Monday, March 4, 2013

Eleven months? Wow, yeah.

Warning, rather long post. Get yourself another cup of coffee or a beer or something.

So, my dreads are almost a year old! I think I'd be more excited if they were all just perfect examples of dreadkind. But, they aren't. They still get fuzzy after being washed and there are a few that are really weak and like two that I think might be too skinny to lock up. However, I've entered a much more relaxed state of having dreads, figuring they'll get there... eventually. Sure, I still play around with them and try to pull in loose hair... it's kind of a habit now, something for my hands to do while I watch movies or the like. I have to remind myself not to play with them while in auditoriums.

Jonny Clean always says that if it has knots, it will eventually lock up, that is go from a loose wad of knots to a nice tight rope. I always rephrase this in a sort of if-you-build-it-they-will-come:

If you knot it, it will lock. Or so I hope.

Anyway, here are my eleven month pictures:

I took them against the side of the house instead of the tree because my lawn is covered in snow and I didn't feel like trudging through it. Really, the tree was more of an option in the summer (or whenever it was last warm) because at least one side would block the sun. Now, the sky is that same whiteish gray that the snow-covered ground is. I would say I wish it is summer, but Iowa summer isn't fun either. I wish I lived in California. Not the state. Just the location.

Now, my dreads are getting long enough that some of them are starting to bend and curl as they hit my shoulders. Harmless, really. Also, as you can see because I'm in the front of something white this time, they are fuzzy.

Here, let me post the pictures from month ten that I never got around to posting.

Maybe it's because I think I look silly in this pictures. But, my hair doesn't look fuzzy. Oh, the second one is a large tam/slouch hat my mom made for me with matching scarf. I try to always take my pictures outside because the lighting is just so much better out there. Early pictures were mostly from my balcony at my apartment, then when we moved, that tree.

Below is nine months.

In other news, I'm hoping to find someone who does in-depth dreadlock maintenance in Boston and get them to do my hair. I'm talking like the people who post before and after pictures and you would barely recognize those are the same dreads. And I guess the maintenance is just pulling apart dreads trying to grow together and then tucking in all the loose hair to their proper dreadlocks. I think.

In other other news, I'd like to report that I don't believe I've lost job opportunities because of my hair, so far. There are several jobs I've applied for and never got a call back. Those don't count because they have no idea what I look like. Then, of the last five jobs I've interviewed for, I've been offered a position three times.

What, you think I should be at work, then? Get off my butt? I wish. I didn't say they were all recent. One was Valvoline Instant Oil Change and I worked there for a while, so I actually accepted that one. Another was a Christian Book Store that was somewhat mismanaged and so didn't get around to offering me the job anytime soon and then didn't do it in person, they sent my sister-in-law who was working there at the time to tell me. I didn't need them. And I was at Valvoline. Third was a hole-in-the-wall office job that wanted to lock me in for years because he didn't like training new people. And he said he'd call back on Friday and he called on Monday instead, so I probably wasn't the first on the list. And I was advised not to take it by relatives.

Then I was rejected by Kohl's. Apparently I "demonstrate many qualities," they didn't want me. Maybe it's because I had dreadlocks. Maybe it's because in the group interview it kind of came out that I didn't respect my previous bosses terribly much. And most never earned my respect, but it certainly makes me look like some sort of rebellious problem employee. No, really, honestly, I have had some of the worst bosses. I swear it isn't just me, as all my coworkers hated them too.

Here is what I looked like when I interviewed for Kohl's.

And then I applied to work with my Realtor. Great guy, fun job, and real estate sounded interesting. However, I think I wasn't quite as qualified as several other applicants. But he knew about my dreadlocks beforehand and still gave me an interview, so yeah.

Why am I updating my blog now, three months later? Because I need to go to the grocery store and it's cold out and I don't want to bike there! But I NEED to. So I'm just procrastinating.

P.S. I just noticed that in my December picture, I am wearing a tank top. I don't think it was quite tank top weather, but pretty close. In December. This state has issues.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Eight months

So it's been eight months. And I've mostly been letting them do their thing. Yeah, I'm not updating as much, but I feel that my dread journey has slowed down quite a bit from the beginning, so things don't change as much from month to month as they did from week to week in the beginning.

I think I've been finding more that are locked up, nice springy ropey things. Still a few weak spots, still a few weak dreads, blah blah... this is for posterity, remember?

