Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dying locks, how to do it right

I have been contemplating coloring my locks for a while now, after seeing so many beautiful colored locks I thought maybe it's time I left my natural jet black hair. It takes time to make the final decision, I have never known any other hair color in my life (apart from my braids that were always a different color) so it was a BIG decision for me, now after about it took me over 2yrs to make the final decision. I tried last christmas to dye it but ended up with the wrong type of color, I wanted red but didn't lift the black first so there was practically no change in my hair color. I bought the dye last month and was ready to dye but I still had to think about it again, and finally today I woke up and decided to do it.

All the products I used
I had checked the internet for tips or instructions on how to do it, considering I did it the wrong way last time, but not many have documented any of it with pics atleast. So here are my steps of lifting the color from my babies from jet black to to blond. I'm aiming at Dark Chilli chocolate, so there'll be a part 2 cause I thought dying twice in one day might be a bit too much.

1. Talked to my loctician about it, I do that a lot just to be safe and to make sure I have professional advice as back up and talking to my loctician ensures I get advice from someone who has worked on my hair before. According to him, it's possible to dye my babies in one sitting from black to red but I have to bleach first.

2. More psychological preparation, had about a week between the talk with the loctician and my d-day. You can use this step to go buy the products you will need for the whole process. I bought my products before the talk with my loctician.....I needed a lot of psychological preparation but I guess you are prepared and ready for it right?

3. Search the net for info, now you have it on my blog so it won't be hard to get all the answers at one place.

4. Most companies advice to take an allergy test before using the products. This is not a problem, 48hrs before the d-day follow the instructions and dye a single lock at the back of your head and see how that works out. If it causes you to itch or get boils or stuff, DO NOT proceed to dying the whole head, this might turn out ugly.

On the d-day,
What you will need:
- Bleaching product, to lift the color out of your hair, you won't need this if your hair is blond only for black and dark brown hair
- Final hair color
- An old Tee and a towel,  you don't mind trashing
- A pair of gloves, some dyes don't come with them in the pack
- Neutralising shampoo ( or if you feel adventurous like myself, toothpaste :), I'l explain)

1. Pray that everything goes well

2. Lay all your products on the table, open the boxes and check if all you need is in there and read the instructions.(Incase you skipped the part on allergy test. I didn't do the test, cause I'm rarely allergic to stuff...I'm only allergic to protein (wierd but yeah that's my only worry))

3. Partition your locks into tiny pony tails and hold them with a rubber bands or tiny hairbands. You could tie them once at the top or twice, top and middle depending on how you like it.

4. Prepare the mixture according to the instructions in the box.

5. Spread the bleach at the tip of one tail and squeeze (till there's the ksh ksh sound)to ensure the bleach gets into the locks. Do this to each tail then leave them on for the instructed time on the box or till you like the color on your locks.

6. Wash the locks till the water is clear, this is where the toothpaste comes in.

The partition of the locks after a couple of minutes with the dye on 
I had a discussion on how dye affects your locks a couple of days back, and I almost decided not to dye my hair when one person complained that his locks thinned and became so weak after he dyed them and had to cut them. Then a professional stylist came up with the reason for the thinning, not neutralising the effect of the dye. Well, a short chemistry lesson for all of us. Dye contains hydrogen peroxide which is an acid (pH less than 7) when it is left in the hair it continues to break down the hair follicle that is made of protein (keratin), to stop the process you need a base (pH larger than 7) to neutralise the reaction and come back to neutral (pH =7). Depending on which city you live in, the water in your tap may range from pH 7,5 to about 8, thus it is possible to neutralize with the water from the tap alone but considering hydrogen peroxide is at pH between 1,0 to 2,0 depending on the mixture of solution, water from the tap may not be enough to neutralize it completely. To cut a long story short, with no neutralizing shampoo, I used toothpaste (it can be used in place of anti acids when you have a heartburn so why not to neutralize your dye?). You might not need this whole explanation or step anyway, I was just too paranoid thinking my locks would fall off if I didn't do actually washed the locks for almost 2hrs, with plain water, with toothpaste, with normal shampoo then conditioner. Let's see how the babies look after a week to see if it was worth such a long wash.

My Bantu knots after retwisting
When all is done and you're sure the locks are clean and no more dye is left in the locks, you can do a DC (deep conditioning), retwist and finally style your locks to whichever style you please......I decided to try out Bantu knots, lets see if my babies will have curled by Monday when I remove the knots.

PS: I used some organic oil on my babies, meeenn it smells like some herbal medicine.....even tried to drown its smell with Olive oil and it's still smelling arrrggghhh hope it doesn't smell like this the whole week. :)


  1. can't wait to see how this looks with your hair down!

  2. Hey Sagittarius,

    I'll take a couple of pics to see how the curls come out with the Bantu knots and the color...I'm so excited I feeling like removing them right now *wink*

  3. great tutorial. even tho my locs r dyed, this is very helpful!!

  4. 3 Things:

    1 You did a great job and the color looks good

    2 How did you do the bantus? It's such a simple style but I can never get it right. Perhaps you could do a post on it? ;-)

    3 OK please spill the name of this organic oil so I don't slip up and buy it! lol

  5. Hey Nappy girls,

    Thanx for the complement, I'll do the Bantu post soonest. The hair oil is called Organics or something, hehehe, I don't think you would confuse its smell with that of any other product ever.


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