Sooo... I've been thinking a lot about whether I should write this, because I know it will freak some of you out. However, I'm sure you'd like to know to prevent something similar happening to you, so here goes:
5 days ago I noticed how one of my dreads was just a big dangling lump when I tied my hair back. You can see what I mean here:
Now, I've never been crazy about the lumps most of my dreads formed, and some of them were just so uncomfortable during sleep that I cut them a few months back, just above the lumps. Above the lumps all dreads are small/medium and look like, well, like real dreads, with bumps and everything, but no lumps.
So I decided to cut this lump too. And then I looked at it and noticed that it had a gray-greenish hue where the cut was made. Horrified I immediately cut the lump in half to see what it looked like on the inside, and here it is:
Mold!!!Now, I should stress that there was NO odour from my hair at all - I could only smell the mold faintly when I scratched at the green areas you see. This freaked me out - I would have thought that you'd be able to smell if there was mold in your dreads :-/
So I talked with my dreaded friend about what to do. As I said, most of my dreads have these lumps at the end, and as far as I can tell they are made up of loops folding up over themselves, instead of knotted hair. They are hard and inflexible and feel nothing like the rest of the dread, and they are around 3-4 times larger in diameter than the dread itself, with rounded tips. Maybe I would have been able to dry them out somehow, but I think it would have been very difficult to get rid of the mold itself, and impossible to be sure it wouldn't reoccur. To me, mold is not just something that smells or is gross. It's a health hazard. It's allergenic and may cause many different symptoms. I know - we had mold in our basement a few years ago, and the kids were affected constantly - the youngest with colds and the eldest with headaches. Not something you'd like in your house, and particularly not something you'd like on your head 24/7!
So I cut them. At first just a few, which I also cut through the lump to look for mold, and they all looked exactly like the one above. Then the rest. I had actually been thinking about cutting them some day, when they'd grown, because I really didn't care for those lumps, but it still felt like shit
So instead of having shorties, I now have ultra-shorties :-/ But at least they're healthy shorties!!
I know I've done some things that would increase the risk of mold. For a short while I washed before bedtime. During the winter months I wore tams after washing when I went out. I put my hair up when wet sometimes to get it out of my face. But as far as I can tell, there was only mold in the dreads that had lumps. The ones without lumps were also rounded at the tips, and I cut a little but of the tips on them too, to open them up - no mold.
So why did I have lumps? Was it because I washed everyday for the first month and had super fast looping progress? Because the loops didn' t have time between washing to work into the dread? Were the giant loops a result of too much rubbing because I washed with shampoo instead of bs/vinegar most of the time? That's a topic for another post, i think, because I'd really like to know if there are others with similar problems.
I want to emphasize that I don't think these lumps were like real knotted dreads. So if someone with phatties were to read this and be alarmed, I just want to say that I'm sure there's nothing concerning about normal phatties! The way dreads knot up should let water drain from them without problems - and this is precisely what I think was the problem with these lumps: they were formed by layers and layers of loops as far as I could tell. That is, loops that weren't sucked in but just stuck in layers. No wonder they didn't drain well :-/
By now I'm used to my ultra shorties and okay about posting pictures so you can see it's not all bad - at least they're healthy and feel wonderful, and as a bonus I can now wear all the beads that wouldn't fit over the lumps!
updated by @sissemor: 07/22/15 05:21:54AM