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Natural Dread Timeline: 'Baby' Fine, Thin, Straight, Short Hair (PIC HEAVY)

Martin-Sean Horrigan
4 years ago
4 posts

Namaste & greetings to all you earth-loving, peace-spreading purveyors of nature!

I have recently embarked upon my natural/neglect/freeform dread journey & having been a long time reader / lurker within this community I've gotten to know just how much you lovely folk dig a timeline!

The offerings of others certainly inspired me to have confidence in the virtues of faith & patience when nurturing my previous set & so notwithstanding the implied assumption I can successfully navigate the minefield that is my own technical mediocrity, in the pay forward spirit, here's mine!

My ultra-thin (and ever-thinning on top these days - yikes!) 'baby' fine, straight Caucasian-type hair was grown out from shaven for approximately 2 years to around 4-6 inches in length, having previously had dreads for 2-3 years that were started with back-combing (no wax).

I guess it would be cool to start with a few pics of the previous set for purpose of comparison... the top two must have been somewhere around 9-10 months post-backcoming, the wedding pic I believe is the following year, bottom right I have no idea!


I have noticed my hair tends to grow straight until it hits the shoulders & force to wave/curl. Also, in terms of the general method of developmental progress, my hair type seems to section into rat-tails, harden towards the middle whilst sucking in nearby strays, eventually forming zig-zags & loops towards the roots & new growth when one side tightens quicker than the other.

On average I'd say at their longest there was approximately 2-3 inches of undreaded new growth at the roots with as much as a third of the tip end undreaded.

However as mentioned elsewhere on the forums this does mean they dry quicker that they would otherwise - an advantage that cannot be overstated.

In fact, the only disadvantage I can think of for wispy tips as opposed to blunt tips would be the occasional sleep disruption I used to face due to the oft-incessant face-tickling on part of the former!

It will certainly be interesting to see whether the lack of backcombing this time around has any significant effect on the nature of the developmental progress.

Here's the first set of pics from back in June/July (1-2 months). I washed 2-3 times weekly with just hot soaks & cold rinses with a once-weekly bs soak to dry out my oily scalp but also easing it into the adjustment.

I then went to Glastonbury festival at the end of June 2014 & surrendered my follicular fate to the fields of Avalon...

These photos were the week post-Glasto & I squeezed in a surf or two during the week which definitely contributed to encouraging dryness & sectioning. Although, I haven't had a chance to surfed since nor used sea salt in my bs washes to date (save for one where I actually struck a winning combination of both a) remembering and b) bothering to do so).

Personally, I find the water running down the scalp pull hairs into sections they were naturally inclinating towardsas it goes & bs seems to sufficiently dry out the scalp by virtue of its own volition. I think I tend to use ~50g bs per litre-ish of water once or twice per week at this moment in time.

Certainly seems every wash directly contributes to progress to me though regardless of whether it's straight water or with any/all of bs, acv, sea salt. However, granted the change isn't always evident & you may have to wait a day or so for a crafty wind to expose some underlying shrinkage/zig-zagging/congoing.

Here's the progress from July/August (2-3 months):

That's it for the first instalment folks! I hope you've enjoyed!

I would emplore anyone who is apprehensive about embalking upon this journey to simply invest in a nice hat/tam collection and just go for it! If you feel you also have what is sometimes deemed 'problematic' hair type for dreading then fear not. Mine is about as fine, straight and thin as you can get & I am convinced all hair type will dread naturally with patience.

If struggling with patience and/or 'bad hair days' one thing in particular I've noticed about my pictures is that depending on the angle/light etc. they look a lot more progressed in some than in others - even earlier ones look sometimes more advanced than later ones.

It's only natural to have doubts about surrendering control, particularly if you catch a glimpse & feel the progress isn't as far along as you'd like.

Remember at these times that it's probably just the specific angle & light - to the non-dreaded community & particularly to those who use lots of conditioning products etc. what looks like an un-sectioned birds nest to you in the mirror from inches away may well look like a set of gnarly & bodacious phatties to some bystander across the street once seperation sets in (particularly if you start with decent length - I imagine... until it shrinks anyway, ha!)

