I have made it to the THREE year mark...that "magical" time when dreads come into their own. The rumored "three year bliss" does exist. My dreads are finally long enough, tight enough, wonderful enough to love fully every day.
This year has been a crazy one. Full of wonder and magical moments. Deep joy...and deep sorrow. Endings and beginnings.
It started out with us being back in Bozeman and living in a house. We found an amazing midwife and friend. We lived temporarily in Boulder, CO for 6 weeks. Then, my brother almost died. Then, my grandma died. Lucy was born! Family visited. And more family visited. We bought the Minnie Winnie. We did some traveling and some more traveling. We sold the Minnie Winnie. We bought the Big Alpine. Then, we sold everything AGAIN and went back on the road. With TWO kids this time. We explored Washington, Oregon, and California. We flew back to Iowa. We flew back to Montana. We drove 15 hours back to Minnesota. We flew back to the RV in California. Whew!
Yes, LOVE. I have not once regretted my decision to dread my hair. I really can't imagine myself without them now. They're just a part of my being. Some observations in the third year:
- My washing/drying process hasn't changed much. I still wash about once a week (every 2-3 days in the summer) with diluted Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap and rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar. I usually dry them a little bit to fluff them up. I will occasionally wash just my bangs mid-way through the week.
- Many of you have commented about the loose hair that I have in the front. It's always been that way...they just never dreaded up, and I like them that way! :)
- I dye them blonde about every 3-4 months. I go to the Aveda training school in West Des Moines whenever we're back in Iowa. The first time was pretty funny...they didn't really know what to do with me and my crazy hair, but after they figured it out, it was fast and cheap! I love them blonde and I don't really ever plan on dying them back to my natural color. I have been throwing around the idea of putting in some color on a few dreads...like purple. I love purple.
- My hair continues to be a spiritual journey for me. They have taught me about acceptance, change, contentment...and I continue to learn from them daily! I choose to be "set apart" from the norm of our culture...which parallels my walk with Jesus.
- I've been wearing them down a lot more now that they are longer and I like the versatility. I wore them back/up/under a bandana for 3 years and I paid those dues...it's time to let them fly! I wear a rubber band around my wrist all the time though...I probably put them up and down 3-4 times a day depending on what I'm doing at the time.
- They still do their own thing. Some ends are looser than others. Some are super short, some are very long. Some are stick straight and others are like a winding country road. Some of the roots are loose and some are tight. And I like it that way. You cannot "tame" dreads, and that's the beauty of it. I really don't mess with them much except to wash them.
- Lucy loves my dreads. They are her built in toys and teether.
- I looove beads in my dreads. They make me happy.
- I have an incredibly supportive husband who loves my dreads.
- How long will I keep them? Forever I hope. When I am old, I shall wear purple...and DREADS!
In this third year of dreadiness, I have had the chance to meet up with more fun dready mamas. In Portland, I met up with Shauna and Monica. I love those beautiful, talented women! And of course Bethany and Jordan and Gillian in Eugene with their crazy amazing dreads.
In October, I was able to experience the "dready love fest". I had the chance to visit Stephanie, "The Dread Goddess" at Akemi Salon in Portland (on far right in photo below). She did some much needed maintenance on my dreads...I recommend her HIGHLY! You can read about it on Denise's blog here. For those of you just starting out and want to skip a lot of the craziness, she "crochets" dreads instead of just backcombing and they look great right from the beginning. It's worth traveling to Portland to see her! Love love love.
When you have dreads and you are able to spend time in the presence of others who have dreads...especially other women, there is just something magical about it. There is such acceptance and love...it's awesome. That's why I love traveling so much...so I can find all of you!! :) Anyone up for a huge dready retreat somewhere where we can all be together? Hmmmmm.... :)
Fast forward to right now...we are in San Diego, where we have spent time with the lovely Boho Girl, Denise and her family again. She took all of the amazing photos of my dreads. Thank you thank you thank you Denise...for making me feel beautiful!! We had a wonderful time communing and eating together...the time flew by too fast. She wrote about our time together on her blog here. If you aren't reading her blog on a regular basis, you should be!
Photos used with permission - by Denise Andrade - Boho Photography