Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Dreadie Experience

Eight years ago I got the idea to dreadlock my hair. I had really wanted dreads for a while, and I loved dreads on other people. I had just met Justin that Summer and we were quickly becoming very close buds. He had dreads, gorgeous long dreads, and that only made me want dreads even more.
So I trusted a friend who assured me that she had put in dreads for several people to put in my dreads. Unfortunately, they .. to say it nicely .. weren't done quite as nicely as I would've hoped. They were kinda hideous. But I loved having dreads. After the mess was done I began doing research and finding sites about dreadlocks. ~ Lesson Learned - ALWAYS do your research FIRST!!! That, and if you're interested in dreadlocks do yourself a favor and head over to - they've got lots of info & products to help you out!

Anyway, eight years later and the bug bites again. Actually make that 6 or 7 years later as I did a friend's dreads a year or so ago and that put the seed of desire in. My brother in law was growing out his hair with the intention of putting in dreads and so we agreed to do each other's dreadlocks when our hair was long enough.
A year or two later, he's cut his hair off and I decide I simply can't wait until my hair is long "enough". ~ For those not familiar with dreads, your hair can & will shrink up .. a lot!~
So I talked it over with Justin. I talked it over with a good friend. I had made up my mind and just needed a little reassurance (don't want a bangs crisis on my hands, ya know?). Since we had court on November 23rd (blog on that coming soon), we agreed it would be wise to wait until after that.
I made an appointment to have my hair sectioned into roughly 1" squares by my hair stylist. This could've easily been done at home but I thought I'd spare Justin the hassle and reassure myself that we were starting with a good base. I also ordered the following from DreadHeadHQ: locking accelerator, dreadlock shampoo, lock peppa (the best stuff EVER!!!), a loose tool (for wrangling in loose hairs), a dreadlock comb, and tiny rubber bands for the initial sectioning. Justin and I each had our wax leftover from our previous dreadie days so I was all set there.
I also ordered a crocheted headband off of an awesome gal at etsy. Since I don't have a photo of me in the headband yet, I'll just give you this link to it on her page: (Thank you Grace!! I LOVE my headband!)
So .. here is a photo journey of my dreadie adventure so far:

This is me, pre-dreads. Obviously this photo was taken over the Summer. I'm not exactly wearing tank tops in this chilly weather!! Anyway, this is pretty much what my hair was looking like before the dreads.
I didn't get a photo of my hair sectioned off before we began dreading it. I should've, it looked pretty silly. ~ Dreadie Lesson ~ Be prepared to look downright goofy at times. ~

Here I am, partially dreaded. In this photo I look more dreaded than I am, but if you look closely you'll see a lot of it is just sectioned off hair. This photo was taken on Black Friday.

The back of my head on Black Friday. You can really see that most of it is just sectioned off hair.
Saturday morning. Remember the stated Dreadie Lesson above?? You're gonna look goofy at times. Just try to own it and you'll get through it.

My dreads are skinny and little, which looks better (at least on me) than trying to start out with big, phatty dreads. It also means that dreadlocking takes a LOT of time. Admittedly we did take a long time-out for the Tech/UVA game on Saturday, but we didn't finish until late Saturday night. Justin put in most all of my dreads, and at final count/estimate I have between 70 & 75 dreadlocks on my head now.

Finally done, November 27th.

From the back they're looking real good. We were both proud & impressed.

And here I am, a dreadie Mama Taney. I can not begin to adequately express my gratitude to Justin for spending the hours it took to put these babies in. I am eternally grateful, even if my head was sore as hell afterwards. I'm especially grateful because I know he'll be there to help me maintain them along the way. Dreads are a journey. I'm officially on day 2 of that journey.

PS ~ My ultra-cool and supportive mother (who not-so-secretly hates dreads) gave me a dreadie bead for my recent birthday. I put it in this morning. I love it. I love her for her support.


StarCarver said...

That's pretty cool. I thought about dreads a long time ago, but I have very short hair.

Carrie and Justin said...

StarCarver - I don't know just how short your hair is, but you really only need about 3" overall length to start dreads.
I really wanted to wait until my hair was "long enough" for dreads because I didn't want short dreads. Then I came to the realization that it would likely never be long "ENOUGH."
Seize the day, you never know how many of those you've got left!