My dreads are three years old today! Hooray! For a change I won't post a birthday timeline - largely because I don't take photos of my hair often so if I did post one it'd be a bit rubbish, but perhaps I've got a few photos lurking when I've got time to go through them.
Well, my mum and I started my dreads just before I started university - I'd just finished 6th form, so doing crazy stuff to my hair wouldn't bother people from there because I wouldn't see most of them that much anymore, and I'd be with completely new people at uni who would know me with crazy hair from the start and so perhaps wouldn't think so much of it. I've now graduated (as I posted a photo of the graduation not very long ago), and it's strange - when I first started my dreads there was always an awareness that they'd change as I progressed through uni, and it always felt like both graduating and my dreads getting this old would feel like an age away. It's actually gone very, very fast.
Anyways, when I started (having found this community about a week before), I think my hair had always meant something special to me - not in a vain sort of way, but just that I'd always had it at least waistlength, refused to cut it more than occasional trims, and used it to a fair degree as something to hide behind. When starting my dreads I was expecting it all to become a spiritual 'journey', if you will (as I know that it's been the case for a lot of other people here). Instead, I think having dreads is the first thing that really made me realise that 'pfft, it's only hair after all'. It really did the opposite to what I expected, haha.
Socially, I don't think it's really had a big influence either - it hasn't made me more or less confident. I've had some nasty insults over them, and some wonderful compliments. Strangely, I've had a huge number of white people telling me that I shouldn't have them because it's insult to black people, and yet the only comments I've had from black people have ranged from very positive to extremely positive. I'm not quite sure what that means (perhaps white people are just very rude! :D), but there you go!
Oddly enough, I think three years of dreads have made me come to the conclusion that really, it's only hair - but it's mine and I love it! :D
Incidently, my dad got married on Friday, so I've got a few photos from that to go through (hopefully some of my hair because it took an entire pack of hairpins to keep it up), but for the moment you can have this one because it made me laugh:
And on one final note (and a very important one, I think), David Coverdale likes them! I saw Whitesnake with Def Leppard up in Sheffield last summer, and got up the front against the barrier. Halfway through one of the Whitesnake songs, David Coverdale pointed at me, then pointed at his hair, and mouthed 'nice hair' at me and gave me a thumbs up. I gave him a thumbs up back and mouthed 'thanks'. :D