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Always Destined to have Dreads

By Star Gryphon, 2012-10-15

I'm going to have to blame my little brother for initiating my journey.

We were looking through old pictures and photo albums and he announced an observation he had made....

"You always look the same, it's like you never change your hairstyle ever."

He was pointing this out in contrast to his own pictures over the years where his hair style changes frequently. I am the oldest of 4 kids and only girl. This particular brother is the one in the middle and 6 years younger than I am. He's a special child that pretty much is incapable of telling a lie. That or keeping a secret. But I wouldn't necessarily say that these things are actually so bad.

At this point in my life I was a senior at Oregon State University and getting ready to graduate in a couple terms.

My mom's best friend as I was growing up was a hair stylist. My earliest memory of getting my haircut is of my mom deciding I'd look cute with bangs and being forced to let her friend cut my hair as I bawled my eyes out.

At 8 years old I got my hair permed. I don't know if it was my idea or my moms.... but her friend took me to the salon she worked at and I remember that awful smell as she drenched my head in chemicals and I remember being angry she let her 7 year old daughter help wrap my hair with the coil thingies and not doing a very good job. After the perm was finished I was really angry that there was such an obvious difference in the curls.

Not that it mattered anyway...within 2 weeks my hair rejected the perm and was basically a frizzy mess. Not that it mattered much...I was only 8 and it was the early 90's. Meaning it was popular to crimp your hair and use lots of hair spray. There really is much about the 90's that should be forgotten.....

Fast forward a few years...I'm 11 and decided to stop keeping my bangs trimmed. During the awkward period growing out my bangs I made the vow to never have bangs again.

I also vowed to never let my mom's stylist friend go near my hair. After one too many "trims" that didn't go the way I requested, I didn't have much trust for stylists.

Some people would say I'm blessed with super fine, silky straight hair. Hair that you would find on a princess who was committed to brushing her hair with 100 strokes a day...or however it is done when a person actually has the time to waste just brushing their hair forever

So began the beginning of me and my boring hair that never changed. Every couple of years I'd get it trimmed. Nothing special. I never had the desire to dye my hair a different color. Maybe because I saw how fried and damaged it made my friend's hair who had dyed theirs.

When you have hair like mine there isn't many options for styling it. I was limited to braiding it, wearing it down, pulling just the top back and the back worn down or in a pony tail.

I'll have to admit that one of my favorite things to do with my hair was when my mom helped me put in a ton of tiny braids while it was still wet and pulling it out the next day. Before it turned into a frizzy mess I loved having the faux curls in.

In high school I decided to let my hair grow as long as I could with only the occasional trim for dead ends.

More boring and same old thing. I'm foggy on the details but I somehow got nick named "the hippy" my senior year of high school. Also for some reason I made the decision to not use a brush on my hair that year either. I instead used my fingers to comb out the majority of tangles and then only after I had showered and washed my not every day.

My hair needed to be washed pretty much every other day. At the most every three days because otherwise it became a slimy greasy mess. It was pretty gross and a very good incentive to make sure I washed it.

Jump ahead in time to just a few months away from my 21st birthday. I was in my first year of community college and majoring in Forestry. My hair was super long at this point. I think it was around 5 years of growth without getting it cut. Unless I got a couple inches trimmed off somewhere in there...but it was nothing substantial if I did.

My hair hung down far enough that I had to be careful not to get my hair caught in my pants when I pulled them up. And boy did my hair shed! The worst always while I was in the shower after washing my hair.

It's gross....but I was constantly pulling hair out of my underwear and it liked to gather at the base of where my legs and butt meet. Sometimes it would get stuck between my cheeks and when this happened it was not the most pleasant experience to have to slowly pull a long hair out so that it didn't break and cause more problems.

Free flowing hair that long comes with it's own set of challenges. It has a tendency to catch on all sorts of objects. This is different from dreads catching on things like rough surfaces and such. When un locked hair catches it is often only one or a couple of strands. This can be pretty painful! Especially if you can't untangle yourself and you are forced to break free. I could have probably been a hair model if I had really wanted to be.

When sleeping with hair that long you have to be careful not to let it get caught under you because it makes it easy to pull a neck muscle. Definitely something that un-locked and dreaded hair have in common after it reaches a certain length...
Then it was my boyfriend who would accidentally be the one laying on it and I was stuck if he was in a dead sleep. I'm claustrophobic and getting stuck like this the couple of times it happened caused me to get pretty panicky.

