What I have learned in nearly 2mos. of dreading...
27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long
also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
I have yet to encounter too much trouble with employment because of my hair style. When I first started them I was in my senior year of college and working part time as a barista in this eccentric, locally owned hippy coffee shop. I learned those first few months after I threw away my brush that my hair likes to resist dreading up very fast and I was just going to have to accept that it would be a pretty long while before my hair locked up.
I left that job when I started an archaeology field school that lasted for 8 weeks. It was during that time I learned despite what my mentor and his friends were telling me...washing my hair and keeping it clean helped speed up the dreading process! Also I learned that working in the salty air that came from the ocean helped the locks in a big way!
After graduation I started looking for a temporary job to pay the rent and bills until something better came along. My hair was WAY outta control and had totally shrunk up, losing a lot of length. I had decided before I had even put in any applications that I wasn't going to accept a job that would require me to change who I was externally. I have a nose piercing that a grocery store cashier job wouldn't even let me wear a clear retainer in at work for a summer and that was a pain.
I pulled my hair back into a pony tail with a hair band and made sure that stray hairs weren't hanging out and everything was tucked back as neatly as possible. I even used a few hair pins to secure a few of the really short dreads so they couldn't easily fall out of place. I then wore a nice, ironed business casual style out fit like any other person who was serious about finding employment. I felt I looked presentable and I carried myself with confidence that I was an asset to be hired for my abilities and that my hair style had nothing to do with whether I was a good worker or not!
Three years later I carried myself with the same attitude and my hair style never came up during the hiring process.
One temporary job I worked actually did have a problem that my hair was dreaded. I accepted the job because I was desperate for a paycheck. The job was as a event staff for a food booth that had different events every week it would be at. After my first week of working their long hours I was told by the lady who ran the entire thing that she wanted me to take out all my piercings except for one set in each ear, to not have any of my tattoos visible and most importantly she wanted me to cover up and HIDE my dreads! I told her that the job wasn't worth changing my appearance for and never worked for them again!
Here soon I'm going to be trying to get a job at a bank or a position that requires a bachelors degree with hopefully a higher level of pay. I plan on using the same attitude of confidence that I should be hired based on my talents and not appearance. I'll probably carefully pull my hair back so that stray hairs and other messiness has the appearance that it will will be accepted at a job requiring a professional look.
Having clean hair really plays a part in this! If you can walk and talk with confidence it makes a good impression at interviews!
you seem to know a lot of professional people!
I'm glad that dreadies are still accepted as professors, still haven't started yet
but planning to in the next 6 mnths
...I work for my aunt at her fancy pants restaurant
so i'm pretty worried that she'll be extremely disapproving of my dreads
espcially in the start up phase
I'm moving to the city hopefully though in the next 3-6 months so a new job will come
but even then, what if my pizza delivery store doesn't like my dreads
or my waitress job, or cashier or whatever stupid job I pick up
though you've told me before eagle man, that no job can fire someone because of their dreads
it still makes me worry, menial or not, the shit job is necessary for now
soaringeagle said:one thing i have noticed
many oeople feel they must compromise theyre dreads for a menial job
but i see many people in high paying jobs who do not compromise and grow them naturally.
i see people crochreting and waxing and bending over backwardss to have inoffensive dreads just to be walmart greeters or gas station attendents,
but i know natural dreadies who jave dreads past theyre knees in all sorts of careers
the dean of a local university as well as 2 professors and the network admin
homeopathyhs and choropractors
chefs and limo drivers
a rocket scientist
a civil rights lawyer
the people who feel they need to compromise themselves for some reason seem to end up in low paying jobs wghile those who respect themselves and stick to what they believe in get paid what they are worth
at the same time ive seen several freinds cut theyre dreads in the hopes of getting a certain job..and they never got that job..but when they refused to cut they got the job they wanted
My own personal dread journey has taught many lessons too....
A big one is that impatience may give you instant results but when you are patient and wait for what will come only in time you will gain the most satisfaction with the results.
I have learned that there is a lot of ignorance when it comes to what people actually know about dreadlocks, the different types and that one of the most common things they don't know is that for the most part they are washed just like you would normal hair. Except more care needs to be taken in what products to use in your hair and that if you aren't letting your hair dry completely after it gets wet it can totally mold.
I discovered that people are surprised you can even wash dreads. I have also been told by older ladies that I was the first person with dreads who they felt was approachable enough to ask questions about them. So many people have never encountered someone who doesn't maintain their dreads with tools and it surprises them how soft they can feel.
I have learned to love my hair no matter how wild it currently is. There are so many more ways I can style my hair than when I kept it brushed and knot free.
People will ask you crazy inappropriate questions at times. Someone wanted to know if I dreaded my arm pit and pubic hair too!
People will also make assumptions about your lifestyle in regards to diet and drug use. They automatically assume you are a vegetarian/vegan and that you smoke pot. Having dreads doesn't mean either of those are true!
I have learned that something that at one point seems out of reach will just one day be right there waiting for you.
Without trying your hair will gather bits of the world around you. It's a reminder that we are who we are because of our experiences. We all will carry around little pieces of life events and it shapes us just like it does the ropes we grow in individual unpredictable ways.
In the beginning of your dread journey there will be chaos, an idealized image of expected results. Instead you learn that if you are expecting perfection you will be disappointed. Love that which you are given. If you can't you will never love, but just wait for something that will never be.
If you obsess about the present you won't be able to appreciate the bigger picture. To forget about the little things that aren't important and keep going further. You'll end up quitting before you've even really begun!
Doing nothing at all is more difficult than it looks.
One day you will wake up and wonder how so much time has past and what seems like just the other day what you wanted had been achieved even though what you thought you wanted was not what you got.