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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dreads Damaging?

Awhile ago, I was perusing through my May 2009 Lucky Magazine, I came across an article which pointed to the website http://www.longlocks.com/ as a top 5 hair website. You know, I had to go there! The magazine said to skip “cringe-inducing” homepage and go directly to their guide on how to grow long hair. I clicked on the site half-heartedly wanting to see a hidden site about natural curly hair or dreads/locks. I was hoping to see a nice page with beautiful people with locks like the one below. I saw a fairy-tale inspired looking homepage and clicked on the Ultimate Guide to Growing Long Hair. I’d plan to paraphrase or ask the author for permission to republish her tips on this blog when I came to this quote listed in step number 8, “Dreads almost always have to be cut off to be removed and are tremendously damaging to hair.”

Am I wrong for being hurt by this?
I try to do a whole lot to increase self-awareness and self-love especially to those with dreads. When people are still publishing this type of thing, I am taken aback. I think the author is simply not educated properly about locks/dreads. As a result, I thought I should inform her and depending on her response possibly Lucky Magazine. I think it is irresponsible to reference this site unless they at the magazine agree with those guide to which they referred.

Many of her other tips were great like avoiding chemicals, shampooing your hair after swimming, avoiding heat styling, and lessening friction. She even has awesome natural hair recipes on the site here: Hair Care Recipe Cookbook.

This is the post I sent her. It has since been removed on her blog and I haven't received a response.

Hello Susan,

I searched for your e-mail address and could not find it. I hope you will not mind me contacting you via your blog.

First, I'd like to thank you for your tips on how to grow long hair and your natural hair recipes. One day I am going to try the Natural Brunette Hair Dye.

I am writing you, however, to address a comment in step 8 of your rules. You stated that dreads have to be cut off and are damaging to hair. This is untrue. I have Sisterlocks now after years of having long hair. It has been a catalyst for growth. Please check out Sisterlocks.com, the founder has bum length hair. Mainly, I want you to know that properly taken care of locks grow without problems because of the lack of manipulation and chemicals.

I am sending this message in the spirit of sharing information. Also, I would like it if you removed the sentence about dreads since you now know that it is untrue and/or perhaps replace it with one suggesting properly maintained dreads/locks/locs as an alternative to chemical styling or extensions to achieve length.

I sincerely thank you for your time and look forward to your response.

Thanks Again,
Sophia, Naturally



By the way, I also included my e-mail address.

I eagerly await her response. What are your thoughts?
I regret that I failed to mention the emotional and healing benefit of accepting your hair and letting it be/grow.

32 comments:

Writing Addict said...

Thank you Sophia for bringing this to her attention and to ours! That is the goal of us loc bloggers to educate others of the beauty of locs. So, you were great and proactive for trying to educate her. The last thing we need is for others to believe having dreads is damaging! She still needs to know that you don't have to cut all the dreads to maintain length.

Thanks again!
Writing Addict
ontheroadtoqueendom.com

Rashida Chinue Blake said...

Hi Sophia,

I absolutely agree with everything you said 100%. I also think that she should have responded to you. At least let you know how she came to such a conclusion and why she feels the way she does.

I found it interesting that your letter was deleted from her blog and she didn't bother to respond. To me, if you cannot verify or back any statements made in your blog then such statements shouldn't be published.

At the very least if it is just an opinion, then let it be known that it is such. Don't be stating things as if they are confirmed fact, and then when somebody tries to challenge or question you, you try to dodge them.

I don't know, it just doesn't add up on her part; but either way what you did was very noble. :)

Bajan Lily said...

Hiya,

This isn't the first time I've heard 'rumours' that dreadlocks are damaging to your hair - does anyone know WHY they are 'supposedly' so bad? I never see any research or credible information with the claim... just the blanket statement. Thanks in advance for the education.

Yours,
Bajan Lily

EmberRose said...

I don't think you're wrong to be hurt by what she said but I do think that the wording of your letter was a touch dismissive and condescending. I think it's sad that she didn't respond but I can see why she didn't. I hope that she addresses your letter in some form.

Happiest Nappy said...

Can you share her blog...contact info? Maybe still address Lucky Magazine in addition to contacting the author of that article.

