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 😉 )


  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.*

Senegalese Twists


  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



  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_


Phone: 1-443-768-5278

Faux Locs


  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



  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