I have to tell you all about my first-time experience getting faux dreadlocks. I initially saw the hairstyle on Ciara and Jhene Aiko and was immediately inspired to make this my new “hair project.” I live in Central Jersey, and assumed that I would have to take a trip to NYC or Philadelphia to get this style. But my intuition told me to give Jersey a chance and conduct some research of natural hair salons that may do the hair style within my area.
After my trial and error phone calls and email inquiries to different Jersey salons, my journey led me to find Knotty Roots in Bayonne, NJ, right off Exit 14A on the New Jersey Turnpike. I spoke with the owner, Mizan. She had a patient and laid back voice and immediately told me to email her some styles I had in mind so she can properly advise me on the proper braiding hair to buy and pricing for the style. Once I sent her my info, she called me back advising that I buy the Marley braiding hair. I was totally comfortable with the price quote she gave me, but the price range varies depending on the width and length you want for your faux dreadlock style. I immediately booked my appointment for that weekend on Saturday in excitement of my new do!
Instantaneously, I felt calm, positive energy when entering the shop. Bob Marley was playing in the background, and the air was filled with vanilla incense. I was greeted by Mizan and her 18 year old soul apprentice Tatiana. While I waited for them, I started taking in the vibe and décor of the salon. All on the walls, shelves, and tables were Afrocentric –themed décor such as statues, posters, paintings, artifacts, baskets, wall covers, book, magazines, bamboo curtains, etc. There was a DVD documentary playing on the flat screen TV entitled Hidden Colors 3 which discusses the history and presence of African people throughout the world. In tradition to most black-owned hair salons, a cute little Asian woman was politely selling bootleg DVD’s. I politely declined her offer, as she smiled and bowed her way out the shop.
Mizan was busy performing dreadlock maintenance on another client – therefore, Tatiana was my stylist. In a few short minutes, I forgot that I was in a salon and felt at home. We all started discussing African and African American history stemming from the DVD playing, and also current social issues such as the Michael Brown police murder in Ferguson, MO. Throughout the conversation, I noticed Mizan’s high intelligence and social consciousness. She is very well-versed in African American history and how our current psyche is still in disarray due to our triumphs and struggles as a people. She promotes social and economic uplift and consciously supports black-owned businesses. I especially loved how young Tatiana respectfully listened and engaged in our conversation, and asked questions in terms or events that she was not aware of – this young queen’s mind frame is already forming in the right direction!
I also loved how Tatiana patiently explained the whole “how-to” of faux dreadlocks. First, she did individual box braids throughout my entire hair. Then, she wraps and binds the Marley hair around each individual box braid to give it that “dreadlock” appearance. She uses a lighter to burn the ends to my desired length, and finally she dipped my locks in hot water to avoid the locks getting lent or sticking to each other.
I have to admit, the vanity oozed out of me once I saw myself in the mirror. As you can tell from my photos, I’m in a delusional trance of believing these dreadlocks are mine, lol.
Let me know what you think of my new look. I want to give a major shout out to Mizan & Tatiana at Knotty Roots for my fabulous do. They specialize in: starter dreadlocks, dreadlock maintenance, and faux locks (temporary & long term), and tons of other natural hair styles. If you decide to visit, tell them the Detoxaholic fam sent ya!