A Generation of Dreadlock Misinformation

This post is long overdue…

Contrary to popular belief from social media outlets and online sites, dreadlocks CAN be messed up and when you hire an inexperienced stylist to do your locks, you MAY HAVE TO SHAVE YOUR HEAD. If you don’t think that’s a big deal… I don’t know what is.

I have been actively working on and learning dreadlock techniques for over 4 years; practicing and experimenting on MY own head, and the willing heads of family and close friends. I WOULD NEVER attempt to create a PERMANENT style on someone’s head if I had not been properly trained in what I was doing; It blows my mind that I even have to say so.

My interest and techniques originated from hair and weaving methods I have been perfecting for over 9 years. Dread work and extension blending takes years of practice and is not something that is learned in a matter of one day or one course. Dreadlocks are like a tattoo, the goal is to never have them removed. You wouldn’t go get a tattoo from an artist who took a 4 hour class, now would you?? Although dreadlocks cannot put you at risk for blood borne diseases, you are chancing PERMANENT DAMAGE to your hair and scalp when you hire an untrained dreadlock technician. You are putting yourself at risk for PERMANENT patch balding, a receding hairline, major thinning and extreme breakage. Yes, these are worst case scenarios, but why would you chance that?! And why would an inexperienced stylist chance putting a client at risk for this??? Well…because they don’t even know they are putting you at risk.

Sometimes I wish I would have never ventured into this salon subculture, I am CONSTANTLY correcting misinformed clients, friends and stylists about dreadlocks and it’s become a full time job. My inbox is full of messages from inquiring clients who pick my mind for hours at a time. People are curious and they want to know what all of the hype is, and that’s great…but it’s still my job and sometimes I need a break from the anxious energy this subject brings me. I post new articles on my websites regarding dread work to help with some of the messaging work load, so please read and inform yourself with reputable DREADLOCK TECHNICIANS; stop looking on Pinterest and asking your friends questions they don’t know the answers to! Here are a few points we can clear up right away regarding dreadlocks.

WE WASH THEM!!!!- Me and my dread friends, keep our heads clean by washing them like regular hair with shampoo and water once a week. If you are not washing your hair, you probably stink.

Products- I sell and use Loma Organics, the shampoo my dreadies prefer is Loma Nourishing Shampoo. The only other product I will put on my dreads or suggest to my dreaded clients is Loma’s Leave in conditioner for a dry scalp or thirsty dreads. Loma is an organic line that is sulfate free and residue free, keeping your locks clear of build up and chemical. I DO NOT USE ANYTHING ELSE ON MY DREADLOCKS. I NEVER use locking peppers, dread wax’s, bars, or any other “dread product” to assist in locking.

Forced Dreading- You cannot have beautiful dreadlocks in one day. If a stylist tells you that you can, RUN AWAY. Dreadlocks take patience and a lot of work for typically the first year. Permanent extended dreadlocks take even longer. Forcibly dreading your hair AND extending it, will result in a disaster and dreadlocks that must be maintained for the rest of their dreadie lives. I offer many ways to appease the client seeking instant gratification, but forced dreading is not the way we do that.

Section size… UGH this is where the permanent damage happens. Your dread WILL GROW to the size of its section. This is a fact and where the technicians forcibly dreading make huge mistakes!! Hair naturally dreads by crawling towards the scalp, creeping like an inch worm and then tightening in diameter and creeping like an inch worm and tightening in diameter; this process continues until your dreads are tight tight tight and is why young dreads that have NOT been forcibly dreaded look like zig zags. As the hair creeps and tightens down to the scalp, through its own organic process, the dread itself becomes the size of the parting or section.

Here is why forced dreading is SO BAD! Locking down your dread sections with tools can create tight spots in the dreads that don’t allow this natural process; the dreads cannot move, which creates slack in areas (especially the regrowth)- requiring maintenance to correct- which results in more tight spots that don’t allow the hair to move. See the vicious cycle you have gotten yourself into? You are now committed to having a loctician tighten your regrowth and weak points, basically, FOREVER.

How does thinning and hair loss play in? When sectioning for dreadlocks, instant dreaders will create hair partings that pull together unlocked hair to the size you would like your dreads to be. Unlocked hair will not be the same size when ponied together as the section size, so typically the parting becomes larger to create an ideal dreadlock size. When you pull that section to the center and lock it down tight, you create tension on the entire perimeter of EACH section! Have you ever seen someone with 6-10 dreadlocks on their head and balding around each of their locks?? This is why.

I’m not saying my locking methods are the best or only good methods out there, but I am saying, there are plenty of people making a mess of dreadlocks and it is your responsibility as the consumer to DO YOUR DREADY HOMEWORK!!

