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A White Woman’s Dreadlock Journey

I wished dreadlocks for a very long time. In college, I could not get them as a result of it was thought-about an “excessive hairstyle” which was prohibited by my faculty’s costume and grooming standards. Which was tremendous, that is what I agreed to, so I used to be okay ready. After I graduated, my want for long, luscious, stunning hair on my wedding day superseded my want for the superb dreads of my desires. Downside was, I used to be very very single, with no indications that my wedding ceremony day was wherever on the horizon. Internal battle ensued for fairly a while. So, I let it grow, and loved it more often than not..

However, God is a God of miracles and that i received the man and wedding ceremony of my goals. And my hair was Excellent on my marriage ceremony day!! Faith and diligence rewarded!

I add this pic of me and my pricey mother because we’ve got exactly the identical hair.
The time quickly got here to meet one other dream–my dreadlock dream! So on June 6, 2011, I invited my good friend Brittney over to assist me begin the method.

Aches and Mistakes
Okay, I did something silly, be happy to snort, because it was silly. I could not have recognized it will waste hours and trigger a lot ache, however, to maintain myself humble I’ll admit to this foolishness and show you the documented proof. However first, an evidence..I have done this to my hair before–you separate your hair into sections, twist it till it wads itself as much as your scalp, tie a rubber band round it, sleep on it (very painful) and while you undo it, you’ve gotten an afro. In case your hair is brief, it really works really well. I believed that this strategy would make my hair simpler to dread—it can be kinky and curly and would knot higher. This was a mistake. First–my hair the night time earlier than the foolishness began.

It stretched to about an inch above my belt.
Twisted insanity.

Its fairly large.

Whats up Cowardly Lion. It was nearly impossible to get by means of.
It was ridiculous to undo, actually painful, and unimaginable to handle when it was undone. After trying to undo it for 2 hours, Brittney and i determined to start out over. So I showered, washed my hair straight (NO CONDITIONER!!), blow dried it, and began from the start.

The Street to Success
Brittney sectioned my hair in a single inch, brick-structure sections. This took about 2 hours. Then she began at the underside dreading the sections. That day, she was at my house doing my hair for over 8 hours. We completed about 6 dreads.

Bless Brittney for her persistence–I’m actually grateful for her assist! It took me about 2 months to complete dreading my sections by myself after that. I labored on it too much those first weeks; it took at the very least 1-1.5 hours to dread ONE part of my hair after i first began. So I spent 1-three hours on my hair every single day, dreading and tightening. Fortunately, my life wasn’t significantly busy during that time. I wore a lot of scarves, do-rags, and many others. So mainly, half of my head (the underside half) was dreaded and the top was in braids. It did not look dangerous, particularly as a result of I coated the top of my head more often than not, so it just looked dreaded. Listed below are some pics from that point:

You possibly can see the hair that’s wrapped within the bun is braided, not dreaded.
Similar factor right here, just a few weeks later.

Braids and Dreads.
This was the end of July; dreads about 6 weeks previous. I solely had about 6-eight braids left.

I finished dreading the braided sections some time in August. I wished to be diligent at taking photos of the method, however at the identical time I did not wish to showcase the nappiness. There have been days when it seemed fairly crappy.

If we liken dreading my hair to a journey driving across the US, then maintaining the dreads is just like the long, flat stretch from Nashville to Denver. The surroundings is all the identical, it takes eternally, however you must do it to get the place you are going.

In mid-August, I started the first full round of TIGHTENING. So, that is the way it goes: You dread the hair–it takes eternally and is a bit painful. Then you’ve to scrub your hair. I wash my hair once a week. With undreaded hair, that’s definitely not sufficient, with dreads it looks like an excessive amount of. I hate to make use of this phrase, however I actually dread washing my dreads. At first, they unraveled like loopy–by which I imply they got here unfastened and tons of loose hair formed on the scalp and along the physique of the dread. When they are new, they’re weak and fragile; the knots slip and are available apart they usually get actually frayed-wanting. That is why you must tighten, or your dreads will look Terrible. And people will decide you and name you a “soiled hippie” behind your back. There are worse things to be referred to as, however nonetheless.

The Crochet Hook Methodology
There’s debate within the dreadlocked neighborhood about the tactic by which you type/maintain your dreads. I used “backcombing” and a crochet hook. Some people use the “natural” or “organic” technique; which suggests they do not contact their hair in any respect and finally it types dreads. This takes a very long time–watch youtube movies on dreads, and you will see what I am talking about. I watched nearly each video on youtube on the subject of dreads before I started, and that i positively suppose the backcombing/crochet hook technique is the very best.

Purpose #1 that the crochet hook technique is the very best technique to go: It accelerates the dreading/locking course of higher than some other technique. Your dreads will probably be tighter (extra mature) if you utilize a crochet hook than some other means I’ve seen. Do it. You will not regret it.

Here is an example of a loose dread:
And here is similar dread after about 20-30 min of tightening with the crochet hook:

Within the fragile starting weeks/months, you’re going to get quite a lot of loose hair. This results in a phenomenon I discuss with as “Nesting”. This is when loose hair from one dread or part will migrate into and change into part of another neighboring dread. Some people don’t mind this. I hate it. At first, if I uncared for to examine on the again of my head for too lengthy, I might discover that some dreads the place getting actual cozy with one another and attempting to join into one. Not having it. My loving husband has spent many minutes “de-nesting” my dreads–pulling loose hair out of neighboring dreads and isolating each section so it is free from the grasping fingers of the opposite sections. I’ve 2 units of dreads that I did not catch in time, they usually have been not possible to separate once I found them.

Two dreads forming into one at the basis. I call these Thelma and Louise.
It took me about 3 weeks, working on my hair day-after-day, to tighten all of my dreads. After i tightened them, I pulled in all of the loose hair and the dreads had been pretty wirey–pretty stiff and fairly scratchy. It has been an enormous adjustment getting used to sleeping on them. My hair seems like a burlap sack towards my face/pores and malaysian curly hairstyles skin after i sleep, so I often simply transfer it away from my pores and skin. After I formed them, and once i tighten them, my scalp will get fairly tender and is painful to sleep on, however that goes away after a day or two. This is what the again of my hair looked like earlier than I tightened it the primary time:

Here you possibly can see the loose dreads in the center, and on the fitting side are the dreads I had just lately tightened. Big Difference!

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