Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lets Talk About Dreads ~ Or... She Dances With Scarves



As my Dreadlock Journey continues my personal experience has been all Positive, but there is a lot to learn and who knew so much controversy in the Community would exist!?!  From ways to start the Journey to ways to Maintain your Locs there is endless Conflicting Advice and scary warnings!   As OCD as I am about, well, EVERYTHING... my due diligence includes endless Research guided by Gut Instinct about whose offering Sage Advice born of Wisdom and Solid Experience.   So I thought I might pass it along here in The Land Of Blog as my Learning Curve continues, in the fledgling Baby Dreads Phase of my own Journey, to tell you what I've Learned thus far.




I'm not Good at taking Selfies but the Art of the Close-Up seems to be my strength so we'll stick with that as I fully intend to Document my Dreads Evolution in Photos... the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!   Let me begin by Sharing that my own preferred method to begin this Journey was The Crochet Method due to having Type 1 Straight and Thin Hair that would likely take YEARS to loc up and look like shit equally long via The Natural or Neglect Method.  I knew that Crochet would cause some hair stress and damage and is frowned on by Purists that insist instant gratification would have downfalls I'd regret and be needlessly spendy to do.  But knowing ME as well as I do, looking like shit for two or more years would be more regretful since I'm already Old and short on Patience as a Virtue!  *LOL*




Dreads exercise Patience, so what little Patience I do have is going to be Tested, I just didn't need or want a crash course that would last until mebbe I die first waiting to have my hair do what Style I wanted.  *Smiles*  If I were still Young I'd probably try a Natural Method, I'm not Young, so I went with a Method I could Live with from the Get-Go and THEN go au Natural in letting my Dreads evolve as they will without obsessing on Professional Maintenance.  This is a decision both economical in Nature and also because I'm basically a very Lazy person when it comes to hair.   So I just continue to Research Care Methods to try to have the healthiest Locs possible now I've got 'em.  Right now I could have my new Nickname be 'She Dances With Scarves' since it became clear early on that Sleep Maintenance would require Do-Rags much like when I had my hair Braided-Up in Cornrows... to avoid damage and The Fuzzies.  I can look a bit like Coolio when wearing my Headbands and Do-Rags!  So I get Teased by The Grands and The Man when my hair is all Crazy!  *LOL*




I have very thin and fine hair, so I don't mind The Fuzzies to some degree because it protects and hides bare scalp, which is handy when you live in Arizona so that Sunburn isn't a higher risk.   I'm satisfied right now with my Fuzzies, we've developed a Peace with one another, they are a Given.  As will be pickin' bits out of my hair periodically, since Baby Dreads behave rather like Velcro and grab, then latch onto shit like fluff, Jewelry and each other.  Avoiding Congos, or the involuntary latching onto each other is another Care ritual.  I separate mine daily, or have The G-Kid Force do the harder to reach ones, to ensure no combining occurs unless I want it to, if one looks too thin to Survive on it's own.  I don't wanna lose any little Soldiers and have them be Casualties of my Ignorance, so I Confess I'm trying to stay proactive about Positive Care and proper Maintenance of my Babies.  New Moms often try to do Too Much, I've never Parented a Dread, so I'm Learning how to Care for them!  *Smiles*




Shrinkage, it will happen too as they Mature and Evolve, I already experienced a lot of it due to my hair texture.  I'm Okay with short Dreads since I am in no hurry for them to reach down to my ass.  *Smiles*  I'd be more concerned on what to do when they get too long than I am with how short they are actually.  Styling longer ones provides more options tho' since right now I'm limited by length, so no Festival looking hair or Glorious Buns yet... mebbe never... you gotta Work with and accept what you have my Dearies.  I've Hated my hair in like... FOREVER... so finally Loving how it is already is a New Experience for me and I'm diggin' it, so no more hair Envy and Comparisons.  That has been the real Blessing in my Dread Journey, accepting MY hair and what it will or won't do... unconditionally and FINALLY!   Can I get a Hallelujah and an Amen!?  *Winks*




