instilling the importance of self-love and embracing the richness of Black culture. From her father's afrocentric, Cross Colours-based style to seeing herself through the lens of Lena James, Jada Pinkett's confident persona on A Different World, Eunique's surroundings began to paint a colorful portrait of the world's true representation could form. She points out, "That was my entryway into really embracing the culture and understanding the power of who we are and being critical of false narratives." It's no wonder that her work in representation through entertainment and media no less found her.

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

Karrueche Tran, I like her. She minds her business, she makes smart business moves. She has integrity, and most importantly, she loves herself enough to leave situations that no longer serve her. Tran popped on the scene roughly a decade ago as the girlfriend of Chris Brown. They had a whirlwind romance, filled with just as many highs as lows. Eventually, Karrueche ended the relationship after she found out Brown had a daughter on the way, and she moved on to pursue her passions within the entertainment industry.

Keep reading... Show less

It's no secret that the pandemic hit all of us hard, and now that restrictions have been lifted, offices have reopened, and work seems to be getting to a new normal outside of quarantines and isolation, we all want to take our lives back. If you only learned one lesson in the past year, it's to look out for No.1, i.e. yourself, and practice a bit more balance in self-care.

Research has shown that many of us were overworked and pretty much burned out, and we missed out on vacations last year, too. The average work day extended at least an hour, and millions of vacation days wasted away.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts