By Susan Diana, 2015-10-30
I thought I would share some of my dread journey in the hope that it might help someone else who is considering going to a salon. I started my journey with the neglect method initially, about Sept-Oct of 2014. I had found several videos on YouTube by NatureLover, a member of this site, and thought her free form dreads were so beautiful, I decided that was the way I wanted to go. But several months in I started hearing that sectioning was really important, and so I made the mistake of going to my hairdresser to have that done. She was just supposed to section, nothing more, but before I knew it she was sectioning, twisting and ripping, and backcombing. Even though I protested at every step, she assured me that she had training in making dreads, she knew what she was doing, and that she wouldn't do anything that would be bad for my hair (she had been my hairdresser for eight years). Even so, when she said that she wanted to use wax on my hair "Just to hold the dreads in place," I put my foot down and said, "NO! Absolutely not!" Thank God I was already a member of this site at that point and had read all the horror stories of wax being used on dreads, otherwise I would have had no idea and probaly would have let her do that as well.
Three separate sessions over the course of three weeks, eleven hours total, a whole lot of money and EXCRUIATING pain later, and I had what at least my hair dresser considered to be "dreads." My head was so sore and covered with so many dreads all tightly bound with tiny elastics that she told me to leave in for at least a month, preferably two. Two MONTHS? I lasted three weeks. I couldn't STAND the elastics! They hurt my head every day, not to mention that they were awful to sleep in. After three weeks the only way I could get them out was to cut them out because they had become so miserably knotted in my hair. It took three hours to get them all out and it was very painful.
Fast foward to two weeks ago (2nd week of Oct 2015). I have taken well over a dozen of my hairdresser's "salon dreads" out because her sectioning left the back of my head looking so bald and scalpy I couldn't go out in public. For a while I was terrified that I had Alopecia, but after much research I realized that was not the case. Even so, I can't begin to describe the EXTREME stress, time money, pain, energy, and work that I have gone through to have dreads from the moment I set foot in a salon. I now have returned to the neglect method (which I should have never left) and my poor dreads at least seem to be recovering from what has been done to them. They are full of kinks loops, and bumps, which personally, I'm loving! I am using nothing on my hair except products I've purchased on this site, which is the Tea Tree shampoo, and occasionally the sea salt locking spray.
I consider myself very lucky that it doesn't "appear" that any permanent damage was done to my hair. But believe me, it wasn't from my hairdresser's (unintentional) lack of trying. My advice to anyone wanting dreads, watch lots of reputable dread videos on YouTube, and read every bit of available information on the Dreadlocks site. The misinformation that salons and hairdressers seem to cling to is truly scary. My hairdresser actually ordered me at one point to "Stay off that dread site!" Never going to happen. I hope this info has been helpful.