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My love affair with hair ended about thirteen years ago when I cut every inch completely off with the help of a friend. Going natural wasn’t exactly a political statement, it was a “me” statement.  I was just tired of the salon, hair spritz, and the neck pain after a night of trying to preserve a style. While I was delighted to be free from the expense and time, initially panic set in causing me to hide out for three days. The rest is history. My hair thing is now all about color. Here is where my good girl friend and fabulous colorist Dana Gibbs comes in. The information she gathered in the 20 years of combing, coloring, weaving and styling the stars is yours now. Dana let us come in her  salon to discuss the color process and answer many of the questions you ask me.  Here’s the interview followed by a video.

SB:      How should you chose a color?

DG:     “Select a color based on your lifestyle, hair color,  skin tone, also weather your hair is relaxed on natural, or how healthy your hair is, and your ability to up keep the color. ”

SB:      What type of color is best?

DG:     “If you must do your own color, choose semi- permanent it washes out in a few weeks and is easier to maintain. If you go to a professional, they will choose the best product for you. We use Alfapar because it is very low in ammonia which what you want, it’s less damaging to black hair.”

SB:      Texture and length matters – how?

DG:     If you hair is natural you can pretty much use any type of color you like, if your hair is relaxed you can only lighten or lift so much without damaging the hair. The rule is you can color over a relaxer but should not relax after color.  Remember hair shorter than four inches isnt really long enough to show off highlights .”

SB:      Give us the rules for at home follow up care.

DG:     “Always use a shampoo for color treated hair and deep condition your hair with heat once a week to maintain the health of your hair. Go back for your root touchups every 4-6 weeks, Highlights will look good for 3-6 months before needing a touch up.”

SB:      What are the do & don’ts, final thoughts?

DG:     “People think that it is ok to use box color on your hair but most of the time the color that is on the box will not give you the results you want, especially when you are trying to go light. Also, color-treated hair demands extra care. Use products rich in moisturizing ingredients and low in ammonia, condition regularly, and use heat and treatment oils to prevent damage due to the coloring.”

Find Dana on the web or tune in Monday’s to hear Dana live on her radio show at 8pm EST .  Enjoy the video.

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