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How To Dye Dreadlocks: Tips For Beginners

So you want to dye your dreadlocks but are unsure where to start? Have no fear! In this blog post, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about dying your locs at home. We'll cover what products to use, how to prepare your hair, and some general tips and tricks to help you achieve the perfect color. Let's get started!

What You Will Need

Before we jump into the step-by-step process, let's go over what you'll need to gather first. For this project, you'll need the following supplies:

  • A bottle of dreadlock shampoo
  • A bottle of white vinegar
  • A small bowl or cup
  • A rubber band
  • Plastic wrap or a shower cap
  • Old towels or rags (to protect your surfaces)
  • Disposable gloves
  • 1-2 packets of hair dye (depending on the brand) OR natural plant-based dye like henna (follow package instructions)    
  • A stir stick or spoon 
  • A timer 
  • A plastic sheet or old shirt (to protect your clothing)

Now that you have everything you need, let's move on to the process!

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The Process 

a man with dyed dreadlock tips

Preparing Your Dreadlocks for Dyeing

The night before you plan to dye your dreadlocks, wash them with dreadlock shampoo and white vinegar. Mix equal parts shampoo and vinegar in a small bowl or cup, then apply the mixture to your locs. Massage it well, then let it sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it. This will help open up the cuticles of your hair so that the dye can penetrate more easily.

Once you've rinsed out the mixture, allow your dreadlocks to air dry overnight. In the morning, please give them a quick rinse with water (no shampoo or vinegar needed) and allow them to air dry again until they are damp. Do not soak your dreadlocks in water before dyeing them, as this can cause them to absorb too much moisture and become challenging to work with.

Related Link: Creating The Perfect Crown Loc Style

Dyeing Your Dreadlocks

Now that your locs are prepped and ready to go, it's time to start dyeing! Put on a pair of disposable gloves and lay down an old towel or rag on any surfaces that might be susceptible to staining. Then, mix your hair dye according to the package instructions. If you use natural plant-based dye like henna, follow the package instructions for mixing. 

Once your dye is mixed and ready to go, section off a small portion of hair at the front of your head with a rubber band. Starting at the roots, begin applying the dye evenly throughout your section of hair. 

Once the entire section is coated, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or a shower cap and set a timer for 30 minutes (or according to the package instructions). Repeat this process until all sections of hair have been dyed. Once all of your hair is wrapped up in plastic wrap or shower caps, allow the dye to process for 30 minutes (or according to package instructions).

After 30 minutes have passed, remove all of the plastic wrap or shower caps from your locs and rinse out the dye with warm water until the water runs clear. Be sure to use a mild shampoo during this step if necessary. 

Finally, apply a deep conditioner and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it out thoroughly. Allow your locs to air dry overnight before styling as usual.

Maintaining Your Dyed Locks

Choose a reputable salon. When it comes to dying your locs, it's crucial to choose a salon that has experience working with natural hair. Ask around for recommendations or do some research online to find a salon that will give you the results you're looking for.

Be prepared to touch up your color. Just like with traditional hair dyes, dyed locs will eventually fade. Depending on the color you choose, you may need to touch up your locs every 4-6 weeks. If you're not ready to make such a commitment, consider opting for a semi-permanent or temporary dye instead.

Use color-safe products. To help your color last longer, be sure to use shampoo and conditioner formulated for colored hair. These products will be gentle on your locks and help extend the life of your dye job. Avoid using products with sulfates, as these can strip away color.

Related Link: The Best 5 Hairstyles for Starter Locs

Dreadlock Dyeing FAQS

a man with dyed dreadlock tips

Can I Dye My Dreadlocks If They're Not New?

Yes, you can dye your dreadlocks even if they're not new. In fact, many people choose to dye their locs after they've been established for a while. The key is to make sure that your locs are healthy and well-maintained before you dye them. If your locs are dry, brittle, or damaged, it's best to wait until they're healthy again before you attempt to dye them.

How Do I Choose the Right Shade of Dye?

Choosing the right shade of dye for your dreadlocks is important. You want to make sure that the shade you choose complements your skin tone and overall look. If you're unsure of what shade to choose, we recommend consulting with a professional stylist who can help you select the perfect color for your needs. 

What's the Best Way to Dye My Dreadlocks?

When it comes to dyeing your dreadlocks, there are a few different methods you can use. The method you choose will depend on the look you're going for and the amount of time you have. Here are a few popular methods for dying locs:

  • Ombre: This technique involves lightening the tips of your locs while leaving the roots dark. This is a great option if you want a subtle change or if you're new to dying dreadlocks. 
  • Highlights: Highlights involve adding lighter strands throughout your locs for a natural-looking effect. This technique is perfect if you want to add some dimension to your locs without making a drastic change. 
  • All-over Color: As the name suggests, this technique involves coloring all of your locs in one solid color. This is a great option if you want a dramatic change or if you're trying to cover up gray hair. 

Are you interested in finding out more about dreadlocks? Visit our blog for more information on the best products and hair maintenance tips.

Dyed Dreadlocks 

Dyeing your dreadlocks at home is a fairly simple process as long as you have all of the necessary supplies on hand. Just remember to prep your locs properly beforehand, mix together your dye according to the instructions, and take care when applying it so that you don't end up with any unwanted stains. Thanks for reading!  

Related Link: Creating Knotless Box Braids With Locs

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