A professional Colorists' Step By Step Guide to Coloring Locs

A professional Colorists' Step By Step Guide to Coloring Locs

Dr Locs' got in touch with trained coloring professional, Key Essentials Hair, to get the full scoop on coloring locs at home or in the salon. We wanted to give you insight on coloring locs from a real professional in the field who we know and respect. Here's your in depth guide to coloring locs at home or in the salon, from choosing the right color, to maintaining that color. Let's get started. 

What You'll Need for Coloring Locs at Home:

  • A timer
  • Plastic gloves
  • plastic cap
  • Color bowl
  • Color brush 
  • Applicator bottle with a nozzle - Number one tool for adding color to locs. Using an applicator makes it easier to distribute the color. With an applicator, the color wont splatter. 

How to Choose the Right Products for Coloring Locs

According to Key Essentials, you'll want to choose a color that goes with your skin tone and complexion. If you're of a fair complexion, you can wear a brighter color without being washed out. If you're pale, you may want to avoid doing a very dark color, but if that's your preference go for it. The colors like coppers and red will pop on lighter skin tones. 

When it comes to our brown sisters, the undertone of your skin naturally pulls up red or orange so certain colors can wash you out. You want to stick to more reddish, brown tones. You can get away with some vivid colors, but blond on darker skin might be a hard contrast that you might not exactly be looking for. Key Essentials recommends going for a more gold-blond rather than an ash-blond to give dimension to the hair. 

When going the DIY route, Key Essentials recommends going to a professional beauty supply store like, Sally's Beauty, instead of going to a pharmacy, Target or any of the cheaper places out there. Professional beauty supply stores like Sally's Beauty have a background and knowledge in the beauty industry and know what ingredients to use and not use. Key for instance, has worked with Sally's Beauty and knows they use professional grade products that won't break your bank.

Wella and L'Oréal are two trusted beauty lines that can be great for locs. They're both known to be true to their color state. 

How to Add Color to Your Locs

When applying color yourself, you want to read the instructions. Key Essential recommends doing a patch test. There are some ingredients you can be allergic to, which can create dry scalp, eczema and so on. Every color line has their own instructions, which you should read before applying the color. 

Some color lines come with an applicator, but if not you should buy one. Key recommends Dark and Lovely, which she's seen does a good job on people with color for their hair color. 

How to Maintain Color so it Lasts

When you apply color to the hair you're stripping the keratin away AKA the protein. When you have locs, or curly hair, your hair is more fragile. So, if you're not moisturizing your hair, your hair and the color you added can suffer.

Top Tips:

  1. Invest in a hair steamer
  2. Go for protein treatments
  3. Use the entire Dr locs color treated line

Dr Locs' Color Treated Line include products which are essential for maintaining color and moisture. The Shampoos and Conditioner are sulfate-free and color safe. Everything needed to maintain the health of the hair and color is found in the Dr Locs' color-treated line. 

The Sweet Peppermint Clarifying Shampoo promotes hair growth, reduces inflammation and is great for the scalp. It works at keeping the scalp healthy and clean, promoting new, stronger hair growth.

The Rose Lavender Shampoo will protect the hair color and stimulate hair growth. Lavender in the shampoo soothes the scalp and calms the senses, whereas the rose is great for the scalp. It consists of ingredients that keep the scalp alive and healthy. People tend to forget about the scalp, which is where the hair is starting from. This line helps on the journey for a healthy scalp and hair, and protects that color. 

The Amla Extract Conditioner has vitamin C and E and all that good stuff thats necessary for conditioning and moisturizing the scalp and hair. Amla is an awesome ingredient from nature that's great for hair growth and it protects the hair.

Tips for Washing Color Treated Locs

When shampooing, go for 3 rounds to keep your hair in a healthier state. Squeeze the locs while rinsing out the product, and really rinse it out thoroughly. Your last shampoo should be rinsed out thoroughly.

Conditioning your locs is especially important if you have color. Dr Locs' Amla Extract should be used all around the scalp and locs. Then get under a hair steamer to open up the hair for the product to get where it needs to be. Rinse out with warm water and style as you would for best result. 

Why We Recommend Coloring Locs with a Professional vs at Home

Color for hair is a chemical and a lot of people don't understand that. Chemical reactions can happen on the scalp and hair. For instance, Key had a natural client who was on high blood pressure medication. She used the same vibrant red color every time on her hair that was nearly silver. When she was up to her shampoo, her hair was turning a murky brown and not a vibrant red - which was very unusual.

But because Key is a professional, she knew to ask her client if she was on medication and if her client changed her medication recently. This was a chemical reaction to the color from her medication.

At home you might not understand what's going on. Professionals are trained to know how the hair reacts to certain things. Everything we eat, drink, and absorb all come out through our hair and skin. The hair will reveal everything. Key always requires a patch test and will ask her clients all about their history to know what to expect. 

Doing your hair at home requires more products to help you maintain your hair color. A salon can be pricey because theres so much that goes into it. Locs use more color. Locs can take double to triple the color of loose or straight hair. When you're trying to color locs at home, you can't see the back. You'll need more color and it will be more difficult. There's so many factors that go into coloring the hair, and when done wrong you can be creating a lot more issues, that could be more expensive in the end, than going to the salon in the first place. 

Head over to Key's Instagram or Tik Tok to get more info on coloring hair from a professional. 

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