Kinky Curly Toning and Coloring

This may sound like scolding, but I can’t in good conscience continue without saying this: Toning your hair is NOT for those that don’t know anything about hair care or the coloring process. I started coloring my hair when I was 20 years old. I am now 26, so I’ve had many years of getting the hang of things. I’ve also been natural since I was 17, so curly hair routines are no stranger either. What I will do in this post, for those with some experience equivalent or near that of my own, is outline how I tone my hair following a bleaching session.

What you may not know is that I tone and color my own hair. I also curly cut my own hair, which I’ll address in a separate post (no worries)!

By no means do I ever try to bleach my hair on my own! Bleaching hair is a very dangerous and sensitive process and there is a reason that your stylist has a license and you don’t. Yes, I have tried it before, and yes, it did RUIN my hair, so please don’t make my previous mistake.

I have successfully found a stylist here, in Kansas City, MO, that is very sensitive to curl pattern and has done well with the thickness of my hair. I used the DevaCurl website to look for Deva-certified stylists in my area. My stylist’s name is Heather at Salon Halo, and you can reach out to her on social media (IG: @heatherkcmo) or through the salon site (which is preferred). We do two appointments, one for the top sections of my hair and one for the bottom sections, to try and make sure everything is even.

Although Heather does tone my hair at the salon, it can be quite the undertaking, with time and quantity of hair, to get the toner evenly distributed. I have struggled with this issue since my very first bleaching, so this is not something unique but does require some at-home maintenance from me. Above are the salon results, and below are the results after my at-home maintenance. My desired color is ash, which can go violet or blue depending on your desired color. Right now I am more violet, which I love (Heather’s suggestion and a great one)!

I use Color Charm Wella Toner in T18 (lightest ash blonde) and a 20 volume Oreor Creme developer by Loreal Technique. I buy pretty much everything from Amazon, so yes, that is where I purchased these! If you have never toned your hair before, I highly suggest you DO NOT start with a 20 volume developer, because that is quite strong. I suggest you start lower until you are more comfortable with the process. The process of mixing is quite simple: I do not ever stray from the instructions on the box or bottle. I have mixing-bowls with measuring lines on the inside and application brushes, which I purchased from Sally’s Beauty Supply (but I’m sure you can also find them on Amazon 😉 )

Steps

  1. Section hair into 8 to 10 small braided sections.
  2. Go through each of the three strands, from each braid, with the toner/developer mixture using your application brush
    1. As you can see, from above, different sections of my hair take bleach differently, depending on the location. For this reason, I individualize how I apply the solution, depending on how the strands look: For darker sections, I saturate more and begin in the darker part of the hair (even if that’s in the middle of the strand)
  3. Comb through each small section with a fine-toothed comb, to ensure even distribution.
  4. For the color pictured below, I left it on for 20 minutes, with 30 minutes maximum.

This process took me about 15-20 minutes (I can go pretty fast because I’ve done it so many times).

All pictures above are unedited, outside of cropping

Color Conditioner

  1. Mix 3 parts AG Hair Care – Restore Conditioner (Keratin Repair) with one part Maria Nila – Lavender Colour Refresh.
    1. My desired color was light purple, so you can change that for your desired brightness. the Maria Nila brand also has other colors, as well!
  2. Use the same application process as you used for the toner/developer solution.
    1. Because your hair is no longer in the braids, this means you’ll use clips or hair-ties.
  3. For the color pictured above, I left this mixture on for 15-20 minutes (one-half to one-quarter episode of Monk)
  4. Follow with the Kinky Curly Bleached Hair Routine!

CAUTION: I ALWAYS use gloves when coloring hair, especially with harsh chemicals!

*I am not a licensed beautician or professional. I am a fellow member of the natural hair community with useful advice. I am not liable for any advice I give that does not receive equal results or produces damage, injury, or otherwise.*

Kinky Curly Bleached Hair Routine

How to Maintain Bleached Hair in a Healthy Way

Hair Maintenance

If you’ve seen my Instagram (@mini_vegan) or visited this blog before, then you’ve probably witnessed my constant hair color transformation. When adding color or dyes to your hair it’s important to understand how to properly take care of naturally curly hair. We’ve all seen the horror stories where people’s hair fell out or became so elastic it started breaking off near the root. What we want to do is AVOID that result as much as possible!

