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,