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Debi Dumas

So you’re ready to give your tresses a fresh revival? Talking Pretty got the exclusive scoop from celebrity hair stylist and master colorist at Jim Wayne Salon, Debi Dumas, who recently worked with actress Tamala Jones, on a few basics to giving your strands some life with a little color. –mckenzie harris

How can women transition safely from very dark hair to a lighter shade such as blonde?

Slowly! Unless I have a client who needs an immediate result [ie. movie, commercial, modeling], I always advise a gradual transition. Dark hair often needs several treatments before the exact desired shade is achieved. A color change often takes time, which will insure that the integrity of the hair is maintained. I normally would only [use a bleaching agent] on someone who was looking for a very short haircut like Rihanna or Halle Berry, as the quality of the hair would be too compromised on anything longer.

Is it ever safe to color your hair yourself at home?

Actress Tamala Jones

Coloring hair is truly a science, and is best left to the experts, especially when it comes to lightening. If your hair has been previously colored or straightened, even at-home color that is temporary can become more permanent. If your hair has never been colored, permed, straightened, then any demi-permanent color is fun and fine to experiment with.

What do women with natural hair need to know before coloring?

If you have never colored your hair, you need to think about how much time and money you have to commit before you take the plunge. It also helps to bring photos of colors that you like, because my honey brown may be your golden dark blonde. The further you go from your natural color, the more processed the hair will be, which also means the hair will feel a bit more dry or brittle. The right after-care products will be needed to keep the hair healthy.

What about women with relaxed hair?

Most relaxed hair can be colored with no issues at all. Color should be done a week after a relaxer, for optimal results. Bleach is not always best suited for hair that has been previously straightened —  so extremely light colors may not be an option. But there are a whole world of yummy colors from toffee browns, rich mochas, ruby reds, to topaz blondes which can be suitable for all.

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