Natural Hair Colouring – How To Colour Your Natural Hair + Pros & Cons

Hey there! We shall be looking into hair colouring in this post and i know the above picture got you smiling. Yeah! That colour is awesome! I was recently going through my radio program archives and bumped into this interview i had with Unyime Oba; a natural hair expert and enthusiast this time last year. We talked about hair colouring and she was really nice enough to share how she coloured her hair herself. She also shared some of the pros and cons of hair colouring. At first, i wanted to just post the audio file of the interview but on a second thought, i decided to transcribe the interview. She recently further shared with me  some of her observations now as regards the colour she applied on her hair so get ready for some detailed knowledge on hair colouring.

Let’s dig in!

Natural hair colouring - How to colour your natural hair + pros and cons with Unyime Oba (Natural Hair Expert and Enthusiast). Click To Tweet


What should one bear in mind when thinking of colouring his/her natural hair?

Firstly, you should bear in mind that no matter what you do to your hair especially with chemicals, it will affect the quality of your hair. So, if your hair is not well prepared in advance before colouring, you might damage your natural hair.

'If your hair is not well prepared in advance before colouring, you might damage your natural hair' - Unyime Oba; Natural Hair Expert and Enthusiast Click To Tweet

You just mentioned if one’s hair is not well prepared prior to colouring, it will be damaged. What kind of preparations should one do to prepare for colouring?

You should do a protein treatment. It needs to be done before colouring as it strengthens your hair and protects it from any harsh effect of the colouring agent used so it won’t alter your hair porosity because if your hair porosity gets damaged, it will change your curl pattern, lead to colour damages and you might actually cut your hair to go back to square one which nobody wants at all.

Are there permanent and temporal ones?

Yes. There is also the semi-permanent one.

What are the huge differences between the permanent and temporal ones?

The permanent one is just like bleaching. Let’s say, if you want to go blonde or something else, you need to do this in two steps for all these very bright colours. First, you need to lift your colour and secondly, you have to bleach it. Those are stronger processes unlike the semi-permanent. The semi-permanent one comes in a hair box so all you need to do is to apply it on your hair at home. Then the temporary is one is a wash out colour that lasts for like two washes and then it’s out of the hair.

Is yours permanent?

It is semi-permanent. I use henna on top of it to make it stronger. Henna is also a form of hair colouring.


Okay! I heard henna is also good for deep conditioning treatments, right?

Yes! Very good for deep conditioning.

Yeah! So, did you do this colouring yourself or you visited a specialist?

I coloured it myself. I’ve actually done it like two different times but I’m not doing anything that is not henna on my hair again.

(Laughs) Why?

Well, even though I took care of my hair before and after colouring, my hair porosity was altered. It became highly porous, damaged and tangled quickly. I realized I had damaged my hair. That’s why I started using henna on top of it to seal the holes in my hair cuticles to take it back to its original porosity and that was the best decision I ever made because my hair is flourishing now.

I believe when one wants to colour his/her hair, it is right to meet a hair specialist for this as this will help prevent these damages you mentioned. So, if one wants to colour his/her hair and wants to meet a supposed hair specialist, what are the things that once we notice around the person we should run away because I know when one wants to colour the hair, we should totally avoid colouring agents that contain ammonia and so on? What should I look out for in the ‘specialist’ to know this person is really competent enough to colour my hair?

You need to make sure the person knows how to handle natural hair. Most salons don’t know how to do this so you have to go to a natural hair salon to achieve this. You have to also make sure the person knows your hair porosity and also make sure the product about to be used has no ammonia. The person has to also prep your hair properly before colouring.


What is the colour of yours? I believe it is not red.

It was actually dyed down because it was really red when I got it. It was Creme of Nature Box Colour Vivid Red. It is the one with Argan oil and intensive oils. I’ve had it on my hair for like quite some time now (almost a year) so it has toned down a lot.

Creme of nature

Picture Credit: Creme of Nature

If I want to colour my hair right now, what are the different good colour options I can choose from?

I always prefer someone on natural hair not to go blonde because it is a lot harsher on the hair. You can go for red, brown, black, anything else as long as it is not the lightening blonde colour.

How did you colour your hair? Take us through the process.

Firstly, I got a pack of the hair colour I wanted. I prefer the Creme of Nature brand because it is healthier and contains no ammonia or peroxide which is safer for natural hair. While colouring your hair, your hair has to be dry which means you can’t have water in it because the amount of water in it can dilute the dye coming into your hair but it shouldn’t be bone dry or so dry to the point there is no moisture at all in your hair. Also, deep condition your hair two days prior to the day you want to colour your hair. Doing this will nourish and strengthen your hair before exposing it to the dye. It is also advisable not to shampoo before colouring as your hair will be stripped of the natural oils it is supposed to hold on to to achieve perfect results. Further make sure your hair is detangled before colouring. You can do this by gently combing through your hair from ends to the roots. Then divide your hair into sections and hold in place with clamps. Holding your hair in sections will help you make sure that every strand of your hair is coated and for manageability.