Avoiding Temptations, a REAL Lesson... not to over-twist... Palm Roll too much or too often... don't trim any hairs... be OCD about strays, bumps and loops... fret over new growth or Paintbrush ends... and don't use too much Product of any kind except a good residue free Shampoo!   To... as the Beatles would famously say "Let It Be"... was a quick Evolution for me.  Since the most Trusted Sage Advice came from Dreadheads with 20+ Years of Experience encouraging me to NOT do too much or too often... leave 'em alone GF!  Except keeping them Clean and continue on my Quest for Healthier Living overall in my Transformation and Personal Growth Process.   I can do that, leave 'em alone, Maintenance Free hair is my Natural inclination being how Lazy about hair I just AM!  *Smiles*




 Salon Maintenance avoidance is my Choice for now, mostly due to financial constraints on indulging my hair, concern about more damage if I Crocheted the poor things to Death, and knowing if anything becomes too High Maintenance for me, I abandon it!  *LOL*   Right now they look and feel way healthier than I expected given the general fragility of my hair.  In fact, NOT brushing and washing daily, as I was wont to have to do before Dreads, did a helluva lot more damage than Dreads ever could.   My hair has never felt healthier and happier, which is why I'm doing some intense Close-Ups to show off my Happy Hairs!  *LOL*




Favorites, who knew I'd have them?  Yes, since each Dread is distinctive and Unique in it's Maturation Process there are some I Love more than others and that is also subject to Change without Notice... tho' I Love them ALL, but differently!   Because one day a particular one will look Groovy and Cooperate, but that can Change often and constantly as it Evolves and Matures.   It's like having 48 little Pets on my Head and some are Cuter than others in how they act and how they're behaving on any given day!  *Smiles*   I'm sure over the first two Years, since I expect my texture of hair to take that long, or longer, to fully Mature, I'll have some with Behavioral Issues and Special Challenges... so it'll be kinda like Raising The G-Kid Force in many ways and take Unconditional Love and lotsa Patience to develop and Deal with on a daily basis!  *Winks*




But just over a Month In and I do feel like I can Handle it.   A lot of my initial Fears or Concerns have been alleviated because my Journey has Progressed better than I Expected it to.   My hair certainly looks better than I Expected it to so early in the Journey... and Compliments still come daily which is something I've never, ever, Experienced in my whole Life!   I LIKE receiving Sincere hair Compliments, especially from Perfect Strangers who have no reason to just randomly come up and Compliment me at all really.   I was prepared for the Questions and the Curiosity Factor, Dreadheads had told me it's common and it certainly is.  The Dread Envy was greater than I Anticipated tho', I knew I had it before getting mine.  Didn't realize how many peeps Secretly want to try it or Love the Style and will Confide that fact to a Dreaded Perfect Stranger, guess they feel their Secret is Safe with me??!!!   Yeah, I'll just Blog about it... Okay?  So possibly only Thousands will know!  *Winks*




 I wasn't prepared for random people to want to touch my hair tho', that's kinda Weird and intrusive even if they don't mean it in a bad way at all... Word Up, ask Permission first no matter how Tempted you are.  *LOL*   And people will stare, but so far for mine it's been in a Good way and Positive, no Haters... yet.  And personally I haven't had backlash about having White Girl Dreads, in fact, I get as many, if not more, Sincere compliments from Black Men and Women.  It has transcended demographics of any kind, including Age Groups.  It has been an excellent Conversation Starter with complete Strangers who approach me and then we usually end up talking about Deeper stuff than mere hair... like Art... and other Passions.   People DO assume you're Artsy or an Old Hippie, I'm both so I take no Offense in that assumption, it's accurate and correct in my case.  *LMAO*




 Usually a stranger will timidly Smile and say they're fascinated with Dreads but never felt comfortable coming up and striking up a conversation with someone with them.  Guess my Age makes them feel more comfortable, after all, a Gramma isn't likely to be too Intimidating a presence, unless you're a Grand whose trying to Hide something you've done wrong from her?!  *Winks*   I happen to Like People and am Social anyway, so I've always been Approachable and Strangers have always just Shared and told me many Personal things that perhaps they don't often divulge so spontaneously to everyone?!?   The Sharing of the Heart is always a very Touching thing to Experience and rather Sacred really, so any Sharing of the Heart is Respected by me.




