Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dreads: The Myths, The Loves, The Feared

Mike and I were sitting around the other night and while fighting with one of my dreads (I named it Wench because no one wants a Wench in their face 24/7) that didn’t want to stay in my loose ponytail I asked him:
“Do you think I should give up and brush them out? I’m going to be in the lame stage for another 10 months.”
He replied:
“Absolutely not. You’re going to keep them because I know you’re not a quitter. You should actually write a blog about them and explain this part of your Journey.”
So that boosted my confidence even as a bit of the medusa rag fell in my face…again. So here I am a few days later finally expressing my love, hate, and newly found information with you.

Before beginning my ‘Journey’, as the majority of the dread community call it, I was in a bit of a state trying to figure out everything from where we were staying after we arrived wherever were going to what was for dinner the next few nights. Then a thought hit me; when was my next full shower going to be?! I’m talking in terms of when we finally left this house and were on the road. We have an itty bitty shower in the RV, but nothing spectacular and I would waste a ton of water to take a full shower washing my hair. Our plan so far was to stop at gyms, RV parks with his and her baths and etc.,. But with my hair being a half curl, half wavy mess most the time it produces more oil than most people and I have to wash it every day otherwise it looks like a begoggled week old hair do. My luck. Then as scrolling through Facebook I found a gorgeous girl with beautifully full colored dreads. Right away I thought, “cool”. I knew nothing about them though, hence where my research for the next month began; because if it’s one positive thing I’ve learned from the past, it’s if your going to do anything physical altering, life changing, or even adding a new pet to your life you better do your research a bit before making that final decision. Dreads were going to be a physically altering and even life changing decision the more I read about them.
So to kill a few common myths about dreads that previously I even thought to be true that most the public still is ignorant about:
  • Dreads are Dirty
    • In order to properly ‘lock’, dreads must be clean. I’m talking at least a wash once a week, although I wash mine twice a week, and they are easier to wash than you think. I basically take a special Dread non-residue bar of soap to mine, and palm-roll it along. Squeaky clean.
  • People who have Dreads are dirty
    • Once again, no. Of coarse not all people are the same and some are, but for the majority, this is a false. Like stated above, to even have nice dreads they MUST be kept clean. And I take a lovely daily shower thank you very much. Leg shaving – optional.
  • Ignoring your personal hygiene is the only way to get dreads
    • Faaaalse. Although the neglect method is one way to get dreads, it’s not the most used nor most trusted since they can come out not how you want them what so ever later on. Plus it takes forever to get results this way, and many people I know just don’t have this kind of patience.
  • All people who have dreads are pot heads
    • With the exception of many college kids going through their ‘Marley Phase’ , not every dread head is a pot head. Many do it for religious reasons, personal reasons, style, and many more I’m coming to find as my research continues with my fellow Pineapples.
  • Only black people can have dreads
    • Now to hit a somewhat sensitive topic to some (get over it already and be human lol); Dreads are not the black communities hairstyle. Although it’s highly used among them, dreads have been used among the Romans and even Egyptian royalty. They’ve been around for thousands of years and they are a human style. Case closed.
  • Dreads require much maintenance
    • So this one is kind of running against some peoples opinions that since they are dirty the person does not touch their hair. Although there is maintenance needed to get decent dreads, there’s a lot less work than having flowing straight hair of the ‘basic girl’.  And the older they get, the less you have to touch them.
  • You have to shave your head when you’re done with your dreads
    • Falsity. False, false. You can of coarse do this way, but it’s not the only way. You can cut them shorter to about 3– 4 inches and soak them in conditioner and then brush them out leaving 4 – 5 inches of hair. Or you can take 5 hours of brushing them out after soaking in your chosen conditioner if you really love your length.
  • Using any sort of sticky product to get your dreads started is the way to go
    • No, no, no, no and noooo. Stay away from bee’s wax, peanut butter, Shea butter, candle wax, hair gel, honey, toothpaste, and mayo. I really don’t know what went through these people’s minds when they decided to try half of these items in the process. But although they work for the first day – the next few days and weeks are hell until you realize you have to wash that mold and bugs out while using food products. Everything else like waxes and toothpaste make the dreading process come to a halt. The hair won’t lock and you’ll just end up with nasty build up. Using the neglect, backcomb, crochet, and twist and rip with out the use of most products is the way to go. Using sea salt spray is one of the few things if anything else that you should use for the locking process.
  • Anything your salon or near by beauty store has on its shelves for dreads will work for dreads
    • Usually it’s a bunch of crap they try to get newbs to buy that didn’t do their research. Annnd they usually end up making a ton of money off idiots. Not saying all of it is bad; there are some good products.

So there’s my myths rant. I hope you’ve been a bit edu-ma-cated on the subject of dreads. A few other things is that they take a long time to ‘Mature’. Being mature is when the dreads are past the majority of the lame frizzy ‘I want to shave my head’ stage; in which is the stage I’m in right now. Depending on the methods you use, your hair, and the way you take care of them it takes about 12-24 months to mature. I’m only in week 7; Yaaaaay! This length of time is usually why the dread community call it a Journey. Many learn patience in the process.

As for my reasoning to enter this Journey:
  • The showering situation. My dreads look great for a week without washing them, but start to itch from oil build up after day 3 so I usually don’t go past that.
  • Going through the stages of intense vanity the past few years trying to compete with every basic college girl in this town and Jennifer Aniston on the cover on every magazine, I decided to drop from the race and make a statement while doing so. Here’s to all the ignorant people who put down what they don’t know, not because they simply don’t know it, but because they chose not to educate themselves before making false accusations and demanding we all be cookie cutter cyborgs.
  • I’m awkward and have always loved putting strings, different colors, and beads in my hair. Dreads just work perfect for all of that.
  • Obviously the low maintenance. It’s worn beautifully as a pony or days I feel like replicating a pineapple.    

Here are a few of my pictures/styles of week 6:

The Side Tail

The Princess Dre'Leah

The Classic Tail

The dread bun (my fav so far)

And the Screaming Tunnel of Dread
Not too awesome yet since my locks are somewhat still short

And a few lovely ladies that have dreads worth wishing over (if anyone knows any of them please let me know so I can give proper recognition!):

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