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Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks (Pictures)

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Hello Otherbeasties! I know many of you have been waiting for this update to arrive and so here it is... time to talk about my dreadlocks being a year old! Back in June/July they celebrated their first birthday, so now officially in August I can post about it, no more waiting! So without further ado:

My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks





Left: Just showcasing a quick tied back style for when I start doing yardwork or it's hot outside. 

Right: Loose and in the sunlight. :)







Time really flew for me, if you'll remember my reason for dreading my hair was a commitment to becoming healthier, growing spiritually, and being a happier person. The journey is far from over... but the amount of personal growth in the last year was astonishing. I fully believe dreads really do something magical to people.





 They still like to do some crazy stuff, but mainly they're pretty well behaved for only one year old.









So, since putting my dreads in over a a year ago I've started eating clean - no processed anything - and started doing yoga or walking everyday, and because of those things I have lost a total of 60 pounds. Yeah. Don't believe me? Go back and look at the very first blog entry about my dreads: My Dreading Journey Part 1. 





 From the front and from the back.












Anyway! Thought I'd give you all an update with pictures! Ready? Okay. Well for starters they had shortened up quite a bit in between 6 months and now, but in the last couple months I've seen some length coming back. In fact my dreads now reach the bottoms of my shoulder blades.




 Just a little lefty and righty shot of the two different sides.












They've gotten wilder, crazier, loopier, nuttier, and more a part of who I really am. Anecdotal: I was just up in Austin visiting my family and friends when I decided to pop in on one of my best friends whom I've known since high school. When she saw me her face lit up and she said, "You found your hair!" That right there has been one of the coolest things ever said to me. I love her. <3


 In the shade versus in sunlight, as you can see my dreads are happy, healthy, clean, and shiny. :)

P.S. The reason they're two-toned is because I used to dye my hair and now it's growing out... so, it may look weird but I still love it.




Almost everywhere I go, I have at least one person complimenting me on them, asking me how I did it, as well as asking me if they're real. It's quite funny and I don't mind it in the least. I've become a happier person, a healthier person, and I love my dreads. Sure I miss being able to comb my hair and sometimes I glance longingly at women that walk by with silky smooth tresses, but right now this is me. Maybe I'll have my original silky straight hair back eventually - but right now, this very moment - this is me. And I'm happy.














Right: Just an up-close of several dreads.
Left: Two that I "love-hate" right now. Damn bumps.


 The real part? Well, I must separate my dreads during every shower because they like to stick together and start forming a monster dreadlock, but that's a sign of healthy dreadlocks. I also only use natural soaps on my dreads, meaning the good stuff made with lye and plant tallow, essential oils, and not much else. I really recommend Zum Bar Soaps from www.indigowild.com. They're fantastic and come in great scents like Lavender-Mint, Cedar, and Citus-Sandalwood.




Right now this is one of my favorite dreadlocks because it started out as a braid and has developed a sort of herringbone-like look to it, so I call it my Red Herring.





I also have this annoying genetically-inherited part in my hair at the back of my head that screams, "Look at me. Look. At. Me... LOOK AT ME!" So, I'm debating on how to disguise it... maybe by merging two dreads together. 

See it? I know you see it. Right there. It's shouting at you to stare at it, isn't it? 










This guy is absurd. It's literally a bubble of hair on the side of my dread... like a growth.
"It's not a tumor."



 Here's my Big Fatty. He hasn't changed much, other than entering his teen years and starting to lump and bump here and there. Whippersnapper.







Anyway, I'm not sure what kind of pictures you guys would like to see, or what angles, but feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer questions or snap photos that showcase certain features of my dreads.

So, there you have it. Dreadlocks at one year old! Thanks for reading Otherbeasties!