Happy Locking People,

XoXo

-Tia

I Don’t Believe in Cheat Meals

I don’t believe in cheat meals.

I believe in subtle, permanent, lifestyle changes.

I treat my diet and food habits as a drug user would treat their recovery. I cut ingredients and foods from my life, slowly and with as much information as possible, to ween my body away from the foods it was addicted to.

Yes I said addicted. I believe food is as addictive as any drugs, we use it to cope, to heal, to mourn, to celebrate, etc… There is an emotional tie to the foods we eat, and I think there are many food companies out there that know this and pray on us weak eaters. To me a cheat meal system doesn’t motivate me to be good all week. I eat well and then it feels like falling off of the wagon, the sugar and chemical cravings have finally subsided and then I put them back into my body once a week. It also feels like I am going to have to spend 2 hours at the gym everyday for the rest of my life, on a system like that… And I don’t want that for my life.

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This is the cycle I believe in, and I like to imagine it 3 dimensional, as if it’s a spiral elevating as it circles upward. The more positive we think, the better we eat, the better we treat our bodies, the more we feel good and it keeps getting better and better. I believe in elevating our bodies, minds and spirits, continually growing and becoming better. Not being hard on ourselves, but allowing our habits and daily rituals to change, evolve, grow… My version of healthy eating and living was much different 5 years ago than it is today, and since a year ago, it has even changed. I’m not being hard on my image, I just continue to educate myself on healthy living and allow my body to evolve to a healthier being each day. I don’t miss the foods I used to eat, I know now how much better I feel everyday and I truly have no desire to eat the things I have cut from my life. I eat what I want, without calorie or carb restrictions, I simply educated myself on what my body needs to feel satisfied and nourished, and I KNOW without a doubt I do not need or want to eat chemicals and processed foods. This took time and lots of education, but now, it’s just eating for me… It’s not a chore or a guilty desire, it’s simply who I am and how I choose to eat. My body size, weight and shape remains whether I am working out everyday or not and every morning when I get dressed, I don’t look in the mirror and think negative things about myself because I know I am trying hard everyday. There is no more guilt attached to the eating patterns I had all week, or even the day before. The guilt is where the problem lies, it’s far more detrimental than anything you could pollute your body with. Removing the foods you know are not good for your body, will remove the guilt cycles and elevate your being to a better place. This takes time and knowledge, but you can’t be hard on yourself if you are doing the best you can with the knowledge you have.

Happy healthy living.

XoXo

-Tia

Show & Tell

Show and Tell demonstrations are now available to licensed cosmetologist.

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Practice the art of transformation.

With each of these show and tell demos, you will learn tricks of the trade to be a proficient artist in the field of hair transformation.

Blonding for the most natural looking blonde and trim shaping with a blowdry style- 3 hours- $180- Class fee can be divided between as many stylists as location can permit.

Bold Color and trim shaping with a blowdry style- 4 hours – approx $240- Class fee can be divided between as many stylists as location can permit.

Crop Cutting with a razor and styling- 2 hours- $120- Class fee can be divided between as many stylists as location can permit.

The art of the blow dry style- 1 hour- $60- Class fee can be divided between as many stylists as location can permit.

Contact me for more information or to set up a demo, I would love to hear from you!

XoXo

-Tia

Independent Educator

I am an owner of The Eclectic Chair studio salon and spa in Idaho Falls, ID. We are a co-operative business that offers nearly every service in the beauty industry, ranging from dreadlock work to mechanical face-lifting. My job within our team is to service the hair needs of the majority of our female clientele. I offer color and cutting services and am trained in various methods of hair extensions as well as dreadlocking and dreadlock extensions both synthetic and permanent.

As a stylist with an inbox full of questions from other salon professionals inquiring about the work I post to my social media and website. I would like to help other forthright stylists by sharing my knowledge and tricks of the trade, hoping to build a reputation as an independent educator in the field of hair and all things related.

As the daughter of a salon professional, I was exposed to the world of hair as a child. The ambitions I still have as a stylist began budding as a youngster and haven’t strayed. Sure the salon biz can have it’s difficulties and I would be lying if I said I never felt like giving up… But October of 2015 marks 9 years for me as a stylist and my career is more than I ever dreamed it could be. I have a loyal clientele and a very supportive group of family and friends who have helped me accomplish every goal I have ever put into place for my business. As a 27 year old entrepreneur, I would have never guessed the success I worked tirelessly for would come at such a young age. What I crave now is growth, I believe the growth I am looking for is in education. I want to spread the ambition that was instilled in me, by extending knowledge to those who are looking for their place in the hair world.

