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True Life: I Chose Hair Color Over Length And I’d Do It Again

Avatar • Aug 4, 2014

ijeoma natural hair
by Ijeoma of Klassy Kinks (pictured above)

 

For years when my hair was still relaxed, I begged my mother to allow me to get highlights, but she stressed that coloring my relaxed hair would damage it beyond repair. So when I decided to grow out my perm to see how my natural hair looked, I knew that hair color would also be a part of that journey. My big chop day consisted of the cut, some color, and a rod set that got me through those first few scary weeks.

Since the beginning of my natural hair journey four years ago, I have colored my hair three more times. The second time was right before my senior year of college, when I wanted copper brown highlights. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned and I ended up with bright red hair; I was forced to add a semi-permanent brown dye on top to tone the color down. It took me a bit of time to get over that bad coloring experience, so I decided not to color my hair for another two years while I nursed it back to health. Last summer I got bright blond highlights with the help of a very skilled and trusted colorist, and I’ve never loved my hair more than I do with the current color.

Ijeoma natural hair TWA

First color — summer 2010

ijeoma straight natural hair blowout

nearly color free — May 2013

ijeoma natural hair bun updo

most recent color — August 2013.

Even though I take good care of my colored tresses by keeping them well moisturized, deep conditioned and every so often protectively styled, I still know that my hair won’t be at it’s maximum health and length because I’ve subjected it to chemical coloring. There are quite a few other natural hair bloggers, with similar texture as myself, whose hair has grown longer in four years or less, but I’m not bothered. I made a conscious decision to have fun with color when I went natural, even if it meant that my hair would not be waist length in five years. As I’m plotting my next hair color, I’m considering less harsh methods such as more natural hair color systems (I’m eyeing you Shea Moisture), but at the end of the day, I’ll personally be much happier with my BSL multicolored kinks than with black WL hair.

 

Have you prioritized fun and versatility with your natural hair – whether in terms of styling or color – over length goals? Do you ever compromise hair health or length in favor of styling or color options that may stress your hair? 

 

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world.

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About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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nik
nik
6 years ago

My hair is mid-back length and it has been color treated since the start of my natural hair journey almost 3 years ago. I love experimenting with different colors and having fun with my hair. I think it helps that I have a solid hair routine and that I color infrequently as well.

farah
farah
6 years ago
Reply to  nik

Nik — what is your hair routine? i just dyed my hair and have highlights. thanks

nik
nik
6 years ago
Reply to  farah

I like to do low manipulation styling. I like to figure out a style that I want to wear for the week and maybe wear that for a couple of weeks. For example, I’ll do braidouts for 2 weeks, and then for the next style cycle curlformers and so forth. My most current routine these last few months, is wash and deep condition weekly and re-moisturize throughout the week as needed. I don’t use alot of heat, especially not in the summer. Maybe straighten about 3–4 times a year which last 2 weeks. I do protein-treatments once a month. Trim every… Read more »

Farah
Farah
6 years ago
Reply to  nik

Thank you so much for your help. I really appreciate the details! I have yet yo use curl formers but i’m going to give it a try! Turning over a new leaf: Go bold! Lol!

nik
nik
6 years ago
Reply to  Farah

lol. you’re welcome. make sure you get the curlformer dupes off of amazon (Vakind extra long, 50 cm, pink and orange). i paid for mine $15 free shipping instead of the $70 ones from sallys. the only drawback is that they ship from china but its worth it to save money. 🙂

Dionne
Dionne
6 years ago

Your hair is a nice color regardless
I, myself shamelessly have a few grey strands at my young age so I decided to jet ‑black dye my already dark hair and funny enough even though I did it with relaxed hair,my hair has grown well and touch wood,never dropped out.
I don’t think yours is due to the chemical,could be just your rate of growth.

curious
curious
6 years ago
Reply to  Dionne

Making your hair darker isn’t as damaging as making it lighter using bleach or more developer

Dionne
Dionne
6 years ago
Reply to  curious

I used dark and lovely and they all have hydrogen peroxide as well as other harsh chemicals..whether its darker or lighter tones.

Peffy
Peffy
6 years ago

Man, that last line ..100% agreed. I’ve always loved colour no matter what.

pbotts
pbotts
6 years ago

Love your color and your honesty!!

