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Jul 8, 2009

How to Color Dreadlocks...

My lil sis, Queen of the makeup world, B from Clumps of Mascara had a question about coloring locs. So, if you would like to rock some color this summer, read on. Also, go for it! Its a great way to jazz up your style, and make it more personable. There are some things to take into consideration first though.

Make sure your locs are healthy enough to take the color. Some people think that by having virgin, natural hair that the hair is strong enough to take the color. Honey no, it is easier to color, but it is very fragile when it is in its natural state. So please make sure your roots are too thin to take on the color, especially if you are going lighter. Thin roots=breakage.

Now moving on, decide if this is going to be just temporary, or if you want to rock the look for a long while. If this is just a temporary thing then you might want to consider using a temporary dye, or semi-permanent dye. When I went auburn I used semi-permanent Clairol, the Beautiful Collection. It is relatively cheap, and it is really gentle on the hair. Due to the length and size of your locs you will need to purchase enough bottles to do the job. For me, right now? I have to purchase 7-8 bottles of the stuff! It tends to stick around for about 2-3 mos, depending on how much you are washing your locs.

Now, on the other hand, if want the color to stay a long time then you might consider permanent dye like that of Clairol Professional or Clairol Jazzing.

No, I am not being paid to push Clairol, but I have experience with these particular products and they have always worked for me. I have also used, Dark & Lovely permanent hair color and it wrecked havoc on my head! Extremely drying. This may not happen to you, but it sure did happen to me. So, I usually endorse products that I have experience with.

If you only want to color certain locs, you will need to don a plastic bag over your head, with holes for the locs that you only want to highlight. You should pull the locs through those holes and commence to coloring.

To color the tips poor the color product into a bowl or cup and dip a few at a time into the mixture and leave on the time indicated.

If you want to color only the tips of your locs? Then bleaching the tips, or using peroxide (I don't condone this!) will do the trick as well. Please be advised that bleaching is extremely harsh on the hair and tend to make your locs brittle and dry. So please follow the directions carefully on the bleaching product that you will use.

There has been a lot of talk about using only natural products when it comes to everything, and dye isn't the exception. If you want to use a natural product then consider giving Henna a try. I love henna, but I only use it for body decoration. I have never tried henna coloring. However, this is what I found out:

Aside of what many people think, henna does not come in a variety of colors like boxes of color boast in supply stores. That is not natural henna! It contains henna but definitely has some other chemicals in it to give it additional color.

Henna is a plant, lawsonia inermis. Henna leaves have been used as a hair dye for thousands of years in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and South Asia. Henna leaves have red-orange dye molecule, lawsone, which penetrates skin and hair and bonds to the keratin. Henna dye blocks UV so your hair doesn’t become sun damaged, strengthens your hair so it won’t get split ends, makes your hair glossy and shiny, eliminates dandruff and ringworm, and kills head lice and nits. Allergic reaction to henna is extremely rare.

Henna when used on African-American hair doesn’t dye the hair red, but it does give red highlights, relaxes the hair and makes it slky. Body art quality henna will rinse out of locks, braids, and curls, and can be used over relaxed hair.

Please go here for thorough information on dying hair with henna.


Always, always, start the coloring process on the locs, and leave the scalp for last. This is because locs are so dense, matted, and thick it needs extra time for the color to penetrate the shaft. Leave the hair close to the scalp last or else you will be looking like Homie the Clown!

*Again, I'm speaking from experience, smh*

I will say the process of coloring locs is tricky but totally doable. You just need to either know what you are doing, get it professionally done, or grab a friend to help you like I do!


B said...

Yaaaay! I can comment. Thanks sis! Okay soooo I'm going to buy some dye and dye a loc or two. Just for fun. And I think I'll use temporary color for now. I've dyed my hair before (pre-locs) and knew I would want to color my locs. My loctician made it seem like I couldn't do it without her so I'm glad to see ain't all that hard. You rock!

Writing Addict said...

Thats right punkin pie, just remember to dye the locs 1st, then the roots okay? When done send us a pic!


Anonymous said...

I just startes mine. Should I wait 'til they're loc'd first? How long does it typically take for hair to loc??

Tia said...

I can't really answer the question if you should wait for your hair to loc before coloring. Locking length is different for different people. The top is usually the last part of your hair to lock. It personally took about a year for my hair to lock. Make sure you are not putting things in your hair to prolong the locking process...usually products that are not formulated for locs. Good luck girl, and as with any journey in life....patience is key!

Anonymous said...

Here is a video that may be helpful for coloring locs

Na'Keia Haynes said...

Im about 3mo. in and my loctition will be applying color at my next visit. I am a little concerned if they are strong enough though. Over the last week the middle of my head has been quite itchy and my locs in that area look as though they are coming undone in the middle of each loc but ends and tops are secure. I dont know if this is just from natural locing or am I ruining the locs in this area. Please help

Faye Marisse Alava said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lizzi3marshall said...

Personally, I think this type of hair is the hardest to color. But your post didn't make it look like that. You mentioned that hair should be healthy enough to take the color, not to mention the damage. In this case, wouldn't henna be the good option? :) I've read a helpful article here