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ImageThinking about changing your hair colour? Leading Trichologist, Noon Etienne, tackles some of the myths around colouring Afro hair.

Myth No.1: 'The hair colouring products sold in the supermarket/drug store/chemist are the same as the products used in the salons.'

Noon Etienne: This is not so! The hair colours used in the salon are the professional type where professional strengths are used to achieve the various types of results required, be it semi-permanent colours, permanent colours, streaks, and bleaching. These colours have various strength of activation or need the stylist to mix peroxide with the colours for the desired results.

'The hair colours used in the salon are the professional type where professional strengths are used to achieve the various types of results required.'

Myth No. 2: The product from the drug store is described as a 'rinse' but you need to mix two products together before applying.

Noon Etienne: The process of mixing two products together will indicate that this is not a rinse. This is actually a semi permanent colour; it has a very small percentage of peroxide that opens the cuticle so the colour particles can lodge themselves in the top few layers of the hair.

Myth No. 3: 'I use a natural product on my hair that you just mix with water and then apply.'

Noon Etienne: These products are usually in a powder form; whether it is henna or a Chinese product called begin. Even though these are 'natural' products and in some ways have some good properties, they do eventually cause too much dryness to the hair, which can lead to breakage.

Myth No. 4: 'I coloured my hair dark brown and I can put another colour on it to make it a light brown'

Colour does not lift colour! The colouring process involved depositing colour inside the hair. Now, to get a lighter colour from your darker colour, you would have to get professional help. This would entail having to lift the darker colour off the hair before they could apply the light brown tone you want.

Myth No. 5: 'A home highlight kit is just as good as going to the salon.'

Noon Etienne: Use a home highlight kit and your hair is likely to come out looking and feeling like straw! Highlighting is a process that should not be done at home at all - you should seek professional advice. A lot of commercials make you think that you too can have a beautiful hair colour that leaves your hair in better condition than before. That only works if the hair is already in good condition before you put on the colour!

Noon Etienne is a qualified Trichologist and a specialist in scalp and hair care. She deals with hair loss, alopecia, scaly scalp and dry hair problems. Noon is a Cosmetologist (Beautician and Hair Designer) with over 20 years experience working with all types of hair. Originally from New York City, Noon is now based in London, from where she has built an international client base across the U.K., USA, Africa and the Middle East. Contact Noon at: Noon 4 Hair, 48 Porchester Road, London W2 6ET. Tel: + 44 (0)20 7034 0734, Fax: + 44 (0)20 7692 4657, e-mail: or

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