Dying to Dye: Tips for Dyeing Locs
Don’t get me wrong, I like the natural color of my hair…BUT I always admired those who had burgundy highlights or hair color. At first, I was thinking, nah, I’m all natural: no chemicals, no perms, da-da-da… Somehow I convinced myself otherwise (“Hey, you’re using twisting gel and crap. That’s chemicals, too!). Yeah… So…. You know, I’m a frugal type of gal. I have to do it myself. Not paying no one else to do it. What better way to learn how to maintain it than to do it, right? After two boxes of dye, I realized it did not go as planned. No, I did not fry my hair or thin them out, I just did not get the color I was looking for. Letting you know if your hair is dark, you’re not going to get brightness right away (in the back of my mind that stupid little voice is humming, “You should’ve went to the African hair shop…”). No I refuse! I like paying $15 tops for hair care. And that is what I did. You think I’m kidding?? My bathroom was a wreck afterwards, but I did it! Like I said, in “Loc’d and Loving It”…. It is far from glorious….Glamorous either (lol).
Here are some things that I have learned through dyeing my hair:
- Prepare for the worst! Just kidding, but you must have generous amount of time to pay attention to what you are doing. I know you are anxious and want to see the result, but slow and easy does the trick. Remember, you are just a novice compared professional hairstylists.
- Do not condition your hair a few hours before application. However, your hair must be clean before doing so.
- If you do it in your bathroom, protect your rugs (especially if they are light colored). As a matter of fact, put newspaper down and remove anything that could be stained easily.
- Make sure you have towels readily available. You may want to buy some extra ones for this job. If you can, but dark towels.
- Make sure you have gloves for doing the job. Some kits do not come with gloves believe it or not.
- Read—I SAID—Read the instructions before doing so. No skimming either.
- Get a timer. They’re cheap and can be found in Wal-mart or Dollar General.
- Have a shower cap or plastic bags (if you have longer locs) to cover your hair while waiting.
- Be careful about where the dye gets on. Your face WILL get stained. You may want to use petroleum jelly around your hairline and on your ears to prevent staining (just like when you put in a perm).
- Wear clothes that you do not mind getting stained, wet, or destroyed (lol). Notice my pictures…
- Don’t overdo it! If you did not get the desired effect wait a few weeks before trying again. Or after a few days, try using hydrogen peroxide before shampooing. This could lighten the color a little bit. Also, your hair will lighten as you go into the sun. My hair is probably a shade or two lighter since last year. Ask or get professional assistance if you still do not get what you want.
- New tip (8.8.09): If your hair has never been dyed or it is very dark, you may need to “lift” your hair. My impression is that you are basically bleaching your hair first before you apply color. I came to this conclusion (1) Someone I had told me the year I had first dyed my hair while I was complaining about not getting the desired hair color (2) I recently dyed my hair last week with a blonde-type of dye and realized that my older color was brightened. Therefore, if I had lightened/bleached my locs a couple of days or so before I dyed them burgundy, the color would have came out much brighter. A-ha! Told you I learn stuff from being a DIY-er and frugal.
- After application and waiting, wash thoroughly. Any left over dye will strip your hair and slowly eat at the loc. You should rinse until the water comes out virtually clear.
**Tip (5/17/10): You can purchase “neutralizing shampoo” from Wal-mart or a beauty supply store. It’s the same kind of shampoo that is used in perm or dye kits to neutralize/cancel out/deactivate/clean out leftover chemicals.
- Please, please, please deep condition your hair after application. You want your locs to remain healthly. I’ve seen some women with blonde locs and could tell that it was not taken care of. That is not a good look!
- Oh yeah, clean out that tub afterwards!!
(Tip: If your locs haven’t locked yet, they will after your dye your hair! Mine surely did. You get why, right? Good. I didn’t want to make this post any longer, LOL)
**Update (2.2.10) Are you wondering about how I got my color?? Read below:
There isn’t an exact “color” per se in my locs, but there was a combination of colors I’ve used. I didn’t lift my hair color prior to dyeing my locs, but I used a burgundy/red color (from Creme of Nature) the first time I dyed my locs (that’s what I was aiming for). Instead of becoming burgundy, it gave my locs a reddish tint. Maybe another 6 months to a year, I dyed it again with the same color, but a little lighter color hoping it would’ve gave me a better result. Nope, just a little bit more reddish tint. SO… After discovering that I needed to lift my hair color, I said screw it, I’m going for a blonde color. I used the next to the lightest blonde (Clairol) and viola, this color came to be. First, I didn’t think that the dye didn’t do squat, but after a couple shampoos I saw the color. I was first like, EEK!! Then the orangey color kinda faded and the true color finally set. So there it is!
**All of these products came from Wal-Mart, by the way.
**Updated Pictures of my current hair color (5/17/10).
~ by My4tress on July 24, 2009.
Posted in Dye, Loc Maintenance, Locs
Tags: at home, color, coloring, damage, Dreadlocks, dreads, Dye, dyeing, dying, easy, few times, fry, frying, hair, hair color, healthy, how, how-to, in, lift, lifting, locks, Locs, more than one time, steps, tips, to, without, your