Just like the earth and just like our lives, without getting too philosophical, there are seasons for everything including dreadlocks. When you first get dreads, and even before you get dreads, you’ll want to do the research and have a good idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into. Dreads take a long time to put in, a long time to grow beautifully, and a long time to remove so be sure you know what journey you’re stepping on.
The rocky stage is the very start. Once you get your dreads put in, at first it will be amazing. In truth, if you’re really ready for dreads, it will all be amazing, but this honeymoon stage comes to a halt eventually. In the first few weeks, and even into the first and a half, your dreads will act strangely and won’t look the way you anticipate right away.
Initially, many people think their dreads will look picture perfect in the first week and that’s not the case. In fact, new dreads are often a bit painful. They are frizzy and very voluminous and have a tendency to stick up and out if they are shorter than 8 inches. While that first month is rolling around there will be a lot of learning and a lot of patience.
Short and Sweet
The next phase of dreads is short and sweet, but not in the way you might think. It’s called a short phase because they will actually shrink up a bit more than they did at the start. Your hair is reacting to being knotted, tied, and tangled together and it will always look shorter before it starts to fall and stretch to get to the length they will be for a while after that.
In addition to looking a bit shorter, they will also start to finally look like real, legitimate dreadlocks. The frizz will minimize after a while and the knotting will become more uniform if you work hard on them. The dreads will start to really look like what they do in the pictures and the movies and you’ll start to fall in love with how your dreads look, feel, and are acting.
Long and Legendary
The final stage comes at a wide range of time frames for each person. For some people, it happens within a few months, some it takes a year to reach this point. Many of those factors are often due to lack of proper maintenance on why this stage might take longer than you’d expected. Regardless, after the first two stages, the long and legendary stage will come along.
This stage is when the dreads are taken care of, the roots are tightened periodically, and the right hair care products are used and they grow in all the right ways. Your dreads will start to grow in length after time and will become tighter and tighter and more smooth week after week. This is the time that every dreadhead looks forward to and it’s always worth the wait.
Stay patient, take care of your dreads from the very first day, and understand that just like life, dreads have seasons too.