Coloring and Highlighting Texturized and Relaxed Hair
By Diane Lym-Tai Da Costa
Diane Da Costa, our resident go-to girl for styling and cutting textured coifs, takes on a new topic - Coloring and Highlighting Texturized and Relaxed Hair. BTC members want to know about double processing, gray coverage and choosing the right products, so Diane divulges her knowlegde of all things haircolor when it comes to textured tresses.
Question: I have several African American clients with relaxed hair with natural color level 2 to 3. They would like to cover their gray hair as well as add highlights at the same time (most of them are 10-30 percent gray). While 50 percent of the clients have hair in good enough condition to do this, the others have fine, fragile hair. My dilemma is...How do I color relaxed, textured hair?
Answer: African Americans with soft, wavy or curly textures accept color applications wonderfully. Women with relaxed styles can also benefit from color service as long as the hair is healthy and not dry or over processed.
First, I would recommend that you only relax your clients to 80 percent straightness. This leaves more elasticity in the natural curl pattern and reduces stress that results from double processing when applying two chemicals.
Also, most relaxed clients can benefit from a demi-permanent hair color system which lifts two to three levels using low ammonia 15-volume peroxide.
Applying with a tint brush in fine sections will ensure coverage as textured hair tends to be coarser. If you are performing a virgin application, after you apply color to the ends follow through with a medium tooth comb for even coverage. Viola! You will achieve color lift while creating natural highlights at the same time.
Question: What color products do I use for those whose hair can tolerate it?
Answer: L’Oréal Richesse (no-lift, no ammonia) and Hi.Richesse (demi-permanent, low ammonia, two to three levels of lift) are both crème colors that work amazingly on relaxed, softened and texturized hair. Remember, the condition of the hair before coloring will always determine how healthy the hair texture remains after a color service.
Be sure to follow up with conditioning treatments after applying coloring services to textured hair. Because highly textured hair is naturally dry, it does require moisture, hydration and conditioning treatments before and in-between color services. Be sure to consult with your client and schedule these services when you perform a color service.
Question: My textured-hair clients can’t stand their gray re-growth and want it touched up every two weeks. What options can I present to them?
Answer: It is not recommended to touch-up the re-growth before three to four weeks with demi-permanent or tone-on-tone colors. I would recommend you use a Richesse, no-lift, no ammonia crème color with 9-volume developer to cover the gray strands every two weeks in the interim for coverage. Then after four to six weeks or so, continue with your formula (mentioned above) for creating natural lift and highlights.
Read more about coloring multi-textures in Chapter 13, The Aura of Color & Illumination in TEXTURED TRESSES.
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