By Miss Delight, 2012-10-20
I've been a member of this community for... I have no idea. It's been a while. I've never contributed though, mostly because when I signed up I was at the very beginning of my journey.
I think it all started one day in Brighton, when I first saw a woman with a head full of brightly coloured dreads. I have no idea whether they were real or fake (memory eludes me, and I didn't have an eye for such things back then), but that was definitely the moment I fell in love with dreads.
I didn't think about them much, until one day it hit me. I was, as usual frustrated with my hair. I'd had several styles throughout the years: long with fringe, pre-puberty. Long, no fringe, entering puberty. Shoulder-length, no fringe, mid puberty. Ear-length, sideways fringe, end puberty. Short, end puberty. And of course, with that short hair of mine, I realised dreads were the answer. They were the answer to my style problems. The answer to the annoyance of my natural curls being flattened and looking crappy after lying down on them.
I had to have them. Now. So I googled and searched and soon figured out that my hair was way too short. That wasn't going to stop me though.
That was the beginning of a year of frustration. Backcombing, rubber bands, friends spending their night doing my hair, it all falling apart... getting a professional to do it, and again, they came undone. It seemed like my hair absolutely point blank was refusing to dread.
It was then that someone suggested I try going 'natural'. This idea appealed to me, and with some amounts of googling I managed to convince myself it wouldn't take that long. It would be a test of patience, yeah, bit it's wouldn't be that bad.
So, I shaved my hair. A clean start. And, I figured I should try this look before I get awesome long lasting dreads, which I'd never want to get rid of.
Thankfully, my hair had regrown a bit by the time I next saw my parents (on a scale of 1 - 10, dreads were -5 desirable, and bald head was - 10).
Anyhow. My hair started growing again, and I resisted several temptations of dying it or otherwise messing with it. I tried the recommended soaps from Lush to wash it, but even though it had, eventually, reached dread-able length, it wasn't showing the slightest desire to knot.
I decided to switch to baking soda. And ta da! Almost instant results. After a week in Romania, wearing a headband nearly every day, a little promising dread had formed at the nape of my neck.
It was like it had set of a chain reaction. On average, one dread per month was forming. It was really weird that they're not all forming at once, but instead seem to wait for one to be something easily recognised as a dread, before starting the next one.
I'm not complaining though. I'm now well on my way to a head full of dreads. There's still plenty of loose hair, but the dread-per-month rate is also up: I've got several forming at the same time now.
I learned to be patient. I learned to accept myself. And most importantly: I learned to let go. Just let go.
It wasn't always easy. I think the worst part was when I was attending a friend's wedding with my boyfriend, and he told me I should wear my hair up, so people can't see the weird mess that's going on at the back of my head.
Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about that comment, and an argument commenced (arguing how we do it: non aggressive, though not unemotional). We both learned from that.
Oddest encounter: a guy ages ago insisting I should use spit to palmroll them, and then, when I refused, using his spit and doing it for me. Talk about yucky. That was the last time I saw him.
I love how every morning is a surprise: what did they do last night?
It's been 10 months since the first dread formed, and there are about 12-14 dreads fully formed, or being formed. It's hard to tell, but I don't usually bother anymore trying to keep track.