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Helping my family accept and respect my choice to have dreadlocks?

Megan Atwood
8 years ago
40 posts
Ever since I started, they have given me nothing but disrespect and negative comments about my choice to live more naturally. They think that dreads are dirty, buggy, "make me look like I want to be black" but they don't use the word black if you know what I mean, and they just won't change their opinion no matter how much I tell them about the facts and why I made this choice. I tell them that my hair is much cleaner than it was before, I only shampooed about once a month and used conditioner a few times a week just to keep my hair looking "nice" and smooth. Now I wash it 3 times a week and I feel so much cleaner. I respect and value my family's opinion of me and it just kills me that they can't accept this and they believe I'm doing it just to embarrass them. I'm not, it's just a different lifestyle that I made an educated choice to begin. Has anyone else had this problem with their family and loved ones? What did you do about it? Did they ever come to terms?
updated by @megan-atwood: 01/13/15 10:02:27PM
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
8 years ago
29,589 posts

my mom for 18 years every sioingle confvo involved cutting.. everytime i glanced her way she made scissor motions with her fingers

but then 1 day we were out xmass shopping (1st time in years we did anything together cause she was embarrased) and a group of 6 or 8 blue haired old conservative ladies surrpunded me saying they never saw such beautiful hair and wanying to touch it and take pictures

that day my mom saw it was something to be prpud of not embarrassed about and has never said a word since.. even bought me a tam and sends me links about descrimination gainst dreads saying how unjust it is.

(oh and they really use the n word? im not sure they are worthy of your respect) (no offence)

ok here u go

dear mr and mrs atwood,

i am writting you today because i heard you are not very supportive of megans decision to dread. so i wanted to fill you in on many of the misconceptions that are common about dreadlocks.

1st off let me say i understand why you feel the way you do but i hope after reading this you may understand the errors of your perceptions about dreadlocks.

early on my parents were also not very supportive and this really hurt our relationship, but then one day they realized it was something to be proud of, not embarrassed about.

so lets discuss the stereotypes myths and misconceptions.

  1. it's a black thing, or you are just trying to be black - the truth is although some racist african americans like to claim thier race owns dreads and noone else should be alowed to dread, the fact is all cultures throughout history have worn dreadlocks, pharoes like king tut had dreads and egyptians wore dreadlocked wigs at times too. there was a queen from poland that had whats called a polish plait, a not very sanitary version of dreadlocks that was concidered bad luck to cut. Shakespeare write in macbeth i believe it was about 'fairy locks" .. dreadlocks that were said to be 'tangled in your sleep by fairies" and untangeling them would surely cause bad luck. additionaly when america was "discovered" many native americans, including cheifs of the mohave tribe wore dreadlocks with no interaction with black culture previously. dreadlocks were often a sign of nobility and honour, and respect. to this day most people give those with dreads utmost respect.
  2. dreadlocks mean your rastafarian - the rastafarian religion has only existed since around 1970 something, and is based in part on christianity especialy the book of revelayions and a oral tradition known as the kebra nagast. christians and jews dread as a pact with god acording to the nazarite vow wich states that the hair of the head must go untouched by metal wether tooth of comb or blade of scissors, it also reqiures a strict diet
  3. (rastas call it atal) basicly vegatarian but also no fruite of the vine and no chemicals at all 9not even cooking in aluminum wich transfers some alimunum to the food) as well as no contact with the dead. john the baptist was a nazarite with dreadlocks, so was sampson, and so was joseph, its known jesis's family were strict vegatarians and nazarites josephs dreads dragging on the ground. jesus of nazareth is believed not to refer to a town but to his nazarite roots. additionaly the only mention of his hair is 'hair like wool" wool is high in lanolin wich makes it matt or dred easily and the lanolin must be extracted in order to comb it out and use it so its very likely that refers to dreadlocks, especialy since his whole family wore dreads (and spending years wandering the desert dreads are inevitable) other religions dread for simular reasons, buddhist to separate from vanity, muslims and hindus as a higher devotion, in fact gurus babas spiritial teachers from every belief often wore dreads or shaved the head as a devotuion to thier beliefs. in christianity it is said that "only the nazarites are worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven" "only the nazarites can speak directly to the devine" "come judgement day the creator shal rake his hand across the land and his fingers shal tangle in the locks of the devout lifting them to the promiced land' (this is also the reasoning behind hare krishnas shaving all but 1 'handle" by wich they will be liftefd... sorry to lay all the religios talk on you but just making a point that dreadlocks are highly respected in religios/spiritial circles.
  4. dreadlocks mean you smoke weed or do drugs - it is true that rastafarians smoke weed (many not all) as a religios sacrement (god gave us all seed bearing herbs to use) but dreadlocks wearers are no more likely to smoke weed then anyone with any other hair style, however what is more important is dreadlocks wearers are far less likely to abuse alcahol, and extremely less likely to use hard drugs often because they choose to dread to e more natural, healthy, spiritual, and happy.
  5. dreads are dirty - this part can be true or false depending on a few factors. if wax was used it trps dort for years this is the reason behind the myth also many salons recomend not washing for a full year! this is because washing makes them fuzzy or frizzy but clean dreads dread best and its washing that makes them dread also dreads are washed with non residue shampoo that leaves them far cleaner then hair washed with shampoos and conditioners that build up
  6. dreads are low class a sign of homelessness etc - well although its true hair when neglected due to homelessness will dread, it dreads better when clen and taken care of. as stated above dreads are more a sign of nobility and respect then of homelessness.

i believe that you feel you will be embarrassed to be seen with her at functions, or that it will reflect badly on you as parents, or it will hinder her chances at a successful career.

well once her hairs fully dreaded you will see she gwets massive admiration and respect from most, yes a few will turn up thier noses in disgust, but these are generaly superficual predjudeiced types that are better off being avoided.

as far as careers go it is ulegakl to descriminate and there have been thousands of lawsuires

she cannot legaly be denied a job because of dreads they are guaranteed accetasble by law

dreadlocks change you, make you stronger, more confident, feel more beautiful and like your true self.. having to cut them is devestating

not being supported in her decision is also hard to handle

dreadlocks make you healthirr and happier and cure conditions like anorexia low self esteem body image disorders ocd (to an extent) and more

please try to be more open and supportive for your relationships sake

and if you wish to reply you can through megan

thank you for listening

32 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 12 feet long

also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
8 years ago
47 posts

When I was younger, I wasn't allowed to have dreadlocks, so I got a mohawk. Only harsh thing I've had so far was "What did you do to your hair? Are you trying to be a rastafarian now? Is this the American dream for white people? Don't walk outside with a cup in your hand because people will start putting money in it."

My dreads grow stronger with every obstacle.

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