photo by thea coughlin at squam art workshops
I get so many sweet endearing emails about dreamy dread heads to be...or already dreaded peeps asking me what product I put on my dreads or what my maintenance is. There are also these really cool dreadlock Flickr groups where we reach out to strangers and ask one another such things and support one another through this wild journey of knotted hair.
Yet there are some out there that don't have blogs, Flickr or Facebook accounts and this is why I wanted to share my story here, for those folks and also for those that are closet dread heads where no one in your life has any idea you desire these locks for your own head. You're that person working in an office with button up shirts and ties or Banana Republic suits but meanwhile you wish to walk in with knotted hair smelling like patchouli and lighting incense in your cubicle. ; ) Trust me...I was that girl once. This is for you too.
And for that darling anonymous commenter that continues to tell me on a weekly basis how boring and annoying my dread posts or dread photos are, need I remind you that this is my Dread Journey and this is my journal to which I share my life. Which means I will share about it here just like I shared my Fertility & Adoption journeys. That will include photos. Just like all the other dread head blogs I have been reading in the past. I longed for recent photos and details of their journeys. It helped inspire me and gave me strength and bravery for when I decided to take the leap. So, if it bores or annoys you, you might want to just stop reading because I will continue to do this with hopes to help others along the way the same way I was helped. I find those comments so odd (and I don't give them an ounce of energy, really) because it would be like me going into your home, opening up your journal and telling you to write something different. Funny how we would never do that in person but in this public space, hiding under anonymity, people feel more free to spread their negative opinions about you.
And I suppose this opens up an opportunity for me to give a shout out to that other anonymous commenter that continues to tell me on a weekly basis that I am not paying enough attention to my husband as I always talk about Cedar and my relationship with my son. My husband and I actually giggle at these comments, mainly because there is a very good reason I keep him out of most of my posts. My husband now works in education with hundreds of teenagers (some of whom read my blog) and he is more comfy with me keeping most things private or else he will get teased or feel awkward and that's not what I want to bring to my husband's work life. People who know me both on this blog and beyond this blog (especially those reading for years), know that my connection to my husband is deep and romantic and crazy wild in love.
After years of writing a blog, I move through these oddities so much quicker than in the beginning. I am now moderating comments and deleting ones with negative, cruel energy as I want this space to always be a positive and safe space to land for all who come visit with kind intentions.
Okay, wiping hands of such things and moving onto dread goodies...
I wanted to post the most recent photo of my dreads taken last week at Squam by my frister Thea. I like how it is a close up and also shows what I am dealing with right now..."fly aways and fuzz!" At first I sort of freaked out about it. I was so used to the tightness of my dreads when they were first crocheted and I recall my dread stylist telling me "there will be a time when they begin to unravel and get fuzzy and it will be an adjustment period for you.". Most clients that live close to her make an appointment when the unraveling begins if they so desire (some really dig the fuzz right away and don't want it to be fixed). I don't have that luxury since she is all the way in Portland, an airplane ride away for me. So, I am currently planning a maintenance appointment sometime in November when another dear blog friend is getting her dreads. We thought it would be fun to coordinate these appointments and make a girl-fest out of it.
This maintenance appointment will consist of her tightening my roots (because they've grown out a bit) and crocheting in the long pieces of fly away hairs that have completely come out and working back in the fuzz wherever I want it tucked in. All done with none other than a crochet hook (no products).
That's the other thing...since I have crocheted dreads, I don't use wax products like other dread heads do that used products/backcombing in the very beginning to create their dreads. The products I use are only made of essential oils, water and aloe vera gel. This is just my personal preference. Some really love the other way of creating locks.
I started using Dr. Bronners Lavender Castille Soap but what I noticed was that it left behind some residue and I started getting little soap flakes on my scalp and dreads. It also made my scalp more itchy. Not very sexy... at. all. This may not happen to others as my dread stylist LOVED Dr. Bronners but it didn't work for me and the texture of my hair.
So, my husband ordered me some Dread Soap from Dread Head HQ and I love love love it. I notice that not only does it not leave behind residue but my dreads have felt tighter and cleaner.
To make my dreads feel soft and smelly good, I use the following essential oil sprays:
- Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Mist in Patchouli & Sweet Orange (got at Whole Foods)
- Knottyboy Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray (for itchy scalp and dry dread relief)
My hubs also bought me Knottyboy Locksteady Dreadlock Tropical Tightening Gel. I have only used it on one dreadlock to test it and noticed a wee bit of a difference but wasn't sure about how my dread felt a bit hard rather than soft. I may have put too much on. It says to use a teeny bit.
And just for fun...must show you the basket hat Boho Boy bought me for my birthday. It fits my dreads so well. That was one thing I missed at Squam, was a hat for my head when it was freezing in our cabin at night (hat didn't arrive in time for my trip). It is the perfect hat to wear this Winter, dear dreadies. Here are a few more lovelies for your pretty heads as well.
This is where I have purchased some dread beads. Beads are so fun. I take them out when I shower but put them back on different dreads when I feel inspired. Some leave them in at all times. I like to change it up a bit. My husband bought some more gorgeous beads for me here.
It warmed my heart when I was approached a few times at Squam by some lovelies that wanted to share with me they understood why I did what I did. They got that getting dreads for me was so much more than a change of hairstyle. That I had been associating my beauty with my long flowing hair and have been hiding behind it a bit. It was absolutely refreshing to walk around Squam and not care what my hair looked like or not spend time making it look lovely. I am hardly consumed with my hair now and I can put my energy towards heart things. It is also so many other things to me but I have already shared it all here before.
Well, I hope this helps. It has been fun getting in contact with dread lovelies all around the world and sharing the wisdom and emotions and the support. It is an interesting and unique process to go through and it so helps to not feel alone. That may sound dramatic but truly...having a bunch of knotty ropes on your head can really bring up some interesting stuff people! ; )