ummer is the time I like to go blonde and some clients 

with dreads like the colour but want to know can you dye dreads without bleach? This is a loaded question because the answer can be either yes or no.  Blonde can be a very hard colour to get as it depends on the shade of blonde they mean.


When people call a salon and say I want to go blonde, I think colourists either tingle or shudder. 

Some tingle from the prospect of making easy money while others shudder because to do so they know will take time and knowledge.  Each head of hair has stages of colours you need to pass in order to get to blonde.  You have to use a lightener also called “bleach” with peroxide.  The result depends on how long the lightener is left on the hair.  (I can still see my instructor shuddering when we first used the word “bleach” instead of “lightener” and by the end of the apprenticeship course we knew better than to use it in her presence. And, if we said “dye” instead of colour, I think she went several shades!). 


For the people who ask can you dye dreads without bleach, here are a few ways to do so without 

a bleaching powder, but the effect on the hair can be the same:

  • You can use a hi-lift colour–i.e. The colour is applied and it lifts and deposits colour with the right peroxide.  This only applies to certain hair shades so if your hair is darker than a dark blond, you probably will not get the shade you want.  The hair also needs to be virgin, not previously coloured hair.
  • Putting peroxide on the dreads could lighten it to a honey shade depending on how dark your hair is or how fine.  But what would be the point, since it is the peroxide that makes the bleaching powder work.
  • If you do what is called sun-bleached, it requires full days out on the beach in the sea water with the sun.  This takes a while.
  • Applying lemon juice.  This does lighten the hair but  might not work if you want to be like a “Gwen Stephani” blonde though unless you already have light blonde hair and time.

Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.

Many people are concerned their dreads will become damaged and for this reason they do not want to have them bleached.   Can you dye dreads without bleach?  Yes but if you want a very light shade of blonde, it will be necessary to use it.  Dreads are dense and these other ways will take a long time to give a light, even colour.

By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design