2005
10.19

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.

  1. I had my hair separated, back combed, crochet and interlocked and topped off with a dread perm in one sitting . My dreads were neat and perfect day one. I loved how the curl gave them a look as they grew longer. I have Caucasian hair and headed on four years. I get compliments everywhere I go. Even from those Dead set in natural free ranging people. For my career and personal preference I do not like the ratty natural look so this worked for me. I had them interlocked with crochet maintained for two years and just crochet and dropped the interlock for the last two years. I would love my Curly locks back but am having a hard time finding someone in California oddly enough who will do that. Rasa salon in Philly who did my hair originally will but I obviously need to go there

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. I have a do dread perms they are cleaner and healthier if you have the slightest idea or education on how to care for them. My dread perm was done 7 years ago and I have had clean smelling and looking dreads, that are in better shape than most who went “natural”.
    This is the Salon that really pioneered the concept. It works and it is awesome … because some of us are not vegan, hippie type and we’d rather look good than have stinky dreads that are “all natural”
    http://www.hairpolice.com/dreadlocks.htm
    Cheers

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. I have really thick, curly, red hair thats about mid back length when straightened. I’ve been wanting dreads for AGES! Can I get some tips and tricks to help getting by the first weeks of dreads and dread care. I intend on using Knottyboy, mainly because I’m a trusting person to their products.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. I have been thinkin about getting dread for about 2 months now…. and in about 3 weeks I’m goin to be getting them…. the only problem is that I got a perm put in my hair about 3 months ago…. and I have been doin reasearch and it all says I need to cut all my permed hair off in order to get the dreads… because the permed parts won’t grow…….. does anyone no if If my hair can still be dreaded with a perm? Or how to make my hair to the point it can be dreaded? Please help

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Okay so my hair is medium thick and it goes down about my boob lol and I really want dreads but Im not sure what the best way to get them is!!! and I live in Roseburg oregon does anyone know how to do them here ! can anyone help me please!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. I’ve done both methods, both on myself and professionally, and have to say that lumping a ton of beeswax into your hair and molding it into dreads isn’t the right way either. It’s also a quick fix to the natural process that is dreadlocking, which will be slow and tons of work. But that said, it is totally worth backcombing and rolling until you have carpal tunnel, without the use of wax to glue things together. You will have more uniform dreads, and most of all, you won’t have gnarly wax residue in your hair for the lifespan of the dreads. Contrary to popular belief in white folks, wax is not the only/old way to start dreads. People with blonde hair can tell you that no amount of washing will remove the dark waxy stains from their hair. Perms will work well if you have the hair type for it- it’s not for thin, dry hair, and works best on thick shiny hair (think Asian, Mexcian, Native ethnicity) that is too slippery to dread well.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • where are you located do you still do deadlocks professionally?

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • im 18, and i wanted some dreadlocks, but i dont know if i have the right hair for it. Some people say i have to wait years for my hair to nap up, r i can’t get them because i just put a perm n my head..I dont know what to do, can u help

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • seriously get it done as soon as possible the shorter your hair is when you do it, but obviously not too short, the nicer fuller and thicker your dreads will become over time my friend had it done at 16 and he had them in until he was 27 and they were gorgeous it may look weird too start with but they will turn out fantastic i can promise you that but only if you do keep care of them and back comb them regularly

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0