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.
First color – summer 2010
nearly color free – May 2013
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.