Is there anything I Miss about my Pre-Dreadlock days hair?   Not much... except that my hair was Baby Soft right after Washing, which felt Nice, for half a day, before it felt dirty and oily again!   Which was such a Chore and now it doesn't feel dirty or oily ever and my Routine is Washing about once a Week.  At first it was two Weeks before I Dared, because I was under the impression it might unloc and I'd have to start over with regular washing too early on?   That was a Myth, in fact, it tightens up and seems to loc-up better when wet.   And certainly in a Hot, Dry Climate it moisturizes it to at least be misted and washed so it doesn't become brittle and dry out too much.   With less scalp stimulation the Oily factor just went away Naturally for me, which was a huge and Pleasant Surprise and Relief given how Oily my hair has always been! 




Dandruff and getting it to slough off tho' is more difficult for obvious reasons, your scalp will exfoliate, it's only Natural, so at the roots it can become harder to banish flakes with ease.  Itchy scalp, or scratchy Dreads, it is a problem for many, I haven't had a rough go of it with either.   My hairs are Naturally Soft so my Dreads have been Softer than I expected given the Method I chose to begin them.   I did have an itchy day early on, for me an inexpensive product at my local Grocery Store in the Black Hair Care Section did the trick immediately to soothe my scalp.  It was clearly irritated from 8 hours of installation, but not sore like I expected, so I was fortunate.  Which brings me to Products!  The Product I bought was Rasta Jamaican Mango & Lime No More Itch Gro Spray.  {I know that's a mouth full of a Name!}  It doesn't have a laundry list of ingredients or residue and one spritz one time did it for me to get past an itchy day... it's on standby for any Future itchy days!  *LOL*




Actually this is all I use for Maintaining my Locs, very Simple and much less expensive that Pre-Dreadlock supplies since a little bit of each of these goes a very long way and will last a very long time!   So the initial Investment is worth buying a Good Product right out the gate IMO.   The Shampoo Bar and Liquid Shampoo on the far Left are by Dollylocks and I Love the Nag Champa Line's Divine Scent!  They have several Aromas tho', I'm just a Nag Champa Gal from way back so I was Jazzed it's in that Scent for me to layer my Signature Scent and continue to be known as the Gal that Smells like Nag Champa.  Yes, many call me that.  *Ha ha ha*   I will only endorse Products I actually use and get desired results from my Friends and I am not monetarily compensated so it's just my opinion based on Real Life Experience with a Product.




 Nobody yet carries this line locally so I order Online and they ship quickly and send me Natural Lollypops as a Free Gift with each order, which Princess T Loves!  *Smiles*   Here's Chief Watta-Pop Modeling his Organic Lollypops I've received made by Yum Earth.  Just 4 Dreads Lockin Up Shampoo is a new purchase Online suggested by Soaring Eagle whose had his healthy 10 ft. Dreads over 20+ years and gives invaluable Online Advice to Newbies.  BTW: The Internet is a wealth of Info... but you can and must discern which Advice you Trust and which seem disingenuous and might just be trying to hawk their Brands or Salons.   I am also fortunate to know some long time Dreadheads in my Community who Graciously Advise me if I have questions I don't have answers for yet. 




 I like the results of this one too and will definitely re-order when needed... also comes in Divine Nag Champa Aroma!   So I'm Glad it was recommended because it was a Great Clarifying Shampoo to get rid of any residue build-up previous Pre-Dread Product might have left behind in my hair.  Vicki also Generously sent me this Sample Product which I'll be using in my next wash which is the Rosemary Green Tea Scent and smells Wonderful!   For those who think Dreads are dirty, don't get washed and smell bad, that too is a Myth if you're not inclined to be a dirty person it just won't happen.  If you're inclined to be a dirty person you'll probably stink and look unkempt whether or not you have Dreads IMO.  Nobody I personally know with Dreads is a dirty person and they smell just Fine and look Fabulous if they're a Gal and Handsome as Hell if they're a Guy.  *Smiles*




I want to add that for me, having done my due diligence like a Fanatic, there were things I absolutely knew to Avoid like the Plague... such as Wax... traditional Conditioners... Gels... Slimy Oils... Coloring or Bleaching to avoid early Dread damage {Dreads have made me Embrace and be more Accepting of the Natural Changing of my hair to the Lovely Senior Hues that will come}... and Chemical Locking Techniques.  I knew also to dry my Dreads thoroughly to avoid Mildew and Odor, which is why I got Micro-Dreads for easier Care, more Styling Options and less weight on my fragile hairs!  Anyone whose done those things to avoid is Generous to Share with Humility Online the sad Truths about huge Mistakes they've made, including graphic unvarnished Photos of their Dreadlock Tragedies, which is Brave to Keep it So Real! 




