Ready to cross over to the dark side?
Black hair is often seen as a shade that’s sexy, mysterious and dramatic. But we don’t think it’s only for the goth set; we love this hair colour for many reasons. It has a unique edge, while also boasting a certain mature and professional stance.
However, if you don’t have naturally black hair, you may often notice those pesky lighter roots, or find that the colour can turn brassy over time. The darl dye can also be hard to ‘stick’ onto certain base shades, so it’s likely that you’ll find yourself constantly dyeing it to score an amazingly polished dark hue. Read on to discover our editors’ tips on maintaining the vibrancy of this beautifully sultry shade.
Editor’s top tips on maintaining black hair
1. Start with hair that’s in good condition
Colour holds best onto hair that’s in good condition, or hair that’s less damaged. We know this may be a tricky ask if you find yourself in a cruel cycle of heat styling and constant hair-dyeing, so do consider carefully before taking the plunge. Needless to say, before making the transition to black hair, it’s worth making a trip to the salon and getting a fresh cut, or at least a trim to keep those nasty split ends at bay.
Want to know how you can help your hair get back into shape? Try treating your mane to a little extra TLC by using a moisture-rich hair mask – like the Dove Intensive Repair Mask (£4.59*) – regularly, prior to dyeing your hair.
2. Know your dyes
You may not realise this, but not all hair dyes were created equally. The dye you get from a supermarket shelf will be dramatically different to the treatment you get from the salon. If you’re trying on black hair for the first time, we suggest heading to see a professional, who’ll not only know exactly what they’re doing, but will also treat you to a high quality, salon-grade formula.
3. Avoid washing your hair for 72 hours
As your colourist will undoubtedly tell you, your new colour will need some time to ‘settle’ into your hair, so a wash straight after dyeing is a big no-no. If you don’t leave it for at least 72 hours, the dye can seep out of your hair and you may well end up with a washed-out charcoal instead of that gorgeous midnight black you were going for.
4. Wash your hair less (in general)
We all know that washing your hair a little bit less is the best way to hold onto the natural oils in your hair, but it’s also the best way to help retain colour vibrancy. If you’re finding it difficult to get through those in-between wash days, why not try spritzing the TRESemmé Instant Refresh Cleansing Dry Shampoo (£3.99*) on to your hair, concentrating mainly on the roots. This gorgeous-smelling formula will make your mane look and feel fresher in an instant, plus, it won’t leave any chalky residue on your lovely black hair!
5. Stay away from heat (as much as you can!)
Sadly this rule doesn’t just apply to those who’ve dyed their hair. Truth is, if you want to keep your hair in tip-top condition, staying away from your beloved hair dryer, straightener and curling wand really is your best solution. If you must use heated styling tools, to do so sparingly. And… you know what we’re going to say, don’t you? Don’t forget to use a heat protectant – like the VO5 Smoothly Does It Heat Protect Spray (£3.99*) beforehand!
6. Use cooler water
Just like you are avoiding heated styling tools, you should also try and avoid using very hot water if you want to help your black hair retain its vibrancy. Hot water can open up the cuticles in your strands, causing the black dye to escape!
7. Use the right shampoo and conditioner
Psst! Want to know which ones we rate? Head right this way for our round-up of the best shampoos for coloured hair.
8. Stay away from the pool (sorry, swimmers!)
Sadly (but unsurprisingly), chlorine is not your dyed hair’s best friend. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you can’t go swimming ever again. So enjoy your time at the pool, but do make sure to use a cap every time!
9. Maintenance is key
We’re not gonna lie: black hair can be a lot of work to maintain. But if you want to maintain colour vibrancy, then there are no two ways about it: book in regular root touch-ups and treatments around every 6-8 weeks to keep that hue as vivid as you’d like it.