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Dreadlocks
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March 19, 2011
11:17 pm
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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So, I went ahead and did what I've wanted to for the past almost six years. I dreadlocked my hair. The process, really, takes months, even beyond that of twelve depening on your hair. The initial process took about 6-8 hours. I did them yesterday, and decided that with my dreads I would also quit smoking and drinking. So I got dreads and got clean too. Has anyone else ever had dreads? If so, any tips?

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 20, 2011
3:52 am
Oakbear
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Loads of useful bits here…. http://www.dreadlockssite.com/), as it makes new dreads look good, but you can easily over do it.

Make sure you wash them regularly though, and use a non residue shampoo. Dreadhead also do agood one. I'd avoid an oil based shampoo myself, as it loosens forming dreads.

 

Good luck and hang in there!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 20, 2011
9:27 am
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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I actually used the dreadheadhq products to start mine. :]

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 21, 2011
2:57 am
JMcCauley
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Thats awesome you decided to have dreads and that you are using that opportunity to get rid of a few habits. There is a lot of folklore about dreadlocks and that hairstyle has been worn from the beginning of time and has been found in every culture. It is said that dreadlocks are antenna and make you more in tune with your senses. I believe this to be true. I did notice a difference in myself immediately when I started dreading. I dreaded my hair by neglect and it took about 2 years before they started to mature. You really grow attached to them and over time. I could tell you about each and every dread on my head. One of the hardest decisions I had to make was to cut them off. I still regret it. Maybe someday I'll have them again. The first six months you will feel like your loosing an uphill battle but don't get discouraged, they have to look bad to look good. Some tips I have would be: Clean at least every 4-6 days if not more. Tea tree oil or jojoba oil are amazing for itchy scalp. A good sea salt soak once a month helps to keep your hair really dry so it will lock better and tighter. And contrary to popular belief, hats do not help dreading. Your hair needs to move freely to tangle and knot. If its held in the same position all the time, you just have cool looking bed head. Good luck and congrats.

March 21, 2011
9:44 am
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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I'm washing my dreads every three days for now, I'll move it to every two days in a few months when they're more mature and not so delicate. They honestly don't look too bad thus far, and I'm only on day 3. Thanks for the ideas, the sea-salt soak sounds good. I'll have to look into it some more.

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 22, 2011
4:17 am
Oakbear
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Washing can actually help as long as you use the right soap. A spray or rinse of saline after will help too.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 27, 2011
3:00 pm
bettyrage
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While I know next to nothing about dreadlocks, I admire them tremendously. I've always wanted them but feared getting them because I'd look really bad bald if I had to shave them out one day. Good luck with them! I'm very jealous. Laugh

March 29, 2011
1:12 pm
Jamesryan
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Bad News- I had to take them out! The girl that did them messed them up, so I had to brush them all out and I ripped out a good bit of hair. So, now I'm waiting for my hair to thicken up from all the loss that occured to redo them. :(

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 29, 2011
1:13 pm
Oakbear
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DohYell!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 29, 2011
1:21 pm
Jamesryan
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EXACTLY. hahaha. Yell<— perfect smiley for the situation. It's alright though, she didn't mean to do it. She was just being lazy, and for that I did have a bit of a grudge against her because of how much the dreads meant to me, but we're friends and I forgave her for it.

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 29, 2011
1:23 pm
Oakbear
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How did they mess up? It's pretty hard to do!

If you head this side of the pond i'll start them for you!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 29, 2011
1:24 pm
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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She worked the wax too deeply into the core of the dreads and it tangled the rubberbands into them. It wasn't a pretty site when I discovered it. Next time I'm doing it, I'm doing it all naturally using sea-salt and aloe rather than unnatural products.

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
March 29, 2011
3:02 pm
Oakbear
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First time i did the wife's we used too much wax. Wax if only suitable for afro hair ime.

Not used aloe but surely that'd moisturise it?

Backcomb, palmroll and patience.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 30, 2011
2:55 pm
JMcCauley
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That suck you had to cut them already. Had you given any thought to naturally growing your dreads? I tried a few different methods when I first started dreading and each time I had to cut off and start again. The I just said f-it and didn't do anything I wages my hair daily, dried it with a towel and that was it. After about a month, the knots started. It's a much longer proccess and I had to accept that my hair was going to be crazy for any function I had to attend. It was about a year when the started looking really good. Watching the dreads come together over time was really cool and it made me feel that I had earned them. I always that natural dreads looked better too. At any rate. Sorry you had to cut them already. Hope you can start a new set soon.

April 4, 2011
2:59 pm
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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I'm going to be restarting them by the end of the year. I want my hair to grow out a bit more first.

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
May 11, 2011
4:28 pm
MommaBlackLabel
Topeka, Kansas
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I had dreadlocks for several years and still miss them from time to time, but they just aren't right right now and when I started them, there was a sense of being on autopilot. It was sort of urgent and sort of ….. "this is just what I am supposed to do right now" Kind of feeling… like taking a leak. I didn't use any product. I just ratted my hair. Which was pretty short at the time.  I would also like to mention that I have thick hair. Caucasian, but thick, so the ratting fattened up pretty quick. I work a lot of hats and headwraps, which seemed to speed up the whole matting process. I tried to do the constant back combing that I had read somewhere, but all I was doing really was tearing my locks apart all the time. So, leaving them alone worked best for me. It was a practice in…. finding something else to worry about other than my hair and how it looked and what was going on with it. the whole dreadlock time was very paradoxical for me. I was doing this thing- that was sot of extreme and very visually striking and that involved getting a different mindset about it.  I had read somewhere that locks help you hang on to the energy that is yours. I felt that they would help me ground within myself. The whole experience was everything i had hoped for. When I cut them off it was like one day I woke up and it was just hair and I didn't need it anymore. I didn't have to shave my head,  I just stopped knitting the roots. My hair still grew out of my head normally and I would feed the lock back through the roots over and over so there would be some base knotting or tangling to build on. If I didn't do this for a few weeks, I had a few inches of straight, untangled hair. When I cut them, I cut where the lock met unlocked hair.