Having hair that long wasn't being any fun and then one day while driving in my car and listening to the radio an advertisement came on about a Locks Of Love donation event that was going to be taking place. If you had at least 11 inches of hair that qualified to be donated you would get a free hair cut and a goody bag full of stuff like gift certificates and a t-shirt and stuff.

When I told my bf my plans to donate my hair he begged and pleaded for me to reconsider. Summer was on it's way in and long hair is pretty hot. I went and stood in line to donate my hair. The pony tail I donated was 26 inches long because of my hair having never been dyed, that I never used product in or blow dried was going to make a beautiful wig for a child in need somewhere.

My boyfriend cried as they cut my hair. He then cried again later that night as he ran his fingers through my now very short hair. It didn't even reach my shoulders any more!

This was one instance that my hair style was briefly different from my usual.

So different in fact, when my bf and I visited the gaming shop we frequented my friend who worked there thought my bf was cheating on me with another girl!

After another couple of years of hair growth I donated again. My hair grows pretty fast and at this point I've donated a total of 45 inches of hair! Hair stylists actually aren't too happy to give you the required free haircut if they don't know you and that last hair cut I had was the last time I donated and the lady sorta butchered my hair. The main thing is that she cut it in such a way that it didn't look good with the shape of my face and even though I told the lady I didn't like to spend time styling my hair in the morning and I wasn't a big fan of products she ignored me and cut a style that need to be "flipped" using a special brush, product and meant if I didn't at least partially blow dry my hair it would be almost stringy and straight....but so fine it easily became flyaway. It was also layered...and was about 7 years ago...the last time I had a hair cut!

About 2 years after this last cut was when my brother made his comment about my hair.

It made me decide that it was time for a change. The thought of getting my hair cut didn't sound appealing. My next thoughts were to possibly dye my hair a different color. My "virgin" never been dyed hair has made more than one hair dresser "shiver in anticipation" at the thought of changing that.

My problem with taking the plunge and dying my hair another color is that I have always been happy with the one I have. What if I didn't like it? What about if it didn't match my skin tone and looked horrible? I've heard from several people over the years that once you dye your hair that first time it becomes a little addicting. To the point where I've heard people say that they have forgotten what their natural color is supposed to be! I didn't want to have to worry about root maintenance and I have a hard time getting excited over putting chemicals in my hair. I realize there are other options that are natural like hemp....but just wasn't my cup of tea.

Or maybe I should say cup of coffee. Next door to my little locally owned coffee shop that brewed locally roasted, fair trade, organic coffee that was delivered via bike to the cafe is a head shop.

At this time this shop was way tiny and only had two workers. The owner and a rope head that I'd hang out with and talk to at the shop. His GF and best friend at the time were also dreaded. In my struggle to figure out what I should do with my hair I suddenly "noticed" dread locks. Before this point I never paid too much attention.

I hated my hair and all the struggles I've had just with how silky it was....absolutely nothing ever stayed in for long before just slipping out of my hair and becoming a waste of time to even try anymore.

I in a way conducted a little bit of an Ethnographic survey that had dready's as a main focus. I ended up talking to quite a few different people over the course of my researching as many aspects of dreads as I could.

It excited me that if I stuck with it long day I wouldn't have the problem with my hair being almost impossible to style.

That many dread styles involve weaving the ropes together in an almost limitless number of ways!

The loudest voices in regards to the method to use were the ones who had beautiful and unique sets. When asked how to dread....they told me to just do nothing. To use the Dr Bronner's soap that I already have to wash my hair. Stop brushing it...

Feb 2nd 2008 I stopped brushing my hair. I took a shower and just let my hair dry naturally without messing with it too much. Immediately I loved that my shampoo smelled like peppermint.....I had theses people to ask all sorts of questions that came up. They reminded me to stay patient....

Patience pays off...

I came to believe that was my ultimate test in getting to where I'm at now....

Of all the times I got the urge to cut everything off...especially when I was pregnant...

I stopped myself....and made myself breath. to instead focus on each breath to ground and center myself and remember this journey is not always easy. Even after almost 5 years and a head full of mature locks....

