Hello, I have mostly very fine 4b hair that is prone to dehydrating and tangling quick. I had my last perm May ’13 and have been trying to get back to natural, minus two presses, since I’d love to dread my hair. One problem is my hair seemed to have lost a bit of its curl pattern and is coming in straighter.. I wonder how long, months/years, since a last perm one is able to dread hair? I also wonder if dreads are a handicap in finding jobs.. (love to go to Asia someday). Thank you.

Hello,

I started my locs just four weeks after a relaxer, and I have had them for two and a half years now. They do not suffer from breakage or any other the mythical horror stories you have likely heard people perpetuate. Here is a comprehensive post about how to determine whether tarting locs with relaxed hair is prudent for you. We also have a “relaxed hair” tag you can check out, too!

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about relaxed hair and locs.

As for jobs, it really depends on the presentation of your hair, your location, the field you’re going into, and your specific employer. Most people are very unfamiliar with black hair and how it works, so tidy, small locs are often confused with braids. Larger ones are more obvious in essence, but they are not necessarily hindering. 

I work the fourth-largest print publication in my state with my hair, and I am regarded by the head of the department as the most skilled worker the organization has ever had in my position. My hair has not been brought up even once in the workplace.

For more information about job hunting, check out our “employment” tag.

As for Asia, I cannot speak much on it for employment. It is a giant continent, and it’s impossible to make any generalization about it. As a black person with locs, I have been to multiple countries in (south)east Asia, but I did not seek employment there, so I can’t give my two cents.

– KJ

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