I was born with kinky curly dark brown hair that was chemically straightened when I was ten-years-old. When I was 17 I decided to go natural, after a terrible perming experience where the stylist left me with blotches of scabs and hair removal. I couldn’t comb my hair because it would fall out and I had to put Neosporin on my scalp twice a day to help the scabs heal. Having been straight for so long, learning to take care of my natural hair was A LOT of trial-and-error. When I decided to color it, that added another layer of struggling, but has been well worth it, to me!

I’ve been asked several times how I maintain my curls AND manage to have my hair so close to white blonde – well, like I said it’s not easy, but if you’re willing to put in the time, it’s definitely do-able!

Things to Remember

When deciding whether or not to color your curly hair, especially African American hair, it’s important to factor in the following:

  • Curly hair produces fewer natural oils than a straighter or looser curl texture.
  • Those with very curly hair types need to have external oils ready to apply regularly to both the hair and scalp.

Now, I understand no one wants their hair to feel or look greasy and that’s why trial-and-error is such a big deal when choosing the proper hair products. Lucky for you all, I’ve done the bulk of the trial-and-error for you! So, let’s start with my pre-dye hair routine.

Before the Bleach

General Wash Routine

  1. Separate into a minimum of four sections, for thicker hair use smaller sections
    1. Apply Maui Moisture: Heal and Hydrate + Shea Butter Detangler Leave-In to the hair (generously)
    2. Comb GENTLY through the hair – DO NOT EVER pull through the hair with the comb, because you will break the hair and create more damage
    3. Combing through the hair beforehand will help with the washing and conditioning process, to make sure the product is reaching all of your hair
  2. I wash my hair once every week and a half to two weeks
    1. Curly hair often does not make as much natural oil as straighter textures, so you don’t want to wash it too frequently and risk over-washing and drying your hair out.
  3. For those of you with dry-scalp (like myself) you may be able to make it to the two-week mark, most likely not.
    1. What can push us dry-scalpers to two weeks is the use of scalp oil every day. Because your scalp is dryer, you don’t run as much risk of your hair appearing greasy but just healthy!

Wash Routine

Pureology is the best vegan (salon quality) line of products I have ever come across. My hair has never been healthier, even after DevaCurl use, than after using Pureology. Pureology now has a line called Best Blonde, which has done wonders for the color, strength, and texture of my hair!

  1. Wash with Pureology Strength Cure – Best Blonde Shampoo
  2. Condition with Pureology Strength Cure – Best Blonde Conditioner
    1. You can either use this process if you are not going to use a leave-in or like me, you can do both the leave-in and this process: Rinse hair lightly keeping the majority of the conditioner in the hair. The conditioner will not hurt your hair and will continue to moisturize between washes.

Post-Wash Moisturizer

  1. Separate hair into small sections to thoroughly apply product
  2. Apply Cantu products to both the hair and scalp, paying special attention to the ends, which are at the most risk for breakage
    1. Cantu Strengthening Treatment and/or Leave-in Conditioner
    1. DISCLAIMER: They are not vegan, but they are natural and cruelty-free. I have had the best results with these products and I’ve tried both vegan and non-vegan
  3. In one handful I place the following products, rub together in my hands, and apply to small sections:
    1. Pureology Strength Cure – Best Blonde Miracle Filler Treatment
    2. Pureology Superfood Strength Cure Treatment (Deep Conditioner)
  4. Finish with gel to lock-in moisture
    1. DevaCurl Gel works well but is not vegan. I use a vegan styling gel from Jessicul called Spiralicious.

