i've been looking through memories and milling ideas on how to fix this problem, but i don't know what to do. well maybe i do, i just don't want to do it.
for the entire time i've had dreads, my tips have never locked into the "nubs" i envy of other dreadheads. i could obtain said nubs by means of sewing the tails of my dreads up into the more locked parts, but it usually slips back out within the next year, due to shrinkage or hair stubbornness.
however i've more or less stopped caring about the tips and now i'm just letting them do their own thing, as of a year ago maybe. my dreads are often referred to having "tassles" at the end, which i don't mind so much. all dreads have different personalities.
but they're now 3 months shy of 5 years, and recently my tips have started unraveling... and fast. one of my dreads has about 8-10 inches of.. well.. regular HAIR at the end of it. i have several suspicions as to why:
1. breakage of having really really old hair at the end of my dreads, followed by unraveling. considering lish's mention of aphogee protein treatment. but i'm still scared to use a conditioner on my dreads...
2. my schizophrenic rotation of a dozen shampoos. i wash about once every 2-4 weeks. i've used name-brand shampoos (no conditioners) such as herbal essences and head'n'shoulders in the past, however not within the past year or two. they never really seemed to do any harm. now i'm using bronner's or natural tea-tree shampoo. post-washes, my hair feels... okay. not spectacular. i'm unable to tell whether this unraveling happens during washings or otherwise.
3. two (or 3?) years back i trimmed a bunch of my dreads. and maybe my dreads have just figured this out after all this time and are getting back at me by showing me who's boss. i considered a dab of superglue to keep them in place, but fixing the ends of my dreads with adhesive means restricted shrinkage. and i like shrinkage.
i've never dyed my hair. the dreads, at this point, are essentially 100%, from root to tail, "naturally formed", which means the beginning length of hair which was backcombed 5 years ago, has either been trimmed by now or sucked into the rest of my dreads. (i can tell this by markers i once had on my dreads from looping through the roots when i started. big mistake. but interesting to watch how my dreads grew.)
what i mean to say is, this mess of unraveling, is unraveling from naturally formed dreads which formed from the root down, not unraveling of the parts of man-made dreads. and naturally formed parts of dreads.. are really tight. yet, mine still unravel.
i don't have close-ups of the unraveled bits (no more camera), but i do have a few which show the nature of my "tassles".
( not all new ones though.Collapse )
i'm not sure what i should do. do my dreads need a hair-cut (i like length tho)? a protein-boost (eeeek conditioner!)? re-backcombing (lame)? different shampoo? rubber bands (lamer)? sewing (not long-term solution)?
sorry guys, this post was very rambly and whiny, but i'm scared my dreads will soon be gone :(
hope all else in dreadyland is going well!