Asian woman by white curtain with gray hair.

I have a love-hate relationship with my dyed hair, but it wasn't always like this. My natural hair color is an opaque jet black that some hairstylists have mistaken for dyed. A few have told me it'll be tough to color since my strands seem resistant to absorbing pigment.

At the height of the pandemic, when there was nothing better to do but mess around and find out, I took that as a challenge. So it goes: I first dyed my full head of hair in 2021. I went for an autumnal inspired by Riverdale's Cheryl Blossom.

I bought some bleach, boxed dye, and purple shampoo, and got to work. My partner helped by bleaching my hair in sections, then handing me painkillers to help with the searing pain on my scalp. The took a little over an hour, and we had no issues with color application. Ta-da! I was a redhead now, and I loved it.

: I switched to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner set and used jojoba oil for added moisture. The problems came when I decided to be more adventurous. Some months later, when my dark roots were becoming unsightly, we turned to a pro to transform my hair into a bubblegum pink. I didn't dare try DIY-ing it at home.

For the first few months, my strands were fine – still soft, silky, and shiny. But eventually, it started to feel dry as hay and no amount of at-home treatments could give it the deep nourishment it needed. Somewhere along the way, the healthy relationship I had with my hair soured. Now, I’m still dealing with the consequences.

What I Loved – and Hated! – About Having Dyed Hair

Don't get me wrong: it wasn't all bad. Sure, we had a dizzying love-hate relationship, but there was so much I enjoyed about having . The pink encouraged me to wear brighter colors at every opportunity to complement it, which gave me a serotonin boost whenever I caught myself in the mirror.

Meanwhile, the copper made my skin look warm and almost sun-kissed: I realized my cool-toned black hair was . Both hues emboldened me to experiment with different makeup, outfits, and hairstyles. It was like having a funky accessory that gave every low-effort look an oomph of personality.

On the flip side, signs of neglect showed more easily, and were harder to reverse. When I had darker hair, I could go without a haircut for six months or more. But, as I learned much later, color-treated hair needs trimming at least three to four times a year. Split-ends can do a number on dyed hair – any amount of damage can worsen dryness and brittleness.

The pink also needed more care than I gave it. I was used to “low maintenance” locks and didn’t change enough about my habits to accommodate my chemically altered hair. I shouldn't have washed it with hot water (yikes, I know), and I should've been gentler with it after showers.

I wasn't consistent with moisturizing and should've sought the expertise of hairstylists to help revive it. At some point, it got so dry that any knots and tangles were nearly impossible to smooth without ripping some out. Excessive hair fall became my norm. If this were an intimate relationship, we were clearly in a rut – and I only had myself to blame.

What I’d Do Differently If We Got Back Together

In late 2022, I decided to break up with my bold hair, but not before dying it one last time. I had about three inches of roots showing by this point, and the bubblegum pink had faded into a brassy pastel. Going to the salon to bleach my roots was terrifying: my scalp still remembered how it burned. I was dealing with a dry, sensitive scalp then, too.

So, in the end, I just went back to black. "You need to cool it on the bleach," I imagined my hair telling me. I listened; I didn't want to risk testing our love-hate relationship further. Now, I'm just trying to nurse it back to health with hair oils, more frequent cuts, and milder, more moisturizing products. But if I could travel back in time to when I first got pink hair, there's plenty I'd do differently – starting with getting proper help.

First, I would've treated it to the vitamin-infused Vitakeratin Treatment Color Shine for deeper nourishment after all the stress I put it through with bleaching. It even has , one of the most beneficial oils for hair: it's hydrating, protects from breakage, and restores shine.

Next, I would've when it became clear my usual products weren't doing the trick. The TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Blonde Brilliance Shampoo and TRESemmé Pro-Color Series Blonde Brilliance Conditioner could've saved me from tough tangles (the magic of jojoba oil!) while maintaining my hair's vibrance.

If I had given my colored hair the appropriate care, I believe our love-hate relationship wouldn't have taken a turn for the worse. I could've done more to save my stressed strands from the long-term damage we're dealing with now. Still, I'm open to doing it again (but properly!) when my locks are healthier. Are you thinking of going in for a ? Do it! The pros will outweigh the cons, so long as you embrace proper hair care.