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Before we even begin discussing salons and locticians watch this and understand it fully
the person in the video above stopped going to salons stopped retwisting and has had a significant improvement, its taken nearly a year, and hes not fully recovered yet. recovery from salon disasters can take a very long time. heres his progress today
. so, lets start with
what to avoid
1. first and most important question to ask is what products (wax's gels etc, weve even heard of glues and latex) are used, if they tell you they use waxes gels dread perms or anything at all say no thanks and hang up.
2. maintanance recomendations, if they recomend any of the following..walk away.. using elastic bands for weeks or months.. using wax gels or any products except soap or maybe sea salt sprays if they recommend scheduling several more touch up/retightening visits (a true sign of the salon dread scam, which involveds doing an intentionaly bad job then schedulling months and months of repeat business which can cost you over $1000) and lastly if they tell you to refrain from washing your dreadlocks for long periods of time..some salons go as far as to recomend no water touch your hair for 6 months to a year...if they say that..laugh before you run
3. do they specialize in synthetic dreads and concider "natural dreads" to be any dreads that arent plastic? if so your best off to avoid them, they are in the bussiness of making temporary dreads to wear to a party but not to keep for life
second thing to concider is the methods they use these have been covered pretty well in other threads so i'll just give a short summery of common options and include some advanhtages and drawbacks backcombing this is a fairly common method used by people who do theyre own dreads at home, it doesnt require the skill of a professional loctition and can be done by yourself or with the help of a freind, advantage is it gets dreadlike clumps of hair knotted together in 1 day typicaly so kick starts progress, disadvantages they tend to stick straight out like sideshow bob a few days, and the agressive backwards combing can be pretty dammaging twist n rip another methiod thats popular but many have trouble figuring out how to do it right, so a experienced locker can be a help..if your totaly unable to do it yourself.. advantages, the dreads look neater thyen backcombed from the start the dammage is far less and they dont generaly stick out weird.. its quick and easy once you figure out the technique crochetting this methods highly debated on the plus side it creates very neat tight dreads right away that can look mature faster, but the tradeoff is they require constant retouching with crochet to maintain an even look and its done by shoving a metal hook through the dread weakening the dread over time twisting and variations generaly used on african type hair with great results, its so simple you could do it yourself without even thinking, they tend to add gells and crap that should be avoided, and recommend retwisting too often many require 1 twisting only some may need a couple retwists the 1st few weeks but once they hold shape theres no reason to retwist.. there have been stories of dreadlocks over twisted (obsessivly maybe) that were twisted right off
what to look for
1. your best bet is a small time operation that does dreads more of as a favor secondary to theyre normal jobs. but still you should interview themn and be really sure they are going to only do what you want them to
2. price, unless your hairs very long and crazy getting dreads done shouldnt cost more then rent for the month (far less in fact) if your able, its best to negotiate a fair price per hour..with a cap so you dont get surprised..if you have less then a foot of hair and they quote 500-700 dollars ..leave you can always pay a freing 50-70 to help you with the parts you cant do yourself
3. if theyre "salon" is theyre living room chances are better you got a good one as long as all the above check out ok, however, if they do work in a salon setting make sure they listen to what you want them to do..instead of just telling you what they want to do to you.
4. if anything they say doesnt sound right.. research it here before committing
finaly i'll sumerize by saying that in most cases your better off avoiding salon dreads as 90% make a total mess of things and i cant believe im suggesting this route for anyone, but, if you must have a professional look from the start and have alot of money and do your research it is possible to find that 1 in a hundred loctition that does a decent job and will give satisfactory results (i would not ever go only on the recomendation of others without doing this research too)
if your willing and able i highly recomend going natural. or if not doing them yourself with the help of friends and leave the salon dreads as an option only if all others wont work for you.
1 last concideration.. its unfortunate but when you tell others how you started yours you may face the fashion dread salon dread label discrimination factor (hmm that sentence sounded weird) this might be acceptable to you if considerations of professional image outweigh it..
in a city the size of philly with possibly hundreds of loctitions i can only think of 1 i would refer people to..but i dont know every one here, there maybe as many as 3-5 out of a few hundred or so
whatever you do, if they are unwilling to do what you want them to do..or if they try telling you it wont work without products or certain techniques dont let them tough you they dont know what theyre talking about.
Very important update!
A few days ago someone joined who had spent $3000 on her dreads the salons (2 different salons) did everything wrong you can do wrong and she showed up here with a total disaster (but saveable we hope) You can read the story here
But if $3000 wasn't enough of a disaster, after 1 day here, and 1 attempt at wax removal (with the rinse being a brown sludge that came out of her dreads) a severe skin condition that started the day she started her dreads started to clear up! And guess what, she had multiple surgeries multiple courses of antibiotics and a grand pricetag for her salon dreads over $10,000 You can read her further recovery here
Learn from others past mistakes in our salon and loctician recovery section
You Can dread your own hair naturally for free!
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remember the easiest way to dread is always ..forget you even have hair..it will dread on its own do it yourself dreading methods do it yourself dreadlock maintenance