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Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
04/06/13 05:35:58PM
9 posts

The Knife and the Brush.


Life Issues Facing Dreads

Thank you so much, both of you. Your comments really comfort me. I feel much less alone now. I can't thank you enough.

Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
04/05/13 04:04:00PM
9 posts

The Knife and the Brush.


Life Issues Facing Dreads

This is pretty personal.
This blog isn'texactly related tomy dreads, but rather how my dreads helped me realize things about myself. If you're looking for a talk of dreads, and not life expeirence with them, you have the wrong blog.
About a month ago, I severely suffered from what I like to call " the boredom period".
Normally, I use this term to describe the phenomenon that happens after the "honeymoon" period of a relationship. When you've learned all that you can learn about the person you're dating- their past, most of their little habits, what they do/don't believe in- and you've done all you can do as a couple- kissing, date ideas, fallen in love, had sex, living together, or whenever you've reached limits to a relationship- you loose a lot of the interest in the person you once had. It's not that you loose feeling, it's that you've run out of new things to learn. It's at this point where you learn whether you truly love the person, or if you're feelings for them are shallow, and aren't "real".
I've never truly thought of my hair as something I had a relationship with, but now that I see that I do, I have no clue why I didn't see it all along. My whole life, I've been made fun of- the fat kid, the looser, the spaz, the stuck-up freak, the girl who can't get a boyfriend- whatever. Words don't hurt, right? Well they didn't. At least, I wasn't aware that they did. I was diagnosed with depression (which appeared to be genetic). But that didn't really explain what my going on inside my brain. From the time I was 12, I would cut my wrists. For years and years I never knew why I did it, but I knew that when I was sad, it was the ONLY way I could empty my emotions. I got counseling and stopped cutting. For awhile. After I quite counseling, at any point when the words people said about me became to much, I'd reach for my knife and slash my skin open. Never in a suicidal way, I just did it to "release" the pain, but thy happened a lot less often. Because I bottled up my emotions 90% of the time, when I did grab a knife, I cut a LOT more cuts in a LOT more places. I haven't cut myself (intentionally) for almost two years. Instead, I'd damage my body in another way.
Now, don't get me wrong, I f*cking love my dreads. I got them for the simple reason that dreads are always beautiful, even when they're ugly by the most of the worlds perspective. But, as much as I HATE to admit this, (and believe me, it's hard,) ultimately, I decided to get dreads because it would f*ck up how I look. I mean, I thought I would look great with them, an I thought they were amazing- but that's not what pushed me to get them. Having my heart broken, again, by one of my BEST friends, did. I was hurt. And I had no control over the situation.
But what I CAN control is how much I hurt.
No one can hurt me more than me. As long as I think there is a way I that I can control my pain level, I will do whatever I possibly can to prove to myself that I'm the only person to truly hurt myself.
I've had my dread for9 months today, and a few weeks ago, I got in a real lonely place in life. So many of my close friends started to judge me, for reasons far to ridiculous to understand. Everyone I would trust my life to broke my trust, to the point where I had none to give. I had no one to turn to. But hey... I have a body, right? I started gauging my ears. I set a date to comb out my hair, dye it blue, and start all over, doing more so my dreads were done "right this time". Knowing myself, and how I have spontaneous little outbursts when I make a bunch of irrational decisions, I made the date 2 weeks out from when I first longed to start over. Thank god I did.
After about 4 days before brush day, I looked in the mirror, and cried. I couldn't do it... How could I just throw away 8 months of hard work, patience, beauty, and growth? There was no way. Everything I do to myself, I do because I want to, but- I let people get under my skin.
I labeled another blog (in part) with the words "I have commitment issues." I didn't think I would actually learn a lesson as deep as I did this month. I posted this as its own forum, because, well, it's plenty long enough to be. I have another forum with my whole journey with my hair- from years before to now. Go to my full blog, with the whole story of my hair and me,here-
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. Feel free to comment! I'll try and reply to most of them.
Dread on, and don't give up.

updated by @Victoria Hill: 01/13/15 09:50:33PM
Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
07/30/14 12:43:50AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

Writing down the lessons is a way ofremembering, and noticing, the changes. If I hadn't made this blog, I would not even realize how much my life has been affected! Thank you, and rock on yourself!

Rheana Hayes said:

Absolutely love this blog! You're a good writer for real. Very interesting take on the process and sort of prepares the reader to expect their own emotional journey through this process. I think you are just plain beautiful, even in the top before picture with your hair just straight on clown nuts. The lessons you shared today are very valuable and it excited me, not about having dreads, but about what it will be like to deal with the wait and uncertainty of the process. It seems to me everyone has an ego battle and breakdown and sort of rebirth with the natural evolution of dreads. Rock the fuck on. I'm gonna write down your lessons and reference them any time I'm feeling negative about the way I look! Thank you!

Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
02/12/13 03:16:20AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

Hahagee, thanks! I'm glad you like it, andgo ahead! I think its cool to see what other dread heads learn, and how. :)

Jason Marshall said:

Three little words 'AWW Some Dreads' Peace on u! And ur lessions yeah I'm stealing that lol.
Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
02/12/13 03:15:16AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

I COMPLETELY understand.So much time wasted too! Its great to have natural hair. Although, dying it occasionallyis sortafun too.

Laura Earle said:

Awh, so close to home. I dyed and straightened my hair for eight years! Saw my natural hair color for the first time since about two months into my dread journey. It's ironic -- I can easily say that I'm happier with the state of my hair now than I EVER was during those eight years. Oh man, just thinking about how much money and time I spent on it.../facepalm.

Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
01/15/13 06:56:46AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

Thank you all, for your encouragement and advice :) I'm the only person I know with dreads, and I get lonely sometimes.

Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
01/15/13 06:55:34AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

I did the backcombing method, thanks to a few friends :).Looking back,I wish I had done the neglect method,but I know thatback then, I was a totally different person, and would have never had the patience to allow my dreads to mature properly. I would have brushed them out after a week! But, if for some reason I everhave to re-start the dreadful process (hehe), I know what method to use.

Hari Shabad said:

How did you start your dreadies? They look great!
Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
01/06/13 12:21:23AM
9 posts

My hair deserves an award (because I have commitment issues)


Member Journals and Timelines

Lesson 1- Don't brag to the universe about how awesome you one dayWILL be.

Lesson 2- Don't judge something at first glance, you never know what it could be the next day.

Lesson 3- Its MY hair, I have to take pride in what I look like wear it!

Lesson 4- Your hair shouldn't limit you to how you dress.

Lesson 5- Patience, patience, patience.

Lesson 6- Just because you commit to something, doesn't mean you can NEVER change your mind.

Lesson 7- When you stop trying to be on the fence, life becomes a heck of a lot easier.

Lesson 8- Let fogies be old fogies.

Lesson 9- No, seriously.Patience, child. Patience.

Lesson 10- I lash out on my body when I am hurt by others.

Lesson 11- Patience pays off.

Lesson 12-DON'T F*ING DYE YOUR HAIR, TORI.

Lesson 13-Nature knows best.

Lesson 14- Be careful how tightly you hold something. Even strong things can be damaged.

Lesson 15- Hair will grow when it's ready to grow.

Lesson 16- Stay committed. (Anything worth while has a hump to get past.)

Lesson 17- Make time for yourself.

Let me start off by saying: my hair has been to hell and back. I have naturally curly hair. Very curly. And for YEARS, I was told by my peers that I needed to "change" it. "Straighten it" they said, "it would make you look thinner." "And waaaay prettier." "And maybe people wouldn't be embarased to be seen with you." I was social outcast because of how I looked, So eventually, I gave in.

2006(6th grade)

Winter 2009

Summer 2011

For almost 5 years, I straightened, bleached, dyed, and basically, FRIED my hair.

Until one summer, I read a book about curly hair, and how to properly care for curls. It inspired me to try something new. and I loved it! For one year, I let my curls bounce, dance, and curve in any way it pleased. as long asI liked it. WhichI didn't. I went through GALLONS of conditioner (2.5 bottles a MONTH), as well as other pruducts: mouse, hairspray, gel, cream- I used ALL of them, everyday. I took an hour long shower, to get rid of all the gunkI put in the day before, only to put in back it. I wasted a lot of time, and money, but I LOVED my curls.

Summer 2011- Summer 2012


As much asI loved my curls, I took me 2 hours, sometimes 2.5, to get ready to go anywhere. I wanted to be ready to go places, and i didnt want to wake up at 5 a.m. everyday to get ready for school! I loved that my hair wasnatural (I was able to cut out all my dyed, dead ends), but something needed to change.

Then one day, while looking in a mirror, I noticed my curls looked like curlydreadlocks.

And I. Looked. FAB.

I started looking at pictures of women with dreads, and when I saw several had curly, I decided I NEEDED dreads. I could look awesome everyday, with a LOT less effort!

Being that I had no idea about dreads, I did research. I started making "tester" dreads. (I made the first my accident while playing with my hair in class!)

For7 months, I asked friends opinions (all supportive), and begged my parents (they still don't like it). When I ment a guy who had dreads before ( and said he'd help me start mine, for FREE) I finnally could start my babies.

One week before, I brushed out my tester dreads (to start fresh),I stopped using product, and conditioner. Nothing but water and shampoo.

(my curls decided to look perfect, of course)

Week before

THEN, my journey began-

Before

After (July 29, 2012)

AND... I HATED it.

