“Essence Magazine” Talks Do’s and Don’ts for Coloring Natural Hair

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Essence Magazine gets an in depth scoop on the dos and don’ts of applying vibrant hair color to natural coils. After chopping it up with Titi Branch, co-founder of the natural hair care line Miss Jessie’s, the prominent magazine gains a few tips to share with inquiring readers. Proudly sporting platinum blonde curls, Titi Branch coins herself “a color addict”. In strong support of self-expression, Branch believes there are few “rules” regarding hair dye. “Color is a wonderful option to enhance natural hair,” Branch tells Essence blogger Crystal G. Martin. “It breaks up a mass of black hair by giving each curl dimension and light.” Branch provides a positive look into the world of vibrant hair dye, refusing to shy readers away from coloration, and instead encouraging them to seek knowledge surrounding the topic.


Essence, enlightened by Branch’s words of hair wisdom, provides a list of dos and don’ts for coloring curls inspired by the natural hair care conglomerate. Among the list of what-to-dos and what not-to-dos, three major topics are discussed: (1) the hair dye process, (2) what to look for in a colorist, and (3) how to care for your colored curls.


Don’t do it yourself if you want results that are two or more shades lighter than your base color. “At home color kits contain permanent color that can change the shade of your hair” says Branch, “but they are not meant to be used for dramatic changes or highlights.”


If you do choose to DIY, Do pay close attention to the picture on the front of the box, understanding that this is not the result you will achieve. It is best to compare your desired results to the side or back panel of the box based on your starting shade.


Don’t choose a colorist without seeing her work. Ask yourself, “Do you like her other clients’ color? Does their hair look healthy?” These questions will lead you to finding the right professional, a key point in “achieving results you’ll be happy with.”


Do take a picture with you to the salon. “No colorist worth her salt will guarantee a result based on the picture you bring” states Branch. “But it’s a great jumping point. A picture shows what your comfort level is with color.”


Do consider highlights. Branch admits “color is damaging to the hair” and “there’s no way around it; [but she likes] to mitigate that fact by highlighting instead of applying permanent color to the entire head”.


“Highlighting uses bleach or permanent color to change the shade of intermittent pieces of hair. So it exposes fewer strands to potential damage.”


Do deep condition and get regular haircuts. “Naturally curly hair is inherently dry, so there’s no such thing as over conditioning,” states Branch. “…That becomes especially true when you color your hair.” Titi Branch, one half of the popularized Miss Jessie’s brand, concludes her interview with Essence with a deep conditioning and hair trim regime. She suggests deep conditioning for 15 minutes every time you wash your hair, and trimming your hair when needed and/or bi-annual haircuts is required.


Is your hair dyed and/or chemically processed? What were your results when experimenting with color? Tell us your story in the comment space below!


Annsleigh Denise is a graduate of Spelman College, earning a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Minor in Multi-Media and Professional Writing. She is a multifaceted creative, focused on the inner-workings of print, publication, and Broadcast Journalism. Possessing notable editorial skills, Annsleigh aspires to utilize her professional experience to impact the world of media.

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