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Help! My 7 year old dreads are falling off the roots!

last year
140 posts
Hey Everyone,

I know it's been a while since I have been here. So I'll just fill you in. In 2013 I bleached my hair with 30 vol bleach and dyed my hair with Ion Color Brilliance in teal and magenta. I did the same thing in 2014 when it was starting to fade a bit. Around early 2016 I did the same thing but I used purple and sky blue. If you're keeping track that's 3 times I've dyed and bleached my hair. During this time Infot my dreads twisted bi monthly (6 times a year) between 1/2015 - 1/2017. The loctician twisted my dreads so tight I didn't have to go each month, and for an additional couple of dollars she put my hair in a desired style. I chose updos since they were low maintenance, she then sewed the dreads in place so the style wouldn't come out.

Now she is a great loctician but she doesn't have dreads and she did it very tight, even at one point admitting that she didn't know if it was too tight so I would have to tell her. I noticed that while I was getting my hair twisted by her my dreads weren't growing like they used to( during that one year period I couldn't get my hair done professionally due to a scalp fungus that was treated by my dermatologist) . I also noticed that my scalp was feeling a bit thin. I didn't want to admit that it could be traction alopecia.

So fast forward to November/ December I visit her and I decide to dye my hair back to
black. The bleach had eaten away literally half way in each of my long dreads. As she was twisting it some of the dreads were falling out. I opted for her to just twist it in braids and I'll take it out when it dries , instead of sitting under the dryer. She said the next time I came back we would cut it into a cute bob.

So literally 3 weeks later I get in the shower and wash my dreads and they all start falling out. Getting out of the shower my dreads went from being down to my lower back to a shoulder bob.

The last few months I decided to give my hair a salon break but not gonna lie haven't been doing so great with upkeep; not moisturizing as often and for a while I was sleeping with a sleep cap that was resting against my edges.

So now for some reason all of the black dye is gone and hair is brown and in some dreads you can see the old colors I had dyed them.

I was braiding my dreads for a while after I got out of the shower until they started developing this weird uneven shape. Now my dreads look awful and I have this barren land on the front of my head where my dreads have fallen out. Today I was sitting down outside and my dread literally was hanging on by a strand. I took a picture of it. From where my thumb is holding it is where the loctician started twisting it.

So now I'm sitting here upset. I decided not to have her twist my dreads again, even though she is a phenomenal stylist and person. But now I don't know what to do. A part of me wants to cut off the dreads and start all over again. But another part of me doesn't want to part with my dreads. I've had them so long, I will feel naked. Plus I'm scared with all the twisting what if my hair doesn't grow back? It just looks so bad now I'm literally running out of options.

Some of the roots feel
Fine but the nape of my neck and the front end she's and top portion don't look so great. Thank for the long read.
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☮ soaring eagle ॐ
last year
28,824 posts

i expected much worse

ok heres what caused this and how to fix it

1 all the bleaching and dying caused chemical damage weakening the hair...that's only a tiny fragmant of the issue and not the major 1

2 that was not a "phenomenal loctician" in fact shes the reason your in such bad locticians are phenomenal (well 1% are ethical and would refuse to do what yours did)

1st the tight twisting caused traction alopecia

2nd the styles tripled the threat

3rd..sewing the styles in? does that seem like a sensible thing to do when the tight twisting and the tight styles cause traction alopecia?

your not too terribly bad off...yes the dreads are weak, and will break easily, but the scalp issues the biggest problem


massage the scalp deeply daily while keeping all tension off the roots, no wearing anything at night, no braiding, no styling and no tightening the roots

in a year when they are fully recovered, you can style for events...but only for events, do not leave them in tight styles longer then a couple days..then take it out and release the tension

moisturizing shouldn't be needed often if you wash a minimum of weekly, more often is better

i will see if our best expert on traction alopecia has more input

27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
last year
28,824 posts

well i talked to my expert

shes got more experience in hair care then anyone i know..  she thinks you had them way over processed way under washed and likely  only the new growth can recover

your going to have to have a crash course in caring for your own hair..properly  that means no more paying anyone and being committed to doing whats healthiest

what you have is pretty fried and damaged and you might lose some more

how often were you washing them 1st off?  only when you had an appointment?

27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international
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