24 October 2012

Colour Trial Revisited: Locspiration

So today I confess that my fascination with hair colour is back in full force. (read more here). I still want red locs and I'm not the only one. My4tress and ThoughsofAddis have both blogged about there new hair colours and I love it. I found locspiration on tumblr too:

Cute right? Well while I wait for my locs to mature I have done tons of research. During my first attempt I bleached and coloured a few locs and wasn't too happy with the results. The colour was too subtle and the bleach left me with dry hair that no amount of deep conditioning has been able to reverse. I'm glad to share this bit of info for anyone wanting to lighten their hair using bleach. The result is permanently stripped hair. It's in good enough condition for me to let it grow because I don't comb or use heat but I cannot bare the thought of my entire head feeling this way so I need something else.

Amongst other YouTubers, My4tress used a different method to lighten her hair. Dying it blonde! Sounds simple enough right? I looked around and it seems both Dark & Lovely Lightener and Creme of Nature Honey Blonde have successfully taken natural hair from dark to light so I was tempted enough to do a strand test. And it worked. Using Dark & Lovely Lightener in Light Golden Blonde I was able to lift my colour to the same shade on the box...and get this, I didn't use the provided bleach (booster) packet!

Once I tried it on myself my hair felt normal, it hasn't lost it's elasticity (as with the bleach) and it's not dry. As you can see, My4tress then applied a semi-permanent colour to get the red. I followed suite and did the same. Using Creative Image Adore in Intense Red I got this:

Now I personally think my roots are far too bright but as I palm-rolled the loc, the colour became darker and I quite like it.

So I learnt:
  1. I should lighten my roots last so that they aren't as bright as the lengths. 
  2. I should apply lightener/colour ⅛" away from my scalp so I don't get such a harsh contrast.
  3. I should pick a colour only slightly lighter than I want so that when it's applied to loc'd hair it'll appear slightly darker because less light can shine through it than if it were loose.
  4. I need only colour my hair permanently once or twice a year and then use a semi-permanent in the same shade to top up the colour in between.
  5. Semi-permanents can last longer on loc'd hair because we don't tend to wash and use heat as often as when it's loose.
  6. Adore brand semi-permanent colour isn't harmful to hair.
  7. I'm one step closer to getting healthy red locs.

Thoughts, advice, critique, dye stories welcome below.


**Collage created using photos that a publicly available on tumblr. All other material is owned by the blog account holder. DONOT use without permission**


  1. You are so brave,

    I am way to scared to attempt any colour treatments before reaching the one year mark. The colour is really rich so your method worked well for your hair keep updating. im loving your experiences.xx

    1. Hi thanks,

      You're wise to wait Coco. My locs completely unravel when I colour them that's why I'm only trying it on a few. I would wait but since I have the time to experiment I'd rather take risks with less hair and be confident about doing an all over job once it locs up.

      What colour would you like your locs to be?

  2. You are currently on the wave length that I am on.
    I bleached my loc tips via a salon over 2 years ago. This was due to fear of messing up my own hair. Since then I have only ever used semi permanent dyes which cover the bleached ends and give the vision of a permanent dye job with out the damage.
    When the colour begins to fade I wash in more dye to brighten up the colour.
    If you want to remove semi permanent colour from locs. Then wash locs with a clarifying shampoo.
    I think red locs look great and I use a intense red when ever I want to really stand out which this year was during the summer. It lasted months.
    I look forward to seeing your finished results. I must say I was we'll impressed with your previous results.

  3. I'm surprised how many of us are using semi-perms because they look so professional and long lasting. I'm not curtain if I'll only use a semi when I take the plunge or dye permanent once and then top up with semi so that I have a base colour to fade to but I have time to research that.

    The loc I dyed this time was a different loc from my last attempt so I am impressed at how light it became without any bleach.

    I can't wait either. It must look a little crazy, me dying random locs every now and again but I have a forward vision that I'm working on. I'm SO SO glad I can experiment slowly because I'm learning a great deal, minimising damage and saving money, I hope.

    Do you have any photo's of when you dyed your locs red? I'd love to see it :)

    1. Yeap I do. If you check my post for October 2011 called a touch of red. You should find a few photo's there.
      Not the best as I took them my self armed with my iPhone, lol.

  4. Cool post! I'm glad you're still looking into it. It's an interesting process. But I'll admit, I'm still wary. But at the same time, I'm intrigued. I've seen some really beautiful and striking pictures on Tumblr and I can't help but wonder how I'd look.

    Here's one of my favorite red-dyed-locs photos:


    It's like a pink-red color. I don't know how she got it. But it's pretty cool in a wild way. I bet where ever she goes, people pause to look at her. I know I would, and then my mom would immediately say: "don't even think about it". hahaha :D

    1. Thanks for the link. Her dreads really are striking. It's surprising how befitting some colours and tones are for someone's face and personality even if they're unnatural.

      As for being looked at all the time. I guess something their personality enjoys it too. People have said to have met a host of interesting people and get into some wonderful conversations all started by the attention their appearance has given them. I bet she can't imagine "blending in" anytime soon.