So, in the beginning I had some issues with dandruff. This was nothing new as I've had it off and on my whole life. I usually just change shampoos, either to Head and Shoulders or off Head and Shoulders (usually to Herbal Essence... cause they have good graphic design). Well, my scalp adapted and for a few months of having dreads, I didn't have any dandruff. And then, like it's been doing as long as I can remember, I got dandruff back. Except I was using shampoo specifically for my dreadlocks. It's supposed to be residue free, if you recall, and I know this stuff is. And Head and Shoulders probably isn't. So I just kept using my dreadlocks shampoo and kept having dandruff.

Now, nobody likes dandruff. Makes my head itch and flakes are awful. And once, when I was a child, I got lice. Now, I didn't have dreadlocks then, so you can't blame them. And I wasn't even overseas at the time. I got it here in America while we were visiting. It was an awful horrible experience and I still dread it even now... so when my head itches, I run to Mom.

"Mom? Can you check my hair again?"

Lice would be even worse in dreads cause you can hardly comb them out, so you have to go for stronger other methods.

I hate it when my head itches. And I finally got Head and Shoulders shampoo and about two weeks later, I think it's helping. I'm just going to have to use the dreadlock shampoo from time to time to try and get all residue out.

In other notes, it's really weird going to parties and events at David's work and him being all clean-cut and wearing button up shirts and me with dreadlocks... although I wasn't the most different one at the last event. Some employee's girlfriend had dyed red hair, facial piercings, and tattoos.

Here is a picture. I was outside and it was breezy. And over 60 degrees and warm enough that left my sweatshirt inside. And it's December. Surreal.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Seven Months

Dun dun dunnnnn... seven months!

Ok, I don't really know what that means. And I'm a little distracted. I'm scanning jobs websites because I will go totally insane if I don't get one. And listening to Black Magic Women by Santana, because for some reason that fits my attitude. I can't figure out if she is a magic woman who happens to be black, or a woman who has black magic... I've always guessed the latter, but I still think she'd look like Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3.

Speaking of which, once my dreads get longer, if I ever feel the need for any sort of costume, I can be Captain Jack Sparrow!

Granted, I was like seventeen or eighteen in that photo. And had real hair. But Captain Jack is awesome!

Hang on, hitting replay on Black Magic Woman.

You know, Tia Dalma has some pretty cool dreads too.

[image from:]

I liked her. She was all like, "No! It was a woman as harsh and unchangeable as the sea!" in an awesome Jamaican accent.

Yeah she's a black magic woman and she's trying to make the devil out of me! I figure she covers both of my speculations.

But anyway, at the beginning of November, my dreadlocks turned seven months. I've said previously that I can't see any change in them. But that's the benefit of photos. I'll scroll back through the photos section of Google that automatically uploads all the pictures I take with my phone and I'll see all the pictures I took, not just posted. For the most part, my dreads are a lot longer than they used to be. Like they still seem short to me, but they were quite a bit shorter. And I like to think they're more solid. Still a few soft spots, but they seem to be growing out knotted if I keep clockwise rubbing, so eventually all the soft stuff I have going on now will just be the ends of some epic long dreads...

I'll worry over them occasionally, but it seems like they've changed a lot since the beginning, and I am only a little over halfway to a year. A year is supposed to be when you can really call them dreads and actually know what it's like to have dreads... if you didn't do them the neglect way anyway.

So, pictures. But first, a story. You know that little unknotted bit of hair? It was kind of bugging me because it was longer than all my dreads and would get caught in things and I'd think I had some loose hair I needed to tuck back into a dread, but no it was just this little bit... I liked it cause it was weird, though. So you know I was thinking about putting seed beads on it. I have more details about the adventures in obtaining said beads on my other blog The Voice of Linsey. Yesterday I finally got a call back from The Salon and with the help of an imaginative hair tech and wire pilfered from their Christmas ornaments, we convince that little bit of hair into two strands of beads.


Normal front.

And back. I took that picture because I actually have no idea what the back of my hair looks like.

But anyway, don't I look like a gypsy? Or a hippie? Or just plain crazy? I think they're cool.

I thought about it the other day, and really I am not the type of person who gets dreads. But I'm also getting more comfortable with being someone who doesn't really fit in anywhere. When I was younger I always wanted to fit in, and then when I was older and not very confident, I figured out I didn't fit in and wished I knew where to go... but now I realize that I don't fit in anywhere... and I'm kind of okay with that. I still have family and friends and my interests. I'll just keep going about confusing people.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Months

So, six months. And they are still "cooking."

