Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Short(er) Dreadlocks...




The follow up to that whole hair cutting thing...

It’s been a couple of months now, and while I thought I might feel a little saddened by losing the length, I really haven’t. I think by far the hardest thing is simply the build up. I’m honestly not quite sure why, I guess it’s because they take so long to grow that you feel some sort of achievement and therefore added attachment?

So, after a few months, here’s the long and short of it (see that excellent pun use, yeah…): my reasons for wanting shorter hair held up: my hair is quicker to wash and dry, weighs less and gets in the way less. I’m a lot busier these days and ever longer hair, especially locked hair simply didn’t fit all that well… works much better now, I’m happy to report.

On a physical level, the ends aren’t all squared off anymore like they were immediately after cutting - some are still a bit… weird, but on the whole I think they’re looking pretty normal. In fact they’re looking a lot tidier on the ends than they did before, and they’re looking tidier than I expected. My previous experience has been that once I’ve cut the dreads, the ends have loosened, frayed and become whispy again after a few washes - in this case they’ve actually stayed pretty blunt looking. They’re not all locked and rounded over at the ends, but they aren’t doing a whole lot of loosening out either. I would put this down to them being so old and locked that they’re just less prone to fraying out after a trim - compared against when I’d trimmed them in the past when they were potentially not as mature.

There’s really not much more to say - they’re shorter and all is well with them. I think it’s quite cool that after somewhat “breaking the seal” and lopping off some length, I’ve spoken to a few other people that took the plunge too, having also held out for a long time, and they’ve also been enjoying the benefits.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Pros & Cons Of CUTTING Dreadlocks!




Two things I want to get out of the way straight off: yes dreadlocks do grow, and secondly yes you can trim them - you are not forced to grow them and grow them until they either consume your entire person or you remove them completely.

So while dreads can be trimmed, just like regular hair, unlike regular hair the trimming often needs to be justified, often both to yourself and to others. I often find that people who are relatively new to growing dreadlocks are wide-eyed and say they want to grow their hair forever and ever… and then those who’ve been at it a few years begin to see some benefits to having them at a more manageable length - so I’m going to go through some of the pros & cons to trimming as I see then.




Downsides:

Dreadlocks grow REALLY slowly, when you make the decision to trim them you’ve got to be real certain, as a rushed choice can leave your hair shortened for a LONG time, and permanently shorter than they would be naturally… which leads me onto my second downside…

Dreadlock length is often used as an indicator of dreadlock age and maturity, the longer the dreads, the older they must be, the more committed you must be, and often the more experienced you must be - this is often the reason why some people get so opinionated on dreadlock extensions.

Bit of an opinionated one, but I’m fairly sure it’s one that most can get behind… long dreads look excellent.

Lastly, a bit of a practical downside: while most people considering trimming will have had their dreadlocks for a long time… since their dreads have grown to be long enough to consider the trimming - however should you decide to trim dreads that are not yet fully matured you run the risk of the new ends fraying and unlocking - forming new tips that are looser than you’d potentially plan on.




Ok, so why would anyone trim their dreads? Well, the benefits include:

They’re all around more manageable - there’s less ‘dread’ to deal with. There’s less overall volume to wash and dry - so the whole process is quicker. The dreads straight up soak less water and there’s less length for the water to have to flow through and so drying times can be reduced dramatically even with just a minimal trim. If you’re maintenance-inclined, well there’s less dread to maintain. And as far as manageability goes from a practical point of view, they’re just easier to deal with, easier to keep track of… less chance that they’re going to go wandering onto your neighbours bus seat…

Less dread also means less weight. While the weight of dreadlocks creeps up very slowly over time, it can start to add up, especially when they’re wet, and especially when they’re wet and take a long time to dry. Long, heavy dreadlocks can not only start to become impractical, they can become uncomfortable.

Similarly if they get too long they can stop you from being able to do certain things that you otherwise might simply because so much hair can easily get in the way.

And to balance my previous opinion early - some people just prefer dreadlocks of a certain length, and may simply not want dreads to their waist, knees or ankles.