My Personal Dreadlock Journey
Have you ever felt like there is a piece of you that is missing? Or like there is a part of you that is buried and waiting for its chance to burst out and change your life forever? Maybe that thing excites you? Maybe it scares you? Maybe you've been avoiding the entire topic for years because it's easier than choosing to open that door and taking such a big leap!
Well I'm here to tell you that I know exactly what that feels like. I know how it feels to want something that you don't really know how to explain out loud or even to yourself sometimes. I know what it feels like to get to a point where you start to question who you are anymore because you have spent so long trying to be somebody that deep down you know you aren't.
This is what brought me to finally getting dreadlocks. A moment in my life that has been so pivotal in my journey of growth and healing. For me, this journey I'm on is so much bigger than just dreads. It's a journey of becoming, of transforming. Leaving the dried out shell of my past and embracing the now! Having dreadlocks has somehow given my spirit this great sense of confidence and strength that I didn't know I had in me.
Below are some pictures that show parts of my dread journey and the transformation that they have taken.
I knew that I wanted dreadlocks for a little more than 10 years before I finally told myself YES!
Being completely inexperienced in the makings of dreadlocks I naturally turned to the only source I knew about: Youtube.
There I was able to find many videos for DIY dreadlocks. While that did seem like a possibility, I preferred to have a professional make them instead of doing it myself. One of my favorite youtube dreadmakers, at the time, lived reasonably close and so I reached out to her with lots of questions and big hopes that she could be the one to finally make my dreadlock dreams come true. Then she sent me her prices.... and THAT was the end of that. There was no way I thought I could justify spending that kind of money on my hair. But I wanted dreads so badly that I could hardly think of anything else.
So it was back to Youtube, trying to figure out how to make my own dreads. I recruited a trusted friend, and 27 hours later (with both of us working simultaneously), I walked away with the BIGGEST smile on my face!
I FINALLY HAD HAIR THAT WAS AS FIERCE AS MY SOUL!
I quickly found out that I was in a little over my head though, and I wanted some professional help. My dreadlocks were already growing together after just a few weeks and I was nervous that I would soon have a mess that I could never undo. I sought the help of another local loctician who was very helpful with maintenance and correcting the mess I had made. The biggest problem I was having was with my sections. I had many sections that were very elongated and narrow. The amount of hair that was going into the dread was very small and a lot of the hair was being severely over-directed. As the months went on I had many moments of un-surety and battled with the idea of brushing out my dreads and starting over.
After about 6 months I was really struggling and feeling like maybe I had made a big mistake getting dreadlocks. I had several dreads that were, in my opinion, ugly. Some near the top of my head were large and bulky; they would hardly lay down on my head because the hair had compacted so much that the dreads became stiff and awkward. I had many lumps that I didn't know how to fix and my loctician wasn't doing anything about them either. I felt I had only one option available so I decided to brush out all the dreads on the top half of my head and had my loctician remake them. She re-sectioned my hair in a pattern that was much more even and consistent and used a back combing method to reset the dreadlocks.
It was about this time that I found my current mentor, Ann-Marie of Seienstyle. I absolutely fell in love with her work! Because my loctician refused to work with human hair extensions I was on my own to remake and attach extensions to my newly made dreads. I did my very best, though still a major beginner, and I was astounded at the different results that I had this 2nd time!
My dreads were longer, rounder, softer, but most of all my sections were so much better!
As time went on though I continued to be disappointed with several of my dreads and felt embarrassed whenever anybody would comment on my hair. I knew how beautiful dreadlocks could be when made properly and also that my dreads, despite all my efforts, looked very homemade. (Don't get me wrong, homemade or freeform dreads can be very beautiful! I personally had much nicer dread dreams for myself and was unhappy with the messiness I was experiencing.)
Over the next few months I decided to comb out the sides of my hair above my ears. Most of the dreadlocks in these sections were so thin at my roots that they felt like they would completely fall off my head! I was so worried that I started tying two dreadlocks together at the root to help strengthen them. To my surprise the roots and my new growth started growing together very nicely! The root tie completely changed the way my dreadlock was growing from my scalp! I observed the differences in these dreads for several weeks until I was convinced that I needed to cut my losses and begin my dread journey from scratch.
So after about 7 days of cutting out my extensions, a lot of conditioner and picking, I successfully un-dreaded my hair! (It's totally possible by the way!)
I drove two states away to the nearest Seienstyle Affiliate and had her remake my dreadlocks with human hair extensions and seriously the rest is history.
This is my second full-set of dreadlocks and I am so happy with them! It was worth all the crazy experiences to get here. And definitely worth the investment to have my dreads made professionally.