It’s all about the before and the after. As textured hair naturally lacks moisture (the structure of the curl means oil produced by the scalp has a harder time moving down to the ends), it needs to be in prime condition before colouring to avoid breakage and damage to the curl pattern.
“Pre-treat your hair to prep it a few weeks before your appointment, alternating between protein and moisturising deep treatments to ensure hair is both strong and hydrated,” says Irwin. “It’ll make a huge difference to not only the quality of your hair, but the end colour result, which depends on the porosity and hydration level of your hair. The better the condition, the more luminous the result.”
As well as at-home treatments, in-salon versions tend to be stronger and more effective. “I cannot recommend a ‘plex’ treatment before and during your colour appointment: Wella Plex and Olaplex give amazing results,” advises Irwin. “Take a bottle home too; using it whenever you wash your hair will make the colour last for much longer and stop it from breaking or drying out as it becomes accustomed to its new state.”
And how should we be masking? As it turns out, leaving it in for as long as possible isn’t always the answer. “When your hair really needs it, do what I call a “super treatment”: apply the mask, leave for 15 minutes, rinse, then repeat one or two more times. It sounds like a waste, but you’ll thank me for it – your hair can only take in so much at one time, so it’s best to clear the canvas and do it multiple times to get a more effective end result.”