2005
10.19

Q. Here is another story that might help you decide whether to try a dread perm or not.. this dreadlocks.org-girl doesn’t want her name mentioned, but be sure to read her story!

A. “I fell upon your website whilst surfing. I spent hours reading with great interest. It certainly has wetted my appetite for trying to dread my hair again. I read something about dread perms in your FAQ page and would like to relate to your browsers of the experience I had with a dread perm.

I have been wearing braids for the last five years. Only, last year, springtime, two weeks after taking out my braids I decided that I wanted to do something with my hair that I have been thinking about doing with it for years: dreadlocks. I had found a trendy American dreadlocks and tattoo salon in Amsterdam. I was asked to pay part of the cost for doing my hair upfront in order to secure my appointment (I have never been asked to do this before for a hairdressing appointment but, it also goes to show, that’s how desperate I was to have my dreadlocks!). I didn’t use chemicals in my hair for the length of time that I had been braiding it and wished to keep it that way but I was told that because my hair was both long and soft, a dread perm would help the locks to set properly. I still wasn’t totally convinced, but okay, the stylists were the experts…

I was in the salon for a total of four hours. Come six in the evening, I was more or less hurried out the door because, the guy who was doing my hair had to meet up with some friends for a night out and he didn’t want to be late. My hair was still wet, I resembled a mongrel dog just in from the pouring rain. But, I was assured that, by the next day, my locks would look fine and within a week they would have settled but that I must twist them regularly. This I did, everyday without fail. And, my locks did look fine for the first week. Then, the second week, the perm fell and my hair started to take on a matted appearance. By the third and fourth week, the hair on my hair frontline started to break off and look dull and hard. It took the patience and hours of time of my husband and my former braider to undo and comb out all those matted locks. I looked awful. My beautiful shoulder length head of soft afro-carib curls had been reduced to a dull, broken and uneven mass. I was so angry, disappointed and felt a fool for allowing myself to say, ‘yes’ to putting damaging chemicals onto my scalp and hair.

That was a tough lesson. Shortcuts can often end in long cuts instead.

I never contacted that salon and I never went back. I have seen people, black and white sporting some beautifully well-kept locks and I think to myself, why can’t my hair do the same? I find that dreadlocks are simply a beautifully versatile and natural way of wearing hair and, it is chemical free.”

8 comments so far

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  1. i live in Springfield,IL and i got a friend doing my dreads who has them his self but i dont think he knows what he’s. so in was just wonder if there is anyone in Springfield,IL that knows of a place that do them

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  2. OKay Im 14 and I live roseburg oregon and I really really really want dreads like soo bad but I have no idea who can actually do them I am not gonna ruin my hair if the person has no clue on how to do them someone please help me

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  3. Why do people say it depends on who is doing the perm? I think it has more to do with one’s hair texture

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  4. I had a dread perm in dec 09′.. It’s been a month, an they look soooo good..
    Everyone loves them.. even friends & family members that had there doubts…
    They aren’t smelly-stinky-thin-..I don’t look like a “dirty hippie”.
    I can even tie them up in a pretty bun & look quite ‘put together’.
    I have never look this good! I have found them to be super-duper low maintence.
    which is a plus for me, since I am a young mom of three;..
    So– I think it comes down to the person doing the dreadperm on you.
    the salon I went to was amazing.. Very helpful & friendly-
    The stylist had her training with the dreadpolice, which in my opinion is
    the BEST in doing dreadperms.
    all this to say- don’t dread the dreadperm!
    Just be wise in finding a place that does dreadperms.
    Do your homework- read reviews…talk to previous customers..
    and I would recommend only finding a stylist that HAS been trained by
    the dreadpolice.
    People claim they know how to do a dreadperm..
    but trust me- I have seen difference in my experience,
    and those of others..
    NOT everyone knows how to do one correctly.
    For example:
    the thickness of your hair- the width of your dreads,
    this is all taken into consideration- before doing the dreadperm.
    Usually the salon will require a consultation for this purpose.
    If you persue salon- that doesn’t require this—RUN!,
    a ‘one size fits all’ type dreadperm..WILL turn out to be a nightmare..

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  5. Well I had my dread perm yesterday and today took it out today. It was horrible, the dreads were thin and disgusting with a bad smell. I’m hoping that my hair isn’t too damaged and I may attempt again but rather via natural or back combing. Dont get a dread perm would be my advice

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  6. I wanted to contribute to the convo on dread perms. I pondered for many years about dreadlocks but was working a professional job in DC so I did my research. Friends of mine who naturally dread looked terrible the first year and I just couldn’t go through that “birds nest” look at work, having blond fine straight hair. Beeswax is the worst for hair and a huge misconception in forming dreads – you don’t need it! Ok, back on track – I found a website of a traveling salon that did dread perms, where the locks would be formed that day.

    I went to NY (wished they come closer to DC) and after three hours I had my nice locks. They were wavy at first due to the perm rod but after a month they looked great! I kept these dreads for 5 years, and they were healthy and strong – I had no maintenance, as the loose hairs grew I tied them into the base of the dread. My hair was 6 inches when I dreaded and when I cut my dreads (during the first trimester of my first pregnancy) they were down to my lower back.

    I plan on dreading again soon (as well as dreading my son’s hair eventually) and will do a dread perm again and would recommend it. I also recommend that you get your dread perm from someone who knows what they are doing!

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    • @Heather would you be willing to give me the phone number or website to the traveling salon I am interested in getting a dread perm but cannot find a place in NYC. Thank you

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  7. I am sorry to hear this, it is certainly an extreme experience. Nevertheless, I think that dread perms are a safe and fast way to have nice locks in no time. I also had mine done in trendy “American dreadlock and tattoo place” in Amsterdam, just like this poster. I spend almost ten hours there and was more than happy about the result. The dreads looked and felt amazing right away and still do – more than three years later.

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