It happens to the best of us: after years of dyeing our hair, moving from one ashy color to another, and regularly visiting the salon for root touch-ups, we suddenly think about how simple and low-maintenance our morning routines were when we actually had our naturally black tresses.
While we’ve talked about how Pinays can go from black to blonde in the past, we never really delved into how one can switch back to her natural hair color. Here, we consulted local celebrity hairstylist and owner of Marqed Salon Mark Rosales to give us the lowdown on how to dye your hair back to black, as well as what to expect when getting your hair color professionally removed!
1. Your hair shouldn't be dyed in black.
Instinctively, dyeing your hair back into its natural black color seems like a good idea, but according to Mark, he normally wouldn't recommend it to his Pinay clients.
He explains, "Black is the strongest hair color; once you dye it in that shade, it will be hard to lighten it again, if ever you decide to get your hair colored in the future. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to make [your hair] super light again! You’re going to have to go through [multiple coloring sessions] to get the color that you want, so you really should think carefully before you go dark. Consider what kind of in-between shades you can live with [as you wait for your colored hair to grow out,]
2. Brown is the ideal "transitioning" shade your hair should be colored in.
"I strongly recommend for you to go for brown- or dark brown-colored dyes to achieve your natural color," Mark advised. So if you've got an ash brown 'do, for example, get a darker shade of brown like to slowly start your transition instead of dyeing your hair straight to black (take baby steps!).
Additionally, Mark also noted to "stay away from metallic dyes [which can be found in some drugstore hair dyes] and Henna as they tend to make the hair brittle in the long run." To be completely safe, "make sure to visit a hair color expert as well so that you do not damage your hair and scalp, or worse, end up with patchy, uneven hair color," he said.
3. Before removing the color, your hair will be examined.
"Using a hair scanner, we will have to diagnose your locks to make sure if your hair is ready for the color. After that, your hair will undergo a test, which involves dipping a strand of hair into a special solution; this test determines if the client's hair can handle the process," the celebrity hairstylist explained.
4. If you've got bleached hair (especially if it's blonde), it will be harder to go back to black.
"We give extra care for those with bleached hair, as the darker you want to tint your blonde tresses, the more delicate you need to tread," he explained. On top of that, "bleaching roughens the surface of the hair, so color pigments have a harder time adhering to the strands, [compared to] those with virgin hair."
5. You can have your dark hair color back with only one salon visit.
The hairstylist noted that achieving your naturally black hair can be done in one sitting, but of course, it would be best to still have your hair condition properly checked and assessed by a colorist to manage expectations.
6. Removing your hair dye comes with its own cons.
"It will leave your hair feeling dry," Mark warned. This is why it's highly important to have a post-hair care routine. It's not just your face that needs to be moisturized!
How to take care of your hair after the treatment
As your tresses will be prone to dryness, Mark stressed the importance of not skipping conditioners "to help restore the natural moisture and softness of your hair." He advised, "Apply it from ends to roots...[and use] a sulfate-free shampoo as it is made up of more natural ingredients."
Other than the daily hair care, he also recommended to "get a [hair] treatment every two weeks, and a trim every four weeks to prevent the hair cuticle from splitting." Marqed Salon offers a Schwarzkopf BC Color Freeze treatment, a deeply restoring treatment that costs P1,200; it'll help keep the hair smooth after the color-correcting process.
Other ways to get your natural hair color back
Option 1: Get regular trims to speed up the process!
Think about it: The longer your hair is, the longer you'll have to deal with awkward roots. Plus, regular trims can improve the look of your "growing out" phase, as it gets rid of the ends of your tresses, which are normally the driest and dullest part. "You can get your hair trimmed every two weeks to remove colored hair," Mark recommended.
Option 2: Grow out your hair (and still look classy)
As anyone with dyed hair would know, growing out one’s tresses tend to result in alanganin roots—not to mention if you’ve got striking blonde hair that visibly contrasts your black locks. One secret to making the grow-out appear more seamless is to add some highlights. (be strategic with the placements!).
TRY: Balayage highlights
Instead of going for foil highlights (which give you uniformed chunks of color), try getting a balayage—a highlighting technique wherein a colorist will freehandedly paint the dye to your hair. This allows him/her to choose the best highlight placements to blend that harsh line between your naturally dark roots and your lighter hair color. As a result, your dark roots should fade seamlessly into your colored ends.
"Pepper in highlights, little by little, until you’ve flushed out the light hair color," notes Refinery 29.
TRY: Scalp care products
To ensure that you won't be left with dull, brittle black hair once you've grown out the color, paying more attention to your scalp is more than necessary.
"The scalp is the bedrock for the hair follicle, and if it is not in good condition, the chances of you experiencing problems with hair growth and health increase significantly," trichologist Anabel Kingsley tells Refinery 29.
So aside from treating your tresses to weekly hair masks, make sure that you're actually growing healthy hair by deep cleansing your scalp. A vinegar rinse is one way to do it; and thankfully, you don't have to reach for that bottle of vinegar in your kitchen. For a mess- and odor-free wash, add a few drops of this raspberry-scented rinsing vinegar to your scalp after shampooing. Massage it to thoroughly slough off dirt and product buildup on your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes.
Once you've rinsed it off, it honestly won't feel like it did anything for your hair, but once your locks dry up after showering, you'll notice how smoother it feels (and how noticeably shinier it looks). Make it a habit to do this once a week!
TRY: Yves Rocher Rasberry Rinsing Vinegar, P699, available at Lazada, U.P. Town Center, and Trinoma