The first post I created about my dreads can be found here ----> I have some new babies
Wow.....it's amazing how far they've come in that time. It's also amazing how much I've learned along the way and how much I love what they've become.
You can check out a couple more posts here:
I started out with about 65-70 VERY thin dreads, but over time, they've been combined, separated and combined again.
My sister recently did some maintenance on them and now I'm down to 21 dreads, but I LOVE how they're coming along. Many of my dreads wanted to eat other so we combined many of them. They're thicker like this and they wanted to be that way.
I haven't done much maintenance with them over the past 14 months. My sister and I did some maintenance on them back in October of last year.....just a month after my mom started them. The only other time I really messed with them was when they were at 6 months old (in March) and I combined and "felted" a few of them. You can check out the scrapbook page I did on them here ---> Dreadful Journey Scrapbook page
Right before we left for our trip to Florida (last month), I had my sister do some MUCH needed maintenance on them and that's when we cut and ripped apart some of the big mats of hair that were starting to each other up, and combined other dreads together. That's when we ended up with 21 dreads total.
These pictures were taken just yesterday.....after they'd been freshly washed and had been wrapped up in a towel for about and hour and a half (I like to keep them wrapped up to soak up all the water.
It's hard to believe that it's been 14 months since a brush has touched my hair. It's extremely liberating not to have to worry about conditioner, thinking about how to wear my hair, all the hair that would fall out every time I took a brush or comb to it (now any time I lose hairs - and we all lose MANY hairs each day - it all just dreads up and makes me hair even thicker), making sure it looks perfect, etc. I get up in the morning and my hair is already done because I don't have to do anything to it.
It gets washed regularly because the cleaner it is, the tighter it gets. Some of the beads that were put in my hair a long time ago have dreaded themselves in permanently. I love those beads. They've become good friends. I find myself playing with the dread with the 5 beads on it constantly. Loops come and go, they've shrunken over the past 14 months as they've gotten tighter and they've turned into something that I never would have envisioned for me to have when I first started.
When I first started this journey, I envisioned them looking SO different from what they look like now. I started out wanting LOTS of really thin dreads. I found, though, that my hair just didn't want to do that. I have fine, thin hair and it wanted to lock up and have thicker dreads. Over time, I have become a big lover of thicker dreads. Sure, I've seen people with MUCH thicker dreads than I have, but these have thickened up so much that when I pull my hair back now, my pony tail of dreads is 3 times thicker than the pony tail I used to have when my hair was straight and un-dreaded.
I can't ever see myself going back to straight and un-dreaded hair. This just seems the way my hair SHOULD be. My hair WANTS to be like this.
Having dreads has been a journey for me and it's been an adventurous one.....watching them grow, watching them change, watching them morph, taking part in their change. It's also been a personal journey as I have learned that sometimes, sadly, people DO judge the outward appearance, people DO make assumptions based on a hair style (which I find SO shallow and sad) and people ask the weirdest questions about my hair and, which I have had some rude ones come across, most of them are legitimate because they really DO want to know the answers. I've also found that, in general, many people are uneducated when it comes to the history, the care, the process of creating and the hygiene that many "dread heads" practice. It's been a good way to explain that yes, we do wash our hair. And we wash it regularly. No, we don't have bugs growing in them. No, you don't have to completely shave your head when you decide you don't want them anymore. No, I don't use cow dung on the ends, burn the ends or have mold growing inside of them. My favorite question of all is if I've changed my religion to Rastafarian. That always makes me giggle inside. I just tell people that I didn't realize that a thing as simple as hair could change your religion for you......and then I just ask what religion they changed to when they dyed their hair or what religion it would make them if they permed their hair. ;) All in good fun, though. :)
I love my hair, even though it's a messy look most of the time.....I can sometimes tame the fly-aways and I can even make them look sophisticated for church. I didn't envision being the messy dread-head type, but it's what I've become because that's what my hair wanted to be. I'm okay with that. I love it now. Who woulda thunk it?
Even though my hair doesn't dictate my religion, it HAS made me a stronger person inside. I truly shook off any inhibitions that were hanging around the day I put them in. I had always thought of myself as a confident and independent person before hand.....having dreads have made me even more so. It's hard to explain, but hopefully you understand what I'm getting at.
I love this quote......make it a personal challenge and goal. I have for myself.
"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."
- Anna Quindlen