I bleach my Type 4 curls blonde — that’s how I keep my hair healthy

As a black woman with tight curly hair, I’ve always been told the same thing: Because I have darker skin and wavy patterns, blonde hair is not for me. But, after dyeing my copper hair (which also requires bleaching) and keeping it strong and healthy, I wanted to dye it brighter and really be a blonde. Who cares what the naysayers say, right? That’s right!

Before making up my mind, I tried out my hair color with braids, just in time for Beyonce’s “Renaissance” tour, which I traveled through Europe three times this summer. Rebundle’s honey-colored braidbetter cuts through my curly hair, giving me hip-length braids and a hair color I’ve been dying to try. Of course, it wasn’t permanent, so when I removed my protective hair, I was still itching to really try it.

With that, I made an appointment with my trusted colorist and curling stylist, Christina, and we embarked on a journey of two lessons – about five hours each, as she likes to work on my hair slowly to prevent it from getting damaged. When it was all done, my hair felt great. However, I soon found myself in need of different products to help my hair retain moisture and prevent patina, especially when temperatures started to cool.

With beauty ICONS like Rihanna and Keke Palmer experimenting with blonde hair, I know I’m not the only one seeking advice on post-bleach curls and updos, so I reached out to three experts to find out what to consider before going blonde and how to care for your hair as you head into winter.

First, find the right hair colorist

Before Christina considered dyeing my blonde hair, we had a consultation, which involved learning about my hair health and what I wanted the end result to look like. Tippi Shorter, L ‘Oreal’s professional ambassador and global artistic director of Mizani, told TZR that this step is non-negotiable. “You need to consider your colorist, because a good colorist will be honest with you about the current health of your hair to determine if your hair can withstand the dye,” she says. “[Because] some colorists will color your hair regardless of [the state of the hair].”

Second, consider how you can incorporate maintenance into your lifestyle

What is Short’s top tip for people considering the curly texture of blonde hair? “Above all, you need to think about commitment,” she says. “If you have type 4 hair, your hair will be drier and more fragile, which means it will break more easily than someone with curly or wavy hair.”

Why is that? Short explains that because the taller the hair (i.e., type 4), the drier it is, the strands don’t have a strong protective layer to protect it from damage. And lower temperatures mean cold, dry air can cause the cuticle to peel off. So that means going deeper and moisturizing your hair as part of your daily care routine.

In addition, it is important to consider your own lifestyle. “For example, if you go to the gym every day and wash your hair regularly, then this service is not for you because the extra water will dry out your hair even more,” she said.

Be prepared to invest in new hair products

Now, let’s talk about the new product. I have been doing natural hair for over 10 years and I have a full range of hair products. However, after styling my hair at home, I quickly realized that I couldn’t use the same products again. For example, my hair needs a new shampoo and conditioner that both removes brass and rehydrates it. In addition, I need a new hair conditioner and conditioner, which are more hydrating. Don’t worry. Short says this is completely normal.

Shorter said: “Even if you have perfectly healthy hair, after the service, the stylist will help you identify new hair products to use.” “I recommend using two shampoos that don’t contain sulfates. One should be super moisturizing and one should be conditioning.

But isn’t toning shampoo very dry? After using amika’s Bust Your Brass collection and Balmain’s brightening white pearl mask, I realized there was a hydrating shampoo to choose from. When it comes to recipes that fight brass, ingredients are key, says Rashuna Durham, amika’s chief professional educator and master stylist. In addition to looking for sulfate-free products, look for nourishing plant-based butters and even adhesive curing techniques to help repair and strengthen the updo.

As for the conditioner and hairspray, I also made some changes. In addition to deep treatments using ADWOA Beauty Blue Tansy Reparative Mask and Pattern’s Treatment Mask, I now use the K18 Leave-in Molecular Repair Mask once every two weeks and my hair absolutely loves it. As for leave-in conditioners, my hair still likes Pattern’s Palo Santo leave-in conditioner, but when I need more moisture, I add L ‘Oreal Pro Curl Moisturizing Leave-in Cream. For styling, Innersense Organic’s I Create styling gel contains moisturizers such as honey and aloe vera to give your hair the moisture it needs. But now, I use The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam before applying styling gel, which gives it a stronger set effect and also prevents frizz, as hair now only needs one extra product to prevent frizz, a trick my curling stylist taught me.

Pre-shampoo treatment is your friend

Today, I start a pre-shampoo treatment 48 hours before I plan to wash my hair. If I skip this step, my hair will know. I alternate Squigs Beauty Gooseberry Delight hair oil, which contains coconut oil, almond oil and castor oil, And Sisley Paris Hair Rituel Restructuring Nourishing Balm with shea butter, macadamia nut oil, Babassu oil, moringa oil and spiraea oil.

Essential oils like those mentioned above, as well as ingredients like jojoba and avocado oil, are good additives, Durham says. But she notes that moisturizers such as glycerin and aloe vera are also important. Why is that? “Moisturizers attract and retain water,” she explains.

Finally, all of our experts say that formulations containing bonding building ingredients such as amino acids, ceramides, hydrolyzed proteins, or special bonding complexes that help repair and strengthen should be part of the product ingredient list.

Don’t ignore heated deep conditioning

We all get lazy on shampoo day. But for blondes, that’s not an option – nor is not taking the time to heat up during deep conditioning. Celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, co-founder of Flawless by Gabrielle Union, stresses: “Steam and heat are very important during deep conditioning. There are several reasons for this. “First, the heat helps open up the cuticle of the hair, allowing the treatment to penetrate the hair shaft more effectively, thus allowing the hair to better absorb the ingredients,” he shared.

He also notes that heat helps increase the elasticity and strength of hair. Use products like Flawless by Gabrielle Union Moisturizing Repair Deep Condition Hair Mask, which contains super-hydrating ingredients like coconut oil, passion fruit seed oil, castor oil and avocado oil, he says.

Your blonde hair needs protein, too

Not only is protein integral to our diet, but our hair, especially processed hair, can also benefit from protein care. The key, though, is not to overdo it, as this can make it feel even drier. “If you do a protein treatment and a hydration treatment every week, you should alternate it,” Short advises. “Protein strengthens hair, hydration moisturizes hair and keeps it strong. I get great results with the ApHogee two-step protein regimen, which I use every four to six weeks.

Having curly blonde hair is definitely a commitment. However, with the right colorist, products, and home care, you can keep your hair healthy throughout the winter months and beyond.

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