When creating dreadlocks, I only use the crochet hook method. Never gel, wax, string, interlocking, or synthetic hair. There are many ways to form dreadlocks, but this is the technique that has stood the test of time for me.
As for extensions, there are so many beautiful creations you can have woven into your hair, but I only make human hair extensions. For me, the most important thing is to work with hair brands that ethically source and have full transparency with where their hair comes from. This is a big problem in our industry that so few people know about.
Currently I’m working with hair that is sourced exclusively from the Tamil Nadu region in India. Here, there is the sacred devotional practice of cutting off one’s hair at specific temples. Instead of burning the hair, the temples auction it. A small portion of the proceeds goes towards regular upkeep of the temples, and to pay the wages of the barbers and other employees. Then the remainder is invested into the local community through the funding of various charity programs that provide medical aid, education, food, and infrastructure projects that support those in need.
I feel like it’s important for me to say that dreadlocks are for everyone. But we need to honor culture, history, and the experiences of those who have been discriminated against because of their hair. In many cultures all over the world, locs have historic and spiritual significance, but this doesn’t diminish anyone’s experience with discrimination in our country. With it’s growing popularity, we have an opportunity as locticians and loc wearers, to normalize the hairstyle in areas like the work place, education, and media.