Words by Brian Wilder

With historical accounts dating as far back as 1500 BC when ancient Egyptians would use henna dyes to cover up gray hairs, dyes and other natural colorings have been a major part of societies the world over. Nowadays, coloring one’s hair has become a modern symbol of both status and outspoken self-expression for those with natural hair.

If you’ve been on the fence lately about taking the leap into some more colorful locks (no Tekashi), here are some of the best ways to pull off a good dye job, as well as tips on how different hairstyles can change the way you go about doing it.

Getting Started

You’re still reading? That means you’re serious. So, the first thing you need to do is settle on the right type of dye job. Looking to go lighter? Visit a salon, as they’re experts on which colors would work best with your hair’s natural tone. If you’re looking for something a little more temporary and one-dimensional, an at-home coloring kit should work fine.

black natural hair dyeing dye colorIf you do decide to dye in the comfort of your own home, it’s best to go with a few boxes of the color you like, especially if you have thicker, curlier or longer hair, like dreadlocks. Stay away from foam-based kits, and opt for liquid or gel-based formulas as they’re more likely penetrate natural hair.

Before you finally start coloring, make sure that whatever color you settle on is one you’re prepared to stick with for at least a few weeks, or however long it takes your hair to grow out. As a test, you can dye a small section of your hair and try it out over the weekend before you go full coverage.

Got Locs?

No problem. The process doesn’t deviate much from the preferred method, just make sure you avoid washing your hair the day before you decide to dye, as the natural oils in your hair will help protect your scalp from prolonged exposure to chemicals. Obviously, if you take the natural route, you don’t have to worry as much.

black natural hair dyeing dye colorThere are stylists who recommend “priming” your hair first, which means either bleaching your hair or dyeing it white or platinum blond. This is supposed to help the color show more vividly, especially if you have darker or black hair. You can go this route, but it’s not necessary if you only plan on coloring the tips or just a handful of locs.

Post-Dye Maintenance

Once you’ve successfully changed hues, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind before you go full Lil’ Yachty:

  • Condition your hair at least once a week, and twice if you have dreads, to protect your hair and help the color stand out even more.
  • Shampooing is recommended, but try to use a color-safe shampoo to avoid washing out all of your hard work.

Whether you’re trying to live your best Future-like lifestyle, or just want to change things up a little, dyeing your hair is one way to accomplish an age-old practice that’s being reinterpreted for the newer generation.