That 1st day, I thought to myself, DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE!!!???

But I had been telling the whole world I was going to get dreads for 7 MONTHS. I had WAY to much pride to turn around and say I changed my mind.

Lesson 1- Don't brag to the universe about how awesome you WILL be.

Day 3

Day 3, I looked in a mirror and remembered why I loved the idea of having dreads. I LOVED my look

Lesson 2- Don't judge something right away, you never know what it could be the next day.

1 Month

At one month, both of the people that would tighten my hair were out of town for 3 weeks. I was alone. I went back to school and people would laugh at me (which I wouldn't care about, had I not felt so insecure). my hair started tounravel.My hair needed to be backcombed and twisted. BAD.Eventually, I had no choice-I did it myself.and you know what, they still laughed, but I felt likeI looked great, so I didn't notice.

Lesson 3- Its MY hair, I have to take pride in what I look like wear it!

3.5 months

At this point, completely used to insults, as well as complements. I found myself looking in the mirror a LOT less. At this point,I was focusing on my style. I never felt "Rasta", or "hippie" enough. I was constantly thinking I never "Fit the look".

Then I realized, I was the only girl who haddreads that I knew of. and, if i like flowery pink things, then I will WEAR the that cute top! I can dress up professional, or dress down to sweats, it doesnt matter.

Lesson 4- Your hair shouldn't limit you to how you dress.

5months

At this point, I am happy the dreading process is almost over.

HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah.

Lesson 5- Patience, patience, patience.

6Months

In this picture, I have just showered, and DIDN'T twist my hair. I'm trying something new. This is a journey, NOT a proces, like I had been treating it. I twisted my hair week after week, and descovered I wasn't really letting my dreadsdread, so much as doing what I though I should do. Things change. Sometimes thats a good thing.

Lesson 6- Just because you commit to something, doesn't mean you can NEVER change your mind.

7 and 1/2 months

There it is- my newest, smallest, dread.
I had a this idea that leaving an undreaded curl would be a cool idea. Little did I know the problems it caused. Leaving the curl, I would condition it with anincredibly small amount of conditioner, onceevery two weeks, but in doing so, all of the hair framing my face, somehow, also wouldn't dread.I loved my curls. I still miss them. But I love my dreads 300% more. So, rip-n-twist, and I'm no longer stuck between hairstyles.

Lesson 7- When you stop trying to be on the fence, life becomes a heck of a lot easier.

Now days, I am sooo used to getting looked at by strangers, I actually don't notice. In fact, I actually notice when I'm NOT getting stared at and judged. I live in Cali, and somy family and I visited Berkeley. While I was there, I felt... Normal. I wasn't a freak,or dirty hippie.. I was normal. It felt weird NOT being condemned by complete strangers, but it was comforting to know that there IS a placeonthisEarthwhere people still care less about outer apperences, and more about your character.

Lesson 8- Let fogies be old fogies.

(Still 7 and1/2 months)

Yeeeaahhh... So, switching to the neglect method? Not what I expected. LUMPS. LUMPS. EVERYWHERE. My hair length is shrinking (which I expected), my dreads are CRAZY frizzy, anda lot of them do this weird thing where they are PERFECT and straight at the top half of the dread- thenSUDDENLY, they are super bumpyand 2-3 times as thicker than the top half of the dread. (What the hay, dreads. What the hay.)It drove me nutsfor awhile. (Seriously,I think some of my dreads were/are formingarms and legs. Its inSANE)Now?I kind of love the look.I've learned things this month-

Lesson 9- No, seriously. Patience, child. Patience.

8 and 1/2 months

This months post was difficult to explain, and long, so I posted it in a new blog post, just to keep my timeline blog looking neater.

The short story is- I was seriosuly considering brushing out my hair this last month. When I realized why I felt that way, I learned something about myself that I could never have understood without them.

Lesson 10- I lash out on my body when I am hurt by others.

(Here is the link to the full story: The Knife and the Brush)

9 months

My dreads are now bleached (in part).(I did that at 8and1/2months).

This month, My dread are SHRINKING. Gah. But I love them.

I no longer feel i need to be patient. My dreads are just about fully locked. My only issues are with a couple of GIANT loops, which are easily fixed with a couple beads.

Lesson 11- Patience pays off.

10 and 1/2months

SO um...

I love my hair and it is very forgiving of my abuse towards it.

BUT.... I really do not suggest ever going from black to vermillion.

I love the color! I look sexy... But I abuse my hair so bad...

I'll be growing it out and dying it black soon. Hopefully. (Although I really DO love the color...)

Lesson 12-DON'T F*ING DYE YOUR HAIR, TORI.

