I have said it before and I will say it again. I absolutely love my hair and you should love your hair too! Whether it is short, long, frizzy, sleek, blonde, or even purple – a hairstyle is another form of expression and showing off your personality to the world. Besides being confident with your “do,” you must find a stylist that is as amazing as you. Some stylists are color masters, while others specialize in certain cutting techniques, but did you know that there is a pro in town who is a dreadlock expert?! Her name is Alin Leslie, Owner and Founder of Dollylocks (www.dollylocks.com), located at 511 9th Street North in Downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida.
A Barbie with dreadlocks and a creative noggin, Alin (pronounce ay-lyn) Leslie, originally from Lincoln, Nebraska, has been a hairdresser for decades and has worked in both Los Angeles and New York. While in NYC in the early 90s, she began working with Sonia Peterson, founder of Hair Police. This is when Leslie got excited to get into dreadlocks. Dollylocks began about twenty years ago in her apartment and she brought her business to Downtown St. Pete about thirteen years ago.
Although she thought the style (which she calls an “organized mess of compressed hair) was cool, she found dreadlocks to be a little stinky and gross if not properly cared for. As she continued working with dreadlocks over the years, Leslie decided that she had enough with telling clients to use a certain product, but dilute it with water or do this or that to it because of all of the nasty chemicals in the mixture. Then a light bulb turned on! She was going to create a line of products that did not use any synthetic ingredients. (Good girl! DTSP loves organic!) After a few years of meeting chemists, none could produce the correct natural mix of ingredients for the products, until she met Teresa Neumann, an organic chemist in Wintergarden, Florida.
Dollylocks Professional Organic Products are 100% vegan-vegetarian, not tested on animals, and contain no GMOs, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or artificial ingredients. (No more stinky dreadlocks!) The bottling and labeling facility is in the back of the salon, but soon I bet she’ll need a bigger facility because the demand is already increasingly high after being in production for only five years.
Speaking of the salon, there are about seven stylists and a range of services provided including cuts, colors (Dollylocks exclusively uses Kevin Murphy – an organic color line), up-dos, human hair extensions, new dreadlocks, dreadlocks extensions, synthetic dreadlocks, and dreadlock maintenance. (See, they don’t only work with dreadlocks!) There is also a gal in the salon who specializes in weddings. A bridal party can even rent out the salon to enjoy a carefree process of getting ready for the big day! (Did you know that unique event space NOVA 535 is located a few doors down and is beautiful for any occasion? The bride wouldn’t have to travel far to walk down the aisle after getting glammed up at Dollylocks!)
Alin has done a lovely job of creating an eco-friendly salon. They recycle everything, even the floor is recycled vinyl and one of the wall coverings is an 1800s Florida Cypress from the wall of an old building. Not only is the space “green,” but the interior design is flawless with different elements such as brick and wood, and unique lighting fixtures that provide the perfect illumination for a relaxing hair-do fix up. (Alin decorated the interior and also designs the packaging for her products and flyers. She is a true Entrepreneur because she absolutely loves what she does!)
Dollylocks is a vision and has a personality. What makes this salon different is the energy. When you walk in, you feel that it is drama free and that everyone who works there is one big happy family.
“We treat our clients with the individualized attention they deserve,” Leslie continued and said that when someone comes into a salon, they want to put their feet up, talk a little gossip with hairdresser, enjoy some wine, tea or coffee and be spoiled. Dollylocks certainly makes people comfortable, happy, and provide an atmosphere where they can leave their worries behind!
Honestly, I did not know much about dreadlocks before meeting Alin Leslie, but they don’t call her the go-to dreadlock girl for no reason. She really knows her stuff! Dollylocks is a professional salon that helps clients maintain their hairstyle, and that’s all dreadlocks are – a hairstyle (that she simply adores).
Do you want to meet this amazing gal and see her gorgeous salon? Well, I have the perfect opportunity for you to do so! Dollylocks is having their Grand Opening Party this Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 7:00pm. Stop in to say hi and celebrate their new location! Don’t forget to tell them that DowntownStPete.com sent you!
511 9th St N, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
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