As per Steve’s request, here’s more detail as to how I got my locks.
Well, as I really didn’t think that Bill would be such a star and help me I originally turned to hairdressers to see how much it would cost them to do it for me.
There is something called a dread perm that can supposedly create a head of permanent well formed dreads in an afternoon…however, at $270 the cost was somewhat out of my pocket. Sounded cool, but was not to be. Also, starting the dreads the backcomb way seems less of a cheat and more of an initiation process.
I then attempted to find a salon prepared to tackle my hair the backcomb way, and couldn’t find anywhere willing to take on the job. My usual salon said that their dread specialist no longer worked for them and recommended one place to me. I called that salon who took my number and said their dreading specialist would call me back. One week later and I’d still heard nothing, so I phoned back. This time I was told point blank that they don’t do dreads. WTF?
So, I gave up on stupid hairdressers.
After some internet research and phone coaching from the lovely Rebecca I then decided to have a go and approach the deed solo. This was brave, but foolhardy. I managed to make some really good dreads where I could see what I was doing, but the back of my head was a disaster zone. I was also left with one very mangled comb. I’d tried to get one with fine teeth, but it just wasn’t up to the job.
The next day I took a long hot soak in the bath and a bucket of conditioner to my head. Aussie Conditioner saved the day.
Another call to Rebecca and some more tips and encouragement followed.
Having seen the job I did myself, Bill then took pity on me and promised to be my personal hairdresser for the day. Hoorah.
I prepped him by showing him this site: www.knottyboy.com
He just followed the step by step directions on there. This just involved plotting out the dreads first by slightly braiding sections at the roots and securing with no tangle bands. The first time we did this we went for a brick pattern but Bill decided that didn’t really work out and just grabbed random sections of hair this time. I think that was a good call. The important thing was definitely not to create a middle parting but to make sure the hair was distributed unevenly so that it wouldn’t fall neatly and make me look like a spazz.
After this it was just a case of vigorously backcombing each section, really working the knots firmly to the roots. Some people say you can also secure the root at the base using a elastic band but we didn’t do that because I wasn’t convinced how that would come out again, and elastic has a tendency to decompose and turn into a sticky goo. As dreads are permanent I wasn’t too keen on that happening.
Once each section was backcombed, Bill then took some dreadwax and worked it into each section to secure it.
Finally, each dread was palm rolled, making sure to always roll the same way (anti clockwise in my case) so that when maintaining I don’t start unravelling dreads by rolling the wrong way.
I didn’t bother purchasing the dreadlock starter kit from Knotty Boy, but a trip to my local alternative clothing/novelty store akin to Affleck’s procured me a large tub of the Knotty Boy Dreadwax. In retrospect I could have just bought a small tub, but at least I have plenty left over for maintenance.
The comb he used also made a big difference I think. I went to the local pet shop and bought a flea comb for dogs. This was a great idea. The teeth were sturdy being made of metal rather than plastic, and were a lot closer together than proper hair combs I’d looked at. Also, the teeth were rotatable so they never got stuck and kept on going. Great for backcombing.
Now I have to keep on palmrolling and it’s recommended to wait at least a week before washing my hair for the first time. I’m going to go back to Junkman’s Daughter and get some of the Knotty Boy dread Shampoo now too I think.
So there you have it. That’s how I got my dreadies. Props to Rebecca and Bill for the moral support and help.
They feel somewhat strange at the moment, somewhat akin to wearing a wax jacket on my head! I believe I’m going to have quite a few bad hair days in my future before they really tighten up and start being proper dreads, but I think I can deal with that. I’ve decided I’m going to have Crossing Jordan time every night now. This means that at 11pm every evening I will settle down to watch my favourite lady coroner with my tub of wax and a mirror. My dread maintenance will be bliss.
Ok, got to wrap up and go to the dentist now…not so much fun. 🙁