Hair Color: Recommendation & Tips for Sisterlocks

6:14 PM

Hair coloring is all the rage now, especially with dreadlocks in general. Since a lot of sisters are going the natural route, most are considering coloring. I'm not against coloring, as you can see, I have dealt with coloring and I'm still coloring. I'm noticing more and more sister are asking question about coloring, and whether they should color they hair prior to getting sisterlocks or after. They get the recommendation to do it prior. I don't recommend this at all. I never will. My hair was colored 5 months prior to getting sisterlocks. This gives me enough time to treat it correctly, and even with all the treatments I did prior to getting sisterlocks, I still battled really dry locks in the beginning of my journey.

When I wore my natural hair (before getting sisterlocks) I give it some color. It was a rich auburn color, and I had it bleach to achieve that very rich deep color I got. After time, the color faded while being sisterlocks. The early stage of my sisterlocks journey was very drying, and the tips of my locks did shed off. I wasn't allowed to put any type of product on my hair while it was transitioning. My hair got extremely dry during those times. Now that I added some new color to my hair, I'm now able to treat my color hair the way it should have been treated, when I first got sisterlocks.

Reason not to color too soon & the effects.

As you may know already, to go from black to blond or deep red, you will need to bleach your hair. The danger of that along is worrisome for me, especially where locks are concern. If you going to get it professional done, or apply the color yourself, you will need to be aware of the danger especially with locks in general.

When you dye your hair, most hair type and locks in general gets extremely dry, and if you getting sisterlocks install in week or even a month, you will be told NOT to use any type of products, other than the Sisterlocks Starter Shampoo. The reason you are told that is quite simple, you don't want any unraveling locks after your sisterlocks has been install. Unraveling locks equal to more time spent on the hair, which for some can be costly.

Most lock takes 1-3 years to mature (this depend on hair type), and if you want to avoid the major unraveling that can occur with sisterlocks, you will not get your hair colored during the settling stage. Keep in mind that you are asked not to put any product on your sisterlocks, so how are you going to treat your recently colored hair? Color hair does need extra care in order for it not to break. It will need deep protein treatment, intense conditioning, and moisture treatment. That is why I don't recommend dying your hair 1 week or even a month ahead of your installation date. If you want my honest opinion, I would wait until after your sisterlocks have been mature, in order to put coloring.

Some sisterlocks wearer will be a lot more successful with coloring, they may not experience any type of shedding, and that is largely due to hair type (will do a post about dry sisterlocks and who is more prone to in the future). My hair type is very tightly coil, easily breaks, and shed. If you get your sisterlocks with colored, please be aware that your hair will break and shed more easily in the early stage, largely due to the open ends and the use of none moisturizing product. So really think hard if you want to color your hair prior to getting sisterlocks.

Recommendation for Color

Here what I recommend when coloring your hair, if you decide to do it. If you do decided to color your own hair, the safest hair color option for african hair that is permanent, is haircolor without ammonia and peroxide bases. If you are thinking of getting sisterlocks in the future, and you want to retain your length, color your hair in 2-3 month in advance. I know you will have a lot of new growth then, but it will still look nice. If you color your hair prior to getting sisterlocks, please treat it extensively, knowing that you won't be able to put any product on your locks once you get your sisterlocks.

If you have sisterlocks, and you thinking of getting them (only if your sisterlocks are FULLY mature), I would recommend going to a professional. Hair damage is something that you don't want to play with. If you don't do your coloring correctly, you can end up with odd coloring, as well as damage hair. The most common reason for damage hair is inexperience, especially when coloring dreadlocks. A perfect example is when the chemical used in the coloring product is not properly rinse out of the locks, the chemical end up still actively working on the locks or natural hair, which causes more damage to the structure of the hair or the locks itself.

Safe Hair Color Alternative (Expensive though)
Note: Even though they are safer, you are still changing the structure of your hair, those I listed above are less harmful to your hair.

Once your hair is colored, you will need to treat it. You will need a good moisturizer, especially if your hair type is tightly coils (4a & 4b), as well as a good protein treatment. Some protein comes from a hair treatments, other can come from a conditioner. Whatever you decide, do your research, and empower yourself with knowledge.

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  1. Hey Kreyola! Great post and I love love love your blog! Your locks are beautiful too Ms. K! :-)

  2. @Naturally. Thanks for the comment and the compliments. As I said...your sisterlocks are just beautiful. A true inspiration for me.

  3. Thank you so much for this advice. I will have my sisterlocks installed in less than a month and I was battling with the idea of dying it before or after. I have seen what dying my hair & not taking care of it can do & I don't want to repeat that with my new locks. Thank you for the advice!!

  4. @Tash I'm glad I was able to help you out and thanks again for commenting on my post =).

  5. Great Post! I am excited about getting my sister locs done 1/2012. I wanted to color my hair... but will wait untik it is set and matured enough to handle the coloring.

  6. Thanks!! Glad this post was helpful. Welcome to the Sisterlocks family ^_^.

  7. Hi, naturtint contains peroxide and just wondered if this would damage the sisterlocks?

  8. Hydrogen peroxide is to bleach hair. The concentrations are between 3% and 6%. Not sure how much is on the naturtint, but not it not enough to damage Sisterlocks. Just be aware you will not get a huge jump of color different because of that.

  9. Many women with gray hair choose to dye their hair. If you are all gray, you may choose to go blonde because blonde is easier to achieve and maintain than going dark.

  10. Thanks for the share Beauty Queens.

  11. Hi Kreyola,

    Thanks for the lovely tips on how to maintain our sisterlocks.

    I have a question....I'm thinking of colouring mine and its over 1 year since I began the journey. I've bought naturtint 5C (Light Copper Chestnut) but was told its better to bleach my hair first. Please advise if it would be a wise idea or should I just go ahead and use only the naturtint dye.


    1. On the box, you should see the result of what you would get (depending on your current color) on there. If you are happy with that shade, then you don't need to bleach. If you want the color that is portray on the box, you may need to bleach first, before applying the color. It really depends on what is the current color you have (if you been applying any jet black color etc.).

  12. Thanks Kreyola :)....that was helpful.

  13. Kreyola I've never colored my hair before and have black hair. However, I'm starting to gray and would like to cover them, basically just dye black. What would you recommend?
    My SLs will be 2yrs in Dec.

    1. You should be pretty safe with going straight black vs. going lighter. I don't know about other dyes (or how safe they are) but the one that I like so far is Naturtint (for a permanent solution) and Adore (which is a rinse), I use the rinse in-between my application of the Naturtint.


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Hair Status

Big Chop - January 24, 2009
Install - August 18-20 2009
Retighten Time - 4 - 4 1/2 hr
Total Locks - Over 750
Pattern - Double 3
Texture - 4 A/B (Thick & Coarse)

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