When I first mentioned that I was letting my hair dread, my kids had mixed responses. Seth was excited, and Sean wasn't quite so much. I didn't really explain in detail why I was doing it; just that it was a journey I felt I needed right now. Seth actually said he wanted them too, though his hair is much too short for it, and due to their change in schooling, it’s not something that he will be able to do. In fact, the beautiful long hair Sean has grown all summer has now been chopped, which was pretty tough for me to deal with. I loved his long hair with its thick and beautiful golden strands that hung perfectly around his gorgeous face like those of a beach-loving surfer.
But it’s all part of the journey I’m quickly realizing, as Sean has now made it clear that he doesn’t want me to grow dreadlocks because he will miss being able to play with my hair. Many evenings we would spend on the couch with him running his fingers through my hair like a comb, delicately separating the strands. I’m trying to convince him that he can, instead, get just as much joy out of separating each of my locks and be an involved and important part in “guiding” them with me.
And that’s one of the biggest pieces of this journey that I’m coming to terms with right now. While a lot of my reason for allowing my hair to dread has to do with letting go of control and allowing them to do as they wish, much like I’m trying to do with my life, I’m quickly realizing that I can’t completely relinquish all control. In fact, it’s clearly necessary for me to help shape and guide them, just like it’s necessary for me to guide myself. I can decide which strands to separate, how thick or thin I want them to be, how many of them there are. I can gently care for them just like I care for the deepest parts of myself.
But the dreads will also be independent of me in ways too. Some of them will form on their own and only need my twisting and guidance in small ways, but others will require more of my attention more often. Much like life and many other situations, I will have to allow them to find their own shape and grow on their own, but still lend my care when they require, or ask me for it. And I will have to trust my intuition to know when it’s okay and necessary to do so.
And here we have Day 10. Taken early this morning, I had washed and slept on it overnight. I was tempted to take a photo of the mess that proceeded it from a day spent tubing on the creek and an evening of post-float partying, camping and such. It really took on a life of it's own from those 24 hours. But, you get the cleaned up version!
And here is a shot taken later this afternoon. Since I started this journey, I've mostly been wearing it pulled back in a scarf (one of my grandmother's vintage scarves, of course!), but today I decided to wear it down for the first time. And I did quite a bit of separating and twisting today too.
Excited to see what the next 10 days brings! Thanks for following along!