Let it be known that 2016 is definitely the year I’m going to enjoy my fro. I started off the year with a blow-dry/length check (my 1st ever since going natural, so in 4+ years) and when that went well I knew colour was next.
More time that I’d like to admit was spent on Pinterest, Google, blogs, and poured over hair mags. I created a “Fro Colour Inspiration” folder on my phone where every screenshot, pic and idea was captured (and reviewed every couple of days). I knew things were getting real when my phone ran out of memory and I had to delete pics of Emma to make space former hair colour inspo pics. Obviously, that was not sustainable so I called to book an appointment the following week to force my own hand and just do it.
And this is why I couldn’t decide what I wanted. Why must Black women be so beautiful?!
I gave my fro a bit of a break from the time I did the blow dry & gave it lots of TLC, upping my frequency of protein deep treatments. I used a bunch of my regular products (read: too many to mention here), just more often. In addition, something I specifically did in preparation for my colour was the L’Oreal Pro Fibre treatment – both the in salon treatment (like a month or so before my colour appointment) and then I followed up with the home care Pro Fibre range (yeah Pro Fibre needs a separate post, I’ll get to it!).
I prepoo-ed lightly at home the night before my colour appointment with olive oil even though in that moment as I was doing the prepoo I didn’t know if that was a good idea or not since I realised the colour would be going directly on the prepoo-ed hair (not washed 1st). By the time this occurred to me I was too deep in & just carried on.
So if you know me you’ll know that I obviously booked Brian at Tanaz for the job. We’d been talking about it for a while. I’d sent him some pics of looks I liked and we talked about what would work on my skin tone. On the day we also looked at colour swatches (we made sure to take them outside & look at it in the natural light as well).
He knows what I like and that curl preservation is first and foremost but obviously I was still scared. This was actually going to be the first time I had my hair coloured ever (because colour + relaxer = you’re asking for your hair to break off). So yes, there were nerves. We decided on mahogany (L’Oreal’s Inoa) with blonde highlights.
Just before we started – smiling through the fear! 🙂
Side note: who goes to get their hair coloured in white shirt?! Apparently I do. Can you tell I haven’t done this before?
We started with the highlights first and I had 19 foils in my head by the time I was done.
Then we did the mahogany on the rest of the hair. OMG OMG OMG can you see the blonde sticking out of the tops of those foils?! Peroxide doesn’t play.
So those blonde bits were blonde hey 🙂
And then we mixed it all together *relief*
And then we rinsed!
(Confession: I snuck this pic at the basin purely because I was dying to see my hair & I. Could. Not. Wait to get to a mirror!)
A few thoughts on process etc. My hairline (i.e. my skin right next to where my hair starts and not my hair itself) was basted (I’m not sure if thats the right word but work with me) with what I think was Vaseline all around my head to make sure my skin didn’t get stained with the mahogany. It worked. We also used the Olaplex treatment on my highlights since bleaching has the potential be really, really harsh on the hair. I honestly don’t know that much about Olaplex but I have seen lots about them online/in mags/salons. They have some pretty strong product claims so if you’re keen, read more here….
And here’s how it turned out…
Yeah so the blonde bits were blonde hey! (I may/may not have said that already). Brian asked me as we were finishing up and while he was diffusing my fro (to help along the air drying) if I wanted to tone down the highlights a bit. Apparently he could do it then & there & wouldn’t take more than 15/20 minutes at the most. I decided not to and told him I was heading out of town for a few days so I’d live with it to see how I felt & call him when I get back. Well, I never made that call…
So overall I’m really pleased with the way it came out on two levels. First off, it’s the change I wanted, probably bolder than I’d planned but I was happy for that ‘push’. I love the way it looks, especially wearing my fro all big/out/proud (still my favourite). It feels like I now see my hair in 3D for the 1st time. I see the shape, volume, size & each individual curl more now when I look in the mirror. It has more depth and interest.
Secondly and even more importantly for me than the previous point is that I now feel less held hostage my by hair. I know this sounds really dramatic but every milestone (big chop, 1st blowdry & now colour) has held so much trepidation for me I honestly have spent weeks of energy & head space thinking about it. Wanting it & at the same time dreading it. Constantly thinking about all the potential things that could go wrong & how I would handle it. And nothing went wrong.
So I’m really glad I did this. My fro’s still in good nick. And I have to keep believing that if I keep treating it well (with a little extra protein going forward) it’ll continue to be. I don’t feel like I have any other hair boxes I’m itching to tick at the moment so I hope to just relax about it and enjoy it more,
Oh & my white shirt made it out of the salon without as much of a speck of anything it!
Be kind to your hair!