5 Things To Consider Before Coloring Your Hair

African American Black woman looking at her natural curly hair

For several years now, I’ve wanted to go blonde – after all, blondes have more fun – right? Maybe, but according to Rachel Grante, Colour Director at Arthur Christine salon, nestled outside of Washington D.C., channeling my inner Ciara would come at a cost – both financially and possibly physically.

In fact, Grante who has over 12 years’ experience in hair styling and coloring, cautions anyone considering hair color to keep several things in mind.

READ: 10 Things Professional Hairstylists Want You To Stop Doing Now

1. Internal health – While you may be thinking “Wait, what?” Grante says you are what you eat. “If your caffeine intake [coffee and soda] is out of control and you’re not drinking water to replenish the nutrients that would normally [when following a healthy diet] replenish your hair, it becomes brittle, dry, resists color and creates breakage.

This rule also applies to those taking medications or readying to have surgery. “Your hair is down. Meaning, chances are it is in a weakened state because your body has to use good nutrients to focus on healing.” In these cases, Grante says she asks customers to come back in six months after they’re hair has had time to “recover.”

2. Education – Although I’ve grown accustomed to stylists giving me the look I want at any cost: money, damage (that I wasn’t entirely aware of), Grante argues that, “if your colorist cannot educate you properly on the risks accompanied with coloring your hair – specifically lifting it – they shouldn’t be touching your hair.”

In other words, a consultation is key to great results. “You have to consider texture, health, current hair color and the event that you may not get the color you want right now. Sometimes it is a process.”