One thing I always wanted to do when I was relaxed was to highlight my hair but I never went through with it. I was terrified of causing further damage and that I’d have trouble retaining length. I’d seen too many girls with damaged and choppy hair because they had relaxed and then bleached their hair. Once I went natural and started dealing with my virgin texture, I fell in love. I have curls, coils and tufts all over my head. Now that I’ve found my staple products, my hair is thriving and I live for wash and gos. I was mindlessly scrolling IG one day when I said aloud to my husband, “Man, I’d love to color my hair” to which he responded, “Why don’t you?” I replied that it was way too expensive but then realized that I’d never even looked. Hell, I wasn’t even 100% familiar with the coloring process so I made my way down the rabbit hole. After doing weeks of research, I finally took the plunge and booked my appointment at the same salon where I’d gotten my big chop. Ayten, the salon owner, answered all of my questions and put me at ease. She didn’t use any bleach and, instead of coloring my whole head, we went with highlights. It’s been about two months since I got my hair colored and I haven’t noticed any issues: no breakage, excessive dryness or change in curl pattern. Since I requested highlights that look lived in, as my hair grows out, my line of demarcation is less harsh. Overall, I’d consider this experience a win and recommend color to everyone! Below, I’ve share a few tips on maintaining color-treated natural hair. =&0=&My research of other color-treated naturals was that they had to incorporate protein as well as lots more moisture. They also talked about their curl pattern changing and mitigating that with protein. I bought Roux Porosity Control and Aphogee 2 Minute; neither of which are necessary for my hair. My tresses are still low porosity and craving lots of moisture. I’ve been deep conditioning once every 1-2 weeks to keep my hair happy. 2. Get a Trim. Keeping a neat hemIine is always important but especially when you’ve introduced color. With pops of color in your hair, splits and damage are a lot more noticeable. I’ve also been wearing my hair out a lot more because I’m obsessed with the color. All that has taken a toll on my already fragile ends. I’m finally taking my own doggone advice on Friday and will be getting my first DevaCut! 3. Be Mindful of the Sun. It’s starting to warm up in New York meaning I’m spending more time in the sun. I was thinking about lightening my hair again for the summer but I want to see how much it lightens naturally in the sun. My hair’s canopy is highly porous and dries out/frizzes up very quickly. I plan to make a moisturizing leave in with Vitamin E oil to help protect my tresses from heat damage. 4. Have Fun! I think this is the most important tip. While my ultimate hair goal is BSB (below shoulder blade), I’ve been waiting too long to have fun with my hair. I was fully prepared to cut my hair off it got too damaged from the color but I knew this is something I wanted to try. I smile when I see my hair in every style and I’m even more obsessed with my natural texture. If you’re on the fence about trying something new, don’t be. Educate yourself, get the right products and go for it!