You Gotta Have Flash and Flare - Redying My Dreadlocks-Gangstarr Girl : GangStarr Girl

You Gotta Have Flash and Flare – Redying My Dreadlocks

[ 3 ] December 17, 2008 |

*Dances around like the people in the red sequence in Emerald City, from The Wiz

I’ve been dying my hair for about 6 years now. It’s been black, brownish-bronze and cherrywood but the color that seems to have struck a chord is the red that I rock now. I get a lot of compliments on the color and people often ask how I dye my hair, and tend to be shocked that I do it myself. I retouched recently so I decided to blog it. Hopefully this can help someone else interested in dying dreadlocks too.

Look at the roots. Not cute.


1. Lightening your hair first with welloxide will always guarantee brighter results.

2. Be careful with lightening your hair first because it’s an extremely drying process. Your hair’s natural emollients will return in a few weeks, but if you have a perm or some other type of chemically processed hair, lighten it one day, then wait until the next day to apply dye.

3. If you aren’t down with lightening your hair, no worries. You may not get the brightest results, but adding an extra five minutes to how ever long you should let the dye sit in the first place helps. You can also try two boxes at once. That’s what I do when I’m too lazy to pre-lighten. I’m not a licensed hairstylist but this method seems to work for me, so use your own discretion with this.

4. Don’t think that natural hair is invincible, it can still fall out from overdrying. It happened to me a few years ago. I got dye happy and reapplied the second I saw new growth (about once a week) and my hair started thinning around the edges. I waited about 6 months before I dyed again. After that, I only dyed my hair about once every two months (sometimes longer).

5. Dying can be frustrating for some because everyone’s hair is different. Some people’s hair may have a harder time taking to dye than others. I read that when I did my research (it has to do with porosity and all this scientific stuff), but I’ve also seen it in real life. What may work for someone else may not work for you. You might also have certain sections of your hair take better than others (the front takes color the fastest in my case while the back usually comes out darker).

I’ve tried Creme of Nature, Clairol (regular), Feria and Clairol’s Tones and Textures (specifically for women of color). My number one is Clairol’s Tones and Textrues. The runner up is Creme of Nature. I didn’t like Feria or the original Clairol because I could tell it was for someone with thin, stringy hair. Plus, they weren’t as user friendly.

The color that stuck for me is:


Red Hot Red! My signature!

My hair is getting long so I need two boxes (that’s how I discovered that two boxes can intensify the color).

Step 1: Apply


The directions say to leave it on for about 20 minutes if your hair is permed or chemically processed in any way, and 30 minutes if you’re natural. My hair is loc’d and therefore harder to penetrate, so I leave it on for about 40 minutes (under a shower cap so that the dye doesn’t get all over the place).

Rinse thoroughly! This is the most tedious part because you have to rinse it until the water runs clear. This is really important because any left over dye can cause your hair to break off, even if your hair is loc’d.

This is me after the first rinse. I rinse and repeat about four or five times because it’s harder to wash my locs out, like I said. I like to take brief breaks to give my arms a rest.

After a couple of rinses I move on to deep conditioning. I use Pantene’s “Red” Expressions conditioner in addition to an hour hot oil treatment. I love using coconut oil because it leaves my hair soft and supple, even after I rinse it out (sometimes I just leave it in depending on how much I use).

And when I’m finally good to go–hair dry and twisted–It looks like this…


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Category: Hair

About the Author ()

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a recovering journalist who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine.

Comments (3)

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  1. NaturaLocs says:

    This is a great post. The pictures give as much detail as any video 🙂

    I can’t wait to go red. What level developer do you use?

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