Currently, the loose hairs are getting out of control. I'm getting that fuzzy aura, and it seems like there is just too many to handle and too many to deal with. The ones in the back, down near my neck refuse to progress and consistently fall out, but they've been a problem since the beginning. Probably because they were only like three inches before being backcombed. Several dreads still have weak spots that I can't seem to fix.

But also several dreads seem to actually be mature, featuring that hard-like-a-rope feel. These are mostly the longer ones on the top of my head. It's nice that the maturing ones are on the outside, they can help hide the ones infected by fuzz.

Here's a goofy-smile version to demonstrate.

Also, per suggestion by Jonny Clean, I was thinking about putting larger seed beads on that little bit of loose hair, at least up to the knot. Went to Hobby Lobby to peruse their bead selection and hit a snag. So they have like five different color combinations named whimsical things like "Autumn Blend," with corresponding colors. You can guess for something like autumn. I just want your basic color combinations with a standard rainbow of colors. Primary with a few blends, like orange and green. Heck, I'd even take primary. But upon examining their basic color blend, I found it entirely lacked the color red. It had orange. It had green. It had yellow and blue. But no red.

As red is one of my favorite colors and as calling a color blend lacking red "basic" is entirely an affront against nature and colors as a concept, I neglected to buy it. So I am still searching for the right seed bead packet, and then someone (read: not me) to take on the trouble of stringing them. Then I should have an awesome little bead strand over one shoulder. Unfortunately, the Ames Hobby Lobby is busy affronting color theory and every time I think about going to the Des Moines one, it happens to be a Sunday. I've noticed similar effects related to Chic-Fil-A. Why should I always want Chic-Fil-A on the one day they are closed? Something is against me, and I'm afraid to consider it is my own brain.

In other news, while I was at Hobby Lobby purchasing a large amount of 99 cent bandannas for my hair (including such unpopular colors like red), I looked at other beads, like the ones you buy those basic little bracelets for and then by five+ overpriced beads and call yourself unique because there's a semi-decent chance nobody else combined those same five+ beads. And I found a bead that is ADORABLE.  And I do not use that word lightly.

Behold the cuteness which is small-frog-on-a-bead! Now that I have stunned all your senses with small-frog, I bid you farewell. Until whenever else I make myself update. As in, maybe next time the WoW servers are down.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My dreads... they are an age.

I am not sure how old they are. I've been somewhat busy. So much otherwise occupied (not necessarily productively) that I failed to post for my four month birthday.

Is it odd that time appears to pass at different rates? And it is a perception that tends to be shared. You remark to someone that a certain month is passing really slowly, and they will agree with you. July was percieved as lasting forever. Maybe it was the large amount of overly humid over 100 degrees days, which seemed to drag on. But once August hit, I remarked about a week in that August was probably going to pass quickly. And it is already the 19th. Amazing.

My dreads turned four months on August 1st. It wasn't planning that put my dreads birthday on the.first of April. I couldn't do it earlier because I didn't have the stuff, and later one of my friends would have already moved and wouldn't have been able to attend. We started on the 31st, but didn't finish until the first.

So, four months. Some on the top are starting to seem a bit firm. One of my Lock-Up-Dates said it would take longer for the skinny dreads, and some might never seem as firm as thicker dreads. Hopefully they are maturing. It seems such a slow process, I keep going through panic attacks, like once or twice a month. I thought they'd be done by now, but now I'm trying to reorient myself to hoping they're done by a year. I want to find one of those salons that fix dreads, tying up all the loose hair. However, we seem to be a bit short in Iowa.

I also think the heat and humidity were adversely affecting them. You'd think the weather that makes normal hair "frizzy" would help, but it seems to unravel some of them at the tips.

Some of the tips are soft and I'll try pulling them in. Then I encountered something strange. I was using the loose hair tool to try and pull the tip in, and sometimes I'd pull too far and get a lump of hair out the side of my dread. I have no idea how to fix this, and a result, I am very cautious about doing so now.

Otherwise, finding loose hairs and clockwise rubbing. Dreaming of what they'll be like in a year.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sixteen Weeks

Sorry for my noted absence. I went through a crisis of faith where I'm like, "my dreadlocks aren't locking!" And they aren't, really, but I'm hoping that's just because as skinny locks, they're going to take a lot longer. I was hoping they'd be done by now, but then I probably should've put more effort into palm rolling. I hates palm rolling.

