Sapna Magazine Archives

The Archives 2004-2020

Lightening Up Your Hair Routine

Choosing to color your desi hair is a big step. It feels like a million questions have to be answered in preparation. What is age appropriate? Can my dark skin tone pull off this color? How much maintenance will this require? Does this colorist know what he/she is doing?  We’ll help you understand the process before you take the peroxide plunge.

The Color Process

Color expert, Shikha Rahman, advises her clients, “If your natural hair color is a medium brown or darker, and you want to be a blonde, you will have to use a technique called double-process blonding.” With this technique, first the hair is lightened, and then toner is applied to get the right shade.

Another option for those seeking lighter tresses is highlighting. Rahman suggests, “Create natural-looking highlights on selected strands of hair. The look can be bold and dramatic, or soft and subtle.” Highlights are a great  introduction to hair color. Most salons will let you do partial (half head) or full (whole head) highlights.

Pick Your Shade 

Those seeking a classic look should follow the advice of Rahman on natural coloring, “stay close to your natural color, one or two shades lighter, then add some highlight. Get specific color recommendations and haircare advice from your specialist.” But if you think your hair is a canvas for artistic expression, then dabble in ombre, bright hues (colored streaks), balayage (“hair painting”).


Rules For Keeping Your Hair Vibrant After Color 

  1. Reapply color as often as recommended
  2. Use a shampoo and conditioner formulated for color-treated hair (SAPNA recommends Pureology)
  3. Avoid exposing your hair to the sun. Remember that the sun is a natural hair lightener, and overexposure can cause hair to fade or even change color.
  4. Shampoo or rinse your hair immediately after swimming in chlorine or salt water. Chemicals left in the hair can accelerate fading, especially when mixed with the sun.
  5. Use a deep conditioner, such as ColorSeal Conditioning Gloss, which penetrates hair so its soft and shiny. Remember conditioning hair before and after the color/ highlight is very important .
  6. Choose products which match your hair type! (SAPNA recommends Ouidad )
  7. Every two weeks, use a conditioning treatment with hot oil. This can be done up to two times a week according to the condition of your hair. (SAPNA recommends Alberto VO5 Hot Oil)
[Photo Credit: Us Weekly,]

1,022 thoughts on “Lightening Up Your Hair Routine

  1. Thanks for the wonderful advice. I recently got my hair colored, and my hair is so damaged. I am going to try hot oil, and see if that works. 

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