My Dreadlock Journey and Timeline - Week 2

Well, I made it to week 2 without wanting to brush my dreads out. If anything, I can't wait for more time to pass so that my hair starts locking up and really turning into dreads. I've had several bad hair days these past 14 days, but who doesn't? My hair is still adjusting to the different shampoo and wash schedule.

Speaking of washing my hair... 

People with dreads DO WASH THEIR HAIR! I've already had so many people ask me if I'm allowed to wash it. The big fat answer is a HUGE YES! I think I mentioned this in one of my first posts. Hair will not dread unless it's clean. Have you ever let your hair go a day or two between washing it and it's a greasy nasty oily mess? (I know I have... especially when my kids where newborns and I could barely get in a bite to eat, nevermind a full shower with a hair wash!) Oily hair is stringy looking, feels gross, and looks gross. 

In order for your hair to knot you need it to be squeaky clean with no conditioners

I think what people are mistaking for not washing your hair is the fact that most dreadheads will go longer between washes. I promise, there's a reason for this... and I also promise, our hair doesn't stink. ;) When you start your dreads you want to get your scalp to produce less oil than before. Before I started mine I was washing my hair every day and could barely go 24 hours between washes. If I went any longer then my hair was super oily. With all that frequent washing, brushing and running my fingers through my hair I was basically telling my scalp to produce more oil. By stretching out my washing little by little and switching to baking soda/acv to wash my hair I can go even longer before my hair starts to get oily. One of the other big reasons you want to space out your washing is because as your dreads mature they get 30-50% thicker. All those thick dreads take a LONG time to dry! You want your hair to fully dry before you have to wash it again... Could you imagine always having your hair wet? It would probably start to stink and smell like mildew. Ick.

So there you have it... I feel a bit weird admitting that I'm trying to space out my hair washing. I still shower every day (in case you were wondering lol), but I now use a shower cap on my non-wash days. I'm now up to washing my hair every 2-3 days. For example, I washed my hair on Tuesday and my next wash day will be on Friday morning. The week before I started my dreads I was going every other day. 

If you're planning to start dreads, know that it will take some time for your hair and scalp to adjust to a different routine. If I had to start over I wouldn't be so impatient and I'd let my hair adjust BEFORE I started them.

Sorry... I got a little crazy about washing... Anyway, no real changes as far as looks go from last week. I can see some little loopies starting to form in some dreads and my roots are so loose on some of them. Both are completely normal and I'm just letting my hair do it's own thing. I've decided not to do any crochet hooking or sewing in the frizz. If not done right that will only cause damage and it's really only a temporary fix. If you start doing it, you're going to have to keep on doing it. I don't have time for that! I'm a mom of 4 kids... I wanted dreads so that I could be lazy with my hair, not have to do more work! lol I'm only half kidding about that. ;)

Oh! I almost forgot... I think I'm getting some shrinkage!

My Dreadlock Journey and Timeline - Week 1

Today is the end of week 1 and beginning of week 2 for my dreadies. :) I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!

They're only one week old and I'm already seeing some changes happening and I've been learning so much. Here's a few things I'm noticing and I've learned about:

THE FRIZZ - Holy moly! The frizz! Be warned that if you're going to start your dreads with the twist and rip method you will experience tons of frizzy hair. Some people will suggest palm rolling, but that really doesn't work on my naturally wavy hair. It WANTS to be crazy and there's nothing I can really do to help it right now. I've heard that aloe works well to control the frizz and it washes out easily without leaving behind any residue. I need to find some natural aloe. All I've been able to find is that stuff in the sunscreen section at the store and that's not the kind you want. If you have an aloe plant that's the best way to get it!

THEY GET LOOSE AND MESSY LOOKING- My twist and rip dreads started off so thick and tight... after the first wash they started loosening up at the roots. Then they started loosening up through the whole section. Some worse than others. This is completely normal. If you get to this point try not to mess with them too much. You don't need a crochet hook or to do any sort of maintenance on them. That's only going to slow down your progress and take your dreads even longer to mature. They WILL loosen before they start to tighten up. Headbands will be your new best friend.