New babies have just recently surfaced

just a reminder that I started this journey seeking out change from being seen as always looking the same...

to something that is continuously evolving

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Round two

By Grace, 2012-10-15

So...those dreads were great..but waxy...HUGE mistake.

so round I go . November 2nd they go back in...not using the neglect method to let 'em form au natural but really excited to start them a better way than the candlestick way

~missed my dreads~wanting them back~2.Weeks~

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I think I'm ready!

By Jessica Quick, 2012-10-14

Well... kind of. It's been a while since I've logged in, I apologize! I'm getting antsy and I think I'm ready to start cultivating my very own beautiful, little dreadies. I was wondering what the best way to prepare my hair for dreading was what should I start washing it with (instead of shampoo & conditioner), those kind of things. Appreciate the feedback!

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Day 14... Two Weeks In

By Autumn2, 2012-10-14

Yes, knots are definitely forming. Locs? Not yet. But knots. And waves, and cowlicks! So now I bravely look forward to celebrating the one month mark. The separation is becoming increasingly defined, to where I now feel like calling my hair "my little ropes." It already feels different, because when it is down it doesn't feel like loose hair, because it is clumping around my neck and around the back the most. Especially down that first bottom half. This slow evolution has been so interesting to take in and observe. Each day brings something new and yet the change is slow enough that it is not shocking to me or those around me. It feels a bit like growing up taller as a child. One day you are here, then a summer passes, and the next thing you know you have shot up like a bean stalk seemingly overnight. Except that it has not been overnight, but rather a slow and gradual change, that no one seems to notice until "one day."

So yes, dreads. All two weeks of you has been totally worth it and totally an adventure. Kudos and good luck to all of those on the natural journey.


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Almost one year old: feelings

By ashley walker, 2012-10-14
This blog is brought to you by my phone. So if this fucks up that's why..Next month it will have been a year since I began dreading and it's sort of an anticipated day as if something magical will happen to my dreads. But anyways I'm still being patient on the growth I'm pretty sure that they're done shrinking. I have not time for maitnance in college, which is good and bad. I'm washing less frequently and separating less frequently so that can be a problem. It would be easier if I could use bar soap but I dont know what would be good to use. I have an all natural bar soap I use for my body but I don't know if that would be good for my hair. Maybe I'll post ingredients later. I get compliments all of the time here I've even gotten sang too. There's only one other person who has Caucasian hair with dreads on campus, hers look really new still, kinda cool maybe we will talk. Sometimes I feel a bit self conscious about my dreads even though everyone seems to like them, but I think it's just the fact I don't do much with em anymore. I'll never get rid of them but sometimes I wonder what it'd be like to shave my head. I think it's just a mental phase. I remember about four or five months in I was a little bummed about having dreads. But it passed. I can't wait for them to start getting long though I'm tired of this short hair. Well short for me. My hair is kind of thin in the back and I don't really like that what can I do? I guess that's just the way it is I dunno.
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End of Day 12

By Autumn2, 2012-10-12

So there have been some big developments. Turns out, my baby dreads have started to affect me from the inside before they start showing on the outside. Because today I did two things that I would not have had the braveness to do previously.

First, I signed up for a yoga class and went. (Had a great time.) Then, I ended up staying for a kirtan afterwards. It was the first one that I ever went to, and I had an even better time! In fact, the guy that was playing sitar / guitar even mentioned the Rainbow Family. In so many ways, I just was being sent messages from the Universe to unblock my mind and heart and to embrace my true self. So awesome. Seriously. And it all started here.

So thank you.

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Antler beading blawg

By Adam ford, 2012-10-12
Soooo... I'm gonna show y'all how to make some ringlets... :)
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Day 12

By Autumn2, 2012-10-12

So day 12, and it seems like my hair is finally starting to really section and knot up. However it is only sectioning and knotting up from the bottom 1/2. Is this normal?

At any rate and regardless... it is another good hair day. I washed this morning. Gently shook dry and I was off and ready to go for the day. Feel great. And I am off from work today and tomorrow. YAY!

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Anthropological Study of Dreads

By Star Gryphon, 2012-10-12

I've already mentioned several times in different comments that I have made that I have a bachelors degree in Anthropology.

This is just an idea....

But I think it would be interesting to do some sort of research paper/study on the culture of dreadlocks. You need to have an unique thesis when you are a masters student. To earn your masters you have to be contributing something new to your discipline.


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By TR, 2012-10-12

can anyone show me what a loop this size will look like eventually... Will it ever fix itself? Does it depend what method my dreads were done?

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