How to Prepare Your Locs for Color

My goal is to scare you away from coloring your locs.

Seriously. Changing your hair color is a decision you should not take lightly. So if anything that I share with you scares you or causes you to at least think twice before coloring your locs I feel like your time and mine have been well spent.

What happened when I colored my locs

My locs have been colored for the past 10 years pretty much every color you can imagine, but is hasn’t always been pretty. The first few years my locs were completely damaged because I bleached my hair and I wasn’t a licensed professional (read: I didn’t know what I was doing). I thought coloring locs was like coloring loose natural hair and I was so wrong. My ends were failing off and I always had hair shedding in the sink and pretty much anywhere I went. It was bad. However, I really enjoyed the way my locs looked and the excitement I felt looking at my locs when they were colored. The reason I tell you this to let you know that what I am going to share with you is coming from personal, and now professional lessons.

What to know before coloring locs

You’ll hear me say in the video “how to prepare your locs for color”, that there are three major steps you should take before coloring your locs. However, before you can get to those first steps you have to prepare your mindset and budget for the color. The reason for this is because after you color your locs they will not look the same, nor will they feel the same. Hair color is a chemical service that will be alter the strength of your hair. Period. Whether you use bleach, henna, permanent or semi permanent hair color your hair will be affected. And having color-treated locs will require you to be very intentional about your products, hair care treatments and daily regimen.

The three steps to take before coloring your locs

Step 1: Balance moisture. If you have dry hair you do not want to color your locs. Dry hair without color will mean even drier hair with color. And dry hair leads to breakage and thinning. So the first step before coloring your locs is to balance the moisture in your hair. You can checkout the Moisture Matters workshop to learn the daily/monthly regimen to follow for hydrating your locs.

Step 2: Remove lint / buildup. Hair color has a hard time getting through buildup so it is best that your locs are as clean as possible. One of the best ways to do that is with a loc detox. While you should already be detoxing your locs annually, you definitely want to be sure to do it before coloring your locs. When your locs are free from buildup you’ll get the best results and longer lasting color.


RELATED WORKSHOP: Click Here For The “Battling Loc Buildup” Workshop


Step 3: Plan for maintenance. Coloring your hair rarely is a one time thing. Your hair grows everyday so you want to determine how often you will refresh the vibrancy of your color and if you will keep your new growth colored as well. You’ll also need regular hair care treatments and conditioning. The best way to keep on top of your care is to plan for it— set a schedule for conditioning and plan for each touch-up.

Coloring your locs is a lot of work that also comes with a lot of risk. Color is a chemical service so please make sure you give it the careful consideration it deserves.

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

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