#NaturalHair Red Dye, First try.

Dyeing My Hair Red

There isn't really as much information about dyeing natural hair at home as I'd hoped to find before I dyed mine. Or at least, not with off-the-shelf easy to buy box colours. Especially the dyes that aren't actually geared towards black hair. I was really scared that I was going to mess up my hair and incur serious damage.I don't know why I didn't just go to a salon. Laziness I guess. Thankfully, everything seems to be ok.

I'd still recommend that anyone thinking about dyeing their hair seek professional advice first, but I thought I'd share my experience....

I actually started writing this post back in April and then again in May, and I just never got around to finishing it.



So, here's what I had to say about it a few weeks ago....

April 17th 2013

I went against what I said about waiting for my hair condition to improve before attempting to dye my hair and tried to colour it last night.


May 6th

It's been about 3 weeks since I dyed my hair. The first time I did it nothing happened. I used Garnier Olia Ammonia Free Deep Red (colour 4.6). I got the product from Superdrug for about £6. I've seen it in Boots for about the same price.


And absolutely NOTHING happened. I think maybe it tinted my hair. But that's about it. I bought 2 boxes and probably used 1 and a half. The box comes with the colourant, creme activator, a mixing/application bottle, and conditioner (which is really nice btw).


The colour was only visible in sunlight and even then it wasn't a significant difference. It tinted my hair and it didn't loo like a red tint, it looked almost deep plum. I was really disappointed and worried about the damaging effects of using a box colour on my hair. I did a hot oil treatment and an intense deep condition the next morning. My hair didn't feel too bad, I guess.

I went out about bought more dye. Bright Red, Colour: Intense Red 6.60.

Garnier-Olia-Intense-Red-Hair-Colourant-181992 (1)

Same brand. I tried to find out how long one should wait before colouring again, but the information online was mixed and there didn't seem to be much about natural hair and dyeing. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and re-dye the front section of my hair a few days later. Risky business.

IMG_7485_Fotor_Collage 3 dyeOnce again, I bought 2 boxes and used about 1 and a half.

IMG_7485_Fotor_Collage dry dye 3

I still have henna on the tips of my hair from last year when I used black henna. The tips are still black now. So the colour sort of fades from bright red, to black. It took some getting used to but I really like it now. As for the dryness, a few deep conditions and hot oil treatments later, and my hair was absolutely fine.


I made a quick video after I dyed the front section:


The process was pretty straight forward because I followed the instructions on the box:

  1. I did the whole process on dry hair
  2. I sectioned off the hair I wanted to dye
  3. I tied the rest up into a bun
  4. Put on the gloves provided
  5. I used castor oil to line my scalp and the edges of my hair (because I'm clumsy and I thought I might get red dye on my face. This wasn't part of the instructions but I did it anyway. 
  6. I mixed the colourant and creme developer into the mixer/applicator bottle and gave it a shake
  7. I used a tail comb to part the front hair and apply the dye starting at the roots working up to the tips. NOTE: I was advised later by a stylist that when going for a bright colour, it's actually sometimes better to start off at the tips. That way the dye spends more time in the tips and the colour is brighter there. It also reduces the damage done to your new growth. 
  8. I let the colour sit for 30-40 mins and then I rinsed out, as directed, until the water ran clear.
  9. Then I followed up with the moisturising conditioner that came in the box.

All in all, I was very happy with the results. The dye didn't affect my hair or curl pattern or anything else. The only thing I did notice was even after washing/cleansing my hair one or 2 times, the water still ran a little red. So I think the colour tends to bleed. This may be my fault though because I haven't invested in a colour shampoo and/or conditioner.

What's the deal today?

Last week I dyed the roots of my hair again. Well, actually it ended up being all of my hair in the front section. My dark roots started coming through a lot sooner than I had anticipated. The colour also didn't seem as bright. Although it tends to only really show in sunlight or very bright artificial light. So I went ahead and dyed it again. It was only meant to be the roots but I found myself lathering on the dye to all of the hair.

This time, because I only had about half a box of the bright red left over from last time, I mixed some of the left over deep red colourant with the leftover bright red.

I left the colour in for about 45 minutes this time and co-washed using TREsemme naturals before using the conditioner that comes in the box. I followed up with an intense deep condition to try to restore some of the moisture. I think this made a big difference. After that I blew my hair out using the tension method (no comb, you attach a nozzle to the dryer and pull the hair taught with your hands and run the dryer over the section you're holding. Repeat this process all over). So chemical colouring followed by heat. I really don't know what I was thinking. I'm very lucky my hair hasn't fallen out. Everything seems to be ok.


So basically...

In summary, in the past 7-8 weeks I have dyed my hair 3 times. The first try may not count because it didn't show up BUT the chemicals would have had the same drying effect on my hair so that attempt can't be overlooked. I used the same box brand each time.

As far as I know the Garner Olia isn't specifically tailored for afro hair but I like the product. It was easy to use and follow the instructions and the bright red definitely changed the colour of my hair. In the sunlight the colour is bright and vivid. I made a video last week when I was 'touching up my roots' so that will go up on my channel this weekend. I've never used dye before but I think the Garnier Olia did a good job so it gets  8.5/10 from me.

This is not the way to take care of your hair guys. I've been very lazy and risky with my hair recently. I'm going to chill for a while now I think. Protective style coming soon. I'm thinking maybe havana twists. But not before my 2 years post-big-chop marker which is actually in a few days: June 24th :)

Anywhoo, that's all I've got for now! So until next time...

Stay healthy, stay happy, stay blessed.