Thursday, March 15, 2012

The "No Dreadlock" Policy (Installment One!)

Just in case I have readers who have not yet met me in person, I will tell you that I have brilliant blonde, mid-length dreadlocks. They are clean and fluffy, and make for great conversation starters. People that love them say so, and those who don't, say nothing. My dreadlocks have helped me break out of my social shell and become a face that stands out. This has been my "journey." But since my recent pilgrimage to Vail, Colorado, I have had a terrible time finding a job with the resort. I keep having a "no dreadlock policy" shoved in my face. I have asked HR and management what's wrong with dreadlocks, but can't extract anything more than the obscure replies such as "hygiene issues" and "a low-class look."

"Hygiene Issues"
People I meet tell me horror stories about friends with dreadlocks. That they started them with peanut butter or mayonnaise. That they rotted and fell out, or became homes for small animals. Although these people didn't do their research, I can assure you that most surviving dreadlocks are very well taken care of. I personally wash my beautiful hair once or twice a week (any more often and my scalp gets too dry,) and I spend hours at a time grooming by pulling loose hairs into dreadlocks. I make sure my hair drys all the way through every time to prevent mildew. What's more is that I wash my hair with natural soaps and oils that contain zero residues. If you buy any store brand shampoo whatsoever (Suave, Garnier, Herbal Essence, etc.,) then your hair has more goop and residue in it than mine!

"Low Class Look"
An HR member from a high-profile hotel at Beaver Creek Resort (it's name rhymes with Shark Schmyatt) told me "the people who pay to be here are just of a higher class." This explained why we weren't allowed to use public restrooms or elevators, and why I was required to hide my dreadlocks. I was told that people of the higher class don't expect to look at or put up with certain things. And I was specifically told that my hair style was not "Shark Schmyatt material." I want to write more about this, but neither you nor I have the time for all that ranting. The statements speak well enough for themselves.

I have named this entry as the first installment because I have no answers yet for the questions I have raised here. I don't understand the policy yet, nor the legality of it, and I intend to acquire some more information. I am on a mission to email some major ski resorts like Vail and Jackson Hole to find descriptions and reasons for the "no dreadlock policy." Stay tuned for the responses!

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  1. GO Kim!!!!! LOL - A 'higher class' it!
    So many comments...but will refrain.
    I enjoy your writing - maybe you could work in a cafe bookstore with real people - who actually HAVE class. You are too intelligent to mingle with the people who not hiring you for your dreads. Try not to lower yourself to their standards. You are a gem standing alone.

  2. Thanks Sue!
    Thankfully I am lucky enough to work for a very cool little coffee shop called the Yeti's Grind, which appreciates my fantastic sense of style. Thanks for the feedback... its people like you that I write for :)

  3. Kim-
    Glad to hear you found work at a cool coffee place that understands and appreciates your hairstyle along with your personality. Also having (well maintained) dreadlocks, I am facing a similar situation now in that I want to work for a mountain resort so this winter can be spent snowboarding, but Vail resorts I know has their appearance standards. Have you come across any more laid back areas where you would suggest applying to a ski resort?

  4. I am facing same thing. Let me know what you find out

  5. Curse the Shark Schmyatt for their discrimination.