Thinking About Coloring Your Locs? 5 Things You MUST Know

Thinking About Coloring Your Locs? 5 Things You MUST Know

Out with the old and in with the new! That’s what most people are thinking this time of year. Spring is the perfect season to change or freshen your loc hair color. You’ve been working on yourself and getting ready for summer, now, it is time to start shining! It gets warmer doing this time of year, so it makes it much easier to keep your hair moisturized, which is essential when coloring your hair. If you are wondering how to add moisture to your locs right now, check out these 5 tips. Anywho, I just updated my hair color a little and I’m loving it. Color just makes your locs pop! You would be surprised how small color changes can give your locs a whole different look; if it’s done properly. I’m going to let you in on the color world a little, so the next time you get your locs colored, you will have a better idea of what is going on and what to expect.


Let’s Clear The Air

For those who have a fear of or are against coloring their hair, this part is for you. Anytime you alter the natural state of something (especially your hair), it can cause damage. However, professional hair color technology has advanced so much, it makes the process much less risky. If you do not have access to professional colors and/or lifters, combined with lack of experience, it is probably not a good idea to try coloring your hair at home. Keep in mind, while you’re looking for a colorist, coloring locs is different from coloring loose hair. Make sure whomever you choose, they have experience with coloring locs, specifically. I get it - the price for professional color jobs are not always as attractive, which I’ll get into later, but it is much better than having to pay for color correction. However, there are affordable ways to getting the colors and “look” you want. Just keep on reading.

 Your loc color will ALWAYS look better when your locs are moisturized! Struggle with having dry locs?! Try K. Essentials "Liquid Gold" Hair Oil here:


Let’s Talk Black & Reds

Well, you know what they say, “Once you go black, you never go back,” lol. That’s kind of true when coloring locs.  Coloring your locs black or red needs to be a long-term decision. Here’s why - both of these colors are very difficult to remove from locs! You will have more flexibility with reds, but with black you have to wait until it completely washes out over time. If you must have black hair, I suggest getting a semi-permanent black or using the darkest permanent brown. Choosing a black that will wash out or a brown that can be lifted, makes the process much easier and less harsh on your hair when you are ready to transition to a different color. As far as reds, just know you will have to stick to red or various shades of red for a while. I wouldn’t suggest going red, then quickly switching to honey blond.  

I have learned when deciding on a hair color, think with the end in mind. Have a consultation with your colorist, and ask them your options when it comes to transitioning from the color you want now to other colors you may want in the future. Furthermore, if you have already had different colors in your locs, make sure you disclose that during your consultation. There is nothing like going in to bleach locs and all of these different colors start to come out or it just doesn’t lift at all. That could shift your color budget significantly.


Let’s Talk Budget

As I mentioned earlier, price can sometimes detour people from going the professional color route. I have even had people flat out ask me why it’s so expensive. If you are making the decision to color your hair, set aside a budget of at least $100, and that would be mainly for highlights or a one-color process. There are a lot of different factors that go into color pricing. The two most important for me are timing and product costs. Most professional colors are at least $8+ per tube. That may not seem like much, but when coloring locs, you have to sometimes buy several tubes, plus any additional products that go into each job, because our hair has to be completely saturated. Total processing time, depending on your color project, could take 3 hours or more. That time typically isn’t filled with another client, so your hair has essentially become a private session. I have had custom color jobs that have taken 4+ hours, and that doesn’t include the retwist. So, the next time you’re quoted a price for a custom color job, remember it is more than just slapping color on and washing it out. I didn’t even get into the chemistry factor - that would be an entirely different blog post.


Let’s Be Clear

Anytime you’re communicating with a colorist about a hair color, make sure to always show pictures. That is the clearest way to get across what you want. I always give my clients a disclaimer. I let them know based on prior colors or the health of their hair, I may or may not be able to achieve that exact color or colors. Color isn’t always guaranteed (especially when it comes to pastel tones). What you see on a picture may have taken several washes or lifts to achieve. In addition, your initial color may take time to settle in, before you can really see it. Be patient, if it doesn’t look exactly how you pictured in your head, give it time. Sometimes, starting with a darker shade can actually add longevity to your color.


Let’s Talk Color

After reading the previous sections, you should be more knowledgeable and have a better understanding of what direction to go in with your hair color. As I mentioned earlier, I would tell you affordable ways to get the “look” you want. Progression is key. If you are on a limited budget (or even if you aren’t) it’s a good idea to start with one color and progressively add highlights or lighten over time. Unfortunately, this works better on virgin locs (locs that have never been colored), because they are no undertone colors to interfere with the outcome (color doesn’t lift color). But, if your hair has been previously colored and you want to progress into color, you may be able to add a few highlights, change your root color, or freshen up the color you currently have. If you are looking to do a complete color change, be prepared to open up your budget. More times than often, the color has to be corrected before a new different color is applied. This takes a lot of time, concentration, and skill. The majority of my projects are custom color like this. You can check out some of my color work here. I hope this has helped you and answered some of the questions you’ve had about coloring your locs. If you are thinking about coloring your locs and want to book with me, click here.

Want to know something? Or have questions? Feel free to email me at to submit your question. Thank you for reading. Make sure you're following us on Instagram @theartoflocs



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