Head dyeing: Three-color dye with stripes and fade

This dye is a three color process, and involves two fades and some electrical tape stripes. You’ll need electrical tape, a ruler, an X-ACTO knife and two colors of dye (any of your choosing), plus black dye.


Boil the water for your first color. Dye the lighter of the two first. When the water is boiling, mix in the dye until it is dissolved.

Bob your head up and down in the water, only going to the deepest point one time. Pull it out more and more each time, never letting the head sit still.



When you are satisfied with the color, rinse it off and start to boil the water for the next color.

At this point, you have the option of adding some electrical tape stripes to save this white to solid fade. If you’d rather the color to color fade show through the black, hold off on this step. On my head, I added stripes and saved the green to white fade. For the stripes, roll out a long piece of tape. Place the ruler over it lengthwise and make parallel cuts down the tape. If you have the normal thickness tape, 2 slices down the middle will leave you with three even-thickness stripes. From these, cut 1.5 inch long pieces and line them up around the inside of your head. Then use a hair dryer to heat the tape up, and mash them down securely. I left the outside alone because it’s so hard to make the tape work around edges.





Next, from your second dye color, create another fade. Again, keep your head moving consistently, from about 3/4 of the way submerged to about 1/4 of the way submerged. You’ll get a nice smooth fade. Again, rinse your head and dry it off.



Add additional stripes to protect the new dye color from the black. Follow the same process as step 4.

When your head has a lot of stripes, boil some more water for your black. Get it as HOT AS POSSIBLE! The TEMPERATURE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF GETTING A DARK, SOLID BLACK. This is true for any type of dye that you’re doing. When your head is nice and black, rinse it off and pull off all your stripes. Your fade will shine through, leaving you with the task of stringing it.





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  1. Davy D on April 26, 2010 at 7:40 am

    would it be possible to make the head look like the 5th or 6th picture all the time. I think it looks way cooler in those pictures but i relized the only reason there are black stripe is because of the tape.

  2. dylan on April 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    i tried this same only yellow stripes with blue i noticed when i put the head in the blue dye the electrical tape just fell off (im not sure why but suspect that i didnt use the hairdryer long enough). I stoped dying it after realizing it and now it is a dark green with yellow ish stripes while a number of the tape stripes fell off.

    My question is am i better off just finishing dying the entire head blue then redoing the stripes and dying it black or or should i try some sort of dye removing procces ( if so do you know any that will work the best with out weekening the head) and either way how could get the stripes to work better next time?

  3. Max McCool on December 2, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    worse. it’s not as waterproof, and leaves lines sometimes where the strings were

  4. chris on December 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    would duct tape be better or worse than electrical tape? and if i did use duct tape should i still heat it up?

  5. Max McCool on November 28, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Light blue? Evening blue? I know that it IS NOT denim, royal, dark, or navy. Pretty sure it’s evening.

  6. chris on November 27, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    i looked on ritdye.com and i found the black and the kelly green but i co uld not find the carolina blue, what else might it be called?

  7. Max McCool on October 14, 2009 at 11:44 am

    It’s a lot closer to completion than it ever has been. I’m trying to start work on that this week. Hopes are high.

  8. Jeff on October 14, 2009 at 10:54 am

    nice dye, i think I’m trying this one next. Any word on the digital dye?

  9. Max McCool on October 14, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I would say yes, but I’ve never compared two side by side. What I think REALLY makes the difference is temperature. Keep the water as hot as possible. If you can keep it over heat, like in the pot and on the stove, do it, one end at a time. The hotter the water, the darker the black. Also, you only need one packet. People seem to think that by adding 2 packs you get more black but really you just need to get the plastic hotter and more porous.

  10. Mike on October 14, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Is it easier to dye a head from a darker color to black, then it is to go from white to black? When I tried dying my head the 1st time, it turned purple.

  11. Max McCool on October 13, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Carolina blue and kelly green will do the trick. I left the carolina in there until it got nice and deep. Also, if you use these colors, make sure to save some of that fade. It’s way too cool not to.

  12. laxboy7 on October 13, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    What color rit dye did u use for the blue and green? (kelly and royal?)

  13. laxboy7 on October 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks now I don’t need to make a thread asking about how to do it. just kidding. Great Tutorial! You got to make more I love your teachings.


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