Notes from Aj on dread life...
I make fast decisions when it comes to my hair. I have never worried or contemplated the things I do with it. The reason for this is that my mother is Asian and my father is white. I somehow hit the genetic jackpot when it comes to my hair. I have strong resilient hair. It is thick and I have a ton of it (my mother’s hair). However, my hair is very curly and coarse as well (from my father). So my hair is thick, curly, strong, and I have A TON of it.
To put in perspective the lack of thought I put into my hair, I have a story for you.In 2014 I was living in a home with twenty other teenage girls. I was 13 and my father came down to visit me from O-town. We got to spend roughly four hours together, and I wanted to get my hair dyed. It was a Sunday, all the salons were closed, so we drove to target and I bought blue and purple box dyes and a mirror. I totally dyed my hair in the target parking lot and rinsed it in a sink! I looked beautiful!!
So the dreadlocks...
I had a week before I started my sophomore year in high school. Somehow I found a collage of beautiful dreadheads on the internet and decided I was gonna be one of them. I spent almost an entire day reading about the best methods to start dreadlocks and what type of shampoo I needed. It took me three days to get my dreads in and I worked nonstop.
This was when I first got them and was like "IMMA PUT ALL THE THINGS ON THEM" I actually had a few old coins in them as well (don't put things in your hair when you are watching Pirates of the Carribean)
On the first day, I was walking into the school and some rando chick walked up to me and she put both her hands on my hair and said, “Oh my god, I love your hair!” I did not find this okay at all, and I just looked at her in shock. I mean I get it that she thought they were cool, but still.
Dreadlocks seemed to make all types of people gravitate to me.
I met several people on my trips to the laundromat. There was some dude who just plopped down next to me and asked about my dreadlocks. He had said he had some but had to shave them off. He asked if he could smell them. So that seems really weird and bizarre, but I had been asked that a few times a week when I had my dreads. I now have a strange immunity to strangers asking to smell my hair.
Of all the people who felt this desire to talk with me, dreadheads were not one of them.
I did not and still don’t have this burning desire to talk to random strangers because they have dreadlocks. Its as if we all had this mutual understanding of the repetitive conversations we had to have every time we ran into someone feeling giddy enough to chat with a dreadhead.
People asked a lot of questions about my dreads like how I got them in, if and how I washed my hair, how long I had them, etc. For the most part, I did not care, but people would ask why I had them… “Um, why not. I mean the pharaohs in ancient Egypt had them, Monks had them to express their disregard for vanity, Rastafarians, Vikings and why the hell not? They’re fun!” (Please forgive me if I missed a culture)
I am not the most social person in the world, but if there are two students in the entire school with a full head of dreads people are bound to notice you.
For a bit, I worked at a movie theater and the people I encountered while there were some intense characters. There was an older couple who once came in and I remember them looking at my hair and the woman was mesmerized by them. She asked me what they were, how I got them in, how they stayed in. Her reaction was one of the first positive interactions I had about them, save rando chick (if you could call that a positive interaction).
They grew at a decent pace, considering they are dreadlocks.
I got rid of my dreads about a year and a half after I got them.
I did not get dread rot, they were clean healthy dreads; however, my scalp was not very happy. I had gotten a scalp infection because I have a weird scalp condition, that I had not known about, it's basically like really bad scalp eczema but in your hair (I forgot the name of it like two minutes after my dermatologist told me). I have a prescription shampoo and topical cream I have to put on my scalp every night.
I didn't get my scalp problems from my dreads I just moved back to Utah and my skin and scalp decided they hated the dry air. I was going to brush out my dreads (which is possible), but I got two done in an hour and said “fork that noise” so they made their way to the garbage can in half the time. After a few touch ups my hair was two inches long and I had a bit of an afro going on.
The day after I cut my hair this kid in the hallway ruffled my hair and was like "Hey, you cut your hair." Do Not Touch Me!!!!!!!!
I loved my dreadlocks and they were so much fun. I wish I could have kept them, but I guess we can't all get what we want.
Just an Update:
I cut my dreads in March of 2018 and I am writing this in October of 2018
My hair has grown 6 inches in the past seven months! It's like a weed.