I dyed my healthy natural hair, so here’s a comprehensive guide on dyeing yours

Tola Saba's guide to dyeing you hari

When it comes to seeking excitement and change in my life, there’s no canvas more inviting than my own hair. For me, it’s the ultimate way to reinvent myself. The idea of dyeing my hair had crossed my mind several times, but it wasn’t until recently that I actively pursued this transformation. As is customary in any adventure into the unknown, I started by creating a Pinterest board filled with hair colours that caught my eye and seemed to complement my skin tone. I couldn’t contain my excitement, so I eagerly shared my newfound aspiration with my mother, who, to my delight, was entirely supportive.

However, the looming question was, “How?” I was well aware of the numerous after-effects of hair dye, and not all of them were pleasant. Tolu Kolaoni, the savvy owner of Tash Place, a well-known hair haven and a seasoned expert with over 12 years in the business, echoed what I’d heard. For many natural-haired ladies, the thought of colouring their hair comes with a universal worry: the fear of breakage. The idea of saying goodbye to my cherished curls or dealing with excessive shedding was a roadblock I couldn’t just brush off.

I’ve been giving my hair some serious TLC for years, and that’s the only reason I can think about playing around with different styles. Having transitioned to natural hair two years ago, I’ve adhered to the golden rules of natural hair care – minimal to zero heat exposure, regular moisturising, gentle detangling, and more. The use of hair dyes, however, introduces chemicals into the equation, raising a critical question: How do I dye my natural hair safely without jeopardising its health?


With its tight coils and loads of volume, my natural hair presented a particular challenge. Finding a stylist who really gets natural hair can be tricky, and the idea of messing it up was pretty intimidating. Tolu, the expert, provides us with a valuable insight: “Colouring is a chemical process. Introducing foreign substances into the hair shaft demands additional care to mitigate the harsh effects of these chemicals. Proper and continuous care is the key to ensuring your hair thrives even after a colour transformation. Neglecting your hair’s needs during this process can have adverse consequences.”


While online platforms offer a wealth of information, I soon discovered that there was room for improvement when it came to finding specific guidelines for dyeing my unique hair texture. The absence of detailed advice made me a bit wary, prompting me to put the idea on hold for a while.

Before dyeing: preparing for the transformation

Deciding to shake things up with a new hair colour is like navigating a maze of unknowns. Been there, right? So, when I toyed with the idea, I tapped into the experiences of friends who’d already braved the colourful journey.

Take Kite, for instance—spontaneous and rocking locs. She dove into red hair on a whim, and while the salon trip was a breeze, the bleach part? Painful surprise. Post-dye, her hair faced a curveball with breakage and a loosened curl pattern.

Kite and her fiery locs
Kite and her fiery locs

Then there’s Susan, the natural hair queen. Golden hair for her birthday sounded dreamy, but it went feather-light, leading to an unplanned haircut. Rookie mistakes like washing hair before dyeing and a double bleach dose added spice to her saga. In round two, she went DIY ginger with powdered dye; it settled into a cute brown by June.

Dryness post-dye was Susan’s battle, but she conquered it with coconut oil and shea butter. What is the moral of the story? Hair adventures have twists, but learning from friends like Kite and Susan makes the journey more manageable.

Although I had initially decided against dyeing my hair, I stumbled upon a vlog by Jemima Osunde, a renowned Nigerian actress, showcasing her beautiful ginger hair. With her near-perfect hair boldly embracing a new colour, Jemima made me realise that I could do the same. She even directed us to the stylist behind her transformation at Tash Place. I confidently contacted Tash Place via Instagram to get the ball rolling.


“Your hair should be well-prepared, with a strong foundation of care and maintenance. If you haven’t followed a consistent regimen, dedicate at least three months to attend to your hair’s specific needs and ensure it becomes accustomed to your care.”


Tolu, the expert at Tash Place, provided valuable advice for my hair transformation. She suggested a comprehensive plan involving dye treatment, deep conditioning, and protein treatment. After considering milk white, ginger, or honey blonde, I chose the latter—a subtle yet unique shade.

Jemima Osunde
Jemima Osunde

Before diving in, Tolu emphasised the need for hair health, advising a dedicated three-month care regimen. She highlighted precautions for pregnant individuals and those with scalp issues like alopecia. Despite brand claims, all dyes contain chemicals, with the type chosen affecting the hair differently.

Armed with this knowledge, I was prepared to transform my natural black hair into the mesmerising honey blonde I envisioned.

While dyeing: The transformation process

The big day finally came—I walked into Tash Place all jittery and excited to kick off this hair adventure. But first things first, before the dye party began, the hairstylist worked her magic, gently untangling my hair. As the dye was applied, we soon realised that my natural hair colour, a rich dark black often referred to as colour 1, resisted the change to the new hue. Eventually, I stood up for the washing stage. A small quantity of orange tint was added to enhance the colour and brighten it up. It was recommended to have at most two dye applications. The result was a dark honey-blonde shade that I’ve come to adore.

dyeing my natural hair
Before the second application

Tolu’s top-notch hair care routine didn’t stop after the dye treatment. Next up was a protein treatment and then a deep conditioning session that worked like a charm to combat the drying aftermath of the dye. My hair stayed moisturised and hydrated throughout the process, clocking in at almost 4 hours from start to finish.

According to Tolu, basic treatments are essential to maintain healthy dyed hair, focusing on the moisture-protein balance. Protective styles are advisable to protect the hair, as well as sulphate-free shampoos that are gentle on the hair. It’s vital to maintain regular care while using regular shampoo. Remember: it’s important to be gentle after dyeing your hair to prevent the colour from fading too soon.

After dyeing: maintaining the radiance

After changing my hair, I started focusing on keeping it healthy in the weeks that followed. Keeping my dyed hair hydrated became a priority. I cut back on regular comb use, handling it with extra care when necessary, and gave heat a wide berth. I easily added these changes to my regular hair care routine, making my new honey-blonde look simple to manage.

protective style for hair dye

The main thing I noticed was that my dyed hair tended to get dirtier, probably because of things like dust in the air. I maintained my natural hair texture by washing it every two weeks and switching between an afro, cornrows, and cornrows with extensions. Remarkably, I’ve had zero breakage, and the dye has held strong for over eight weeks without needing a touch-up. Perhaps most surprisingly, I often forget that this honey-blonde shade isn’t the colour that naturally grows from my head.

So, there you have it — a comprehensive account of my hair dyeing journey, along with the experiences of my friends Kite and Susan and the expert advice of Tolu, CEO of Tash Place. With proper preparations and aftercare, the journey of transforming your natural hair colour can be successful and rewarding. It’s a fantastic way to experiment with your appearance, express your individuality, and embrace change while maintaining the health of your hair.


  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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