Dreadlocks Update Month 4

Well……

I couldn’t take it anymore.

Between the lint the locks were harboring, and the dirty looks I got from people who didn’t understand the process, I broke.

I also felt like the dreadlocks nazi when Samuel would play and do somersaults on the ground, and other games that would involve his head. He needs to be able to rough-house and not worry about his hair.

We will start up when he is a bit older and not so playful.

For now, we’re all having a great time finding out with his new long locks can do!

Dreadlock Update- Month 3

Mohave Tribe, Chief

We are going on month 3 of Samuel’s dreadlocks.

I don’t have any pictures to show you…but they started looking less and less like locs and more and more of the hair started coming out of them.

My friend who has dreadlocks told me that it is actually a good sign. They get worse before they get better.

I took it upon myself to retwist and backcomb all of them, and then apply locking gel. They starting taking form. Samuel couldn’t stop looking at himself in the mirror.

I was at the point this month of giving up, but I’m so glad we’re sticking with it. It takes time and I’m finally succumbing to that. I jut need to relax and let them do their thing.

Oh, but in my bout of desperation for dreadlock care in this awkward time,  I did come across some bizarre views of locs….

I found an extremely racist website where the writer actually said something along the lines of,  “white people shouldn’t wear their hair in dreadlocks because it is cultural theft.”  I refuse to give any traffic to their ridiculous website, so I won’t name where I found it.

First off, I think anyone complaining of “cultural appropriation” of hair are morons. It’s hair, people. No one gets the rights to it.

But, the comment I mentioned is just plain ignorant.It is one thing if you think the style looks better on certain texture-types of hair, but to think that the style is only Rastafarian is just really misinformed. Thousands of years before Haile Selassie was even born people (of every “race” imaginable) have been wearing their hair in locs. I guess you could argue the actual word “dreadlocks” is solely a Rastafarian word…but definitely not the hair style.

Honestly people….

Dreadlocks: Awkward Stage

I was reading that the beginning stages of dreadlocks will be okay, then you hit a very awkward stage.

It seems to be inevitable.

Samuel is fully in his awkward stage. Some people describe it as they feel they look homeless, some feel dirty, I feel like Samuel looks unkept.

It is to the point where all other aspects of his grooming is great, but if people see his hair they must think I am negligent of my child. And it is also at times like these where I see the leering judgement of strangers where I completely enjoy being confused for the babysitter. Hah, I feel like I’m off the hook a bit from jerky people who don’t know me.

Of course, I’m not being negligent (his hair takes me 30-45 minutes a day) it is just one of those things we have to wait out….like growing out bangs, only all over your head.

Today, I feel like there was some progress in his locking and growth. I washed his hair and put in Knotty Boy locking gel. instead of them still looking fuzzy and sticking straight up they started to have the slight appearance of “real” deadlocks.

Everyone keeps saying, “It’s a process…” It totally is!

We also have been maintaining his hair with aloe vera gel, but we decided that we like using dread wax better for the time being. We think aloe vera will be good when they grow out a bit.

Knotty Boy has a brown wax that works better for brown and black hair.

My Hair

So,  I think I’ve posted before about how much I love my hairstylist, Yanai.

He uses Ammonia-free french dye and if he needs to darken hair (which is never the case with me) he’ll only use vegetable dye.

He is also very thoughtful. He won’t let me come to him earlier than three months because of the fragile condition of my hair. He also says he prefers it if I only wash it once a week. At the most twice, unless something important comes up.

Well, the washing and waiting part has been tough. This trip to the salon I think he felt bad for me and told me to go out and buy some dry shampoo so I feel better.

Here is my greasy hair when I got to the salon:

Here it is midway through:

Whew, here it is after….

Dreadlock Update

Here is an update on our progress.

I’ve read dozens of different dreadlocks hair care blogs, from adults and from parents.

Everyone has a different routine! It seems like it is based completely on the hair-type of the person with the locks.

Our routine right now was based on what our loctician told us to do.

  1. No washing for two weeks
  2. nylon cap for sleeping
  3. Retwist and use Knotty Boy wax when you notice a lot of frizz.
  4. After two weeks, wash your hair while wearing a nylon cap
  5. after washing using Knotty Boy locking gel

It seems like the first few months of care for dreadlocks is extremely painstaking.

We have had to retwist and (sometimes) backcomb the roots every morning.

We use VERY little wax.

I remember before getting the dreadlocks put in the complaint I would hear the most was everyone hated using wax.

I now understand why.

Wax leaves a weird residue on your hair and I’m assuming after prolonged use it will cause odd buildup.

We have decided to search out an Aloe Vera product that is supposed to be amazing.

Until we get it here is our routine we are continuing the wax, and a few days ago I decided to use a ceramic iron to melt the wax into the hair. Wow, it worked! I found out later that the people who do like using wax often will heat it up with an iron to melt it in and it also helps the locks tighten and stay even. One man who had BEAUTIFUL dreadlocks said that he did this at the beginning of the locking process and he thinks that is why his locks look so well manicured.

Here is Samuel’s hair first thing in the morning:

Here it is after we twist and use wax (only the size of a small pellet) and the residue:

And finally, after we apply a ceramic iron quickly:

(Dread)locks!?

Samuel has an appointment to get his hear locked up next week.

His twists ended up getting messed up and we decided the next time we sit in a chair for three hours we want it to be more locked in than twists are.

What I did NOT know is that a lot of African Americans find the term “dreadlocks” offensive. Locs can be used, but dread is not okay.

Guess who else is getting locs? If you guessed me, you’re kind-of correct. The girl that is doing Samuel’s hair does dreadlock extensions (yeah, that word is going to be tough for me to get rid of) and I’m getting one (or maybe a couple) put in for fun. Samuel is excited that I’m getting some, too.

My hair right now is in rehab. I’m back to my hairstylist extraordinaire, Yanai Van. My hair was in such bad shape when he got a hold of it he gave me strict rules of only touching it up every three months and not washing it during the week. Yanai is one of the only stylists in the area that uses the French ammonia-free highlights….and even then he said mine would break if we did it too much. So hopefully when he sees my one or two locs he will not be too freaked out.

As for my hair during the week. It is kind of gross. Here is Samuel making fun of it:

Samuel making fun of my gross hair. it is okay if you want to laugh

I will keep you posted on our hair evolution.

 

Good Hair

Samuel’s hair has been the source of much thought and frustration.

It would have been easy to shave it, but I felt I needed to learn how to work with his texture and really know what to do with his natural hair.

He wanted dreadlocks so we started to grow it out. It started looking unkept and I felt like I was getting judged by other African American mothers when they looked at his hair (probably my insecurity speaking)…..

He needed about an inch or a half-an-inch more before we could go to a salon to have it locked up.

last night I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to try to do it myself because I didn’t want to pay $400 to get it done if it wasn’t long enough, and risk having to do it again.

So, here are my twists….I think it is pretty cute..

Hopefully it will grow in and start looking better. Parts of it were so short they had a mind of their own- so we just went with it.