Until Next Time,
<3 Shade








My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3


Other Blog Posts About My Personal Dreadlock Journey:
  •  My Dreading Journey: One Year of Dreadlocks

22 comments:

  1. Your dreads look great. I started to let my hair dread naturally about 1.5 months ago. I think they're doing pretty well but some days I feel like they're starting to unravel again. I guess it's mainly because the top part is still mostly loose and it kind of looks just flat sometimes. I hope they'll keep developing as they have this far and perhaps one day I'll have dreads as nice as yours! Maybe I should give them a little help someday to fasten the process a bit. ^.^

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  2. Kadri, thanks so much for stopping by and reading. :) Hair will dread naturally if left to its own devices, so I'm sure yours will continue to tighten up and continue on their journey. There were many times where I believed mine were coming unraveled as well, but I just left them alone, and here we are today. About the only help I recommend anymore is palm rolling and separating occasionally, but do try and stay away from waxy products and crocheting. The only crocheting I ever do nowadays is to pull in wild loops, but I certainly don't attack my hair with the hook. Believe me, if I had it to do over again, I would have done it the completely natural way. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!
    <3 Shade

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  3. I love your writing, quirky humor, and wordsmith-ery. :) I am still forming my own dreads slowly. I'm backcombing and they are very small so it's taking me forever, but they are going to be awesome judging by my oldest. Keep on kicking ass!

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    1. Thanks! That means a lot to me! <3 Thanks so much for reading and good luck on your own journey!

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  4. I love your story you have going. Just curious, I'm looking to dread my hair soon, i was wondering how big your starting sections where?

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    1. I sectioned my hair in a fish scale pattern, each dread measuring at the base anywhere from nickel, dime, and quarter-sized for depth and variation. Dreadlocks are the best decision I ever made! I wish you the best of luck with your own journey!

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  5. hello!
    this place is awesome! i started one dread at the nape of my neck to represent the exact journey you embarked on when you started yours. your story and journey is a total inspiration and crazy how similar to me! i am working on eating clean, exercise and growing spiritually but i also have a 2.5y/o and 1y/o so my life is not totally my own :)
    i have been thinking about starting a starting a second dread in the same spot. i used the twist/rip method. that pic of Red Herring is intriguing!! how did you do that?

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    1. Hi. We share similar stories in regards to the journey. I started locking the bottom half of my hair a year ago and then finally completed the rest in September. I wish a few things. I wish I did it all at once despite the fear of what my friends and family would say... and I wish I just let them be, instead of doing whatever I had in my power to do to force it to lock faster and look neater. I feel the naturalness was taken from the experience. My (also self diagnosed) OCD kept pointing out imperfections. But due to my aspiring free spirited nature (I'm trying to stop freaking out and worrying about everything) Free forming for me is definitely the way to go. I am Biracial. (half black half white) my hairs curly but the texture and color looks like yours but I lost tons... Like TONS of length and fullness in the locking process because I was always tampering with them. Through my awakening I am also trying to find peace, contentment and good health. I quit smoking in May of this year. I know linger have the desire to drink "adult juice" or hang out with the friends I use to and I'm trying to eat better. I started at 180 and managed to make it to 165. I'm stuck now and would like some advice on moving forward cause I think you did an amazing job on improving yourself. I also found you on twitter. I'm @TheRight2Dream it's nice to know someone else is going in the same direction cause the people around me just think i lost my marbles. (smh, i didn't... btw) I'm gonna stop writing now, but it's nice to meet you. Your writing is very down to earth and easy to read... keep up the good work and the updates. Ttfn

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    2. @OP: Thanks for the awesome compliment! I'm so honored to be considered an inspiration! I'm thrilled that you're embarking on your own journey of healthiness, happiness, and celebrating life! Twist and rip is the least harmful method of starting dreadlocks (contrary to how it sounds) and I think a second one would start the "dread-bug bite." Lol. The red herring started as a braid and then started locking on its own into that pattern - dreads have a life of their own!

      @Tamara: Congrats on your journey so far! I, too, share so of that "need" to control my dreads, lol, but I've learned that mo matter what I do, they're going to do their own thing! They've helped me change for the better as a person, as weird as that sounds to some. :) I've lost some length but fear not, the longer they mature, the more they'll stretch back out. Congrats on the health gain and weight loss as well! Moving forward boils down to sheer willpower, digging really deep inside, and finding the strength to keep going. Personally, prayer has worked wonders for my continuing this journey, without God, I'd have failed a long time ago. Try not to care about what others think, your dreadlocks are intensely personal and belong to you, they're not for others to care about or judge... you're after your own happiness. Now is the time to chase it down and claim it. Good luck! Thank you for your kind words. Namaste.

