Can I let you in on a secret? Although I absolutely love the look of dreadlocks, I don’t have the patience nor the commitment necessary to grow them. It’s true—I’ve tried four times so far and no matter what I do, about six months into the locking process, I simply wash out my dreadlocks and do something else with my hair.
Still, every so often, I get tempted to try again. As you can probably infer, I am flirting with the idea right now hence this post. Want to flirt-with-the-idea along with me? How about it? Today, let’s talk about dreadlocks! First, I’ll share with you a little of what I’ve learned on my previous four dreadlock journeys, including what I know about how to retwist your own dreads and then you, by leaving a comment on this post, can share what you know about growing dreadlocks. Let’s get started!
What’s Your Motivation?
First things first, let’s talk about the motivation to grow dreadlocks: for those of you who sport dreadlocks (or have done so in the past), what was your main reason for beginning to grow them? Was it simply about fashion, or did you have a deeper, more meaningful reason to start growing locs?
For me, the very first time was because I was going through some sort of phase. I was at university and was simply tired of all the effort that we women were going through to alter ourselves and our appearances, so I decided to go natural. This first time, I kept it simple: I simply stopped combing my hair (among other things I stopped doing 😆 ). That was an interesting experiment! On subsequent dreadlock journeys, my reasons were a little less radical. For the most part, after that, I started to grow dreadlocks for aesthetic reasons.
Starting Your Dreadlocks
Once the decision is made, there’s the small detail of getting started. As I mentioned before, the first time I started to grow dreadlocks, I decided to use the “neglect" method. The second time, I opted to begin my dreadlocks by twisting my natural hair, at home, on my own. The third and fourth times, I acquiesced to saner methods and visited a loctitian. How about you? How did you get your dreadlocks started? If you’ve had the opportunity to try different methods, which do you recommend? (I recommend visiting a loctitian! 🙂 )
The first day you begin your dreadlock journey is just that—the first day of a long (gruesome) journey to getting your dreadlocks looking the way you’ve always pictured them in your mind 🙂 — so let’s talk about the process of nurturing your natural hair as it grows to form beautiful, fully-locked dreadlocks.
For those of you who have been down this road before, what was your dreadlock maintenance routine during the early months? Did you go to a hair salon to wash and retwist your dreadlocks, or rather did you opt to take care of your dreadlocks yourself?
I’ve used both methods with varying results. Going to a loctitian can be relatively hassle-free, but at the going rates I’ve seen in East Africa, it can be quite expensive. That as well as it means putting your dreadlock-fortune into the hands of someone who may not necessarily share your dreadlock-vision. What do you say? Would you recommend maintaining dreadlocks by visiting a salon regularly, or is DIY (do it yourself) the way to go? For those who recommend visiting a salon, do you have loctitians/salons anywhere in East Africa that you would like to recommend? With what frequency do you recommend visiting such salons?
How to Retwist Your Own Dreads
If DIY is your preference, then let’s get to the nitty-gritty: What is/was your personal dreadlock maintenance routine? How and when did/do you wash and retwist your dreadlocks? Do you have any particular way in which you do this? What products have yielded the best results for you?
Personally, I like to wash and retwist my dreadlocks once a week. I do this because I really like the manicured look. I am not picky about what shampoo I use, but I do skip conditioner to avoid difficult-to-remove residue. My best retwisting results have been achieved by using a mix of honey and ordinary (no-alcohol) styling gel, which I was careful to apply early in the day so it could air-dry before I went to bed at night. Oh yeah, that and I always made sure to tie my hair in a scarf before going to bed every night. How about you, do you have any tips on how to retwist your own dreads successfully?
I never had to change routines for when my dreadlocks were fully locked (I never kept my locs in long enough) but maybe some of you did. Are you one of those people? If so, what did you do differently at this stage of your dreadlock journey? Do you have any tips to share about how to retwist your own dreads once they are locked and longer?
That’s all I have for you today. Now, it’s time to turn it over to you! What do you have to share about your dreadlock journey(s)? What loctitians or salons do you recommend (particularly if you are in East Africa)? How about products? Maintenance routines? Tips for how to retwist your own dreads? Styling options? I want to hear it all. Don’t be shy, drop me a comment below.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say!
Until the next time,
Photo Credits: locsrevolution.com