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Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So, you want to start locking your kinky, coarse hair. You see tons of other people with dreadlocks: musicians, athletes, actors, hippies (we'll call them activists), that guy in the apple store, that one lady that lives down the street that always smells like fried chicken and cocoa butter (yeah, you know the one I'm talking about, her). If you're anything like me, you're VERY excited about taking this journey, but effectively know nothing about locking your hair, and thus have started combing the interwebs for "lock tutorials",  "do's and don'ts", products to use, and the like. Good decisions are being made on your part.

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of dreadlocks, I want you to take a moment to realize WHY you are starting your locks. It doesn't have to be a complex reason, just a reason. Maybe you want dreadlocks for spiritual purposes. Maybe you're doing it to be unique. Maybe you simply like the way they look. Either way, you should have a reason. Why you ask? Other than everyone and their mother asking you why you decided to lock your hair, starting dreadlocks is a big decision.

I think the most important thing to understand about dreadlocks is that it is a process. It is going to be a huge test of your patience. I would say, "make sure you're ready for it" but lets be honest, you never really know if you're prepared for something until you do it. The best you can do is KNOW that it's going to try you sometimes. People commonly refer to the process as their "lock journey". I couldn't think of a more appropriate title. Locking your hair is just that, a journey. When I had my hair comb twisted (I'll elaborate on what that means next week) for the first time, I thought that was it. My hair was locked and complete. OH HOW WRONG I WAS. After you get your hair twisted, it typically takes a few months for the hair to actually mesh together and form a "lock" that cannot come undone. Until then what you have are twists that can unravel. As your dreads mature and begin to lock, you will go through a handful of stages. Hopefully I can upload some photos from my own lock journey to show you those stages in a later post. If I can't then I'll talk about them and pull photos from other sources. Here's a little taste...


Another important aspect of having dreadlocks is lock maintenance. To touch on that briefly, (because I feel like that alone deserves it's own post) be ready to spend HOURS taking care of your hair. For all my sistahs out there, this isn't a huge transition for you, but for my brothers who are use to sitting in a chair for a little while, then going and enjoying their day, it's going to be a bit harder. Be prepared to give up a whole day sometimes once your locks really start getting length.

Another thing to take into consideration would be your job. Will you be able to keep your current job, or get another desired one while having dreadlocks. There are many jobs in corporate America that consider them to be dirty and unprofessional. Isn't that prejudice? Yes, very, but it's just one of those things that we currently have to deal with. Make sure you do your research to make sure you'll be financially secure!

That's it for now dread heads. I'll be back later with lock tutorials, product reviews, and pictures from my own lock journey (oh goodness).

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha "that guy in the Apple store"! I actually told him the day I spoke to you about that that he had a following outside the Apple walls - and he was just like, "Oh, word!? Thanks." lol