At least, until this weekend.
Finally fed up with the unmitigated disaster that was the back of my head I started looking for people who work on dreadlocks in southern Cali. I found a few but could tell, based on the advice I got from here, that they weren't at all what I was looking for. I'd done a booboo about two months in and vigorously scrubbed the back of my head while washing it (sad but true: it had needed it) and ruined the careful work that had been done. This had, in my own stubborn attempt to "go natural", gotten a great deal worse until, well...
See the wonderful curl? See the frizz? ...see the lack of anything resembling a nice knotted lock of hair? Yeah... *headdesk*
So I found a salon in LA who said they did crocheting and sounded like they knew what they were doing, and made an appointment. When I met the girl at the front door and said I had an appointment for dread maintenance, Amber (drededsuperhero), gave me a bemused look, alternating between eye contact and my hair. I explained that yes, I do have dreads...er, somewhere in there. So she sat me down and we inspected the mess.
You can't quite tell from the pics but, whereas it looks like it's just loose curl on the outside, it was utterly matted beneath (couldn't get a good set of pictures of the matting). I basically had a big ball of fuzz on the back of my head, almost from behind the ears back. It was awful but I tried to stay hopeful even when drededsuperhero was being very vague as to how bad it was.
Long story (as in, over 5hrs) short:
(The half on the right is mostly done but on the left is finished. I could see my neck - you have NO idea how long it's been since I could do that!!!)
My hair is still fuzzy, mostly because I didn't want her to wax the dreads to get the smaller hairs to stick nor to dread up my tips (which have the penchant to explode into the most interesting curliques). Five hours later though, I had a whole different head of hair. To be able to push my fingers through it and NOT get my hand stuck was SO FREAKING AWESOME I can't even begin to describe it. There were 2 (maybe 3?) major areas in the back/sides that were so terrible she had to completely untangle the hair and re-section/dread the area but they came out looking and feeling just so, so incredibly awesome!!!
The salon, Sirens Salon, is located on the corner of Melrose and Spaulding in Los Angeles; their website is sirenssalonla.com. The lovely chica in the pics behind me, hands tangled in my hair, is Amber who I totally, emphatically
Also recommended at this salon? Coloring. They do a GREAT job and I may still head over there at some point in the near future to check them out. :D