Colouring woman wearing white tops

Afro hair tips: Colouring type 4 hair

Your hair says so much about who you are and colouring is a great way to express your individuality. If you’ve had the same hair style for a little while, you might be feeling an urge to switch things up and try something new. However, chopping off long locks or even cutting in a fringe can feel overwhelming for many

If you’re not quite brave enough to let your stylist get scissor-happy, experimenting with hair colour is a great way to change your look and boost your confidence. Maybe you want to try a subtle caramel balayage, or perhaps you’re feeling something daring like bright blue ombre strands? Whatever look you have in mind, you’ll need to have an idea of how to go about colouring your hair the right way.

Here, we outline what you need to know about colouring type four hair so you can ensure you get the results you want.  After all, no one wants to walk around with mis-coloured hair or completely fried curls.

Permanent vs. Temporary Hair Colour

There are three main types of hair colour – permanent, semi-permanent and temporary. All have their pros and cons and are suited for different situations.

Permanent colour will lift the cuticle of the hair and alter the proteins that give you your natural colour. It cannot be washed out after the hair has been coloured, unlike temporary colour. This will let you enjoy your new colour day-in and day-out and really get to live in your new hair personality.

Temporary colour doesn’t change the structure of the hair, instead it puts a layer of colour on top of the hair strand. This colour will usually fade after several shampoos. 

Whether you should opt for temporary, permanent or semi-permanent hair colour will depend on the colour you want to achieve and the colour your hair is now. 

Take your time

Most type four hair is brown or black naturally, so lightening it will be a slow process. You will need to consult a hairdressing professional to do this, ideally someone who has plenty of prior experience colouring type four hair. 

It may be frustrating having to transition from different shades of lightness and making several trips to the salon, but you’re more likely to achieve the outcome you want if you take it slow. Don’t be tempted to do any home bleaching to speed up the process, as this may severely damage your hair. 

Keep your hair moisturized

Moisturizing is key to ensuring your hair stays as healthy as possible, both prior to colouring and after the process is complete. Condition your hair before you have it lightened or coloured and ensure you keep it moisturized going forward. Keep those curls moisturized to keep your new color looking as fresh and crisp as possible. No one likes frizzled strands and ends poking around.

The LOC method is ideal for conditioning type four hair. Start with a leave-in conditioner, then an oil and then a good quality curl cream. After applying your products, secure your hair in twists, bantu knots or braids, then cover it with a silk scarf. This will help your hair retain the moisture from the products and reap the benefits of them.