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Do you use a relaxer on your hair but find yourself a little curious about hair color? If the call of hair dye has you checking out the Dark and Lovely colors at your beauty supply store, don't let that relaxer stand in the way. Definitely, there are hair horror stories out there that can leave you quaking and shaking in your designer boots, but the key to using a relaxer and coloring your hair safely is to find the right product.
The Same Day as the Relaxer
If your hair's still wet from rinsing out the relaxer but you can't wait another minute to dye your mane, you can use Dark and Lovely Reviving Colors immediately after the relaxer application. These are semi-permanent products that only deposit color and contain no ammonia or peroxide. Within the Dark and Lovely line of hair coloring products, these are the only semi-permanents available.
Two Weeks After Your Relaxer
If you're looking for longer-lasting results than what a semi-permanent color can offer, Dark and Lovely Fade-Resistant Rich Conditioning Color, Dark and Lovely HiRez, and Dark and Lovely Color Confidence are all permanent hair colors that are safe for use with a relaxer. Just don't use the dye on the same day as the relaxer, or you'll be asking for trouble. Because permanent colors contain harsher chemicals, failing to follow directions and applying the products to newly relaxed locks can result in hair breakage.
When You Shouldn't
Like with any other type of hair color, there are certain things to look for before using any of the Dark and Lovely dyes. If your scalp felt the burn while you were relaxing and has the chemical burns to prove it, putting hair color on it afterward is just plain wrong, even if you are using semi-permanent color. Pay close attention to your hair if you're going the permanent route. If you start to shed more hair than your cat (or worse, you're losing clumps of hair) during your two-week wait, you'll need to step away from the color -- no matter how difficult it may be -- and come back to it when your hair's healthier.
Whether you're using a semi-permanent or permanent Dark and Lovely color, you'll need to perform a 24-hour skin patch test beforehand to ensure that you won't have an uncomfortable, painful or even dangerous allergic reaction when using the color. You'll also want to do a strand test to check the color. Apply a small amount of your new color to a hidden lock or two of hair, check the time and relax while you wait for it to develop. Rinse out the newly dyed lock, and make you're satisfied with the results. Of course, if your hair actually starts to break during the strand test, call the whole thing off.