This was going to begin as a status update, but there were too many words waiting impatiently to be spoken. Yesterday marked five months of me dreading naturally...freeform, whatever have you. Some comments I received are encouraging, while others are very discouraging. In the beginning, several times my morale faltered due to negative comments and I considered cutting my hair especially when the critic was my mother. However, as the days, weeks and months passed I found no need to acquire others' approval for a choice that I made for myself. As I say this, I remember replying to a "why did you dread" post stating that I was looking for a hairstyle that was cheap and required little to no maintenance, being that going to the barber shop was $15-20 every two weeks. I also replied that low maintenance speaks true to my personality, because I am a "laid back" type of person. The latter response, at the time, I gave as a superficial reason to dread, because everybody else said it. Now I realize just how true of a statement it was, but I stripped it of complexity and depth. I am dreading as a testament to me, myself, and I. Dreads in general are associated with people who are laid back, but freeform dreads go an extra step and scream uniqueness. I look at salon dreads and see no difference from one person to the next. Beauticians, locticians, stylist all are taught how to "form" dreads as if learned from a textbook. Therefore salon dreads have a textbook look to them and like textbook answers there is little to no room for the individual to shine. Freeform dreads form based on the person's sleeping style e.g. those who sleep on their left side form locs on their left side faster, the specific manner one washes their hair, and the greatest determinate of a dreads formation is the individual's hair type and pattern. Hair type without a doubt homage to one's heritage/ethnicity, however each person's hair is unique down to the very DNA within each strand. Even each dread is unique in its shape, length and thickness. Some of my dreads are flat, while others are conical. Some are older, therefore longer, while others are newly formed from new growth. Some of my dreads joined at the tips and formed weird loops. Some of my dreads are single, some chose to be faithful and married, while others are freakier and chose to get down and nasty with three four or five other dreads. This would never happen with salon dreads. When I had salon dreads I was unhappy with the parts in my head and the width of the dreads, but when all is said and done I was most unhappy that my hair was a creation by another and I could never be comfortable with this fact. This entire rant was inspired by a compliment I received a few days ago. The lady didn't only say she liked my dreads, but she also commented on how unique my hair was. I'm not sure how to end this, but I guess my point is, if your a new dread and people are knocking you down for the way you decided to begin your dread journey keep pushing. Dreads are part of you, your personality, and your individuality.