Shade Bio

Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Dreading Journey

 Hello Darling Otherbeasts!

Okay, about 5 years ago when I was staying one summer in California, I worked with a lovely young lady named Kaitlin.
 (Someday, inner self, someday we will be able to do this.)
She was the most laid back, easy going, sunshine-y person you could ask for in a co-worker; just a really cool girl.

Kaitlin had these amazing dreadlocks that were just beautiful; several small ones that were nice and neat, no fuzz on her head, no dirt, no straw, and no smell. (I smelled them after she offered. It took some guts to do that because if there's one thing on the face of this earth that I despise, it's 'dirty head smell.') I had always thought about dreads, especially after talking to Kaitlin, Now before then I had always admired dreadlocks but never knew anyone with them... well, sort of.

 (Bad experience cat has had a bad experience.)

A little back-story: Freshman year of college my roommate Alli* (*name changed for privacy) decided to dreadlock her hair. She started by not washing her hair for weeks, rubbing beeswax all in her hair, and to top it all off wore patchouli oil like a dirty hippie.
It. Was. Disgusting.

NEVER USE WAX ON YOUR DREADS! Go here to find out why wax is bad!: TheDreadSite
Or look like this:

I would literally hold my breath upon entering the room, trying not to breathe if i was staying, or holding it as long as possible if I was grabbing something before heading back out. Needless to say, Alli's endeavor wasn't so successful... it was just smelly. We never became friends.

Back to Kaitlin. I had been horrified by my freshman experience with Alli and so I asked Kaitlin all the silly questions about dreadlocks,
- "Are they dirty?"
- "Do they itch?"
- "Are you a hippie?"
- "Does stuff get caught in them?"
- "How often do you shower?"
Kaitlin just smiled her casual smile and indulged me in answering my questions. She kept the dreads clean, they were an easy keep, they didn't itch, they were comfortable, and most importantly: she showered every, single day. Every. Single. Day. Which is, Kaitlin assured me, how she kept them so clean and pretty.

Fast forward to the present. My hair is about shoulder-blade length and straight/wavy.
(Don't mind the nakie face.)

It was at this point of sectioning and back-combing that a friend of mine called to see how my day was. I ran through the minor events and then out of excitement, "I'm putting dreads in my hair as we speak."
She asked as if she hadn't heard me clearly, "What?"
I responded, "I'm putting dreadlocks in my hair right now."
Then I had to pull the phone away from my ear as I heard, "That's f*#king disgusting! That is disgusting. F*#cking disgusting, Stacey."
It's a good thing she wasn't there in person to see the look on my face. Inwardly I snorted in defiance and dropped the subject, asking about a story she had told me earlier on in the conversation.

(Don't worry, she apologized later; turns out she was a bit emotional at the time from another matter entirely.) I never let that conversation - and someone's opinion - discourage me. This was something I was doing for me. It symbolized the beginning of a journey and a dedication to something: my last year in my twenties. That's right, I'm 29 and I'm gonna do something potentially stupid so I can blame it on being in my twenties.

June 1st I decided to take the plunge and get dreadlocks installed on my head and in my hair. I say 'installed' because it was honestly like trying to perfect a work of art. My freshman roommate had it so wrong. Thank you to Kaitlin for the clarification five years ago. You see, dreads won't stay in unless your hair is clean - mark my words - clean, and residue free. The wax only comes in to "lock" the dreads and help them mature - but it's wax specifically designed for dreads and it smells like coconuts and margaritas... maybe a little bit like Starbursts.

I continued on my journey of back-combing and locking them.

(Arms, shoulders, hands... were all killing me.)

After 18+ hours I had my hair sectioned and wimpy dreads put in by back-combing. I say wimpy because I was so much of a chicken that at this point I could still comb them out.
(Notice the slightly skittish look on my face.)
(Plus I was d(r)ead tired from all the work.)

Fast forward again to yesterday and part of today which was spent with a 1mm crochet hook in hand and weaving through all 64 dreads on my scalp. Yes, sixty four, I counted them. I wound up unintentionally stabbing myself repeatedly with the crochet hook, that stupid tiny little metal barb lodged itself in my cuticle at one point. The rest of the action tore up my thumb, index finger, and middle finger pretty badly. Note to anyone who is going to crochet dreadlocks: be careful.
(Also, I don't recommend crocheting unless you have a super huge loop in the middle of your dread that needs to be pulled back in.) Why crocheting is bad.

 (This is pretty illustrative... but imagine two more fingers and more epic-sauce.)

So today I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished. I even adorned my new dreads with wooden beads, a couple glass ones, and one brass bead.
(My dreads in pigtails.)

I have to say that this is the best decision I have made in a long time. Today I wore them up in pigtails - very Harley Quinn style - and I was ecstatic.

I cannot believe I didn't do this sooner. I can style my hair anyway I choose: down and loose, up and elegant, pigtails and silly. I don't have to brush my hair ever again! It's finger-combing out of the shower, let them dry, and then go. Amazing. Ah-may-zing. Believe it or not, I actually feel more feminine having dreads.
(I look happy, don't I? Because I am!)
(This is how my hair looks when down and doing it's own thing.)

And there you have it. 8 days later. Me and my baby dreads. I can't wait to see how my 'babies' grow and 'mature' as time goes on. Best. Decision. Ever. Expect an update later on down the road!

Love, peace, and chicken grease.


 Until next time,
Shade (Stacey) ((Same thing.))

My Etsy Shop (Wings and Things by D&D Studios) is full of Handmade Dreadlock Beads and Cuffs! Made by a Dreadie for Dreadies. <3

See My Other Blog Posts About Dreadlocks:
  • My Dreading Journey Part 1

Tip:  Go Natural. Please don't use wax or other things in your dreads. Go to Dreadlockssite.com for VERY valuable information, tons of epic-awesome-sause dreadheads willing to help out and answer questions, and hands down the most dready community of sheer WIN.

Second Tip: If you INSIST on using products, some resources are: KnottyBoy.com for natural soaps, etc. and  Dread Head HQ. They offer essential amazing products such as Dread Head Dread Wax and Lock Peppa at really great prices.


  1. So happy I found your blog! I've always thought dreads were cool and now I'm totally convinced I am going to do this!

    1. Yay! I wish you all of the best of luck in your journey! :D

  2. Second that - I can't WAIT to get my dreadlocks in the next few weeks. Super, super excited. You sound to have a similar mindset to myself so THANK YOU for your blog, I've had a great time reading it :)

    1. You're welcome! People like you are the people I write for. :) Let me know how the dreads turn out!

  3. Enjoyed ur blogs. U write well so much life in wut u write. I am going to dread my just have been waiting for the right moment. Look forward to seeing the new pics.

    1. Thank you! Good luck with your journey! Let me know how it goes!

  4. Love your blog and your dreads! I'm hoping to dread my hair within the next couple weeks. How did you section your hair? Did you just pull random pieces, use a comb to section off squares, or what?

    1. Thank you and thank you! I sectioned my hair in the dragon scale/fish scale pattern so that the ereads would overlap eachother with minimal scalp exposure. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out!

  5. Did you put in all of your dreads by yourself or did you get help on the ones in the back? Thanks.

    1. I put all of them in myself. :) Though I did have a lot of help from my s/o when my arms would tire.

  6. Heey :)) Just wanted to say that I just found your blog and it's amazing, your dreads look great and I have been thinking of doing a few dreads also by myself even though I'm a bit scared that I won't do it right.. Anyway thank you, this is really inspiring :))

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