What I miss is the look of them and the weight. There was something comforting about the extra weight and the subtle change in my posture and demeanor that followed. They were also  an awesome place for holding paintbrushes or pens! I still have several of the things that I wore in them. My favorite is the hollow bit of reed that I found in the ocean, which is a big deal for me because I am extremely landlocked.

I'm really glad you brought up his topic, because I guess I had sort of blanked that out as a kind of body modification and how important the whole process was to me.

In closing… I washed my baby dreads with dish soap. It causes fibers to felt, which is what you're going for. After about a year, they were really solid and I could really really wash them again. Dying them was weird, took a ton of dye and wasn't worth the hassle. I never used rubber bands because they rot, or wax because it collects gukk. And some of mine were solid and about the width of a pencil.People would ask me to take my hair down al the time and would ask how I got them so small. People who knew me when I had them can't quite understand how I got my hair to do that. It was just what needed to happen at the time. Like taking a leak.

July 10, 2011
8:18 pm
faithlessfate
NYC
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Motherland, that was a beautiful story.

 

I've felt like I've needed locks for a long while now, but as I've lived on and off with my conservative parents, it was impossible. My mother has said she would shave my head in my sleep or kick me out if I grew dreads, as she feels they're unclean(no matter how many times I've tried to explain the contrary).

 

I also happen to think caucasian people look absolutely beautiful with locks, and I look forward to my upcoming wedding and moving-out process when I can finally begin the process.

 

I have extremely fine, thin, straight hair, and my attempts at braids(cornrows and box braids) to mimic the look have had varying degrees of success looks-wise. What I /did/ learn, however, is that if I braid my hair and then take it out a month later, my hair has become extremely thick and wavy in the process, and realized that would be extremely conducive to backcombing at that point. I'm going grey at this point in my life, slowly but surely, and I hope to have locks before I go completely, so my locks can age with me.

 

Keep the faith.

July 11, 2011
6:57 pm
lmoseman
Cleveland Heights OH
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My babies are going to be three on November 5th. As what Oakbear said, it just takes patience.

For years before I got them, I dyed my hair regularly and had multiple styles every year. I was younger, so I was constantly changing, as was my hair. But as I got older, I got tired of the constant changing – when you've been doing it for so long you eventually feel ready to "settle down". 

When I hit the first year marker, I actually started to have dreams, and even nightmares, of having normal hair again. One of those dreams, the last one I had after the two year marker, made me wake up in a panicked cold sweat.

As others have said in this thread, you grow incredibly close to them, they all have their own personality, some even have names (I have a Mr. Nubbs and a Gustav :) ). People who knew me before I first got them shaped, and even those who didn't know me in those days, all say that they can't imagine any other style on me. My dreads, as well as my modifications make me feel so complete. One day they will be gone, but I don't doubt it will be many years until that day comes.

I did the neglect process, then a combination of Backcomb, Palm Roll, Crochet (not the needles, by hand), and Rip/Split and Twist for shaping. When they were first shaped I used wax, but haven't used it since. I used to use Knotty Boy products, until I realized they just made them incredibly greasy. I now only use Doctor Bronners Soap, the Lavender is wonderful Laugh. For extra umph and tightening, I use organic Aloe Vera bar soap, and lather each dread individually. They smell wonderful after an Aloe Vera rub. On the note of rubber bands, up until 6 months ago I was still finding the little shitheads in my dreads.

 

And, in response to faithlessfate, I had been telling my mom since I was twelve that I was going to get dreads and piercings and tattoos, all sorts of things that I have now. Just let them understand that it's something important to you and something that you feel you need to do. My mom understands (though after years of trying to make her understand) what my modifications mean to me. And though I'm not her "perfect" little girl anymore, she respects my reasons. She hated a lot of my modifications when I first got them done, even though I'd tell her I was going to do them, but she actually confessed to me not long ago that she thinks my dreads are beautiful.

Perseverance, patience and pride. Laugh 

July 11, 2011
7:02 pm
faithlessfate
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My mother has accepted many things about me over the years, but this is one she will not abide.

 

I'm 31, and my mother has her mind made up about it. *shrug* I'm not really worried, when I move out again, and I feel stable, I will begin locking my hair.

 

Keep the faith.

July 14, 2011
2:32 am
gaugingbeauty
somewhere in middle america
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Aww Faithless, I know how you feel!!! I cut all my hair off when my beautician graduated from college, n I didn't know anyone else who could straighten n style my hair. Upon doing this, my mum flipped! She threatened to shave my head if I dreaded. But, as it turns out, I'm naturally curly, so I didn't dread. At our ages, sometimes you have to just chuck it n get written out of the will!!!
Good luck with it!

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