I've finally got around to taking photos (horray!) and mostly because I wanted to share my experience with bleaching my babies from black to medium/dark brown. Six months before my dreads were created, my hair had been dyed black. Once the dreads were in place and three weeks had passed, I decided I wanted my hair back to my natural shade of medium/dark brown.
I researched how to bleach dreads by looking in the memories and I want to give a huge thank you to Lish for writing this. It was extremely helpful in educating me on what level of developer to use, how long to leave the bleach on, etc. I was worried that bleaching my dreads may not be successful due to how frequently people were commenting that black was the most difficult color to lift. I was also worried that I would destroy my hair.
But I took the plunge anyway because frankly, black dreads (on me) looked like shit. So I read over Lish's page at least twice, went to Sally's and picked up what I thought would be best.
I ended up with the following:
Two 2oz. bottles of Miss Clairol in Cinnamon (Wasn't sure how much I would need but I ended up with having plenty leftover)
Two Packets of Wella Wellite Powder Lighter (I made sure it was suitable for on-the-scalp application)
1 16oz. bottle of 20vol creme developer (A big bottle, sure, but it was inexpensive so why not?)
Cheap shower cap
Box of latex gloves
I performed the skin test then I followed the instructions the next day and this was after application while I waited for it to develop (sorry for the huge size in photos):
I was already pleased with how quickly the black had been lifted in only 30 minutes so I rinsed and this was the result after they dried a bit:
Then I proceeded with dyeing them the cinnamon color. Which really ended up looking medium/dark brown with slight red highlights:
All in all, I'm pretty happy with the results. I did end up with some of the knotting at my nape coming undone but other than that, I can't see any real "damage". My hair doesn't feel exceedingly dry and my scalp doesn't feel burned from the bleach.
I'm hoping that this will help someone else if they are wondering how bleaching black dreads to brown will turn out. (Though most questions were how bleaching black dreads to blonde would be but still.) -Oh, and it turns out I miss counted how many dreads I have. There are 26, not 21.
I'm sooo happy they aren't black anymore.
Thanks for looking!