8 years of Dreadlocks

January 24, 2019 8 Comments

8 years of Dreadlocks

Lets start with...8 years ago, I looked to other people with dreadlocks and dreamed of having hair that long and fabulous.  It seemed like such an incredible feat that they would be able to wait so patiently through the years to finally have such incredible locs.  Its hard to believe that I have finally reached that marker where I can say that I am one of those people with locs that fall past my waist line, that I adore.

Its been quite a ride, and I wanted to share answers to questions that I get almost every time I go out and about.

How long have you had your dreadlocks?

8 years and counting.  My goal is to get to 10 years, but you never know how your feelings towards the way you present yourself change as you age.  So who knows.

How often do you wash your hair?

It has changed over the time period of having my locs.  At the very beginning it was hard to not wash my hair every other day, which is what I used to do before I had locs.  My scalp wasn't used to the lack of washing and would get super duper itchy.  But in order to let the hair lock up efficiently I had to stop washing my hair as often and so at the beginning I used to wash them once a week.  That lasted for about 3-4 years.  I eventually transitioned to every 2 weeks and now I only wash my hair once every month (if I remember).  My scalp doesn't itch and my hair is given time to let my bodies natural oils regenerate and fuse with the hair follicles.

What products do you use?

So to begin with I use to use dread pepper, until I realized that its pretty much the same thing as diatomaceous earth.  So I used that to help lock up my hair in the beginning.  It helps the hair to have an abrasive texture to stick more efficiently to itself, forcing it to lock up much faster.  

When washing my hair I use Dr. Bronners for soap. 

Currently I use a product that I developed for Moon.Flower.Child, that works for both un-dreaded hair as well as dreaded...A Hair Serum that helps to nourish and revitalize the hair as well as keep it smelling GLORIOUS!  I use it about once or twice a week and squeeze a couple of full droppers into my palms and massage it through my hair - from the roots to the tips.

Hair Serum

How did you start?

I took a head lice comb and sectioned out my hair...then the combing began, but backwards - Back Combing.  I did it all myself and it took time (about a couple of weeks).  I started in sections and definitely sported a Cruella Devile style hair do with half my head dreaded and the other half natural.  Good Times.

Were you scared to commit?

100%.  Its scary.  Its a style of hair that you have to be patient with for it to finally look good.  Everyone goes through an awkward stage - consider it a sort of 'hair puberty'.  So many dreadheads that I have met including myself have had dreadlocks twice in their life. 

The first time being the experimental stage and then the lack of commitment leading to either brushing out or cutting their hair.  I had my first locs when I was 17...I lasted about 9 months before brushing them out.  I wasn't a strong enough person to accept the stereotypes that came with the locs as well as was unsatisfied by the way that they were.  (This is not to say that the experience of getting them done was definitely memorable...In Venezuela by a random beach vagabond that was chased off the beach - escaping by boat ~ He no joke looked like Jack Sparrow) 

The second time I locked my hair up it was in the style that I wanted...lots of little ones and I was ready to commit this time.

What do you do for maintenance?

Every month I interlock my hair.  I basically crochet my locs into themselves.  Most people use a crochet hook hooking loose hair back into the loc, but I just take the ends of my hair and loop them back into themselves.  That's what works for me.  Everyone is different so don't feel you have to do what another person does.

Is it hard having dreadlocks?

Its definitely not a 'just let them do their thing' kind of hair doo unless your going for the all natural dreadlock look...which I have to warn you, can get seriously wild.  Enter the 'Beaver Tail Dreadlock Look'.  I once saw a woman with a beaver tail that was in a mow hawk form, I wondered how she would sleep at night laying on her back.  It does require maintenance and is a lot of work so be prepared.

Do you do deep clean?

YES!  Deep cleaning is essential for dreadheads...At least I think so.  The build up that we get from catching lint and other particles that float through our air stick to our locs like velcro!  Doing a deep clean quarterly helps to remove any dandruff from your scalp and release any madness that has decided to become friends with your hair. 

A Dreadlock Deep Cleansing Kit is another product that I developed for Moon.Flower.Child - a mixture of baking soda, epsom salts and essential oils. Dump everything into a bucket/sink of warm water and prepare to be amazed.  Your scalp will feel so light and airy and your hair will feel lighter as well as smell fresh.

How long will you have dreadlocks for?

My goal is to reach 10 years, but that's not to say that I might decide to get rid of them before then or continue on my journey and surpass that goal.  Obviously as time goes on my hair gets longer & with that comes the burden of extra weight...which I will admit takes a toll on your neck (especially when wet!) so that's always something that I have a hard time with.

How will you get rid of them?

I'll shave my hair off & donate it.  I want to have a fresh start and experience the bare nakedness of having over 10 years worth of hair to having none.  Fresh starts are always thrilling!

Do you think my hair will lock up?  It looks like yours did it naturally...

For sure.  Have patience to get past that first 3 years - that's when your hair is busy locking and not much growth is visible - and with a little hard work your hair will most definitely lock up.  Natural starts are possible though, mostly with curly curly hair, straight hair requires more fineness.

How do you find hats that fit?

Its hard no doubt.  I wear loose fitting beanies and generally find hats with brims in the menswear section. 

Are they heavy now?

Very.  Especially when wet.  There's not much you can do about the weight - its only natural that the build up of hair means your carrying more of it.  I wear my hear in a turban style directly on top of my head now, that seems to help with the weight on my neck.

How long did it take until they looked good?

As I've mentioned, for the first 3 years its all about locking up.  They don't really grow in length until you've surpassed that marker.  They shrink as they tighten up about half the length of your starting hair, so if you don't want stubby nubbins then I would definitely say grow your hair out before you start. 

