My first experience with dreads was a friend who put them in because she was tired of all the maintenance of her long (red) hair. (I LOVE dreads in red hair!!!) I admired her dreads for over a year before I entertained the thought of MAYBE doing it myself. I loved the feel and the look of them and I feel like they somehow reflected my beliefs, although at the time I couldn't really express how or why. Another year passed and one day I was admiring someone's dreads and running my fingers through them enviously and decided that I was just READY to take the plunge and do it myself! I did a bit of research (mostly on dreadheadhq) and bought a kit. I did them ALL by myself in one day and had 26 dreads, but inexperience (and impatience) on my part caused me to dislike them. (They weren't placed to allow my hair to part where it already does naturally, so they were uncomfortable and didn't lay nicely like I wanted and hoped.) So, only 24 hours after putting them in I combed them out. But, just a week later I was already feeling the fever. During those 24 hours I had my first set of dreads I went to work, and I was almost PARALYZED with fear about what people would think -- somehow I had failed to take into consideration that I would have to deal with people's opinions. By the end of the day I had this great feeling knowing I had made it through finally not caring so much what people thought. It was freeing.The second time around, a month later, I was ready to try again. I had a couple of dreadie friends put them in for me and they did it in only 4 hours (backcombing) and in this set I have 51 dreads. This time around, too, I was anticipating and looking forward to losing some of my vanity due to having dreads. And now with my dreads about 3 months old, I am discovering, too, the journey involved and the spiritual ramifications, so to speak, of having dreadlocks. I have this sensation of being so much more grounded to the Earth and much more PRESENT in my daily life. I sometimes feel, too, like it connects me better to the Universe.In addition to all that, I feel that having dreadlocks expresses a part of my identity as a part of the Attachment Parenting community, as a member of the Pagan/Earth Spirituality community, and just generally being a liberal hippie, LOL. Now, with dreadlocks, I can no longer 'pass' for 'normal', and I'm glad for it!