It happens to the best of us: After years of dyeing our hair, moving from one ashy color to another, and regularly visiting the salon for root touch-ups, we suddenly yearn for our simple and low-maintenance morning routines when we actually had naturally black tresses.
While we've talked about how Pinays can go from black to blonde in the past, we never really delved into how one can switch back to their natural hair color. Here, we consulted local celebrity hairstylist and owner of Marqed Salon Mark Rosales to give us the lowdown on how to dye your hair back to black, as well as what to expect when getting your hair color professionally removed!
Your hair shouldn't be completely dyed black.
It might sound like dyeing your hair back to its natural black hue is a good idea, but according to Mark, he normally wouldn't recommend it to his Pinay clients.
He explains, "Black is the strongest hair color. Once you dye it in that shade, it will be hard to lighten it again if you ever decide to get your hair colored in the future. In fact, it's nearly impossible to make [your hair] super light again! You're going to have to go through [multiple coloring sessions] to get the color that you want, so you really should think carefully before you go dark. Consider what kind of in-between shades you can live with [as you wait for your colored hair to grow out]."
Brown is the ideal "transitioning" shade.
"I strongly recommend for you to go for brown or dark brown [shades] to achieve your natural color," Mark advised. So if you have an ash brown 'do, for example, get a darker shade of brown to slowly start your transition instead of dyeing your hair straight to black. Take baby steps!
Additionally, Mark also noted to "stay away from metallic dyes [which can be found in some drugstore hair dyes] and Henna as they tend to make the hair brittle in the long run." To be completely safe, "make sure to visit a hair color expert so that you do not damage your hair and scalp, or worse, end up with patchy, uneven hair color," he said.
Before removing the color, your hair will be examined.
"Using a hair scanner, we will have to diagnose your locks to make sure your hair is ready for the color. After that, your hair will undergo a test, which involves dipping a strand of hair into a special solution. This [will] determine if the client's hair can handle the process," the celebrity hairstylist explained.
If you have bleached hair (especially if it's blonde), it will be harder to go back to black.
"We give extra care for those with bleached hair, as the darker you want to tint your blonde tresses the more delicate you need to [be]," he explained. On top of that, "bleaching roughens the surface of the hair, so color pigments have a harder time adhering to the strands, [compared to] those with virgin hair."
It's possible to have your dark hair color back after one salon visit.
The hairstylist noted that achieving naturally black tresses can be done in one sitting, but of course, it would be best to still have your hair condition properly checked and assessed by a colorist to manage expectations.
Removing your hair dye comes with its own cons.
"It will leave your hair feeling dry," Mark warned. This is why it's highly important to have a post-hair care routine. It's not just your face that needs to be moisturized!
How to take care of your hair after the treatment:
As your tresses will be prone to dryness, Mark stressed the importance of not skipping conditioners "to help restore the natural moisture and softness of your hair." He advised, "Apply it from ends to roots...[and use] a sulfate-free shampoo as it is made up of more natural ingredients."
Other than daily hair care, he also recommended to "get a [hair] treatment every two weeks, and a trim every four weeks to prevent the hair cuticle from splitting."
Other ways to get your natural hair color back:
Option 1: Get regular trims to speed up the process!
The longer your hair is, the more you'll have to deal with awkward roots. Regular trims can improve the look of your "growing out" phase as it gets rid of the ends of your tresses, which are normally the driest and dullest part. "You can get your hair trimmed every two [to four] weeks to remove colored hair," Mark recommended.
Option 2: Add some highlights.
As anyone with dyed hair would know, growing out one's mane tends to result in alanganin roots—especially if you have striking blonde hair that visibly contrasts your black locks. One secret to making the grow-out appear more seamless is to add some highlights.
TRY: Balayage highlights
Instead of going for foil highlights (which give you uniform chunks of color), try getting a balayage—a highlighting technique where a colorist will freehandedly paint the dye to your hair. This allows him/her to choose the best highlight placements to blend that harsh line between your naturally dark roots and your lighter hair color. As a result, your dark roots should fade seamlessly into your colored ends.
"Pepper in highlights, little by little, until you've flushed out the light hair color," notes Refinery29.
TRY: Scalp care products
To ensure that you won't be left with dull and brittle black hair once you've grown out your hair color, pay more attention to your scalp. "The scalp is the bedrock for the hair follicle, and if it is not in good condition, the chances of you experiencing problems with hair growth and health increase significantly," trichologist Anabel Kingsley tells Refinery29.
So aside from treating your tresses to weekly hair masks, make sure that you're actually growing healthy hair by deep cleansing your scalp. A vinegar rinse is one way to do it. Thankfully, you don't have to reach for that bottle of vinegar in your kitchen. For a mess- and odor-free wash, add a few drops of hair vinegar to your scalp after shampooing. Massage it thoroughly to slough off dirt and product buildup on your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once you've rinsed it off and your locks dry up after showering, you'll notice how smooth and shiny it feels and looks. Make it a habit to do this once a week!
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