Read the instructions on the colour pack well. Don’t assume you already know probably because you’ve coloured your hair in the past as every hair dye kit is different. Put on the gloves. If the kit didn’t come with one, you can buy plastic gloves to avoid staining your hands and fingernails. Also wear an old clothing to avoid the dye staining your clothes. I wore an old button up t-shirt so I wouldn’t have to worry about it even if a drop of dye mistakenly stains the shirt.

You can also apply Vaseline to your hairlines and any exposed area around your skin to avoid getting your skin stained by the dye in the process. The next thing I did was to put my hair into sections, apply the colour section by section and wait for the recommended period of time as instructed by the manufacturer to allow the colour to sit in. I covered my hair with a plastic cap while the dye was processing. Once it’s time, rinse your hair with cool to warm water till there are no traces of dye left in your hair. You can then use a shampoo to wash your hair. Deep condition immediately with the deep conditioner the colour pack came with as most do come with one but if there is none, you can use any other good deep conditioner you have to deep condition your hair.


After that, I always deep condition my hair to replenish the keratin that got lost during the chemical process because of course a lot of keratin will get lost during this process. You have to take care of your hair in a totally different way which means that anytime you wash your hair, there is a tendency for the colour to fade so you should use colour protecting shampoos and conditioners.

Every time you deep condition your hair, you should check that the product you are or have been using is a colour protectant. It is usually written on the product container. The only difference you’ll notice is your hair tends to feel drier and that is because as I mentioned earlier, there is a keratin loss in the hair so the hair can tend to lose its initial porosity. It can change for instance from low to high porosity and this can be a big damage because of the keratin loss but this damage comes into the picture if you are not deep conditioning and moisturising as you are supposed to. You are supposed to step up your moisturising game when you dye your hair.

How to colour your natural hair like a pro. Natural hair expert; Unyime Oba takes us through the process. Click To Tweet
Related: Why Knowing And Working With Your Hair Porosity Is The Real Deal

How do you maintain the colour overtime so it doesn’t fade?

I use henna mixed with hibiscus powder for this. Usually what I do is that I mix henna and hibiscus powder with warm tea (mint or peppermint tea) and leave it overnight for at least eight hours. I then shampoo my hair, put the henna paste on it and leave it for three hours. That with the dye i already had usually helps me preserve the colour i already have on my hair and prevents it from fading entirely and also intensifies the colour. When the henna paste is on your hair, you just leave it on with or without heat. It is totally up to you. Usually, anytime you use henna colouring on your hair that you’ve allowed to sit for up to at least eight hours, the colour will remain and coat your hair strands and it is actually very permanent. It takes a very long time for henna to wash out of the hair.


Peep That Henna Glow!

Cool! Is there a DIY alternative to this?

There are DIY alternatives like food colouring. It is not permanent and goes off after two rinses.

What inspired you to colour your hair?

Well, i got tired of black hair. I just needed a pop of colour! (Laughs)


Best Friend Goals! (Unyime & besty)

How do you take care of your hair because i feel since it is coloured, you won’t take care of it the same way you do when it is not coloured. So how do you do it right from the  shampooing to the moisturizing stage and so on?

Well, my hair routine changed a bit after this. My hair regime is quite simple. I wash, deep condition, moisturise , leave it in a protective style like twists for the whole week and do it again. Before i coloured my hair, i deep condition two times a month but now i deep condition every week if i can because i am in a different country and it is drier here and my hair needs all the moisture it can get.


So, in summary, what you are trying to say is, if you coloured your hair, you need to take care of it more right?

Yeah! You need to moisturise as it tends to get a lot drier

Tell us about your brand ‘Zoeys Tresses’

Being a natural girl, i love products. I’m a product junkie and I’ve found out how expensive it is to have good hair products in Nigeria especially US brands. So my brand is just a way of providing good American brands of natural hair products at inexpensive prices for product junkies like me. I stock brands like Alikay Naturals, TGIN, Camille Rose, Mielle Organics, Shea Moisture and so on.

Thank you very much!


Wow! That was lovely! I trust you learnt so much. There were so many nuggets in this interview that was why i decided to share and i’m happy i did. Now, where are my fellow product junkies? Gather here! Go check out Zoeys Tresses on Instagram. Click HERE to do so. I know you also want to connect with her as well. I got you! Click HERE to follow her on Instagram. Her hair journey is worth following and learning from.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any questions? Feel free to drop them in the comment section below. Be sure to subscribe and join the tribe for healthy hair tips and exclusive interview updates.

May our hair grow and skin glow like hers! Can i get an Amen?



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