- they had grown heavy & uncomfortable, & dreads are about good feelings to me;
- i was tired of shaving the mohawk, despite how much i'll miss seeing my scalp tattoo;
- i had recently moved to seattle, & the constant dampness on the red dye was creating stains on everything;
- & i was ready for a more "adult" set of dreads with no shaved places for the first time since i was 15.
(that's the real pic, unlike my amusing photoshop cut post back in may 06.)
so, i cut them on 11-15-06, & immediately began my third set.
my third & worst set, that is.
i have a truckload of pics, but i'm not really interested in posting them. you'd all probably think they were fairly nice dreads. gorthok liked them, but of course he's biased. they were An Experiment, & i knew this going in. i now consider them a failed experiment.
the short story is that i "started" them at 1.5" long, immediately after cutting my red set, & i did so by banding them off into sections. yes, i am anti-rubberband, but this was, as i said, an experiment. i let them grow on their own from there, & they did turn into little dreads - but dreads that were flawed in multiple ways which i wouldn't fully understand for most of a year.
in banding the tips, obviously the hairs couldn't move. they were too short to backcomb at ALL, & so i couldn't even push in the center hairs to allow them to move a little bit. i just left them rubberbanded for about 4-5 months, until the hair was long enough to stay sectioned on its own. i took off the bands then & worked a bit on the ends, but was primarily interested in letting them do their own thing.
the main problem, after removing the bands, was that they kept shedding, & for two reasons. one, the fallen 1-1.5" hairs at the tips weren't long enough to really knot, and so they'd fall out sporadically. & two, due to the banding, there was a tube of straight hair down the center of each little lock, & when those hairs would fall out, they'd pull free of their dread pretty easily. this totally pissed me off regularly, as one of my top favorite things about dreads is that they don't shed.
the secondary issue was that while i banded off equivalent sections of 1.5" hair, i eventually learned that my follicles are not so evenly spaced. the ones along the top & back were as i'd expect, but there was a big fat dread near my crown on the left, & the ones on the sides of my head & at my nape were all thin & unpleasant. i like dreads with character, but having some which were three times as fat as others was too much for me.
& the tertiary issue was that since i started them with an even 1.5" hair on my *entire scalp*, they looked mullety as they grew out, yet i wasn't terrifically willing to cut the bottom ones since they'd then be too short to stay in at all. issues & tissues, right?
the final straw came last weekend when i started a set on a chickie down in olympia. hers came out so exceptionally nice that i could no longer deal with what was on my head. as my website shows, i am capable of a LOT with hair, dreads especially, & my own hair just didn't reflect that. so, after nearly a year, i brushed out this third, most shitty set. they were 6-7 inches long, but it took only 5-10 minutes per dread for the comb-out, which spoke to me of exactly how crappy they were.
so, i brushed them out on 10-28-07. i quickly bleached & then dyed my hair (with permanent, not veggie dyes) to remove the sheen, as my thick hair type is notoriously difficult to start. (despite what you fine, silky-haired types think, i NEVER have trouble with starting dreads on you kids. thick hairs are the worst.) i did a quick cut to even things out, then started resectioning that night. monday morning joe & i both called out "sick" from work, later admitting it was a mental health day. he played video games & rested his elbow from his recent rollerblading incident (where he nearly broke his arm), & i backcombed throughout the day. i'm a thousand times happier now, with proof of my skills back on my head & my new set shrinking and NOT shedding, acting like dreads should.
i kept all of this a secret from the internet because i thought it'd be hilarious to come on later & be all, "guess what i did last year, suckers!@ here's my new awesome set" in some big post. & it IS kind of hilarious. everyone who came over for dread maintenance or to have their set started was sworn to secrecy. it was fun for a while, but when that third set started to go downhill, it stopped being so much fun, & at this point i'm simply tired of being silent on my own pics & will probably go back to posting updates on this set as usual.
so, i will put this post in the memories under "starting dreads from shaved hair", & here're the beginning shots of my fourth set.
a couple of fun starting pics, early in the day:
finished pics, minus the two at my nape which are too short to start yet:
lovely knotty scalp:
i did something fun - i backcombed a seamless star band into this dread. it'll be impossible to remove in time.
i think i may leave the red as it is to become off-color tips & let my natural color grow in. i'll keep the blonde bangs for a while - they're just so easy after all that sloppy red dye.
i'll leave some pics of my second set (the red monsters) up on http://compunction.org/art.html, so feel free to click there if you're new or just want to see them again. & of course anyone who comes over is welcome to say hi to them, since i have them sitting in a nice neat pile on a shelf in the den. :D
enjoy the pics.