11 Months

13 months

At 11 months I dyed (no bleach) the red in one last time for 2 reasons- I hope/fear I will never dye my hair again in such an extreme fashion andIalready had the dye and wanted to use it up.

I dyed my hair black at my year mark, and at that point, my dreads were nearly healed from the bleaching I had done in months 8-10.
On top of the more natural color, I really started weaning my dreads from the twisting I would do after each wash. It was starting to show, as my roots were getting smaller from the pressure of being twisted so much.
Ultimately, I started to trust nature. (And may I say, nature looks good on me)
Lesson 13-Nature knows best.

16 months
*Sigh*

Apparently, the fun string you use to make your locks pretty colors can actually hair your dreads if done so tightly, your dreadlocks can not "breathe" so to speak. I had bound several locks to much and it took my several months to recover. Although my babies had matured into longer, stronger, more solid dreadlocks, they are still delicate, and can still become misshapen if not treated correctly.


At this point in life, I hadhit an emotional turning point, but not because of my dreads. I had said goodbye to many, many old friends, and goodbye to quite a few new friends too.
The lesson this month best explains both what I learned from my journey in life and in dreadlocks.

Lesson 14- Be careful how tightly you hold something. Even strong things can be damaged.

20 months

LOOK AT MY BABIES!

This may be the last update I call them that (possibly) because in real life, I'm having anACTUALLY baby. I'm expecting a little baby girl this July. (Just shy of my 2-year mark of having dreads!) I'm very excited.

Now, pregnancy does some weird stuff to a woman's hair. When I first found out I was expecting, I was SUPER excited for my locks to grow. It's more than a year and a half, and my dread are still about the same length as my hair was before I started my journey. I heard that pregnancy made hair grow faster (YEAAAAAH!) and I was all about having hair at LEAST down to my chest. But, as the months went by, my hair did not grow.Huh. I looked into it and it turns out, while pregnant, you also don't loose a lot of hair, as you do when not pregnant. (This meansthat instead of hair falling off my scalp and into my dread, it stays on my head.)
Well, POOP.
My locks are, however, looking very healthy, clean, and strong. I feel happy to have them. My dreadlocks have been the biggest, and longest, commitment I have made, and I hope so badly I can help my daughter learn to be committed (and patient) as I have learned. Of course, she will have her own path in life, but I'm excited to see where that will lead her!

Lesson 15- Hair will grow when it's ready to grow.

21 months


22 and 1/2 months

24 months (2 years!)
At 21 months, my locks are recovering from the loose hair.

At 22 and 1/2 months, my bangs are freshly cut, because the unevenness was looking really shaggy.

At 2 years, mybangs are growing in well. Oh, andI have a beautiful baby girl.

And let me just say, if I hadn't learned commitment from my dreadlocks., I would have probably left her at a fire house, and dumped the dad as well.

Before you judge me for considering giving up my child, unless you have had a newborn, don't. its crazy difficult. I don't get more than 3 hours of sleep at a time, I am always covered in breast milk, I can barely find time to eat, let alone shower or use the restroom. I have no identity (people only ask "how's the baby?" or "Where's thebaby?" and never ask about me.) I can't work or exercise (I had a c section).

Mostly,the father andI hit a huge bump.Fighting a lot, going on and off... We have been together for over a year, and by far it isthe hardest relationship I've had.Staying committed to a human is a lot harder than dreadlocks. Hair doesn't talk back or have feelings like humans. Truthfully, I learned more from my relationships with my boyfriend and my child than I did my dreads these past few months. But, without my dreadlocks, I wouldn't have learned anything at all.

Lesson 16- Stay committed. (Anything worth while has a hump to get past.)

25 months

26 months

27 months

My dreads got super loose after pregnancy, my guess because while pregnancy you don't loose as much hair, so when all that hair fell out, they had to re-form themselves. They are Fabulously tight now. I discovered, after finally job hunting again, that dreadlocks actually do give employers pause when deciding to hire someone. Luckily, I am also discovering my confidence again. My loose hair of bangs have formed a happier, more evenpart, and are growing quickly. I'm loosing weight, and my face shape is beginning to look so great with dreads. I feel like I have fallen in love with my hair all over. Ijust had to get past the rough months. More importantly, I have discovered myself again. It is really hard being a mom. you loose your identity and stop caring for yourself. I really didn't do much more than was my dreads, but I've started caring for them again, and in return they have loved me, and taught me to love me. I am so greatful for them.

Lesson 17- Make time for yourself.

That's where I'm at right now. Update in a month or so!

Dread on.


updated by @Victoria Hill: 02/14/15 06:07:22AM
Victoria Hill
@Victoria Hill
02/26/13 06:33:38PM
9 posts

best hair dye method for bleached dreads???


General Questions

You shouldn't dye your dreads for about 6 months, and if you have thin hairr I would wait longer.