Looking to transition out of relaxer and into more natural hair care? Dreadlocks are a a great choice for anyone to whom the Big Chop doesn’t appeal; you can keep your length while growing out the damage – without the hefty price tag of weaves. We chatted with Knotty Boy user Alisa about her journey!
Knotty Boy: How long did you use chemical relaxers for?
Alisa: I started relaxing my hair in my early teens.
Did you move straight into dreads, or did you experiment with other styles first?
Other styles came first; relaxer, then extension braids, relaxer again, then dreads.
What drew you to dreads?
I always thought dreadlocks were cool. I was tired of using chemicals and was ready to have completely natural hair in a way I could manage.
So, was it a conscious choice to transition to natural, chemical free hair?
How did you start your dreadlocks?
They were flipped through with the big hook and then a small hook was used to weave in the flyaway bits and tidy things up. Over time, I’ve been cutting off the relaxed bits at the end. It just seemed easier to manage that way.
Do you prefer natural products, or are you happy to be relaxer free, as opposed to completely chemical free?
I definitely prefer natural products.
Was it an easy transition?
At first I was worried about how my hair would be perceived by others in the workplace as I was in a very ‘corporate’ environment. In terms of ease-of-care, it was amazing! I didn’t have to think about chemically treating my hair every 4-6 weeks, and it was such a relief!
Did your corporate gig have problems with your hairstyle?
They actually didn’t end up having an issue with my dreads at all.
Have you run into any preconceived notions, or prejudice, because of your hair?
When I was in the shop preparing to have my dreads done, the other black women there actually voiced their concerns to me. Once my dreads were complete, they realized how much they suited me, and complimented me for sticking to my choice. The most common question I get is how do I wash my hair; I don’t mind taking the time to answer questions and explain, as I believe it helps educate people!
Alisa L. is a Branding, Marketing, and Website professional. She (and her awesome dreads) currently live in the Vancouver, BC area.