The Doors of Perception & all that jazz. Perceive oneself as one with nature & with nature one shall be.

Due to a combination of poor organization and computer skills this one has literally taken me eons to put together & get published... so much so that the next update will be due in a matter of weeks.

Peace out!

*** UPDATE *** 3-4(ish) MONTHS

Small update on account of having gone surfing earlier this week so some before/after shots taken...


After surfing (prior to washing out the sea water):

*** 5(-ish) MONTH UPDATE *** (26/10/14)

Aloha! So... I have quite a lot of pics to share since my last mini-update. My hair is still currently getting noticeably longer and alas no shrinking yet... however I have noticed sections attempting to congo more often, with some loops and bumps popping up now and again.

*** UPDATE - 7.5-8(ish) MONTHS *** 13/02/15

Howdy folks! Apologies, it's been quite some time since my last visit/update due some (minor & successful) surgery and my, it's rather swish around here these days isn't it?! Diolch (thanks) SE!

As a consequence, I post this having subsequently blasted through the milestone 6 month mark which was sometime around November/December, so I guess this is a timely opportunity to update you guys as to some of the more detailed observations...

My hair has thus far undertaken a rather predictable timeline (sectioning > loops/zig-zags) with the underneath sectioning off both more quickly and in larger sections. The top and front, where my hair is thinner (in quantity) has sectioned off into smaller, ropier sections.

Up until now I have performed absolutely zero seperating. None at all. To be honest, I only ever really check my hair with anything resembling due diligence when ensuring my scalp is clean or if I need to check my hair is dry before going to bed.

When I wash (once/twice per week) I do so sometimes with bs/acv, sometimes just bs, sometimes just hot & cold water. I pour it over my head, allow to soak, then allow the showerhead to determine sections as it massages my scalp during the (cold as possible) final rinse.

It is probably noteworthy to mention I 'wear' my hair down nearly all the time. Since my fringe (bangs?) are not yet properly locked I can sweep them behind my ears for now. I cycle every day so they get squashed by the helmet a lot.

Also, I wear a beanie most days at present as it's currently winter here in the UK (not that it isn't always winter here in the uk... ha!) but make sure it gets opportunity in between to dance in the salty coastal air and the abundance of musical sweatboxes the city has to offer :-)

I envisage some exciting progress over the next ~6 months with particular interest in seeing how my hair starts to react now that it has reached a length that I would personally consider to be amenable to the locking process. Given how immaculately naturally straight and fine my hair is, it only ever really develops any kinks/waves once it hits my shoulders & is forced to curl.

Also, with us having had a reasonably dry winter and spring on the horizon I'll be getting back in amongst the surf with a bit more regularity, so to see the difference in effect that has compared to my last documented incident last June will be intruiging, not to mention the fact it will be festival/gathering season once more!

Anyhow, enough of my foolish jibba-jabba - let's get to the good stuff - Enjoy!! 


updated by @peacefrog: 02/13/15 11:31:24AM
☮ soaring eagle ॐ
3 years ago
28,957 posts

u do have super fine hair but its getting there

27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

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

updated by @soaring-eagle: 06/17/15 02:18:00AM
Martin-Sean Horrigan
3 years ago
4 posts

Hi SE, thanks for commenting! Yeah it is insanely fine & my male lineage doesn't bode well in terms of balding but the evidence is there to see... definitive progress with the most minute of effort...

My hair is in a rediculously messy stage at the moment & I guess the 'birdnest' frizzies don't show up too well in photos... entering the 'wild teen' stages has certainly been mitigated by the necessity to adorn a hat most of the time.

I guess I could have turned that to my advantage by wearing a tam but don't have one to hand, not sure where mine are, besides I'm not overly bothered whether it stunts/slows progress as this will only serve to show that the vast majority of all hair types will dread naturally, eventually, nonetheless.

I'd postulate that's a likely factor in people starting to feel despondent with their progress of others and get freaked out because their own looks messier in the mirror. It looks nothing like dreads the vast majority of the time, certainly not as much as they do in some of the photographs, but so long as there's a marked difference between day 1 & day that's just fine & dandy with me!

Have a totally bodacious weekend!

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
3 years ago
28,957 posts

very well said

so true


27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long

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