Finally, Embellishments on Baby Dreads... I couldn't wait to Embellish, but I'm prudent about not putting any adornment or bead on which doesn't fit right so as not to choke the Life out of my Dread and make them thin, break off or interfere with the loc-up Process.  I also take them out every Evening and put them in differently each day I want to wear any.  Clip on extensions are easy and clip on and off at the Un-Dreaded roots if you get the comb end rather than the loop weave end.  Whenever I decide to venture into Lattice Fibers and Wraps it will be when they're more Mature and then I'll only wear them a day or two so they won't loc into my hair either.   And I'm no longer Obsessing about having preferable Blunt Tips, tho' I want them later I'll accept my Paintbrush Tips more willingly since it's a pain in the Ass to keep trying to banish them completely since they come back all the time 'til they loc-up on their own!  *Le Sigh*




 So I do Hope this helps give some Novice Information if you're thinking about taking the plunge into Dread-dom and Wonder what a Newbie thinks about their fledgling Journey?   I Plan to keep Updating as my Journey continues and my Knowledge expands.  I do find that there is a wealth of mis-information out there, mostly to make a buck off ya since the Industry can be mighty Profitable and scare you into thinking you Need way more than you actually do.  Rather than buy into Fear I always Explore my Options and decide via my Gut Instinct, what seems Right... what and who seems to be Keeping It Real... and what my own hairs seem to be Communicating with me in their Process of Dreading-Up?  My hair oddly enough seems to Like being Dreaded, I didn't expect that at all! I thought my Type 1 Caucasian Hair would Rebel against The Loc... it hasn't at all, mebbe, right along with me, it Wanted it all along?  *Smiles*




*******

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

8 comments:

  1. Interesting! I was wondering how the washing of it went?

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    1. Easier than when I didn't have them Marlynne and less frequently needed since my straight hair needed washing daily and brushing too often so I experienced more than average hair loss due to having to overwork it. Now that I'm on a strong regimen of meds to control Diabetes a complete Life Change for Healthier Living was necessary, my Dreads were Symbolic of this Transformation and it makes me realize why many do profess it being more a Lifestyle than just a hair Style because the move to a Natural Healthier way of Living just goes along with the Journey and can become quite Spiritual. I Thank God daily for giving me opportunity to promote Healthy Change at this Advanced Season of Life and help me along with it thru Revelation about what will be best for me. Seeing desired results so quickly, in just over a Month, has been such a Blessing already! Dawn... The Bohemian

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    1. Thank you Sister Colette! *Winks* Yes, as I mentioned to Marlynne above, it's been quite Spiritual a Journey as a Transformation occurs in Healthier Living and seeing such immediate desired results! Dawn... The Bohemian

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  3. I was pondering get dreads at one time, but then I shaved it all off instead! Ha!
    No patience.
    Yours look amazing, and I looove the embellishing.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Those were my options too when I realized the meds were causing excessive hair loss, so I opted for the Dreads first and shaving it all off as my backup plan. Winks Thanks for the compliment my Friend... and yeah, isn't Embellishing such Fun!? Dawn... The Bohemian

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  4. They look great, Dawn! What fun to be able to accessorize, too. You may just be a pioneer for other women of a certain age who are contemplating this move. . .It sure is much better looking than the "helmet hair" that some people think they have to resort to after a certain age. IMO, anything above shoulder length looks like helmet hair to me, unless it's spiked.

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    1. I know, it saddens me when at a certain age so many Women seem to relegate their gorgeous locks to boring hairstyles! Some of the prettiest hair I've seen has been on the heads of Senior Ladies who should be Rockin' it!

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