Why dreadlocks at 45?

The seed of inspiration was planted when I had a massage by a women with a headful of dreadlocks.  The hair on her head looked like it weighed more than she did!  She had some of her hair wrapped up on top and some of it was hanging down.  It was attractive on her.  I had heard all kinds of “stories” about dreadlocks.  Was it true that you never wash your hair when you have dreadlocks?  Do you have to shave your head to get rid of them?  I had never really known anyone that had them…until I met Lauren.

I was a frequent flyer at a nearby coffee shop (okay, I still am).  This was where I got to know Lauren because she worked there.  One day, I pulled up to the drive-through window and there was Lauren with dreadlocks.  Now I could say I actually knew someone that had them and I could talk to her about them.  Prior to that she would have had no idea I was interested in dreadlocks because I wore my hair very short, like an inch long.   I took this as a sign from the universe that I needed to, at the very least, learn more about dreadlocks.

So I began researching.  I was so fascinated by the entire process of putting them in, allowing the dreads to “lock” and then maintaining them.  I was beginning to see this as a transformation journey, one that was calling me to it.  I didn’t know exactly why but it soon became clear that it was going to happen.  I started dropping the idea to family and friends.  Most people were supportive, but not everyone.  I had two people very close to me think that I was absolutely crazy, my husband being one of them!  I didn’t let any of that stop me.

I scheduled my free consult at the Hair Police in Minneapolis to get the real scoop on what it was going to take for me to be able to get a headful of dreadlocks.  Since my hair grows about an inch a month, I needed to grow it out for a few more months.  The appointment to put them in would take 6-8 hours at a cost of $300+.  I put my deposit down and booked my appointment for the day after Christmas.  Now I just had to wait and go through awkward stages of growing out my hair.  Let me tell you that it wasn’t pretty.  Little did I know, it was just the beginning of a very long, not-so pretty phase.

The day came and I was filled with anticipation as I arrived at the Hair Police.  First, my hair was divided into 50 different sections, then each section of hair was backcombed and rolled onto a curling rod.  This was the most time-consuming part of the process. Once all curling rods were in place, I had to sit through the processing of a perm.  (Geez, it had been a long time since I had one of those!)  Once the perm finished processing, it was time to rinse and reveal.  I was scared.  I reminded myself it’s only hair.  As each rod was removed, I tried not to cry.

As I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of my Grandma Noma when she had her hair in pin curls.  Not that pin curls were bad, but you usually combed through them before going out in public!  I had 50 little curly pig tails on my head and lots of scalp showed through where the parts were made.  I must say I was really wondering what I had done.  When I arrived home my family only said supportive things, but I could see the horror on their faces.  I had to keep telling myself this was one small part of a much bigger journey.

Of course, I had posted on Facebook that I was having it done so everyone was anxiously waiting to see pictures.  The last thing I wanted to do was take a picture.  Something inside reminded me that I did this for a deeper reason and honestly at this point, I didn’t know why.  I couldn’t explain it to people other than it was to remind me that I have chosen to live a more conscious life.  That’s all I had.  The true reason wasn’t revealed until much later.


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