Anyway, almost all the bands are out. All the root bands are gone (all the ones I've found anyway), and I only have a few tip bands in that I put in on vacation to try and keep the tips from coming out. I had a small braid of hair that was somehow left out at the original backcombing, so I braided it and would leave it sticking out of my tam right above my ear to throw off anyone who might suspect I had dreads hidden under there. I called it my padawan braid. It is now a solid knot at the top. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it. I am also trying to start using my tiny loose hair tool, as I am getting the sneaky suspicion that a lot of the hairs I put in with the sculpta don't actually stay put in.

I have had two dreams now where my mom has gotten dreads and they have looked better than mine. Eh mom, wha'dya say to that?

At work, a women told me she really liked me hair and then said I looked like "a raggedy Ann doll... in a good way." She went on to tell me she liked my freckles and that she'd heard somewhere that "a face without freckles is like a night sky without stars." Well, now I feel undeniably cute, and maybe about twelve years old. What do you think? Too cute for dreads? (Ha!)

Also, I had to go downtown for something. I hate downtown with most of the streets being one way, alternating at every intersection and parking is a pain. But I was walking from my car to Java Joes and I passed by a group of people sitting on the corner of the sidewalk on an intersection. Mixed races, mixed genders, and I think they were holding a cardboard sign that said something about "slapping a traveler" and named a dollar amount. Great way to relieve stress, they said. First one I noticed was a black guy wearing something in camo with those perfect dreads that I can never obtain. Yes, I am jealous. Then I saw another one sitting on the ground with his back to me, and saw he also had dreads. Coming around the front, I realized he was white.

"I like your dreads, mama," he called after me as I walked past. I flashed him a quick smile and said, "Thanks!"

They were still there when I went back, maybe around a half hour later. The same guy started talking to me again as I waited for the Walk light. He asked me how long I've had my dreads, how I put them in. I said by backcombing. He said his were natural, all he did was mix salt with water and leave that in and it only took them like a month to form. By that time, the light changed and I said goodbye and they suggested that I come hang out with them at some point.

But my question is, am I forever going to be judged on my dreadlocks by how I put them in? We can't look at hair and think the hair looks good without knowing how it came to be? Will I always be considered a sort of poser because I decided to backcomb my hair instead of let it form naturally? That seems so narrow-minded. I'm white with more-or-less straight hair. I have a friend who is mixed with curly "nappy" hair and it took him around five years to get dreadlocks. His hair looked like a palm tree or Sideshow Bob for a lot of the time in the middle and he actually had the hair for it. If I were to go neglect, I would just look like I never brushed my hair for a good seven plus years. And maybe some people think you have to earn it, you have to go through all that for dreads. And I think that it is a hair style and if I can do it to my hair, then why does anyone else care? What makes it more a hair style or less a hair style depending on how you put it in? My ponytail is better than yours because I used a scrunchy.

I know dreads are more than a hair style to a lot of the people who have them. They are a spiritual journey, a memory, or representational of something. Mine represent freedom to me, and the ability to break past the cage of expectations, made by myself and others. But do I have to look like a mess for years to have them mean that to me? I don't think so.

They look blue in the bottom one because I was trying to hide from direct sunlight in my balcony, but it was peeking over anyway. Actually, they kind of look cool blue.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifteen Weeks...I Think

Been busy. I thought that being scheduled for full eleven hour shifts meant you'd only have to work four days a week. I could deal. No, apparently it means that you work three full shifts and two half days. I think I was about four hours overtime last week. And then on the full days, I can pretty much choose one thing to do in the three hours of the evening I have left. If I want to raid in WoW, I can't exercise.

All that to say, posting on blogs takes a bit of a back seat. It's an excuse.

So, my dreads aren't maturing quite the way I want. I think some that didn't have much in the way of knots previously now have more, but they don't seem to be locking. I'm getting close to the four month mark and I'm rather worried. I keep trying to tell myself that they'll get there. I've started them and their natural tendency should be to continue to knot and lock and I just take care of the outside loose hair.

My rubberbands at the roots have been falling out. I took out the ones at the top around my part, so they basically covered all the others that still had bands. And they are reaching the point of decay that I cannot take them out intact. They just snap. And now they are starting to actually break on their own. I'll find one stuck to the shower curtain, one by my pillow when I get up, two on the floor after exercising. I actually found one on the back of the car on the trunk yesterday. I took a look at it and decided the sun had adverse effects on it. David came over, recognized it, laughed, and tried to pick it up. He then discovered that old rubberbands sitting on metal melt in the sunlight. It was a little gross. I need to get the rest of them soon. They are starting to get sticky.

Until next time.