This is Kelly, and this is her insane mane! Actually, this is Mane 2.0 - both were originally installed in Thailand, and I've now maintained round 1 and this latest incarnation. With easily the largest number of dreads in my female clientele, from a distance you'd need a double-take to realize she even has locks. In the future we may end up combining a fair amount of these. Really tiny sections still keep hanging onto shedded hair (like we know all successful locks do) sometimes becoming too heavy for a small root to support. Adding bleach to the mix can also cause breakage, contributing to the overall weakness. However, Kelly maintains her locks so well this might never be an issue! The maintenance went great, and only took 2 hours.
Marlowe's dreads had a pretty rough start. They were backcombed and interlocked - the practice of flipping a dread through itself at the root to keep it close to the scalp. She came to me two months ago with big holes in her dreads, hard twisty knots, and some pretty wacky sectioning. The shape of the locks themselves was pretty out of whack, mostly because she was totally overwhlemed - she didn't know where to start. We took a few hours and Reconstructed, and I couldn't be more stoked with the result! The two pictures to the left is how she walked in yesterday - with gorgeous, well kept dreads, just needing a tightening at the scalp. No weird hard bumps or bizarro elbow shapes. (I may have fawned a bit, I admit it.) The picture on the right is after the tightening. I'm so excited to see these dreads grow, and I'm very happy to see how happy Marlowe now is with her hair.
Oh, how I love blond dreadlocks! I miss mine tons. (Most especially when I wake up in the morning looking like 1984.) If you and your locks are... um... helping nature along a little bit, here are a couple of things to consider.
1) If you aren't looking to go platinum, consider using a permanent haircolour instead of bleach. It's got an automatic "shutoff" time, whereas bleach continues to "work" until you shampoo it out.
2) Bleach will NOT get your hair white. Platinum and all other "cool" blond shades are achieved using toners on lightened hair. If you try and achieve coolness with lighteners alone, you will only achieve breakage.
3) Be cautious when retouching your roots. If you've achieved the desired lightness in the body of your lock, don't just "use up the rest" by pouring the leftovers on your dreads. Remember, your hair isn't getting all the conditioning it once did - chemical overuse can easily cause breakage.
4) Don't get overzealous. 6-8 weeks is average for a root retouch. Every time you use bleach on your roots, it rinses through all your dreads in the sink. (Just like when you wash your scalp, the soapy rinse is enough to clean your locks themselves.) Try coating them before you apply product, like a stylist would apply a barrier cream to protect your skin. Give a good palmroll with a light amount of wax to your already coloured ends.
5) RINSE! RINSE! RINSE! SHAMPOO! RINSE! RINSE! RINSE!
6) If you have ever had bleach in your locks (specifically bleach, not including colour) do NOT under any circumstances allow a stylist to start or maintain your locks using perm solution, or a "dread perm" until is has completely grown out! Even if it's underneath other colour. This is not a drill. They are not compatible chemicals, and will cause your hair to melt. This is not an exaggeration. It's really nasty.
Honestly, I don't endorse using bleach at home. It's a caustic chemical best left in the hands of a professional who understands it's properties. If you are have any doubts whatsoever, go to your local hair shop, or better yet - come see me! I'd love to see you!