Loc Starrr
Loc Starrr
6 years ago

I started my locs two years ago with a few inches of natural hair that still had some color in it. I’ve always wanted to dye my locs, but decided to wait until they matured a bit for two reasons: (1) It just seems wrong to dye baby locs lol (2) I have 4 different textures of hair, ranging from spirally curls to nearly straight waves. I had to keep my baby locs in Bantu knots for the first 6 months because the 2 strand twists they were started with wouldn’t hold together. They just slipped aloose. Hair color has… Read more »

Loc Starrr
Loc Starrr
6 years ago

3 apologies are in order here. One because the pics are sideways and I don’t know why. Another because I apparently attached of them twice. And finally, for the duck lips in my last picture lol!!! I can’t stand when girls post a million pictures with the duck lips lol. But these are the only pics I’ve taken since my last wash, so I rolled with it.

Robin
Robin
6 years ago

Health and length are 2 different things. Just because a woman can sit on her hair, doesn’t mean it’s healthy, and it’s possible to have unhealthy long hair. I say that because long hair isn’t a goal of mine. My goals are: 1. Work with my hair instead of against it. 2. Reduce breakage. 3. Repair edge damage. 4. Enjoy my coils. Those are the things I won’t compromise. Those goals leave me plenty of room for fun: cut my hair short, grow it long, dye it (in the gentlest methods possible), twist it, whatever. Specifically about dying: my hair is naturally full-on… Read more »

Loc Starrr
Loc Starrr
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

Why my locs begin to gray, I’m going to rock them so hard! Lol. I think it’s beautiful when natural hair has silver in it. And a full head of “moonlit” (beautiful way to describe it!) hair is sooo lovely to me. Especially when it’s shiny and healthy.

Loc Starrr
Loc Starrr
6 years ago
Reply to  Robin

When my locs begin to gray, I’m going to rock them so hard! Lol. I think it’s beautiful when natural hair has silver in it. And a full head of “moonlit” (beautiful way to describe it!) hair is sooo lovely to me. Especially when it’s shiny and healthy.

JenniD
JenniD
6 years ago

Great perspective. I’m still on the fence about hair color because of the chemicals seeping into my blood stream, but I do love the way it looks especially on natural hair. Also at BSL, you have PLENTY of hair to work with lol.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with this article. For some naturals coloring is no thang at all! But for other like us, color certainly mean stunted growth. I’ve colored my hair since I’ve been natural and even, taking great care of my hair, DC, prepoos, constant moisture could not save my hair, it broke off. I loved the color and it was worth it at that time. But, since then my hair has grown to bra strap length and I am unwilling to sacrifice my length for the color but, who knows at some point in the future I might be willing… Read more »

cacey
cacey
6 years ago

me too, girl

Victoria Owl
Victoria Owl
6 years ago

Whether we call it prioritizing or preferences at the end of the day it’s about being an individual. My hair care choices naturally matches my personality. I’m pretty laid back, a minimalist and enjoy simplicity. I never wanted to color my hair even before this natural hair journey and I was never one to care much for the switching up of different hair styles. I just simply prefer the basic buns, pony tails, braid-out and occasional wash n go. Some days I want my hair sleek and neat while others days I prefer the care free bohemian look. These were… Read more »

Victoria Owl
Victoria Owl
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria Owl

Ignore the last line, I wish we could edit our mistakes like other comment sections.…

Jamz
Jamz
6 years ago

This article just made me super excited about dyeing my hair again!!! After my 3rd big chop I decided to keep away from colour, but I really do miss it. And I’m probably going to do a fourth big chop soon, so why the heck not!

Patrice
Patrice
6 years ago

I too had to stop getting my hair colored in order to see more growth. I LOVED my color, but had to let it go. I have 4b hair and no matter how much I moisturized my hair it was always dry as a haystack!

MeMe
MeMe
6 years ago

I respect your choice but it’s easy to say I’m happier with color than WL when you have only experienced the one you chose.I thought very little of length as well but when my hair went past bra strap length I couldn’t help but love it even though I thought I wouldn’t really care. So you really don’t know how you would feel about your waist length hair in comparison to color when you have never had it. But if you are happy with your decision that is all that matters in the end. Go girl!

Michelle
6 years ago

I’ve had long hair all my life, so I’m really don’t think it’s a big deal for me to grow very long hair AGAIN! I always choose color over length since going natural three years ago, however. Since going natural and color treating my hair, my hair doesn’t go past bra strap length after a few years of growth. I’m on my second big chop, we will see how long it gets. But for now, I am just enjoying the colors!

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