My dreadlocks are naturally black with a brown tint. Deciding to dye to another colour was a decision I made a year ago.
While I’ve wanted to dye my hair for a while, a number of things stood in my way.
1. What you need to know before you dye your hair.
I had to go online because there ate so many stories or dying that went horribly wrong. I wanted to know which dyes would not be appropriate due to health concerns. I did a little google research and made sure to steer clear of ammonia based dyes (opens up the outer layer of hair so that the dye can go through )and dyes that contain Para-Phenylenediamine ( PPD is also used as a wood preservative, Enough said!). Here’s a little article to get you on the same page.
Now, that I knew what to avoid, next, I needed to know,
2. The Best dyes to use.
IN Nairobi, the predominant colour I have observed people dyeing their hair to is Brown and Blonde. I who understands that risks should be taken, esp when you are twenty, wanted a Pastel colour on my head, Pink, Purple or Bright blue with Grey highlights. The brightest colours I could get.
There were plenty options available online. The only thing is, they weren’t readily available on the ground in Nairobi (business gap).
I realized that the rift between Google and reality at that moment. I had the option to import, but at the time, I didn’t have a Master card. ( M-PESA is to blame. Seriously! It makes it seem unnecessary to walk around with a card).
So I was stuck deciding between, getting a bank account and Master card so as to purchase well reviewed a dye off Amazon or to take an on-the-ground through RiverRoad.
The decision depended on how often I was in town against how often I visited the bank.
3. Where to buy dyes
It was a hot and sunny afternoon, when I hit the streets of downtown Nairobi. I started with Best lady, where everyone goes but I didn’t find pastel colours, then went to the hair product business district at Latema Junction on River Road. Read about it here.
I found a number of dyes being sold very cheaply. However, they were brands I had never heard or read about. And for some, you could just tell by the packaging that the journey was going to be a rough one. A lady even offered to sell me two blue colour dyes at a very good price (Ksh300/= for both) but I declined. Maybe, it was the inner Kenyan in me, (using the common preconception that is -Kenyans attach trust to price. The higher the price the higher the trust.) Or maybe it was just a little doubt, sprung from the relation to the prices I saw dyes going for on Amazon and other sites. (Ksh1000/= standard)
4. New purchase options
Pastel colour was off the table for now. Unless, someone was going abroad and I could send them to bring back dye. I knew n one who was travelling at the time.
This stage set me back for a while. The guy who did my dreadlocks, had mentioned the availability of a dark blue dye that goes for Ksh2000/= a pack, but that sounded impractical. Judging by the fact that he retouched my hair for Ksh1500/= and in Rongai, where I currently reside(kind of) I get it done for Ksh700/=.
I settled for bleaching my hair(I didnt know about the effects of hydogen peroxide then). Then using henna to dye my hair golden.
It is a common culture among old Muslim Men esp. Somalis in the South C area, where I grew up, to dye their beards a golden brown colour. The revelation came to me, as I was walking near Jamia Mosque in town one day. I saw an elderly man flaunting(hyperbole) his fiery beard. I had seen the colour ever so often but never had it appealed to me as such an amazing colour. It was just what I needed.
I went to visit my mom, and to my surprise, she had dyed her hair the same colour. It must have been a sign.
I found a small kiosk that sold bleaching products opposite Portal House on Banda street that stands next to Jamia Mosque.
The bleach goes for 150/= and the dyes start at Ksh200/= a pack.
5. Purchasing the dye and locking it in
I stayed for a month before, I decided(my mom and my friends grew tired of the postponement) of waiting. Not another day!
I was on my way to town but due to unavoidable circumstances caused by a showdown between civilians and police, town was a no go zone.
It was in Rongai where I made my purchase.
After several consultations with two hairdressers specialised in dreadlocks, I made my way to Church Road near Tuskys supermarket Rongai There is a little muddy street just 50m in. It was decided that I should buy a dye by the name Creme of Nature. I decided to use it in place if bleach. I figured I could dye my hair the lightest colour they had, Lightest blond C40, then dye with Henna which goes for around Ksh70-100/= of al naturale hair dye.
The creme of nature dye cost me 750/= a pack and I was told (and not once) that one was enough.
The hairdressers appointment would cost Ksh200/= for bleaching plus Ksh300/= for treatment. And of course an additional Ksh700/= for twisting.
It was when she was halfway through the dyeing process that she realized it would not be enough.😲. Especially since I wanted to dye my hair from the roots. And it wasn’t possible to bring more dye from the shop in time, because the dye needed to be washed off.
And this is where I am.
With semi blonde, semi golden hair. With black highlights. 😐just wondering, what next ?
But worry not, I am back on the internet googling on how soon one can redye their hair.
Hopefully, I will be able to do it myself so that I can give the hair enough dye and the dye enough time and hopefully get an even colour of hair before I think about looking for a pink pastel colour.
If you can buy the dye online, get it.
Go to a trusted hairdresser.
Have enough dye and time .
If you prefer to do it a home, remember to treat your hair afterwards and regularly oil it. Hairs have feelings too. 😊😊