Sometimes I look back and it seems hard to remember what my early days were like when I started my love for dreadlocks. I had a close friend who was finishing her first set and I’d been in love with wanting my own for sometime, but never thought they would suit me. I rested on the idea for a good few weeks debating, researching and figuring out the pros and cons. In that time I thought about my hair situation and how much I loathed the stupidity of how fine my hair was, and generally hard to style. There was never any volume or thickness and as much as I really wanted to be able to do the retro curled hair styles, my hair would never co-operate.
Like many of my changes or modifications that were more dramatic than a change in hair cut or colour, I spoke at length with M about my reasons and expectations around the idea of getting dreadlocks. Once we had established a decision it was time to start the process. My sister helped me as we sectioned the hair into diamond sections and used the “rip and twist” method to make the beginnings of dreadlocks. It was pretty easy to be honest, though time consuming and because of this we did half one evening and the rest the next day. At the time my hair was at shoulder length and we didn’t find a loss in length too much as some people often complain they do. One of the other main complaints I have heard, specifically with the “rip and twist” method, is that over the first few weeks they loosen and fall out. This didn’t happen with mine, and I can only say that we made sure as we were putting them in that they were tight and firm.
One of the most helpful videos and blogs I followed was Galapril. Though not all of her first few videos were in english they visually were able to show what was needed. One of the things I really loved about her dreadlocks was that she didn’t really use a lot of maintenance, and because of this her gorgeous locs were very much like a big beautiful blonde mane!
For the first 6 months I fretted over them and watched all the progress story videos and read all the blogs I could get my hands on. I didn’t worry too much about maintenance, I just wanted them to grow and thicken, they were very fluffy and full of loose hairs and fly aways. I met someone about 7 months into my dreads that said she would be happy to give me maintenance and I thought I would give it a go. Problem was she “root flipped” as a way to tighten them at the root and it was a painful mistake for me to learn. Root flipping is not good for my hair, thats generally all I can say on that matter. LOL
Having dreadlocks is different for every person in what works for them and what doesn’t. I found that as a guide for me:
*No Coconut oil
*Maintenance every 3-6months.
Going along to maintenance is a painful chore sometimes which only lifts my spirits because my hairdresser is amazing and knows how to do her thing with dreadlocks. Kath is the go to person if you want good, healthy, long lasting dreadlocks in Perth! If I don’t go my roots grow out and tangle up badly. Which might look cute and mane like for a few weeks and then just gets knotty and not in the way I like to get tied up.
I started my set of dreadlocks off with dark brunette hair which gradually faded into that golden summer brown colour that my hair likes to go when I ignore it. I managed to get my hands on a packet of henna dye and went for a fiery red look for a while. Dying my hair with henna was pretty easy when it was at shoulder length, but time consuming as the preparation for henna is lengthy and the recommended minimum developing time is about 4-6 hrs. I also got sick of the red after a year and a bit so decided to go back to darker browns and probably broke all the rules by using regular dye… shocking huh?
I began my dreads on 29th? November 2012, which means they are 3 and a bit years old. In this time I have brushed a few out, tried to get creative with separating some of the fatter ones (Note: don’t try this at home kids! Go see Kath!!!) and I’ve had “normal” hair envy and sometimes dandruff is a fucking bitch. But I love them still and they have been maturing nicely as well as growing nice and long! I still get loopy locs and zig-zags in my dreads which I affectionately adore the way they add personality to my hair.
I have had positive and negative opinions thrown at me for having dreadlocks along the way and most of the time it’s positive. I learned pretty quickly about how much people can rely on their hair to hide behind traditional concepts of female beauty and how I had been doing that as well. Having dreadlocks relieved me of spending hair pulling moments in getting ready to go out and relying on that vanity of shiny smooth hair.
Before I had the dreads, I would probably guess my hair bill would have been anywhere for $100+ on average a month, with appointments for cuts, treatment, colour, product and tools! So for now I’m pretty happy with the decision I made and as they grow and get more awesome I am only re-assured that it was the right decision for me.