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Archive for July, 2008

The Dreadlocked Mess Momster

July 15, 2008 19 comments

Don’t let anyone touch your hair or advise you on how to dread your hair unless you LOVE thier dreads.

Here is a current picture of mine:

***Disclaimer: This is a blog about my dread journey. I was misinformed, misguided and made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Here is what I went through and how I finally got on the right track. DO NOT USE WAX on your dreads. You can scroll down to the 8 week update to see where the wax removal/unbraiding/untwisting process begins. It was a total PITA. Then on October 14, 2008 I started from scratch going natural doing nothing more than keeping the locks separated.

So after a little over 3 years of wanting locks, I went for it.  For me, dreadlocks are more than just an alternative hairstyle that looks cool.  I originally wanted dreadlocks because I thought they looked cool.  Then I discovered that after a few months of maintenance I would be free from a world of having to do anything with my hair!  For me that was fabulous.  As my spirituality has grown over the past year, I found even more reasons to have my hair locked up.  I have dealt with struggles regarding my image for years.   Allowing my hair to control how I feel about myself is unhealthy and silly, at best.  I have never known what to do with it.  Most often I ended up with it braided or in a pony tail anyway, never satisfied and always feeling less like less of a person because of it.  This is my freedom from those ways of thinking, this is my emotional freedom, a display of my struggle and victory over this issue.  Yes, I came to win this battle in an unorthodox manner, but I prayed heavily about this and it just seemed right.

I’ll post regular updates (mostly for Mecca, the lady who started the locks for me).

Getting started
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Almost 1/2 way
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All done!
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1 week
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2 weeks
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3 weeks
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4 weeks
I have been taking these pics myself with the exception of a couple. I’ll have my hubby get some good shots to show the length to add.
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And because a few people asked, this is what I do before bed, every night. I wax my hair and wrap it up in a satin scarf. It’s not flattering at all. There are a lot of Miss Cleo and Chiquita banana jokes around here.
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So Mecca came by this weeks to lock up the new growth. There was almost an inch of growth in only 4 1/2 weeks! She busted out her crochet needle as I downed 4 200mg Ibuprofen. In less than an hour she was finished. I got the green light to stop using wax everyday and after 4 1/2 weeks I finally took a shower without a shower cap! I had forgotten how relaxing a shower can be. At this point I can wash it once a week. After the lock up next month I should be able to bump it up to two times a week.
1st follow-up lock up @ 4 1/2 weeks
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And after a shower
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5 1/2 weeks
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I tied it
Once out of necessity because I didn’t have a scrunchie or a clip (the 1st photo) and again just because I can…
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7 weeks
I’ve stopped the wax. It’s been about a week with no wax at all and things are getting shaggy. I’ve found that I still have so much wax in my hair though from the first month that all I need to do is palm roll the frizzies back into the dreads. I love that I can wear my hair down and not be hot. I was never able to wear my hair down before.
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8 weeks
Hello, I am a former candlehead. That is what the dreadlock community calls people like me who are unfortunate in having someone give us bad advice regarding wax and dreads. I recently learned that putting wax in my hair was counterproductive to establishing dreads. I also found out after spending over $200 that dreadlocks should never cost anything more than your time, patience, and commitment. Frustrating, yes. But there is hope. It’s been 2 weeks with no wax in the following pics. Ya dig how curly they are?
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9 weeks
Next week I will be making a wax removal concoction that is known to aid in wax removal. I will let it sit on my hair for 1/2 an hour prior to boiling my hair. The only way to get the wax out is to heat it up and melt it out. My husband helped me with boiling it once but it’s clearly going to to take some extra effort.
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10 weeks
Here some close ups taken with a really nice camera. I can’t wait to post pics after the wax removal this week!!
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Showing underneath
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Okay, so here it is a month later and it’s also the night of my 3rd dewaxing attempt…after the first round of dewaxing, which entailed me laying my counter top with my hair in the sink and my sweet husband pouring pots of boiling water over then length. I soaked the length of my hair in the pots of water in between pourings. Not much happened. My hair was softer to the touch but there was still a lot of wax in the twisted/braided parts.

An online friend recommended a concoction of baking soda, lemon juice and orange oil (with water of course) and I gave that a try. I mixed the ingredients up and covered my hair. My intentions were to let it sit for 1/2 an hour before rinsing but after 15 min my head was itching so badly that I felt like a rabid dog, I had to wash it out. Here are the results from those two dewaxings…

As you can see, the wouldbe locks are much loopier (which is a good thing)
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I also learned that the micobraiding and twisty crap that was done to my hair to help “start” the locks was completely counterproductive. I’ve come to terms with it and even though it takes anywhere from 45min to an hour to unravel one, I am slowly but surely taking them all down. The parts that are braided can never dread, it’s impossible. The braids will create weak spots in the dreads, and braiding isn’t dreading, can not help hair dread, and is an absolute mess with wax on top. Some friends actually are helping me from time to time, thank God because there are 57 locks.

So we had Margarita’s at Chipotle and some friends helped…
This is how I feel about my hair
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And here’s one just cause I think it’s a good pic
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I sit here now with the concoction on my hair once again. It isn’t itching nearly as bad as I didn’t put it on my scalp this time and I changed the ratios a bit. It’s been soaking for 20 min. In another 10 or so I’ll scrub the heck out of it and continue the unraveling. I cannot stress enough, NEVER let someone twist, braid or wax your hair to start your dreads!!! I’ll post an update pic tomorrow.

Okay, so after some massive untwisting and debraiding here’s an update.  Sometimes I’ll get started taking one down and have to stop (because I have a life outside of my hair) and I’ve found that the bottom half (which is undone) is already starting to dread!  So I am undecided as to wether or not I should undo the new dreading to reach the top half of the lock so I can finish the unbraiding…UGH!!

And to boot I am so caught up right now. Dig this – one of the major reasons I decided to dread up was to escape my self-image issues. I have had some really bad ones and done different things over the years to try to truly accept myself just as I am. To prove to myself that I can love myself and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I’ve even gone a year without shaving my legs in the past LOL Well, I never wanted to have to care much for my hair anymore. No more feeling ugly because of my stupid ponytail, fly-aways, naturally curly, oily hair, yk? But since all of the misdirection on my dread start I find myself obsessing over getting these stupid braids out, it takes so much time every day so I am always “fixing it”, and I look like a freak and I am back in a vanity trap. What I have taken from this is that I obviously needed to learn a few more things before I am truly freed from vanity.

October 14, 2008
This is where I started over from scratch – going natural with NO wax, no palm rolling – doing nothing other than keeping the locks separated.

Here are some pictures from today. I am having a friend wrap the locks that are completely unbraided because they are growing into every other dread and it’s way messy. Hopefully I’ll get them done tomorrow.
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Okay so it’s been a while since I last updated. I combined some lock bringing me from 57 of them down to 42. The have combined so well that I can’t even tell which ones I combined. I’ve removed the wraps that a friend put in place for me and having them in was so helpful in keeping certain lock separated and helped with the combining process as well.
Here are some pics with wraps…
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And now after much time with the wraps removed
6 months
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Time for another update!
The loose wispy ends are being sucked up into the dreads so I am expecting some major length shrinkage over the next few months.

Approx 8 months
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And another update – I am losing the wispy tips these days. I am 9 months in since I started over and here’s how it’s looking!
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Just another update…I’ve lost over 2inches in length in the last 2 months! Here it is around 10 months since I took the waxy braided mess out and went natural.
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And @14 months

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And at 2yrs and 3mos

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