Another year has gone by...a year of seeing AMAZING sights, meeting INSPIRING people, and LIVING life to the fullest. Let me just say...I'm so glad I didn't have to do my hair for any of it! :) Ok, well, I take that back. I did "do" my hair for my sister's wedding and that was fun. But other than that, my hair didn't slow me down or cause me any strife. I love my dreads. But they are definitely still in process. I'm waiting for the magical three year mark, which is the time when other dreadies have said they really started to enjoy them.
My dreads are constantly changing. There is a lot of loose hair and new growth, particularly around the crown of my head, and then those hairs just pick a dread to attach themselves to or they start a new little dread on their own. I'm not one to mess around much with my new growth...I figure it will just do it's own thing. I have several dreads around my face that seem to be hanging on by just a few hairs, so I may intentionally join those with some other hair to reinforce them. But it's pretty crazy how strong just a few strands of hair can be!
They are definitely mature dreads...I don't do anything to them except for wash them about once a week with Dr. Bronner's and then rinse with a dliuted solution of apple cider vinegar. They take about 18 hours to dry, so I will occasionally use a blow dryer to get that process started. No need to have ice in my hair as I run out into the Montana chill. They stay a bit "fluffier" that way too it seems.
Although I love to be "au natural"...I've never been so happy as when I dyed my dreads blonde this summer. They felt so much more like me after that! I had them done in Eugene, OR at an "alternative" hair salon. I didn't really love the bright, barbie-like color at first, but it toned itself down after awhile. There was a little miscommunication with the stylist :) I dyed them again at an Aveda salon right before my sister's wedding. I'm letting them go through this pregnancy and then will dye them again right before the baby is born.
I still love to put little beadies and peyote stitches in the "decorate" them. My dear friend, Becky...the one who put my dreads in for me...sent me a fun green and white one at Christmastime (as seen in the photo above). Yay! The colorful hemp string that she put in last year is still hanging on with no signs of coming out anytime soon. It's fun to see how much they've grown since she tied that in.
Speaking of growth...yes, they're longer. But not long enough! The thing is that they are all different lengths because my haircut at the time of putting them in was layered. If I had to go back and do it all over, I would probably wait until my hair was the same length before putting them in. Makes things a lot easier! I still have really short pieces all around my face, and then long in the back. Kind of a dread mullet if you will. ;) I'm hoping all this good eatin' and prenatal vitamins will help them grow, grow, grow this year.
When I'm out of the house, I ALWAYS have them in a bandana, headband, or wrap. It's not that I'm too self-conscious to wear them down, they just get in my way. Those short pieces around my face aren't quite long enough to keep themselves tucked behind my ears...so they hang right in my eyes. I actually like using some bobby pins to pin the front back, but I don't often do that. It's so much easier to just throw something on them and go. At home, I let them down and relax a bit more.
I've had the privilege of meeting so many really cool dready mamas (and papas!) while we've been on the road...and have put dreads into several people's hair as well :) Some have left them in...and some haven't. And that's why I love dreads. They allow you to explore parts of your inner being...things that you never knew existed...feelings surface that you never knew you had...and you come out the other side a changed person. Whether you HAVE dreads now, HAD dreads, or WANT dreads...they will always stay with you. Ahhhhh...the journeys of life. Here's to another good year!
Click here to see the entire process, including a couple of other 2 year photos.