Yesterday was not only my birthday, it was my three year dreadiversary! I don't think I've ever done a dreadlock post, so here we go.
I am aware of the debate about white-presenting people having dreadlocks (in fact, I lost a [white] friend over this in a really horrible situation that made me put off my dreadlock ceremony for two years). I did not and do not take my decision lightly. Believe it or not, as pale as I am, I have often been on the receiving end of racism. I'm Hispanic, and it doesn't happen as often since I married and my name changed, but it does still happen because I don't hide who I am and I speak out. I am absolutely aware of the white privilege I enjoy by being lighter than much of my family, let alone black people. However, I researched this for many years before I actually did it, considered it deeply, and decided this is right for me.
What it boils down to is, I don't believe anyone can claim something that has been in existence throughout a great many cultures forever and what is actually our natural state...and I have yet to hear any black people do so. It has only been white people, usually on the internet, who have accused me of being racist or oppressive. It is not my intention to ever be either of those things. However, if I am inadvertently making anyone feel oppressed, I sincerely apologize.
I have a great many reasons why I wanted to dread up, and a great many of those are private or too much to get into in this particular post. This is mostly going to be a picture post showing my dread evolution. I will say that the majority of my personal reasons are spiritual &/or energetic. I've explored headwraps/coverings both before and after dreading my hair for the same spiritual and energetic reasons, and I'll show some of those here as well.
I waited to do them until I could get my dandruff problem under control, which I did by going no_poo a year or so before taking the plunge. I cannot extol the virtues of no poo enough! Yes, I went through horrible detox stages (so glad I didn't have dreadlocks through that, tbh), but my hair is so, so much happier for it. Now, most people who no poo – which is basically just using natural ingredients for shampoo – use baking soda to wash. I did for a long time, but after I did my locks, I put a stop to that really quickly. I hadn't realized how horribly caustic baking soda was. It was making my locks brittle and horrible. I now favor a rosemary decoction, which both smells good and is great for dandruff issues. I use vinegar when I'm in too much of a rush to boil and cool rosemary water. I do wash my hair regularly, and the only difference I made after having dreads was that I make sure I wash my hair early enough that I don't go to bed with a wet head.
I originally started palm-rolling after my showers, which I heard so much about everywhere, but I would like to go on the record and say I do not advise palm rolling. Not regularly, anyway. I did it after every shower (a few times a week), and after a year or so, my hair started twisting around at the roots. You might think this would help the locking, but no, it made them start poking out in wild directions. I had one little dreadlock in front who kept poking straight out of my head like a unicorn horn. I'd use hair ties, tie him down to locks at the bottom, tightly tied bandanas, & even tried product out of desperation. He would always escape and point the way forward. I just had to deal with a unicorn horn for many, many months until he got too heavy and started hanging back down. Asshole dreadlock. I named him Vern. Don't be like Vern. Palm-roll with caution. It's about two years after I stopped palm rolling, and my hair still twists itself around whenever it gets wet, after showers or in the rain.
I've gotten by far the most and best info at the wonderful get_up_dread_up community. Their memories section is invaluable, and I've passed on their link to every person who's ever asked me how to make or take care of them. I can't recommend it enough if you are interested in or curious about dreadlocks.
Now, let's do some pictures! How about lots and lots (and lots) of pictures?
This pic was taken right after I tried no poo for the first time:
This was after my dreadlock ceremony, which I did on the one-year anniversary of losing my doggie soul mate. This was part of my healing, but I only did the first two this day. Back in my late teens/early 20s, I had two side locks that I would use to tie back my hair. I started with that again.
Meet Gilgamesh (on the right/my left) and Enkidu (on the left/my right):
I started my full head on my 33rd birthday, 27 April, 2014. Apparently I have WAY more hair than I realized, because even after first cutting several inches off and then having friends help at my bday party, it still took almost a full week to get them all made. I started with backcombing and rip & twist, but we soon realized how much faster it was to crochet them. It was way faster! And I still didn't finish until 2 May (I did work full time, but I worked on them break and evenings). Apparently “thick” was an understatement.
They're about 2.5 wks old here:
Rocking the Sideshow Bob look at one month:
Blunted the tips. Now entering the awkward stage:
Half-assed many dreads in my hustle to just get them finished, so I went back and tightened a bunch over the next couple of weeks. At 6 wks, I decided they were “finished”:
Back, 6 wks:
From the left, from left...
From the right, from the right...
From the front, from the front...
From the back, from the back...
Now slide! I mean, here's Gilgamesh and Enkidu again. They're 19 months old here:
The rest are 3 months, but here are some I named. First, my big fatty dread, Hodor:
My one split-tailed lock (have no idea how that happened, tbh, it was like that from the start). This is Romulus and Remus, but I can never tell them apart:
At 4 mos. I love early morning pics when they're in their most wild, natural state:
6 months-ish. I love this hairstyle:
I really liked this 'do on Christmas Eve, almost 8 mos:
Rocking what I call my Predator look:
I ♥ pompadours!
1 yr, and my favorite hairstyle ever. It was a hot summer day, and I basket wove this from the bottom up, tying it with my hair at the crown. Perfect for keeping it off the neck.
At 1 yr, down:
1.5-ish years. Starting to get long again!
My Grinch hairdo on Christmas morning:
The one and only time I have ever been able to make this glorious dread bun:
With a headwrap, and ready to mow the lawn:
Horrible pic, but my daughters fell to pieces laughing after they stuck a bag of rice in my tied-back hair and it stayed. They experimented with various objects, including a number of potatoes. Just tied back at the sides, as I usually wear it. This is a sturdy hairstyle.
Here's a better pic of how I usually wear it, at 2 yrs:
My 'clean the yard' wrap:
Comfy jersey cloth wrap. A yard was barely big enough at the time.
So happy after finally finding my comfy winter hat my momma made me years ago. Hubby didn't think it would fit:
Those weird moments when it looks like you don't have dreadlocks anymore:
Out of all my hairstyles, I get the most compliments from my gym ponytail. Seriously.
Dreadlocks came in very handy for GISHWHES when I had to dress up as an illegal alien stealing local jobs.
I took over my teenage daughter's facebook for April Fool's, and it was glorious:
And here's my most recent pic, from yesterday. They're a bit longer in the back.