Doesn’t matter if you’re going darker or lighter, coloring your locs is still a chemical service that involves an understanding of the science of hair. Many people make of the mistake of coloring their locs using box hair color and wonder why their locs are falling out or extremely dry—I was once one of these people. Before, and actually during Cosmetology school, I made the costly mistake of bleaching my locs improperly, resulting in color damage. What I, like most people, never considered was that applying color to locs is nothing like applying color to loose natural hair.
So, if you think you’re ready to color your locs, and you want to know where to begin be sure that you have considered these 5 things…
5 Things to Consider Before Coloring Your Locs
1. Is your hair healthy enough? I would definitely recommend NOT coloring your locs if you are currently experiencing dryness, thinning, or breakage. There are plenty of other ways to adore your locs that won’t further compromise your locs. Intentionally work to get your locs healthy and then consider coloring your locs using hair color.
2. Have you budgeted for care? Color is not a one-time service. For instance, if you’re covering gray, you have to remember the hair growing from your scalp is now gray, which mean, as your hair grows out it will be gray. You will need to constantly, every 8-12 weeks, reapply your desired hair color. This also applies to fantasy colors like purple, pink, blue, and/or green— these colors are not permanent and will need to be refreshed to maintain the vibrancy. Additionally, once you color your hair your regimen (and budget) should now involve regular hair care treatments.
3. Are you ready for long-term care? Typically you should perform a hydration treatment on your locs every 3 months, or every season, but with color-treated hair that changes to once a month (at minimum). In addition to hydration treatments, you may also need to incorporate protein treatments into your regimen, especially if your locs are blonde.
4. Do you have the patience to get what you want? Many of us with textured hair and/or locs have naturally dark colored hair, but if you want lighter hair or a really vibrant hair color it may be a process. You may be looking at a very long process, especially if you want to maintain the health of your locs. The alternative to skipping this “long process” is the usage of bleach to get you to your desired color immediately. But bleach can be a gift and a curse.
5. You should not do this at home! And unfortunately, not all “professionals” are created equal. You should take the time to find a professional Colorist that specializes, or at least has experience, in coloring locs. Trust me the color damage and breakage is NOT a cute process, neither is having to undergo a color correction:
I do not say any of this to scare you away from coloring your locs, but to make sure that you are making an informed decision about the risk you are taking when you do. When you are ready to accept the risk, be mindful of the type of hair color that is being used and always include strengthening procedures with the application. I would definitely suggest avoiding henna hair dye and opting for hair color that uses mircopigmentation.