Q. I was wondering if you had heard of dread perms, and if you thought it would have the same effect as backcombing – or maybe they’re the same thing?
A. A dread perm can be one of two things:
1) a very kinky perm given to straight or non-afro hair to make it more frizzy and nappy – hence, easier to dread, or
2) perm solution that is applied to hair that has just been dreaded to fry the hair into the dread and keep them from coming apart.
Both are terrible on your hair and can result in very dry, brittle dreads… and I’ve had many dread-perm dreadheads write me with their complaints of it not having worked at all – they still have just as many loose ends coming out of their dreads as they did before the perm. Here is a quote from a recent email,
“I got a dread perm 5yrs. ago and at this point, my dreads are getting super thin and brittle. They aren’t dreading at the scalp because my hair is sooo fine and a few of them have fallen off because they are hangin’ by a few strands of hair. I want to keep my dreads but I am very concerned at this point…”
SO, the decision is yours to try a dread perm or not… but I do know that you can have wicked dreads for a fraction of the trouble, damage and cost if you just get a friend or two to help you do them right with Knotty Boy… that’s what it was made for – locking up without having to use anything else!
If you think your hair needs some kinkiness to help it lock up better, you can braid it wet the day before and then take the braids out and brush it so it’s really frizzy before you lock up – that will help a lot.