February 19th, 2007

Needle and thread

I posted this in my own journal and then thought I'd post it here for anyone who is interested in this method. A few notes before the pictures. My son is 10 on  Saturday. He started growing his hair when he was six, we started the dreads when his hair was about three inches long (spring to fall). I tried a few different ways, including a salon, then a friend told me how his sister does his hair and that's what we've been doing ever since, about three years now. It takes me a total of about four hours, one to cut the old thread out and three to do it. It used to take a lot longer, but as his hair has grown it's gotten easier. I use a seam ripper to cut the old thread, being very careful to not cut any hair (I still do a little bit). I often cut the thread out a day or two before I do the new thread. I use button thread that is the same color as his hair. I can't do this on myself, maybe some can. When I cut the old thread out there is lint, dust and maybe mold under the thread, but this washes out and does not cause any lasting problems.

After cutting out the old thread two days ago . . . I pull all the dreads into a topknot and then start at the bottom, pulling out a dread, gathering up loose hair and then twist and hold without letting go. I stab the dread with the needle, loop the thread through itself to create a knot. Then wrap about five times around and knot again. 

I do this about every two to three months. New growth is usually at least an inch and we do have to do some separating. It's normal for some thread to fall out, especially when I first started doing this. I've got it down pretty good by now. He recently had several dreads break off in the front. I think he absent-mindedly pokes his pencil through them during school.

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