OK! Hi, this is my first post and I'm a total n00b so I'm sorry if I mess up the cut or anything like that. I made sure to resize all the pictures but there's like a million of them so that won't be helpful. If it messes up I will delete it asap. (I also tested it in my journal first).
My name is Sam and my dreads are about a year and a half old. I'm going to tell my long boring story under the cut but I had a few things I wanted to ask.
First, I've been lurking around this journal and learning all I can for a very long time. I live in Maine and I know there's a lot of New Englander's here. I am itching for some dread maintenance. I know
Umm, ok I guess that was all I had to ask. So I'll tell my dread story! (And here is proof that you can do pretty much everything wrong and still have your dreads turn out ok)
My hair in the beginning (it looks very sad):
And my hair as of Saturday (not the world's best, but I love them):
And my story (long, and probably boring, but I love reading other people's hair history and with visuals!):
First, about three years ago I stopped brushing my hair. I knew no one with dreads but knew I wanted them. I had just broken up with my boyfriend who always discouraged me everytime I mentioned them and I was on a mission! But I had no information. I kept washing with my normal shampoo and just hoped something would happen. After about a year I had one AWESOME dread in the back of my head. It was huge and kinky and I loved it. I know a year is a long time to go with not a lot of dread action but I think this was probably because I was still using a normal shampoo. The bottom of my hair was starting to want to knot up, but then I dyed and cut my hair which pretty much obliterated any hope I had. Then I found the Dreadheadhq website. I still had my one massive dread and decided I would backcomb the rest of my head and see how that went. I used lots and lots of wax (still hadn't found this community yet) and my sections were totally uneven. I backcombed a couple a day because I didn't have anyone to help me. After a few weeks I looked like this:
After about a month I was very unhappy with my hair. I didn't like the uneven-ness of the sections and I didn't think I had done a good job of the whole thing. So, I brushed them out. I was sad and my hair was flat and very close to my head and I didn't like it. THEN I increased my internet search for getting the dreads I wanted. I again stumbled across a website I thought was the answer to all my questions, knotjustdreads.com. I liked the way these dreads looked (and I know a lot of you are cringing because I've seen posts here about how people hated the way they looked) and my new more awesome boyfriend and I always enjoy a road trip. So I called and made an appointment for two days after I graduated from college. I headed up there and this was the result:
They were very small, which is what I thought I wanted at the time. I LOVED the color, more than any color I have ever had my hair. That was without bleaching and it didn't stain anything. Ugh, I miss it. Anyway, here begins my path of wrong turns. I know there really is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to dread your hair technically. There are only good practices and what other people have found to work. I did pretty much everything that is not recommended. First, I washed my hair immediately in the shower. And I waxed CONSTANTLY. I loved my hair at the time but looking back now, I just could've done things a lot differently.
About a month in (I caught a perch! My boyfriend was apparently, very interested in it. And I have a weird frowny smile, can't help it.):
As you can see not really dreadlike. More like strands of hair kind of hanging out together. It's ok, I was still happy. As time progressed the small dreads went out of control. I had a very hard time trying to get them to behave. I had bumps EVERYWHERE. So my solution? PUT RUBBER BANDS ON THE LUMPS! Obviously. Pf.
*cringe* yeahhhh. But then! I found this community. And I took all the rubber bands out...well, most of them anyway. Old habits die hard.
My ends were still very wispy, I liked to wear them in pigtails:
After that I learned to just leave them along and let them do their thing. I wore them back mostly and just forgot about them. Then I read a post in here about felting needles. After about a year I figured I could try to mess around with them a little. So I started felting them and wrapping the ends around the dread and felting that so the ends were stubby (I like stubby ends):
One of my cats being very unamused with me:
I was pleased with the results, but my ~90 dreads were too much for me to handle. I decided to try and combine all of them. I went from ~90 to ~50 and I am MUCH happier with this number.
I had invested in a crochet needle too. You can see a piece of hair I am getting ready to crochet in. But I really suck at crocheting and the hairs pretty much just fall back out. It makes me feel like I'm being helpful though so I keep doing it.
Then I dyed my hair nuclear red, which was fun, but faded fast.
So I dyed it blood red over that.
And after that faded I did the dark brown/atomic pink combo in the first picture.
Like I said I know I did a lot of things most people wouldn't do but I don't regret it. It was a learning experience and I'm just glad I'm happy with them today. In the end that's really all that matters.
PHEW! Ok, that was a lot. But I love this community and just thought I would contribute since you've all been SUPER helpful to me. If you read that whole thing, AWESOME! If not that's ok. I just wanted to say thanks.