If you don’t know yet, I have dreadlocks, a full head actually with a little fringe in the front. I’ve never liked brushing my hair, never! It used to be the biggest fights in my house when I was little.
Relatives used to tell me I look like ‘Nina van Fila se kind.’ – Click here, you’ll understand. Just scroll down to the young blond girl….
I’ve had so many hairstyles over the years, being creative and trying to figure out what works for me. I am very grateful for my Parents that always gave me the freedom to do all the funny weird things that I did with my hair. I think my Poor father had to bite his lip a few times, and my Mom use to just tell me –
“Well you’ll have to explain to the teachers what you tried to do….”
Lol that was one morning before school after I dyed my whole head with Gentian violet
Me: “It washes out they said!”
Everything was purple, even my hands and ears! It’s actually funny – I got into the car with my Purple head, hair, ears and hands in my Bottle green school uniform pretending like nothing was different – I don’t even know what my Mom was thinking – Lol Mom if you can remember what was going through your mind, please Leave a comment.
I’ve had long hair, short hair, Brunette, blond, bad orange, covered up black and purple, red and now natural. I decided to get dreadlocks in 2013, I remember it, I was on Pinterest and I saw a picture, and it was like a light bulb went on, I’ve always admired people that have dreads, loved looking at their pictures. But it never accrued to me to get them.
Enter my very weird self-made-hippie-homemade-dreadlocks phase. Oh it was terrible. Hahaha just have a look at the pictures, it’s pretty self-explanatory! But I was a student, so who cared?! You see the one side, that is it, completely matted together, it was so bad, it looked like a little canopy when you lifter it up, But I wanted dreads so bad!
Never the less I pulled through. Then before my Wedding I made a change, I decided to cut them off. I think I was married for about 2 months and then I went full on with my Dreads. Again self-made-hippie-homemade-dreadlocks but a little better than last time thanks to Pinterest and my friend Liezl.
This is my very Good Friend Liezl, you’ve met her before, She was always doing her best to help me keep these guys neat, lol we tried our best, and we had lots of wine whilst doing it.
Then I saw this guy in a Chrome supplement store (He was Caucasian) – His Dreads were so long they hang on his Bum. Beautifully long and just beautiful. I followed him and stood behind him waiting for him to end his call. Then I asked him, with desperate big brown eyes,
“Please Sir, Where do you get your hair done?”
He gave me two numbers, and I got through to Mr Mofire Dreads!
This is Derric Adu – Better know as Mofire. He is a amazing artist and has a very good Heart. I love his smile and his eyes speak the truth. I’m so grateful for our paths crossing in life. He really is amazing and I would recommend his work to anyone looking to get dreads.
I was really nervous to meet up with him, I mean I don’t know the guy? My friend Jade went with me, she is such a good friend. Shame, it ended up taking the whole day and she sat there, even helping every now and then. Mofire was a little shocked at the condition of my Dreads, I think one of them was even Glued…. lets not go into that…
He traditionally uses the Crochet method. Now I tried to do it myself before, but it’s hard, and it hurts. It looks something like this –
I was so happy when he was done – It was a lot shorter than I thought because all the hair was so tightly locked. It looked better, much better. Initially I was a little disappointed in how much my scalp was showing, it formed a type of grid.
I must admit that is the one thing I don’t like to much about dreads but it goes away after a while when the dreads relax again after maintenance. But it is inevitable and your scalp does show. If you have thicker and more hair, make the dreads thin and evenly spaced. Because I did mine myself, the spacing was a little off-ish. But I’m sure if you do it correctly from scratch it would minimise it.
The dreads were tight, they felt like each one of them was an extension of my head, and whatever way I moved my head I could feel each hair follicle on my scalp move as well. It was soooo sore, like someone had been tugging at my scalp the whole day, which was basically what was happening. But Mofire does it really well, and does a good Job in not letting it hurt to much.
I kept a long fringe to help with the transition – basically to hide from people who are judgy and ignorant to somethings that are different. But what are you going to do, it’s part of our society to be judged and it’s frowned upon to be different.
It does take a lot of courage to be who you truly are, to dress the way you want and to live the way you prefer. I’m in no way blowing my own horn, but having Dreadlocks takes courage and commitment. And I’m sure that every Caucasian person that has dreadlocks can agree.
It’s just not part of my Culture – it’s not known to be, which I also understand – so I understand everybody’s point of view. With dreads you get a lot of questions and you should embrace them, use it to educate people.
Don’t get offended by their ignorance if you’re not willing to prove them otherwise. Just as you choose to cut, perm or colour your hair, I prefer to dread it. It works for me and my lifestyle.
This was the result the first time, My Cute little short dreads.
I waited about 6 months before I went again and on my second visit I cut my fringe, I wanted something different. It was also mainly winter, and I wasn’t running, so I didn’t need to wash my fringe that often. Again it hurt, but it’s worth it. It’s like people that wax, sure it’s the same thing.
We were in a local salon this time, so there was lost of people in and out of the Shop. I got allot of looks and stairs as this was a Black salon, and I wasn’t the normal client, for me it was exciting. I enjoyed all the interactions from everyone and the little children was the most intrigued by this white lady getting dreadlocks.
Two young boys stood next to me, just looking and saying something to each other every few seconds. They were really cute, I wish I understood what they were saying, The one boy slowly touched my hair and then they just laughed and quickly went to sit down. I think it was an experience for all of us.
