Dyeing some locks

Dyeing some locks

It seems a few of us have had the dying bug. I couldn’t find my green curls and I needed some for another little picture I wanted to do, so I decided to do 3 colours of green to give me some variety. I did them in large freezer bags so I would only need one pot. I know I could have done them in the microwave in the bags but I am not really fussy about microwave dying.

The curls I have already separated are small Blue Faced Leister curls, my favourites. I divided the curls into three bags and added some vinegar water and three different greens to them. I used Dharma acid dye 461 Avocado, Prochem 716 Moss, and Prochem 735 Shamrock.

I forgot to take a picture of the curls but you can see these bags haven’t been cooked because they look like white locks in a green liquid. The colours don’t look very different at this point. Makes you wonder if you have gone to a lot of fuss to make three bags of the same colour. Time will tell.










I didn’t want them to be sitting on the bottom of the pot because they might melt. To prevent that catastrophe I put some ramekins in the bottom of the pot to keep them up. Empty tuna cans would have worked too.

I cooked them at a low simmer for 30 min then checked them.

Two of them definitely needed more cooking so I popped them all back in for 15 min( I think, or maybe it was 30 min) and checked again.

The third one was clear. I decided to let them cool in the bags and only one had any colour left in it by then but it wasn’t much.

I rinsed them, spun them out in the salad spinner and put them out onto a wire rack to dry. and this is the final result; three different greens.

So had to get a good picture of the true colour. The top right and bottom left are the same curls but look so different as the sun came out from behind a cloud and the room brightened. Their true colour is between the two. I like the way the locks are not solid colours. It gives them more life and depth of colour.

Using bags in a pot of water is a great way to dye lots of different colours at once. It’s especially useful when you don’t want huge amounts of any one thing. Who hasn’t been tempted by those little bags of colour at a sale or in a store? They are usually expensive. This way you can make your own. It’s a great way to try making your own colours by mixing your dyes and you don’t have to commit to having a huge amount until you know you like the outcome. Use a permanent marker to write down your proportions of dye right on the bag so you can replicate the colour later.

13 thoughts on “Dyeing some locks

  1. Fabulous results – love the colours. No wonder dyed curls (well any curls to be honest) are expensive. There is so much preparation time involved! I shall appreciate those I buy so much more!

  2. Good idea to use one pot and you’ve achieved your greens!

    Yes, they are expensive to buy in little bags and also you may not be able to get the colour you want, so doing it yourself is the answer.

  3. I love the green curls, especially, as you say, the way the colours are so varied within each dye lot. I’m interested to know whether you think direct dying, wrapping in cling film and steaming would give a similar overall result. That is the only type of dying I’ve tried so do you think your method would be similar or different?

  4. Your green curls turned out beautifully. I love the variegated colors too, more natural looking. I enjoy dyeing in bags, it really works well for fabric too.

  5. Thank you Ann – I have learned something. The idea of doing small amounts & different colours at the same time is very appealing.

    Your green locks are so tempting & I love the fact that they are not one solid colour.

    1. Thanks Antje, Give it a try the results are great and you can do several and when they come out to cool you can put another bunch in without having to change the water because theres a little blue or red still in there.

  6. Beautiful locks, those greens came out wonderful! I’m glad you didn’t do microwave dyeing, the colours simply don’t come out as bright…

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