What Is a Good Semi-Permanent Dye for African-American Hair?

Find the best semipermanent dye for you.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Sometimes it's fun to switch things up and try out a new hair color. Semipermanent dyes are a fantastic option. Semipermanent dyes, which fade each time you lather up, are healthier for African-American hair. Semipermanent dyes deposit color onto your hair, while permanent ones alter your hair proteins -- which can stress your tresses. Before you change the tint of your strands with a semipermanent color, learn about some good ones that will leave your locks looking their best.

Picking Your Color

Some hair colors work better than others, depending on your skin tone. If you have warm undertones, try rich brown shades. Get really daring by trying out blond shades -- these can look stylish too. Ladies with cool undertones are best in shades with hints of red. This doesn't mean you have to sport a bright and fiery color. Instead, think cinnamon or burgundy.

Say No to Peroxide

Most semipermanent dyes don't contain peroxide, but double check and make sure no peroxide will be put on your hair. Peroxides lift the color of your hair to lighten it. While the effects might look nice at first, peroxides strip hair of its natural oils. Since African-American hair is already naturally drier than other hair types, peroxides dry hair out even more and leave it more susceptible to breakage.

An Exception

While peroxide-free colors are always going to be the healthiest choice for your hair, if you have a "natural" -- hair that hasn't been chemically relaxed -- peroxides can be applied without causing catastrophic damage. When using peroxides, lighten your hair a little at a time. Going from black to blond at one time is going to leave your hair feeling like straw. Once your hair has been colored, condition it well every time you wash, to restore hydration.

Henna

Henna only works to darken your hair -- it won't make it lighter -- but it's super healthy for your tresses. You may be familiar with henna. It's better known as the substance used to make body art tattoos. Henna has lots of conditioning properties, so you'll be left with hair that's dyed and healthy. If your hair is especially fragile, henna is a fantastic way to color and strengthen your hair at the same time.

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