Amidst all the festivities last week I almost forgot to mark an important anniversary. My lockiversary, I guess. My dreadlocks just turned two years old.
Dreading my hair was one of the better decisions I've made in my life. My mornings are SO much easier without the demands of hair that needs styling. I wash my head only when my scalp feels itchy, which ends up being about once or twice a month. I don't usually admit how infrequently I shampoo; I hope it doesn't sound too gross. I'm pretty finicky in general about cleanliness, and the truth is my locks never feel oily or smelly. If they did I'd wash them more.
The other nice thing about the dreadlocks is that each lock is like a little pillow. I feel like they're equally part hair and air at this stage, which means that they're not at all heavy, and I don't feel the same pulling on my head that I did when I had regular curly hair. I don't know if other people experience this, but my curls pulled on each other all the friggin time. For someone who has struggled with sensory integration, not feeling my hair pull is a BIG DEAL. It's like if you can imagine a car alarm always going somewhere in the distance, and then one day someone finally turns it off.
I now have friends who never knew me WITHOUT dreadlocks. Which is weird. I wonder if that affects how they see me. I wonder if they think I am 100% the embodiment of a hippy. A natural born flower-child who always tuned her emotions to the ebb and flow of the seasons.
I wonder if anyone sees me the way I see myself, a child of unspeakable privilege who is still working on her judgmental classist rehabilitation.
As for the dreadlocks themselves, they've changed a bit in the past year. They are tighter and less wispy on the outsides, though they're still awfully kinked up, with these little wubbles and turns everywhere. I thought those bumps would work themselves out over time, but the answer seems to be either NO or NOT YET. Or maybe if I did some maintenance I could get the dreads more uniform, but since my life is a little hectic right now I'm willing to accept whatever my hair looks like.
I wish I could say that dreadlocks changed me in some fundamental way over the past two years. That I am a calmer person, or a more accepting person, or a person who cares little about outward appearances. In reality, I am a person with ten extra minutes in the morning. With fewer headaches at the end of the day. I am still stressed out, hurried, and judgmental of myself and others. I'm still a bit of a classist brat. But I don't look as much like one, and that's at least a step in the right direction.