I was very excited and my hair was actually going longer. Slowly but surly it was starting to take shape. In the one picture you can see how red my scalp is, but its ok, its not that bad the second time. One of the Ladies in the salon helped cut my fringe, again I was very Happy. I enjoyed the new style created by the added fringe, I also bought some wood beads to put in my hair. See the results below.
Dreads like normal hair takes a while to grow. Its been almost two years now, and its only getting nice and long now. I love it more and more everyday. It suits me so well, I don’t have to brush may hair or have the wind blow it around, it doesn’t get oily, static and I don’t have to ridiculously style it.
So I would like to answer some frequently asked questions:
- Can I touch your hair? – “Yes, as long as your hands are clean, I don’t mind.”
- Do you wash your hair? – “Yes, I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week, especially when I run”
- Are you a Rasta? – “No I’m not.”
- Are you a Hippie? – “No? I’m just me? – Not always sure how to respond to that one…”
- Where do you do it? – “in a salon with Mr Mofire”
- Do you brush your hair? – “You can’t really brush it, no, but you also don’t need to…”
- Is it your real hair? – “Yes it is my Real hair, I have two or three where the ends were filled up with extensions because my hair is very thin there. But it’s the same extensions everybody else uses, it’s just dreaded ”
- What happens when you don’t want it anymore? – “I have seen people remove dreadlocks, but your hair is really broken. I don’t think it is really realistic. I would just cut it off and be bold for a while – its hair, it grows back!”
This is how I Do:
Dandruff: Getting your dreads crochet is quite hard on the scalp, you get scabs and dandruff from having your scalp so exposed to the elements. It also gets itchy, so naturally you want to scratch – DON’T, just don’t. You will unleash a snowstorm of flakyness. Get yourself a shampoo that is scalp friendly. As natural as possible with as little chemicals as possible. I prefer baby shampoo and it does not leave any residues – but I have also read that it’s not the best option.
As an alternative I spray my hair and rinse my scalp with white Vinegar and lemon juice mixed with a little water. This helps to rinse away dandruff.
I’ve also read that baking powder in a little water applied to the areas dissolved the dead skin.
Yes its Eeeeeuuuwww for some people but you have to come to terms that when you have dreadlocks you’re not brushing your hair and in turn your scalp. This makes it difficult for the dead skin cells to go anywhere.
So just take good care of your scalp, and keep your routs neat. This is so true, my Dandruff usually flairs up when it’s time to get some maintenance done and my roots are too long.
Moisture: Having a moisturized scalp and dreads are important. If your scalp is dry, you’ll get dandruff, and if your dreads are too dry they will break off, the same way normal everyday hair breaks. Every few weeks I do a stay at home weekend. I get my pot of coconut oil and I moisturize my scalp. I massage it info my roots, and rub the excess oils that are on my hands on my ends.
I then wrap my hair up nice and tight, and let them just soak and take in the moisture, especially wrap up before you go to bed, otherwise your bedding will get full of Coconut oil. You will see your hair and scalp might absorb all the oil fast. Just re-apply, your scalp might need it more than you think. This is usually followed by n good wash. You also don’t want to moisturize too much, this will cause your dreads to un-lock. So just keep a good balance.
Maintenance: I do maintenance on my dreads every 6 months max, my hair is usually grown out about 5-6cm by then, but I play it by ear and might do it earlier if needed. It also hurts a lot, and I’m a little cry-baby so I prefer to prolong the time before I have to go through the pain again. It also takes the whole day- or at least 3 Hours, so finding the time to do that is a little difficult for me sometimes.
Wash-day: People laugh at me when I say things like “tomorrow is hair-wash-day” – but getting dreads dry is difficult, and it’s important to dry them properly, otherwise they can smell a little- well ‘Wet-dog-ish’ depending on the perfume in the products you use. But if you’re going naturally then the less perfume the better.
On wash day I start with spraying my dry or wet hair with the vinegar and lemon juice solution. I go to the mirror and get a nice sharp light. I inspect to see if there are any issues with regards to dandruff and then I know what area to concentrate on. Then I rinse my hair I massage every part, trying to loosen up any dead skin cells. I will then add a little shampoo to my scalp and the roots area – you don’t really want to soak your dreads in soup, so I’ll avoid that if I was you. Try to work up a good lather without making your roots untidy. This is quite hard as there is not lots of hair to make it nice and foamy.
But it will still work. I start at the top then I put my whole head upside down and I do from the bottom. Rinse your hair properly. You do not want any product build up, massage your scalp whilst you rinse. When you’re happy apply some pressure to your dreads to remove excess water. Try to stay away from dusty environments the keep you dreads clean. Take care of them.
Bed Time: When it’s time to go to bed I’m sure everyone has a different method. It is better to wrap your scalp to help you roots stay neat. I have tried this. Personally I don’t like it. But I do, do it the first week after maintenance to help restrict movement as my scalp is very sore. It is a good idea to tie them up, I have done that as well, all-in-all I prefer to have them loose, My poor husband gets wacked it the face every now and then, but I also wake up, not being able to move my head coz his arm is on my dreads. Lol, so to prevent this, maybe tie them up or Braid them. I love my Dreads for Bedtime more than normal hair just because they are not static, clingy, or in my face. Bliss.
I love my Dreadlocks, and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow more and more. Having beautiful neat dreadlocks is difficult and it is work to keep them neat and tidy.