Tamika Fletcher

There’s nothing like a new cut and color to brighten up your look. Problem is, most natural girls don’t get proper education about the right products or steps that won’t leave hair brittle and damaged. In a little over 10 years, Tamika Fletcher has established herself as one of the leading experts in beauty, healthy hair care and DIY lifestyle options. As the co-founder of Natural Resources Salon, she incorporates a creative and artistic approach both behind the chair and within all her areas of expertise.

Here, she gives us the lowdown on everything natural girls need to know about how to color their hair the right way.

EBONY: Can you explain what ingredients natural girls should be looking out for in terms of hair care?

Tamika Fletcher: Natural girls should beware of false advertisements and check ingredients. The first few ingredients listed in the product description are the most prevalent ingredients in a product. Avoid sulfates like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, parabens like methyl-, propyl-, ethyl- and butyl-, and petrochemicals like petrolatum, mineral oils and paraffins, as well as alcohols and aerosols. Look for natural oils and natural emulsifiers. Natural products can still contain artificial colors, fragrances, fillers and preservatives.

EBONY: What products would you recommend for coloring natural hair?

TF: When coloring hair naturally, you can only deposit color, not remove color. Brands like Light Mountain Henna, Henna Hut, Eco Colors or Lush Fresh handmade cosmetic hair colors are great for conditioning or depositing dark brown or vibrant red. If you want a lighter color, ammonia-free brands like Aveda Hair Color, Garnier 10 minute HerbaShine Colour Creme or Clairols Texture and Tones work great on naturally curly hair.

EBONY: Can you give our readers an insight on what products/steps to avoid when coloring natural hair?

TF: If hair’s damaged before a chemical treatment, color will only add insult to injury. If you’re going to color your hair yourself, follow all manufacturers’ instructions after making sure hair is healthy enough to color. Avoid chemically treating hair in transition to natural. If you can’t live with gray hair during transition or without color hair color, use a semi-permanent rinse closest to your natural shade.

EBONY: What are your go-to products for your hair?

TF: Earth’s Nectar products are my go-to products. They are available at www.Earthsnectar.com. They are all-natural products with great choices for hydrating cleansers, mint conditioners, natural hair gloss, moisturizing detanglers, creamy leave-in conditioners and twist out creams! If not Earth’s Nectar, I head to my kitchen or health food store for coconut oil, mayonnaise, jojoba oil or avocados. I’m always looking for healthy fats to condition and shine hair.

EBONY: What are the most commonly made mistakes when coloring natural hair?

TF: If you want to lighten hair that’s been previously dyed black or brown, or hair that is in transition from relaxed to natural, it may be a tricky process. You may want to leave difficult color jobs to the professionals.

EBONY: Are there any special tips or tricks you can share with us? 

TF: 1. A strand test will help avoid mistakes. 2. Leave difficult jobs to the professionals. 3. A consultation will help, even if you’re dying hair at home. 4. Deep condition hair with a moisture based conditioner regularly after dying hair.

For more about Tamika Fletcher, visit her website.