Wow. Misinformation leads to misunderstanding...and sadly ignorance.

Meikmeika said...

Your response was on point and you're not wrong for feeling hurt. I was taken aback myself....

What's crazy is the majority of women I've seen that have waist length hair are loc'd. Wonder what her response will be, if she even responds...

Naturally Sophia said...

@Happiest Nappy- Her blog I think is called Relaity Check and is not about hair. Her website is www.longlocks.com.


Thank you all for responding. I will e-mail/write to the magazine if I don't get a response over the weekend. I will publish that letter as well. I appreciate the support.

LotusDoll said...

That's the same comment a white friend made to me the other day and my response was if having locs damages hair why on earth is my hair so long and fabulous? Having locs has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. No one can say mine aren't lovely, versatile and sexy. Perfectly suited to my hair type. My hair was damaged in every other way, especially the creamy crack addition every 4-6 weeks!

Thandi said...

Well doen for being good enough to educate her. if she doesn't want to be educated by someone with such a good attitude as yours, someone els ewho's not as respectful will do it.Good job and keep it up.

longlocks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
longlocks said...

But I most certainly did respond, immediately in fact. I took the time to explain to Sophia that she may have misread the text (I was clearly referring to *removing* dreads, not *having* dreads), and also explained that I always do my research first. Apparently Sophia didn't think posting my response was appropriate for some reason, much to my dismay.

Bajan Lily said...

Hi Longlocks,
I went back and re-read step 8 which I've posted below. It really isn't clear that you are referring to the process of REMOVING dreadlocks when you mention them being damaging to hair - the sentence itself does seem a little out of place as you begin by talking about microbraids and other things which may put stress on the hair - then you mention dreads. I hope you can see where the confusion lies - the way it is worded on your site would lead readers to believe that dreads are damaging to the hair, there's no way to misread that. Perhaps a rewording would help.

"8. Never put your hair in any kind of style that will put undue stress on the individual hairs... no tiny braids, no extremely tight coils. If you pull all or some of your hair into a braid or a ponytail to create your hairstyle, make sure it isn't pulled tight enough to put stress on the roots of your hair. Pulling hair tight repeatedly commonly results in bald patches! If you go after the long hair "quick fix" and put extensions in your hair, be forewarned that your own hair will likely be significantly more damaged when they are removed than it was to begin with. Dreads almost always have to be cut off to be removed and are tremendously damaging to hair."

longlocks said...

"Dreads almost always have to be cut off to be removed..."

I'm sorry, it never occured to me that my intent behind the above sentence would not be clear when I specifically say "to be removed." I do understand what you are saying, even though when I read it, it still "comes out" as I meant it (in my own mind anyway).

I will try to reword it as to make my meaning more clear. I personally love dreads, and by no means would intentionally misrepresent them. As I also explained to Sophia, I have many, many long time customers who have beautiful dreads and in all the many, many years that page has been in existence, no one has ever challenged the intent of my words before. Not even once! I have to admit, suddenly being publicly put on the hot seat like this out of the blue, especially since my responses have thus far gone ignored, has come as quite a shock! As I also explained to Sophia "Long hair, *any* kind or style of long hair, is *always* a good thing!"

I'll go edit the page and would really appreciate your feedback once it's tidied up, if you don't mind doing that for me, of course.

longlocks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan Maxwell Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
longlocks said...

OK, let's try this again. Howz this?

http://www.longlocks.com/how-to-grow-long-hair.htm

I hope I have successfully gotten the point across that wearing dreads is not a bad thing by any means, but is not something that can easily be undone. I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from wearing dreads but at the same time, I don't want anyone going for dreads only to find out later it's not very "undoable" if they're not happy with the results. Think the new wording works to cover both bases?

longlocks said...

Btw, you might have to force a reload on the page if you have the old one cached, or you won't see the changes. And Sophia, I'm sorry about all the deletions uglying up your page, I can't seem to remember what name I'm supposed to be logged in under... duh.

Bajan Lily said...

Hi Longlocks/Sophia, I've just read your updated page and your meaning is much clearer now. No ambiguity.

Thanks for taking time to respond and help clear up the issue.

longlocks said...

Spiffage! I'm happy everyone is happy! Now, back to the dungeon that is my studio...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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