Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting Dreadlocks

I've always liked dreadlocks but it is weird when white girls have them because it is appropriation. Also they are fussy to maintain. But my hair has got so damaged from swimming that it was super hard to comb. And I kept cutting off the split ends, and new ones kept splitting, and my hair was making single strand knots. And my split ends had split ends, which sounds absurd but they are visible if you look carefully in sunlight.

I already knew a lot of things about dreadlocks from researching a paper I did last year on the visual culture of Santa Cruz, but I did some looking up anyway, and I was glad i did. I swim 3-6 times a week and so my dreadlocks will get wet and so I decided to make them really skinny so they can dry out better. I already wasn't going to use any products, but I was grossed out to read that wax can trap water in your dreadlock and mold.

I decided not to use any products not because if I am going to blatantly appropriate something I want to at least have that much credibility.

I formed my dreadlocks by braiding tightly for a half inch or three quarters of an inch at my scalp, then backcombing as much as I could, then letting the strands that didn't get incorporated hang down straight. I think it looks nice, but I know it won't stay this way. Soon they will either fall out (oh, I hope that doesn't happen) or lock up tighter. Then a lot of people's dreadlocks get fat but I am going to potlatch them (thread the whole lock through the new growth at the root) as they grow out which should keep them thin. I was supposed to palm-roll them according to the method I picked, but I didn't want to spend too much time at one sitting. It took from 10:30-1 just to backcomb everything. And now I like how they look and I am not sure how effective palm rolling is without wax.

here you can see that keeping your mouth open in photos to look super excited gets a bit silly when I am excited in the first place.

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