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  6. Hello!
    I came across you blog when doing some research about caring for my dreadlocks and I would just like to say that your journey has been extremely inspiring for me. About 2 1/2 weeks ago I put 4 dreads in the nape of my neck. I wanted to do my whole head but put the 4 in as a trial run. After going home that weekend and hearing my family's outrage at my dreads I chickened out and left it at the 4. Ever since I've been going back and fourth, I really want to do more but I was afraid of what other people would think. After reading your story and hearing how many people comment on your dreadlocks and the transformation you went through after having them this last year I think I'm going to take the plunge and do the rest of my head this weekend. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    1. Go for it! Do what makes YOU happy. Best of luck!
      <3 Shade

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  7. wow i just read your whole "dread" stroy and i am pretty amazed by it.
    i was also thinking of getting dreads in order to mark my new "lifestyle" in beeing an living a healthy life.
    you gave me so much inspiration :D
    i hope i can stay as strong as you did and turn my life around :)
    thank you <3

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    1. You're so welcome. Thank you for reading. I wish you all the best of luck, you can do this... with or without dreads!
      <3 Shade

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  8. I know I'm late to the party, but I loved your story! I have a different story, and I'm not sure how it will end, but I am finding inspiration. The short of it...should anyone wish to read...In my mid 20's I wanted to get a nose ring. But, being a new Christian I was advised not to, since it might effect my witness. That desire never left. I've always been more into natural things. I've been into health for many, many years. And I wanted a natural lifestyle for my kids. Fast forward and I am now in my early 40's. Through some tough circumstances we have found ourselves in a group of believers who are really ministering to us and showing us the grace of God. That desire has started raging again, along with my newer desire to have dreads (had this for the past 5 years). I now have 8 children...no that wasn't a typo :-) My oldest two and I were talking about something and somehow saw, or mentioned something about a nose ring. I told them that I wanted one for the past almost 20 years. They were totally shocked. (In a good way). Then on mothers day, my second oldest (soon to be 15 years old!) gave me a 'coupon' for one nose piercing. How sweet was that?!? They really want me to go through with it, and I plan to...must get over some sinus issues first. Then my girls have seen me researching dread sites, how-to's. I actually made a wee baby dread on the nape of my neck, just to see what it would look like. Again, my girls are soooo wanting me to do it. My hubby? I think he will think I totally lost it! Ha, ha!

    Wish me luck,
    Kerri

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    1. Good luck, Kerri! I know that whatever you choose to do will result in your ultimate happiness; how wonderful to have such supportive family! Husbands will be husbands. ;)
      <3 Shade

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  9. I just came across your blog this evening. I enjoyed looking through all of your photos as you travel along your dread journey. I laughed when I read you comment, "annoying genetically-inherited part" in your hair at the back of your head. I have had dreads for quite a few years now, and I have that as well. Lol.

    Awesome blog.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading Darlene! I wish you the best of luck on your journey; let us know how it goes! <3 Shade

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  10. Love this blog. Gave me a reason to push and believe in myself. I believe dreads are strength. Thank you for your lessons and time. Hope to hear more soon...

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    1. Thank you very much for reading and finding the strength to believe in yourself; it may have been my words - a different source - reassuring what you already knew within. ;) I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Keep believing in yourself. I do. :)
      <3 Shade

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  12. Hello! Thank you so much for sharing your dread journey with everyone. Its beautiful and inspiring. My dreads are 1 month old and i wanted to ask you if you crocheted your dreads to get rid of all the loose hairs coming out of the dread itself, or do those eventually find they're way into the dread and smooth out? If you did crochet, how often would you do it? Also..how did you get your roots to tighten? Your dreads look amazing and congrats on the weight loss and healthy lifestyle change!

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    1. Hi Maddie! Thanks so much for reading! I don't encourage the crocheting method anymore as it is extremely damaging to your hair and your locks. Please see my entry called, "21 Little Unknown Things About Having Dreadlocks." This entry will explain a better alternative to crocheting as well as the science behind why crocheting is so harmful. Best of luck! <3 Shade

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