I can't offer any advice for having dreads in high school, but I can share with you my experiences from having long hair in high school.
You may experience slightly different things depending on how rough your school is and how many others at your school have similar styles.
Mine was a pretty average school, not too low class and scum filled but also hardly what you would call high class.
You will get called names. You will have people mock you behind your back. You will be bullied mentally, physically or both.
I was raised to be a pacifist, and I did my best to follow such views. But when I decided I wanted to grow my hair long I started running to way more problems then I had before.
I was the only boy at my high school with long hair, I'm unsure if wearing it in a ponytail made it worse or better.
Before growing my hair I only had to deal with light bullying from class mates that knew me (hardly unique, I imagine almost everyone has had to deal with this level of bulling). After I had grown it over the holidays and returned to school, suddenly I was getting it in the neck from people I didn't even know, kids I had never even seen before or were at least four years older then me would call me names, punch me in the arm or simply laugh.
You will stand out. Standing out brings attention to you. You have to decide how you feel about standing out from everyone else. If you decide you do want to stick out like a sore thumb now you have to figure out how you are going to deal with the definite bad attention you will get.
Again, I can only offer you advice from my own personal experience and what worked for me might not work for you.
I toughened up. I ignored giggles and jeers, I stood up to any one who tried to push me around and if anyone tried to hurt me I would hurt them back twice as hard.
This changed who I was in a big way, but thankfully I was happy with who I had become. I was more comfortable and sure of myself.
But this did change my relationship with my parents.
My mother who had raised me to be a pacifist was very upset that I was now very aggressive and adversarial, to paraphrase her I had gone from a smiley quiet and good boy to a frowning, angry boy whose first response to something upsetting him was to use violence.
My father on the other hand was overjoyed to see me becoming a man.
So as you can see, different people will react differently to the changes that may happen to you.
In less then a year I had no more problems with people. No one made any comment of my hair even though it was longer then ever. I don't think this is because they knew me by reputation, but because I now held myself differently.
I would now stand tall, not slouch like I used to. I would speak clearly and deliberately. I stood my ground and refused to bend to others whims.
It's been eight years since I left high school, and since then I think that twice I've had a comment about my appearance in a nasty way (not sure if my hair played a part in it) and each time I told them to fuck off, which they promptly did.
I'm very happy with who my hair made me, which is why I love it so much. But you have to decide if you will love who you will become from dealing with the negative views of others.
You don't have to deal with things like I have. It may be enough for you to just ignore others.
However you decide to deal with things, it will change you in one way or another.
updated by @sirick: 07/23/15 03:10:51AM