By Christian Mullen

Bleaching your dreads can really damage them, so you should choose other options when dyeing them. Those with light-colored dreads can simply use hair dye on them to make them darker, but there are ways to make them lighter without bleach. While hydrogen peroxide is used primarily used for treating infections, low concentrations of the liquid can lighten your hair. If you are interested in lightening your hair without the damage that bleach can cause, choose this method to save time and money, as salons are expensive and time-consuming.

Shot in a studio in the UK
credit: Polka Dot RF/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Dreads can be lightened with hydrogen peroxide.

Step 1

Prepare your dreads for the dyeing process. Wash your dreads before attempting to dye them as you would normally wash them to remove built-up grease and oil that can accumulate in them. Dry your dreads with a towel so that they will absorb the hydrogen peroxide more readily and lighten over time.

Step 2

Pour the hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle that has been cleaned thoroughly. If it is new, this step could include a quick rinse, but if there were liquids in there other than water, thoroughly wash the bottle to remove any previous liquids. Fill the spray bottle with as much peroxide as you will need for the amount of dreads that need attention.

Step 3

Spray your dreads with hydrogen peroxide to lighten them. Avoid getting peroxide in your eyes or on exposed skin. Treating your dreads with the peroxide will lighten the hair color. It will make dirty blonds blonder and can also give redheads a strawberry blond look. Allow the hydrogen peroxide to dry in order to get the best penetration on each hair strand.

Step 4

Wash your hair after the hydrogen peroxide has dried. Removing the peroxide will stop the dyeing process and will allow you to asses which areas will need to redone. Use a mirror or ask a friend to look at the back of your hair where you applied the hydrogen peroxide to see if you missed any spots. Spray the areas that were missed and allow them to dry, then wash your hair once again.

Step 5

Continue this process until all areas that have dreads have been covered and dyed. Use a box color or go to salon to change the color of your dreads if you then choose to go darker. After they have been dyed without bleach, they can be re-colored any way you would like using hair color from the store.