Risks of dreadlocks in thin hair

by Zara
(Sao Paulo, Brazil)

My 17 yrs old daughter want to make "rastas" in her hair. She has a very thin hair, and I'm afraid this will make her hair worse. Can you give me more information about what are the risks for hair with dreadlocks? Thanks so much! Z.S.


Hi Zara! Well now, I don't have a lot of experience with making dreadlocks personally but I do know people who had them and wore them well! I've even known some caucasions who had them and they looked great! (It is my understanding that Rasta is a religion and dreadlocks is what you do to your hair, just FYI.)

There are many methods for building dreads. In some instances, professionals can build thinner hair to make it thicker. Dreads are better done on people with thick hair but can be done on people who have thin hair if the professional knows what they're doing.

The problem for people with thin hair would be for the time that they grow tired of having them. Dreads can pull on the hair follicles if not done properly and this may pose a problem for future growth of the hair. Your daughter's hair later in life, could be even thinner than it is now. It all depends on the professional who administers them. If she's going to try to do them by herself, then I would be very skeptical of her success.

Still, I have a 19 year old son who thinks he knows everything and who wants what he wants too. Sometimes we have to just allow our children to make their own mistakes, as much as it behooves us to do so.

When I worked in a busy salon, one of my pet peeves were the parents who wanted so much control over their children's lives, that they wanted to control the type of hairstyles their children had too. Its one of the few areas that we can allow our children to express themselves freely, without harm to them personally. Think about how you felt at that age. I would have hated for my mom to tell me how I was going to style my hair at 17 years old!

Yet again, all parenting situations are different. I suggest that you talk to your daughter honestly and tell her about the issues she maybe facing later in life, and then allow her to decide if this is something she really wants to do? Or if it's just something she wants to do to be stylish or more popular with her friends. Maybe she'd settle for a new pair of jeans and a hip stylish top?

I found the site of a professional (just below) who accepts emails. You may want to contact him and ask him about your daughters thin hair. I am sure he can give you some good pros and cons, because he's been doing dreads for years! Best of luck always!


Email the Rasta Man

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Dec 29, 2009
Dreadlocks Response
by: Carolyn

Sorry you didn't get the email about the posted answer Zara. I am glad your daughters hair turned out well and looks good.

Parents just need to know when to back off from their children. Many times, if we pull the reigns too tight, they do the opposite of what we wish them to do.

Please let me know if I can help you in the future. Its always a pleasure! Hugs, Carolyn

Dec 27, 2009
by: Zara

First or all, thanks for your answer... it was a nice surprise to read your lines, because you answered me exactly with the kind of words I was talking to myself...
So my daughter went to a proffesional in dreadlocks, it was last week. They added human hair extensions to make it longer and rich, and i have to say it looks ok. I did tell her about the consecuences in the future, and her responsability in this decision...but as you said too, we have to let them decide anyway. I thought I never gonna get any answer for this question, and I did what I thought it was the right thing to do: she's not a baby, and I cannot decide for her, just advice. I hope she will be fine in the future! (I will let you know...)
And again, thanks for answering me, even if I didn't get the mail earlier.
best wishes

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