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Rafael Rodriguez


Location: Bronx, NY
Zipcode: 10473
Country: US


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Natural dreadlocks experience on my trip

By Rafael Rodriguez, 2013-08-06

Hello everyone, Last night I returned from my three weeks vacation (I have already posted some photos) from the Dominican Republic, places which I originated from. Everywhere I went I noticed how people would stare at me, this was to be expected, even though there were few people in different towns who had dreadlocks from starter, to mature ones. Probably due to a know artist who had them until he went to jail. People there like to copy what they seen on the media sadly.

So I had to compare my own locks to those that I saw and I have to say that most of the ones I saw were started and maintained by twisting method and they looked great, some I couldn't tell if they were natural or just puffed from the beach since I met them in the water.

I was a bit surprised to see so "many" people with dreadlocks (surely less than 20 in total from all the parts of the country I went to). I was already aware of the discrimination there is against dreadlocks, it is so that the government refuses to give the country ID called "Cedula" which is like the state ID but in the Dominican Republic is the same for the whole country, there is no division by county. So if you did not get yours before started your dreadlocks then you would be undocumented until you cut them. Needless to say, I couldn't update mine, last time I was there I had long hair and they updated it but left the old picture with short hair, so this time I didn't even bothered, lucky me they let you use expired IDs. I did went to a bank to exchange currency and I was told I did not look like the person in the picture, I was 16 years old at the time that picture was taken so that is true now that I'm 25. So I just calmly told the rep person to talk to the people in charge of the ID so they can update my picture and she did not bother me about the ID ever again.

So back tot he point, with my mother always trying to talk me into cutting my locs, my sisters and rest of the family joined too, my stepfather who was always supportive of them was also jokingly making fun of mine because they look messy because you couldn't see scalp and all that so I had the temptation of starting to retwist again, taking into consideration hat I need to find a new job too. I did explain to him why my dreads look different from the others and he understood and let the subject alone until the next time it was "teasing hour" (when we get together we tend to tease each other about something to see who gets mad first).

However, I desisted from the idea of retwisting every week. I do twist like once per month a bit on those that try to dread flat since i don't want flat dreadlocks but nothing that would cause hard like pulling too much or twisting too tight. I though about it and my dreads were unique, no one had dreads like mine and that gave me a sense of pride, yes my hair seems to not be growing but it is in fact growing, the longer it gets the better they will look so the messing look is not permanent and I do not like the scalp showing.

So what I'm trying to say is that thanks to this trip I was able to appreciate my dreads even more than before. Here in NYC a lot of people have locs, they all look the same and still look nice but I know mine will look great and be different because of my actions or lack of them.

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