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By Funmilola Olukomaiya

There comes a time when as ladies, we get the itch to switch up our style. But if you have decided to experiment with a new hair colour, you should consider keeping that colour popping and your hair healthy.

Whatever colour you decide to settle for, note that colour-treated hair needs a little extra attention especially if you want your colour to last long.

Nothing is worse than spending big bucks at your hair salon for the newest trending hair colour and then having it fade after a week due to lack of care.

It is pertinent to note that before you head to the salon or attempt to colour your hair, you consider if your hair is in good condition for colour and if you can handle the upkeep that comes with coloured hair.

If you didn’t give these a thought before adding colour to your hair, not to worry, the health of your hair will be fine with the use of the right products and treatment.

Below are some step-by-step guide to looking after your colour-treated natural hair.

1. Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner: Sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium laureth ether sulfate, is a type of anionic detergent that is found in many personal care products. This ingredient is used to help produce a foaming effect to your shampoos and conditioners. By using sulfates, you run the risk of stripping your hair of its natural oils and moisture, which can then lead to stripping your beautiful colour-treated hair.

2. Deep condition regularly: Your hair is at its most porous state when colour-treated. This means that moisture escapes your strands much faster than normal. Deep conditioning is yet another way to make sure your hair is getting all the moisture it needs so that your strands don’t succumb to the straw-like condition many complain about when rocking colour. The hair is also weaker in this state, so protein is needed.

3. Wash hair less often: You will need to get into a daily maintenance routine to keep your look moisturized and beautiful. Washing your hair every day is something you want to avoid if wanting your hair colour to last longer. Not only are you washing away the natural oils that moisturize and keep your hair colour looking fresh, you also wash away a little bit of your hair dye every time you wash your hair. Try washing your hair every other day or even 2-3 times a week to keep your colour. But be sure to moisturize every day. Put some oil in your hands and apply from tip to root. Alternatively, use a leave-in conditioning spray with some added argon or jojoba oil.

4. Handle gently: Colour-treated hair tends to be fragile, that means it is important to handle your hair gently. Be ultra-sensitive during washing, detangling and styling. This means making sure to use products specifically designed for colour-treated natural hair when washing and moisturizing. Also, get yourself a good quality, wide-tooth comb for detangling as anything else can lead to damage or hair loss. If you’re a swimmer, always use a swimming cap to protect colour-treated hair from chemicals in the pool.

5. Moisturize when styling: Make your colour-treated hair less likely to break or split by using products that hydrate when styling. Moisturizing and sealing in that moisture should be of a priority now.

6. Use protein treatments: While deep-conditioning treatments are sufficient for most colour-treated hairstyles, some people also add a protein mask into the mix. If you are noticing an increase in the number of hairs falling out, try using protein-based treatments. Protein-based products are designed to fill the gaps in each strand that occur due to cuticle damage so they can add strength and shine.

7. Wear protective styles: Keep your hair in low-manipulation, protective styles as often as you can. This will help you retain moisture and put less stress on the hair, both of which means less breakage.

8. Protect your hair overnight: Night-time needs a bit of thought when you’re looking after your colour-treated, textured hair. With your hair moving about on the pillow for 6+ hours each night there is an increased risk of breakage and split ends. To avoid this, get yourself a bedtime hair routine. Apply oil evenly across the hair, wrap your hair in a silk scarf for protection and then head to bed.

In conclusion, wearing colour-treated hair can be fun and sexy. It’s just about maintaining its health and shine. This is possible if you do right by it!