Daily Hair Moisturizers

  1. Moisturize hair each day [This is my sequence]
    1. Cantu Shea Butter: Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
    2. Beautiful Curls – Hydrating Curl Oil
      1. Applied on the curls in particularly dry or vulnerable spots. This includes spots that may be lighter, or closer to a white blonde, and will need more care
    3. Finish with Pravana – The Perfect Blonde (seal & protect leave-in) Spray
  2. Work the product through all of your hair
    1. Account for the amount of time it will take for you to do this in the morning
      1. It typically takes me about 10-15 minutes
    2. Start at your ends and work your way to the roots and scalp.
      1. Do thoroughly after washing
      2. Do as a touch-up to dry spots each day

For all hair textures, it’s important to pay close attention to the health of your ends as they are the farthest away from the root and the least likely to receive all the natural oils, vitamins, and minerals your body provides.

For dry scalps that prefer to use a lathering shampoo, like Head and Shoulders, please try to follow with a non-lathering conditioner. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir and all of you have heard of the harmful effects of lathering shampoos and conditioners on hair – so for all hair types, please shy away from the bubbles!


*I am not a licensed beautician or professional. I am a fellow member of the natural hair community with useful advice. I am not liable for any advice I give that does not receive equal results or produces damage, injury, or otherwise.*

Senegalese Twists

Pros

  1. Great protection from the weather
    1. I got my twists to protect my hair from the heat and humidity of the summer
  2. Cheap
    1. Ordering the hair I used Kanekalon and ordered from Amazon for an average of $6 for 3 packs per order
    2. The installation was $80 – stylist information below
  3. First protective style that was NOT painful during installation nor afterwards
    1. Very comfortable to sleep in
    2. Easy to create more styles
  4. Depending on your stylist you can do a lot of innovative and creative things
    1. See above for dark brown/blonde style
  5. Easy to create long styles without a lot of added time

 

Cons

  1. Medium size creates a loose pattern
    1. I got mine to prevent frizzing during humid summer days and easy hair care, but with a looser pattern and larger twists I saw frizzing begin as soon as 3 days post install
  2. Some Unraveling
    1. Typically twists are not burned on the ends they are boiled, but I saw some unraveling on the second day
    2. If you see unraveling – LEAVE IT
      1. I was so nervous it was going to come apart that I burned the ends and the twists (slightly) and now have A LOT of sticking and it looks kind of like a bird nest on the bottom
    3. Trust the stylists choices and leave the style as is
  3. As with all protective styles the scalp is exposed, so it will dry quicker than normal
    1. Continue to moisten the scalp daily or every other day
  4. Because they are twists and are only two strands they are naturally going to be looser than a braid, despite size
    1. You can feel how loose they are when you put your hands on your scalp, which makes me slightly uneasy, but they are NOT at risk of coming off

 

 

Hair styled and installed by IG: @_asianzing_

E-mail: meant2muve@gmaiil.com

Phone: 1-443-768-5278

Faux Locs

Pros

  1. Fully protects the hair from the elements
    1. I got mine to protect my hair from the harsh dirt/sand and heat that will be present at the Coachella Music Festival
  2. Hair used for installation is incredibly cheap
    1. I used Marley hair, which is a little more expensive, but I was able to find a vendor at aliexpress that supplied me with 15 packs for $85
    2. Other types of hair are much cheaper and still work really well
  3. Because the scalp is so exposed you have to oil your scalp daily, which is incredibly good for your hair health and growth
  4. The style looks more natural, in my opinion, than braids or twists
  5. The style is very unique

 

Cons

  1. Stick together a lot when you first get them
  2. The sticking together may cause some of the locos to unravel
  3. The upkeep is extensive
    1. Because of the sticking and unraveling you often have to use scissors to cut off extraneous strands
    2. You should also have a lighter on hand to re-seal the locs after you’ve cut the strands
    3. Use use the lighter on the strands running it up and down the strand briefly, then roll the locs in your hands to re-loc the hair
    4. Have de-frizz spray or oil on hand to help keep the locs from frizzing over time
  4. Because your scalp is so exposed, depending on how thick your locs are (mine are quite thick) you’ll have to oil your scalp daily, sometimes twice
  5. They are really tight and heavy when you first get them so sleeping and moving your head may be difficult for the first week
  6. The installation takes FOREVER!!! Mine took 15 hours