You will find samples of my portfolio under the appropriate tabs on the website.

The demonstration and education I offer is various, and compensation would depend upon interest and the detail of what you would have me teach. Retail, subcontracting, client relations, as well as media marketing are also a strong suit for me and are an important part of growth to any business. If you are interested in demonstrations or education of any kind, please contact me in the form best suited to you.

May the force be with you,

Xoxo

-Tia

Taking the Plunge to Permanent Dreadlocks

SO YOU THINK YOU ARE READY TO TAKE THE PLUNGE…

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I am ready to coach you through the process.

First of all, are all of your “people” ok with this… BOSS, mother, husband, father, wife, children, etc… Dreadlocks can conflict majorly with dresscode in some businesses and schools and may affect your job.

Length- the longer the better! Plan to lose 1/3 of your current, natural length as your dreads mature. There are many ways to get your dreadlocks going even if length may become an issue.

Color- Dreadlocks CAN be colored, however an extreme color change can be very difficult to achieve without damaging your locks. I typically suggest a lower maintenance color because your dreads are going to be a lot of work on their own.

Time- How much time do you put into your hair daily? Dreadlocks require a lot of time and love during their first year. All of the time you get to save on blow drying and curling is now spent separating congos and palm rolling.

Washing- Yes WE WASH. I recommend to my clients 4-7 days for shampooing and I only get my dreads wet when I shampoo. Dreads can dry very slowly, even with a blowdryer. My dreads can remain damp for most of the day even, so about a week is great for me. Washing more or less than every 4-7 days can be ok as long as your hair thickness and dreads permit it. You will get the routine once you get going and will be able to determine what your dreads like best.

Feeling Crazy?- Yes us dread heads are a bit obsessed with our dreads. They become part of you, like a device for measuring time based on the Instagram photos and your locks maturation process. It’s like when a parent uses their child’s age to share the approximate time of a memory. Like children, you have your favorites, the dreads that behave and cause little grief, and then there are the naughty ones that don’t play nice with the others. They are an organism all their own, congoing together an hour after you separate your entire scalp. Because of this your hands are always in them, making you look like a monkey, or a crazy person. Eventually they mature and mellow out and become very little work.

Like training a puppy, if you give them the attention they need in the beginning they will become an easy companion for a lifetime.

Commitment- Oh yes, I did say lifetime… Dreads are not for the faint hearted. Once you jump on this dread wagon, you are on it. Permanent Dreadlocks are a permanent decision, I tell every client that they must be cut out. There are people that have combed them out, but this way should not be relied upon as your hair will not be the same once you try and reverse a hair locking process. If you are unsure as to whether you are ready to commit to dreadlocks, I suggest trying one of my synthetic methods.

The Steady Dready method gives you basically a mock run of natural dreads…. It’s the easy and reversible way to see if you are up for permanent dreads. Once they are installed, in most cases, you can go about 4-12 weeks without maintenance. At each maintenance appointment, you can choose to continue maintaining your dreads as a synthetic extension, or begin to convert the bonds to a permanently extended Dreadlock. I believe this method gives you the ability to easily trial dreadlocks and transition into permanent dreads, if you choose too.

Still convinced you want them?- If you are still convinced you want them, you do not need extensions, a color change, and your length is good to go, here is how we get started…

I do not believe in using waxes, pomades, locking sprays, peppers, etc etc etc…. Blah blah blah.

I do productLESS dreading.

I use two products in my dreadlocks,

Shampoo (LOMA Organics)

Leave-in Conditioner (LOMA Organics) when they are dry and frizzy.

You will at least need to plan on purchasing shampoo for your dreads, if you are dreading with me, I recommend and stock LOMA Organics.

I like to dread organically. Letting your hair choose what dreading and maintenance method it likes best and allowing your hair to dread on its own… Because yes, it will dread if you let it.

Appointments for dread locking are determined and scheduled according to the needs of your dreads. Some clients have an easier time working on their own dreads and can manage quite well with little time in the salon, while others NEED to come in regularly to get their dreads going in a direction we want them to.

During our first appointment together, we will consult to make sure we are on the same page about the dreads you are trying to achieve. I will separate most and sometimes all of your hair into sections and encourage these sections of hair to become friends, by lightly dreading your hair with the method it responds to best. I will give you homework and we will rebook another appointment for maintenance.

Each appointment duration and maintenance frequency depends upon the client and the hair locking ability. Typically 2 hours every 6-8 weeks has been beneficial for clients that need more help with their dreadlocks.

If you’re ready to get started, give me a call or use our email contact form!

Hope this helps!

– Tia

xoxo