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Hair Care with Flair - Protect Your Colourful Mane

Published:Monday | March 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Fiery red, platinum blond, auburn and chestnut, for many, the very thought of colouring your mane is seductive. But while it speaks to our individuality and enhances our look, we have to take special care when we colour our tresses.

According to hairstylist and owner of Salon Innovation, Kerry Spencer, special care should be taken when we decide to colour our hair. She noted that if a woman already has processed hair, like many of us in Jamaica, if not properly cared for it can cause breakage.

"The chemicals that make up both a relaxer and permanent dye do not work well together. It's like using iron on iron. The hair is going to break," explained Spencer.

She instead recommended that women with processed hair use a rinse - something that has activators and not developers. Because developers include ammonia and peroxide that strips the hair and that is a 'no no' for processed hair. If you are going to bleach the hair, it is recommended that you use a low-volume developer - 20 or 30. While this extends the lightening process, a higher volume will increase the possibility of serious damage, Spencer added.

Care for coloured hair

Spencer recommended using a shampoo and conditioner made specifically for colour-treated hair. This usually has the extra moisturisers that hair needs to remain strong.

She noted that colouring the hair sometimes takes it to its weakest stage, so the first thing to be added to the hair is protein - store-bought or homemade.

"You can make your own protein treatment with egg whites and honey. This will help to put back the moisture that you have lost by colouring, back into your hair. This treatment should be repeated every other week for at least two months to keep the hair as healthy as possible" shared Spencer.

A good night routine can include spraying the hair with a polish before wrapping it. "Not too much polish, though," she cautioned. "You do not want the hair to go limp."

Natural Hair

Because the hair is untainted, the possibilities are endless with the least prospect of damage. You are able to use permanent dyes as well as rinses with higher levels of volume peroxide - 40.

Taking care of the hair is somewhat easier as well. If you are a naturalista, you should find the appropriate shampoo and conditioner as well. You can get a deep treatment, a deep-penetrating conditioner or a hot oil treatment every three to four weeks.

To retain moisture one can create Bantu knots ('chiney' bump) in the hair and cover it with silk caps at nights.

Moisturisers enriched with shea butter, argon oil or castor oil are great oils to use as well.

Note to All 'Women

of Colour'

"Breaking is inevitable for hair that is coloured in some way. You start to worry if it starts to break a lot, but a little breakage is natural. You just have to take care of it," Spencer said.