What do dreadlock stylists, dentists and doctors have in common?
Well, it's the fact that there are folks who go their whole lives without seeing these specialized professionals.
Avoiding professional help doesn't happen as much nowadays as it did decades ago. The reasons people had for not going to a professional (like a doctor or dentist) back then included the perception that they were healthy enough or the excuse that it was too expensive.
Those views may have had a bit of merit but statistics show that they would have been healthier and saved long-term health costs if they'd seen a medical professional.
What in the world does all this have to do with dreadlocks? Well, dreadlock wearers have a tendency to manage their locks on their own without the help of a stylist from a dreadlock salon.
Why consider a professional stylist for my dreadlocks?
Don't get me wrong; there's absolutely nothing wrong with maintaining your own hair. However, it's likely that dreadlock stylists can help your dreadlocks grow healthier and stronger - which is important if you're keeping your locks for the long haul.
Whether your locks are organic (grown without much maintenance) or manicured (maintained using one of several methods which helps make styling easier), there are benefits and drawbacks of seeing a dreadlock stylist to ensure a proper dreadlock hair care routine.
The drawbacks can include high service charges, a salon atmosphere or environment that you don't feel comfortable in or not getting a good vibe with the stylist.
The right dreadlock salon for you will overcome all of these challenges and to top it off your hair will thank you for it because you're being proactive about preventing hair and scalp problems.
So who are these dreadlock specialists anyway?
In many ways, dreadlock stylists have created a name for themselves over the years as dreadlocks become a more popular hair style.
Traditionally, people who learned cosmetology to style hair were called beauticians. Today, a beautician who focuses on dreadlocks is called a locktician or loctician (either spelling is acceptable).
With the nomenclature out of the way, let's talk about the qualities that you should be looking for in your stylist. A shortlist should include the following:
Do they have dreadlocks?
Hair locking is a technique that can be learned by anyone, however, you may consider it important that your stylist has locks. This way, they're better able to relate their first-hand experience with their dreads to you as your own mature.
Which dreadlock starting methods and maintenance techniques do they use?
Any professional stylist who specializes in dreadlocks should know a variety of methods for starting and maintaining locks, even though they may prefer a specific method. The benefits of dreadlock stylists knowing different methods is that they are better able to handle people with different hair types. Also, confident dreadlock stylists won't even bat an eye if you ask them which products they'll be using in your dreads. This is especially important if you have allergies or simply prefer not to have certain ingredients in your hair.
Are they a certified cosmetologist?
A loctician (or locktician) doesn't need to be certified to practice, so use your best judgement in choosing the person who will be helping you maintain your dreadlocks.
Finding a dreadlock salon
Now that you know who to find, all you need to know is where to find a good locktician.
Word of mouth is always been the best way. Just find someone with dreadlocks you like and ask them how they maintain their hair. If they tell you it's professionally maintained, break out your pen and paper.
You could also consider picking up your local alternative weekly paper. Many major cities have at least one and they're typically free. Zip to the classifieds section or just look at all the standard ads. You could also look at a black community newspaper from the region which you live...I'd be shocked if you didn't find at least two dreadlock salons from one of these papers.
Another choice would be to surf the web. Dreadlock stylists and salons with a web presence demonstrate a knowledge of good customer service and relations.
Both organic and manicured lock wearers should really consider making dreadlock stylists part of their hair care routine. Your locks will love you for it and it'll show in their health and strength.
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