I'M NOW OBSESSED WITH HEAD WRAPS & HEADBANDS AND ALL THINGS DREAD RELATED! - I love window shopping for head gear! From wraps to headbands, to beads, to beanies. There's so many things you can do with dreads! You don't want to put decorations in your hair while your dreads are still young... As fun as they look, your dreads really need to be free to loc up. I've heard that you can put in embroidery thread in a criss cross pattern and be ok. I'm planning to put some in soon. I have a ton of it from my friendship bracelet making days!

YOUR WASH ROUTINE WILL CHANGE - If you weren't doing the "no poo" method of washing your hair before, I highly recommend starting it before you start your dreads. You need your hair extra clean and residue-free before you put in your dreads. I've learned that my hair absolutely LOVES being washed with baking soda. I've never had my hair feel so healthy and clean before. If you've never heard of this before here's some good info on how to wash with baking soda and vinegar. There's also lots of dread shampoo out there. Some are really good and others not so good. I really like this list on the Raging Roots Studio website. Besides the baking soda I also splurged and bought some foaming dread shampoo from a shop on Etsy called My Tangled Knots. It's on the approved list of shampoos on the Raging Roots site. :) You can find her Etsy shop here. I bought the Tea Tree one based on the fact that Tea Tree oil is supposed to be good for your scalp. If I like it I plan to go back and buy the Orange-Tangerine one. Sounds like it smells so yummy!

So there you have it, week one... I've been getting a lot of questions from friends about dreadlocks and I hope I've answered their questions either in this post or my last one. If you have any questions about my experience so far you can find me on Instagram under the name: @cambrayah. I'd be happy to help you! Or if you're friends with me on FB, you can always message me. :)

I plan to post again soon so check back!

My Dreadlock Journey and Timeline - Day 1

This is how my hair started out... Well, a year ago anyway. Fairly long. My natural brown color. I straightened it every day to take out my natural wave/curls.

On Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 I finally went through with a major change to my hair. My mom helped me section off my hair for dreadlocks. 

It wasn't a decision I took lightly. I've done tons of research. Watched at least 100 different YouTube videos on the subject. Joined a Facebook group dedicated to mamas with locs. Asked questions and kept reading. 

Josh was planning to go out of town for 5 days starting on Wednesday. Now was my chance! Since they take many hours to "install" I wanted to hurry and finish it while he was away. 

With the help of my mom we sectioned off my hair in the fan pattern. This sectioning seems to give the most scalp coverage, which is what I wanted. Find some great info about sectioning here.

We went with about 3/4 - 1" sections. This will eventually get me chopstick to pencil sized dreads. My hair is very fine so they're starting off fairly thin. Here's some more info on section sizing. I ended up with 47 sections with the front part of my hair left out.

 It took us about 2 hours. She just put each section in a tiny rubber band and let them hang down. Some people braid it and do them a little at a time. I figured that was going to take so much longer so we left them straight. The braid in front was the hair I planned to keep undreaded.

So they're not perfect, but better than I could have done on my own and cheaper than going to a professional loctician who would have charged any where from $40 - $75 per hour.

After the kids were in bed I started doing the twist and rip method on them. I promise, it's not as bad as it sounds. It causes less damage than backcombing and you don't loose as much length initially. Here's some more info on that method. I also watched a bunch of different YouTube videos on how to do them. (Don't ya just love YouTube?!) It took me several videos to really understand how they were doing them.

I got about half of them done that night and I continued on through the next morning between taking care of my 4 kiddos. I'd say all together from start to finish it took about 7 hours to "install" them. I didn't use any wax or a crochet hook. Both of those methods have been argued in dreadlock forums. Some say they're ok, others warn against their use. I decided I wanted mine as natural as possible without actually letting them dread naturally. I don't have the patience for that! I also have my kids school starting back up soon and I need to be somewhat presentable. :)

They were instant love! A part of me was worried I couldn't pull them off or I would hate them. You can take dreads out, but they take many hours and lots of patience to do it. And, no, you don't have to shave your head when you're done with them! Even 10 years later you can still brush them out.

Dread bun! Yay! My hair was super thick this first day. It was fun trying out different hair styles. 

So there you go... Day one. I'm happy I finally went through with it. I'm happy with their size too. They WILL shrink and they WILL thicken up and I can't wait!