Hey, sis! Dipping a toe into the hair dye pool for our dreads just takes a determined attitude, creativity and caution. Does your hair already have dye in it or has it ever been dyed before?? I've tried many things over the past few decades -- even when I relaxed my hair and wore it in mohawks with all kinds of colors. I had a lot of damage over the years and when I finally started my dreads it was like giving my hair the loving care and relief it needed.
The only hair bleach/lightener I gently use is L'Oreal's Super Blonde creme lightener kit #200 (for medium brown to darkest brown hair). Before I started using it to lightenen my dreads enough so the Manic Panic blues and pinks would show up well and pop, I dyed my dreads black for at least a few years. I've had a lot of success with it, but I can't emphasize enough how much this has been my OWN experience after years of trying different bleaches and experimenting -- I am NOT a beautician or colorist. The magic key for me has always been to do a "lock test" where I test one lock to see if I'm allergic to the bleach or dye AND to see the effects I would get with my shade of hair. I have rarely run into troubles when I test a couple locks that way to see the results. Some bleaches were too brassy and orange....and others didn't lift much at all (but sometimes the low volume level of the developer was the culprit). Mark my words, luv -- testing your hair is a very wise and a very safe thing to do before soaking our whole heads in hair bleach and/or dyes.
Now, that being said, I can't say enough about the success I had with L'Oreal. It only took me two lightening sessions (I spaced them out -- 6 weeks apart to let my dreads rest) to get the black lifted out of my dreads and for them to become a sort of dark blonde shade light enough to really let the Manic Panic colors show up well. And now that I'm not using the Manic Panic, I fell in love with another dye from L'Oreal in their "Feria" line -- I LOVE a couple of their light brown shades and a golden dark blonde color.
Finding that exact shade you want may take a little experimenting, luv. You need to be prepared and realistic for that. What worked well for me might not do the same for you. There are colorists out there (more than there used to be) who are learning how to bleach and color dreads better and better. My whole attitude on bleaching/dying still comes from a very "DIY" (do-it-yourself) punk rock place and being an artist. You do a little test of bleach/color here and there....see how it shows up...and if it didn't work, no sweat...try it a little different next time and learn from what didn't quite work. I've always been comfortable taking the risk and trying different stuff -- Before I started my dreads back in '95, I wore mohawks and fins for 10 years with clean shaven sides and that freaked an endless amount of people out (but I loved wearing them). If you're going to do it yourself you need to be comfortable with taking the risks and making sure you're safe, chica. It can be a total blast trying colors and seeing they pop in your dreads, but finding the right combinations can be very challenging -- but it's so worth it! Give me a shout if you ever need any extra perspective and if you decide to give it a go -- and take pics!!!! Be well and have fun!! x0x0x
You make me want to start over !!!!! I want bigger dreds now LOL