1 Year 4 Months Loc Update – On Dying Locs

Hey everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with a loc update and a LOT has happened. I’ve bleached my hair once and coloured it several times with 3 different (but similar) colours. Why? I just wanted to play with colour for a while and decided to do so after 1 year and 1 month of locking. See more about that in the video about dying my locs at the end of this post.

My hair before and after being bleached and dyed varying colours.

My hair before and after being bleached and dyed varying colours.

Now, I highly recommend getting your hair bleached by a professional. If you are comfortable doing it yourself and are sure you will get all of the bleach out, go ahead, but at your own risk. I had multiple conversations with my hairdresser before deciding to bleach my hair. Here was the process we ended up with:

Locs being bleached

Locs being dyed/bleached

1. Bleach

My loctician used Basic White mixed with developer to bleach my hair. She wrapped the coloured section in foil to prevent it from affecting the colour of my other locs. She opened the section every 5 minutes of so in order to check the progress of the colour.

2. Wash

Apply water with a wet rag to a section to help slow the bleaching process. By doing this, you can get varied tones of colour/bleached hair. Otherwise, you can wipe all of the sections (or apply a diluted conditioner mix to the remaining hair to prevent bleach from bleeding onto uncoloured hair) then wash your hair thoroughly to remove all of the dye. Wash the hair thoroughly and move quickly. If you leave back any bleach in the hair, it will not be deactivated and will continue to bleach and damage the hair.

Avatar Funky Fruit Semi-Permanent Dye in Pear Gold

Avatar Funky Fruit Semi-Permanent Dye in Pear Gold

3. Colour

I used the colour above from Avatar’s Funky Fruit line, which gave a carrot orangey red colour. It was only applied to select lighter locs for a multi-tone look. The multi-tone colour should have come naturally from the bleaching process but I let some of them get a bit too light.

You can clearly see the instructions on the bottle, but my hairstylist applied the colour after washing and allowed it to dry with the colour in my hair. She did not rinse out the colour at all. Also, she didn’t just coat the locs but really rubbed it in and allowed it to penetrate the loc fully. This facilitated even distribution throughout the loc for an even-looking colour.

Wet Indoor vs Dry Outdoor Locs Colour

Wet Indoor vs Dry Outdoor Locs Colour

4. Dry

This part is important. If you don’t want to get your colour everywhere, you want it to fully “set” into your locs. Drying your hair under a dryer will help it to coat and penetrate the hair a bit more permanently but you really can go without a dryer. Still, an overhead dryer is my preference – especially with how long locs take to dry. Also, you don’t want your colour getting everywhere now, do you?

The results of the first colouring process is shown below. The Pear Gold was a lot brighter than expected but it was still very vivid and beautiful.

Bleached locs with select locs dyed with a Pear Gold colour

Bleached locs with select locs dyed with a Pear Gold colour

You will notice that my braid pattern really shows up in a few of the locs. I guess they aren’t all as mature as I thought.


Things to Consider

  1. When checking the progress of the bleach, do this in natural lighting. Go by a window or outdoors. I really got fooled by the artificial lighting. My hairdresser was careful to show me at every step  of dying my locs but I should have stepped outside to see the true colour of the locs. LOL.
  2. If your locs are not fully formed (for example if there is still a braid or twist pattern), the pattern will be amplified by the colour.
  3. If your hair is unhealthy, do not bleach your hair. This is a recipe for thinning or breaking locs.
  4. Before you colour, deep condition your hair to ensure that it is in tip top shape for the rigorous bleaching process.
  5. The placement of your colour is very important. Do you want it everywhere? How much of the front, back or side should be dyed? Do you want to see the colour during certain parting. Consider these things before going in to the salon. I didn’t and on some level, I do regret not planning ahead before I went into the salon.
  6. Remember that the longer the duration of the bleaching process, the more damaged your hair will be. You may want extremely light locs, but it may be better to bleach a little at a time to see how your hair responds to the bleach.
  7. The texture of your hair will likely loosen after bleaching. Bleaching locs is best done on mature locs. Locs less than a year old may loosen and unravel.

See a video where I talk about my experience and give an update after a few months after dying my locs below.

So, as you can see from the video, I’ve been dying my hair again using another line of Avatar Semi-Permanent dyes. Those are pictured below after about 1 wash. I noticed that the colours come out much brighter in the hair than they are pictured on the bottle. Keep that in mind.

Avatar Semi-permanent Dye

Avatar Semi-permanent Dye

The result of my using both of these colours are showed in the picture of my hair below.

Locs Coloured with Avatar Semi-Permanent Dye

Locs Coloured with Avatar Semi-Permanent Dye

I’ve thrown a lot of information into this blog post but I hope it was informative. If you have more questions, feel free to ask them as comments to this post and I will do my best to address them in a future blog post.