How long was your hair when you made dreadlocks?

Mine was about at my breasts and shrunk up to be shoulder length before growing down to be past my bottom.  I always aspired to be like Catherine Zeta Jones in that one Zorro scene where he slices of all her clothes and her hair perfectly fell in front of her breasts keeping her decent in the sexiest way possible!

Why do you have dreadlocks?

So many reasons.  It embodies a lifestyle of natural to begin with.  But the reason it all started was that I needed a reason to stop drinking alcohol so much.  I had some serious dependency struggles when I was back in college and I was surrounded by people with locs at the time.  I knew how much work it would be to start them and decided that I needed to occupy my mind with more positive experiences and begin the transformation of who I wanted to be.  Having locs distracted me from my dependencies and encouraged change in a slow momentum that I could keep up with.  Today I look back and remember where my journey began and how far I have come.  I am grateful for each chapter of my last 8 years and have no regrets.

 

The reality of having dreadlocks is that there is Yes, the stereotype.  I wanted to share some experiences that I have had sporting hair this way...

  1. The immediate assumption that I smoke & will always have a lighter on me
  2. That I'm sketchy and probably have a stash of something in my hair - no joke (going through airport security I am asked to take my hair down if its up and it always gets a pat down)
  3. Do you Not wash your hair?! (I actually bathe like a regular person)
  4. Apparently I am a Rastafarian ~ not all dreadheads are of that belief, and that's ok.

 

Enough of the assumed negativity around having dreadlocks and lets end on a positive note...Things that I love about having dreadlocks:

  • I don't have to brush my hair
  • I only buy one type of biodegradable soap that I use for everything...no more nonsense conditioners
  • Frizz Frizz is no more!  I loved my curly hair, but lets just say it was frizzy a lot of the time
  • Salty ocean water feels & makes my hair so wonderful!
  • I use my hair as a hair tie - no more rubber bands/scrunchies
  • Keeps me warm in the winter

I am always open to answering your questions on my experience having locs, so send them my way & Ill give you my honest opinions :)

If your looking to loc your hair, know that its a journey and it will take time to look good.  Be patient and love each stage that your in, because you won't be going back but moving forwards...Your hair will never be that way again ~ each phase is different.

Blessings

XOX

 




8 Responses

Audrey
Audrey

November 26, 2019

Hey i was just wondering how many locks you have in total?

Tia
Tia

November 01, 2019

Thanks for sharing this post and your journey! We need more people willing to be raw, and your locs look AMAZING! I am so glad this look has become more common. The awkward stage of “hair puberty” can be difficult, I think braids are a great way to handle the early stages. Thanks again for your post! Tia (Sacramento Hair Braids Team)

Keli Plourde
Keli Plourde

July 24, 2019

Hello there, just getting to know you guys these last couple of weeks. Just purchased one of your necklaces can’t wait to receive it. I really admire what the two of you the three of you are doing. It has always been a dream of mine to do exactly what you are doing. Hope to be doing it myself soon. The dream is on hold once again due to the fact that I am the sole caregiver of my ailing mother. Being the only one is very hard and taxing on me physically, but I am grateful to be here with her in this time of her life. I have enjoyed very much catching up on your videos seeing. Look forward to seeing much more in the near future. Keep doing what you’re doing. Much love and hugs to you and yours Xxox
Keli Plourde
Keli Plourde

July 24, 2019

Hello there, just getting to know you guys these last couple of weeks. Just purchased one of your necklaces can’t wait to receive it. I really admire what the two of you the three of you are doing. It has always been a dream of mine to do exactly what you are doing. Hope to be doing it myself soon. The dream is on hold once again due to the fact that I am the sole caregiver of my ailing mother. Being the only one is very hard and taxing on me physically, but I am grateful to be here with her in this time of her life. I have enjoyed very much catching up on your videos seeing. Look forward to seeing much more in the near future. Keep doing what you’re doing. Much love and hugs to you and yours Xxox
Norma
Norma

June 18, 2019

I love your bus videos!
Azalea is such a sweet beautiful baby, she’s simply a gorgeous combination of both you and Justin, who by the way reminds me of my son who had dreads until not long after his son was born.
I am currently binge watching all of your YouTube videos as I am convalescening with a broken leg.
I am unable to move my leg or put weight on it for the next 12 week’s, possibly longer.
So, keep those videos coming!!
Peace Love & Light to you, Justin and little Azalea ❤

Clorissa
Clorissa

April 13, 2019

Love your locs, my question/looking for advice,
So I purchased some synthetic locs since my hair is only shoulder length, and let’s face it my hair is a nightmare anymore, I’ve tried so many shampoos, conditioners and still frizzy crazy part is I have straight hair. So my question with it help with synthetic dreads til long enough to loc my own hair? Or should I loc my hair and it just be shorter? Idk I just never liked short hair. And no idea how my hubby will like the new hair lol. Any and all advise welcome!

Terese
Terese

February 18, 2019

Thank you soo much for this post. I recognize a lot. It is the third time for me with dreads (had them about 2 -2,5 years every time and something have made me get rid of them). I think they are here to stay now for a couple of years now. I am 37 years old, too old for dreads some say but I never feel so much like my self as I do in dreads. Thank you for sharing how you care for yours and why and how you became a “dreadhead”. I always get happy watching your videos, you and Justin have the best energy. Much love from Sweden.

Sommer
Sommer

January 24, 2019

Loveeeeeee this post ❤️ #dreadsistersforlife

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