Hair Regimen for Color Treated and Natural Gray Hairs

I am compiling this hair regimen based on my mother’s hair. Her hair is breaking from using a ‘natural dye’ that has more synthetic ingredients than I want to mention. Her hair is also natural kinky curly type 4A.

Pre-Shampoo– this is recommended because the hair is dry and shedding. The pre-pooing process can make a difference especially if the hair is dry. The beauty about this is, you can do a pre-poo overnight and wash hair in the morning. There are several options when pre-pooing, you can do a combo of essential and carrier oils. Here are some examples:

Thursday Night Hot Oil Cocktail

Pre-Shampoo Treatment for Shedding Hair

Always remember to put hair in a plastic cap and then use a tie-head or other material to cover the plastic cap to trap heat on the hair. Do this routine every week.

Shampoo: Organic shampoo with no chemicals added is the usual warning especially for hair that is color treated or relaxed. Most chemical concoctions have a tendency to strip the hair shaft. For natural African American color treated hair, do not use shampoo with sulfites. Instead, use a mild shampoo or make your own with Castile Soap. Here is an example of Castile soap used in hair:

Gray Cover Shampoo Recipe

If you don’t have access to Castile soap or you can’t find a natural shampoo for your gray hair the next best thing you can use to wash your hair is a conditioner. It takes some getting used to but it works. If your hair doesn’t feel clean when you use conditioner alone, add some baking soda to the conditioner, wet your hair thoroughly and in sections rub the conditioner on your scalp, when all the hair scalp has the mixture, gently massage the mixture in the scalp and then wash it out.

Condition: Use a deep conditioner that has both protein and moisture combo. A good source of protein for your hair recipes is egg and plain yogurt. Moisture can be gotten from glycerin and oils. Deep condition the hair every week until your hair stops breaking and then you can do it every other week. You can make your own deep conditioner at home here are some examples:

Tutti Frutti Deep Conditioner Recipe

Tropical Rhythm Deep Conditioner Recipe

Hair Growth Deep Conditioner Recipe

If you are not into making your own products. Three very good deep conditioners  recommended for color treated natural hair are:

Motions CPR, ORS Hair Mayonnaise and Jamaica Black Castor Oil Protein Hair Conditioner. These conditioners work great with natural, color treated hair. Give your hair at least two hours to deep condition after putting hair under a plastic cap and covering it with a towel for heat.

Moisturizers: The best moisturizer is water, if your hair feels a bit dry in the week, put filtered/purified water in a spray bottle and spray your hair lightly. Seal in this moisture with any of the following oils, castor oil, olive oil or coconut oil. Basically any carrier oil will do. Stay far away from petroleum and mineral oil based products.

Here are two moisturizing recipes that you can use to refresh your hair:

Rosemary and Lavender Moisturizer For Hair

Basic Homemade Leave In Conditioner and Hair Moisturizer

Hair Dye: Stay far far away from synthetic hair dye preparations. The healthiest options to permanently dye hair are henna, indigo and cassia/senna. Please see dye recipes and instructions for how to dye your hair in the color you desire.

Back To Black Using Henna and Indigo

Homemade Hair Dyes For Black Hair

Hair Styles: Wear styles that do not stress the hair roots  and that will keep your hair ends as moisturized as possible. Please see article, Traction Alopecia: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow for more information on the hair styles to avoid.

Oils: Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Peppermint Oil and Lavender Oil. Or a combination of any three for your hot oil treatments and general hair sealing.

Products on the Black List for Color Treated Hair: Any product that contains alcohol, any shampoo that contains harsh chemicals, and any hair oil that contains petroleum/petrolatum or mineral oil, synthetic hair dyes.


  • Jasmine Jemerigbe said:

    Thank you so much this helps alot.

  • Robyn Walker said:

    Hi Brenda. First, I want to thank you for putting together this site to share your experiences and information. It is very helpful and encouraging to many, like myself, beginning or currently on a healthy hair journey. The last time I had a relaxer was Jan 19th 2013 and I want to transition to natural. Can you direct me to articles and sections particularly for me. I thought I was dealing with dandruff but after reading your articles I may just have dry scalp. I tend to have flakes and I notice they are present when I do absolutely nothing to my hair (my own laziness). I currently am trying to wash and deep condition at least once a week, moisturize and seal daily and research! My hair is pretty thick and tends to be unruly (hard to part, manage and style – without the relaxer). Next wash day I’m going to try my first twist out:) I seem to be on a good role but that definitely is a huge setback for me.

  • Mayra said:

    Hi, my name is Mayra and this was very helpful, but how about heat tools when i want to straighten my hair, roller set then a blow out and flat iron to seal, that also damages my hair, will you please give me some pointers about that. Thank you very much and many blessings.

  • Satyajit said:

    Hai , i hav dry hair . When i used normali oil- then my hair fallen . When the time i used shampoo then hair not fall . & i follow when continue i hav doing sexual activity the very firster hair fall . Plez help me ,.. I want to save my hair fall . Plez

  • darlena rizzo said:

    Thank you so much for hearing all these individual problems so viewers can get some help. Five years ago my hair was full thick and healthy. My doctors prescribe me something for my thyroid which was a disaster!!!! After taking it for a week my hair started falling out ridiculously she misdiagnosed me and said after three months it would grow but it didn’t .I have done nothing but pamper it and would go to a stylist only once a year. Can you please tell me a shampoo and conditioner that will protect it and help it grow. I also like you to recommend oils that you think would be good for my scalp.


    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Darlena,

      I am sorry to hear about this! I did an article on this a couple months ago, a family member had the same issue, not with thyroid but with her bursitis medication. Here’s the article, Medications that can cause hair loss. Like you, she wanted to know how she could get her hair to grow back to what it once was.

      It is going to take time because Thyroid medications throws off the hair growth cycle. Messes it up completely. You will have to wait until things get back to normal with your body to see progress. Maybe for you it is longer than three months as your doctor suggested. In the meantime, check out this regimen for suggestions to pamper your hair. And don’t forget that a healthy diet can help. All the best.

  • cynthia l chiles said:

    Thanks for this information and especially the list of medications . This is very helpful.

  • SmittyB said:

    Hello. I am so grateful to have stumbled across your site. I am a biracial Lady who still bothers to relax her hair about every 8 months. Now I have these stubborn grays coming in around my facial hairline making me want to relax more often.
    But I digress. I would like to know the order in which to use an ACV rinse to treat dry scalp? Ratio to water, etc. I use coconut oil, scarcely, to seal my ends after washing with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.Oh I also recently (in January) cut 6inches off of my hair due to severe hair thinning. I had become afraid to brush it because it was just coming out in handfulls. I think I’ve given you a few things to consider, and I hope you can find the time to reply to this comment/rant LoL. Thanks for all your time and consideration.

  • Allison said:

    Hello Brenda,

    Extremely informative articles. My hair was seriously damaged due to excess heat usage by my hairdresser. I also have premature graying as a result of a surgery years ago. My once thick and healthy hair has been reduced to strands and puffs.

    My hair is relaxed and coloured to cover the gray. I recently started using black castor oil and tea tree oil combined;as dandruff is also an issue. I’ve started this regimen about a week ago and noticed my hair isn’t breaking as much.

    Is that a good combination of EO and CO? What other suggestions would you offer as I embark on regrowing my hair?

    Thank you in advance and keep up the
    wonderful job you are doing. 🙂

  • SC said:

    Not all alcohols are bad. “Oily” alcohol helps moisturize hair.

    See WebMD for details:

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