Dreadlocks – First Compliment

Well, this is an exciting day, indeed!

Here I am just a few days before my one-year Dreadlock anniversary and I got my very first hair compliment – and from a total stranger. Of course it was an employee at Trader Joe’s (thank you, Trevor!! You made my day!!) I don’t even care if he meant it or not. This year-long crazy hair journey has been something of a test of my “I don’t care what people think of my hair” thinking (about which I am obviously in denial – I do actually care, but I’m not doing it for them)

One year of dreadlocks

I have a lot of very fine straight hair, which was quite long when I started this process (almost to my elbows). I started the sections with backcombing, but mostly neglected them (except for separating) after that. With four notable exceptions:

  1. At about 3 months, I didn’t like the giant club-like tips I was getting, so I used a comb to smooth out the ends – not a total comb-out, just enough to pull the big thick blobs into a more rope-like shape
  2. Around months 6-8 when it seemed like absolutely NOTHING was happening I became annoyed with the large sections that had formed in the front on top. They pulled uncomfortably on my scalp and they were really big. So I separated backwards into two from the roots – but couldn’t go very far along the loc, so I ended up cutting short fluffy ones off the main loc. Not the recommended way to do it, but I didn’t want to comb them all the way out. Whatever. It’s hair. It’ll grow.
  3. Same time period, I was very frustrated that the super fine hairs around my face and behind my ears weren’t locking, so I braided them and made the tip into a big gnarl to hold it in place. I’ve got about 8 I started like that. Not my favorites. Also, I ripped a couple in half that were pulling on that fine hair at the nape of my neck. Now that the locs are more formed, the stray hairs back there don’t bother me.
  4. Around 11 months, I noticed the club-like thing happening again: the locs were much thicker in a two-inch span at the ends than they were at the roots. I took a fork (yes, like the kind you would eat with – it was like being the Little Mermaid) and pulled the ends back out into the rope shape – I gained about 2-3 inches on some – which also means I interrupted the blunting process, so it will take a bit longer for them to blunt. Ah well.

I started with 58, but I now have somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 locs.

My pre-dreaded hair couldn’t hold headbands, barrettes, or any other decorations – they’d just slip right off. I couldn’t have a braid or updo stay in place without gallons of hairspray. Unless I had just washed it – and with a volume shampoo – it was flat, thin and greasy-looking. Now I never comb it, wash it once a week, and can just do whatever style I want with the locs – just do the thing, take two locs and tie them in a knot and it holds for hours.

The journey isn’t over. I’ve heard they keep changing, which is cool. And I have yet to experience anything that resembles lengthening (except what I did to them manually); I eagerly anticipate the someday when I may see them get longer.

No regrets.

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