6 REASONS TO: Grow dreadlocksby Crowned Locs, LLC
It’s no secret that the cost of living is forcing us to make some hard choices and find coping mechanisms.
I cope by singing along to Billy Ocean’s hit song “When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going” especially when I find myself paying almost double the usual price for a commodity or service. The song may not do much to protect my nearly malnourished wallet, but it uplifts my moods. I refuse to be broke and sad at the same time.
LOCK YOUR HAIR
A while back, I made another budget-friendly lifestyle adjustment and decided lock my hair. I have saved a small fortune in the past one year and a half that I have had the dreadlocks, no kidding. When I made the decision to wax it up, it was purely for cost-cutting reasons.
Of course as a millennial, my Instagram and Facebook posts bore a different narrative. I took some photos a few minutes after my locktician was done and captioned them: “African babe”, “Going natural”, “Back to my roots” but the reality on the ground was more like: “Broke lass” or “Can’t afford a weave.” In fact, I would have gone to the barber but if you have met me then you surely know that the shape of my head is not shave-friendly.
Locking my hair has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. In terms of saving me money, it continues to come through big time. In fact, nobody told me that the longer they grew, the cheaper to maintain they became. Their cost cutting value appreciates with time.
I am horrible with analogies but this right here is a gem; dreadlocks are like land or wine, the longer you have them the higher their value. But it is not just the affordability; I have come to enjoy a number of benefits from this old time hairstyle. If you have been courting the idea of locking it up, here are six reasons to urge you on:
Dreadlocks protect your hairline. My edges set me in a praise-mood every morning ever since I locked my hair. Let me tell you a story. When I joined Moi University in Eldoret, I had a difficult time getting a new hairdresser. At the end of that first semester, I came back to Nairobi and a tiny voice which I now refer to as ‘enemy of my edges’ whispered to me, “Go to Kenyatta market and get your hair braided. Those neat twist braids will give you service.” I listened to that voice, and the braids served me for slightly over two months. When I eventually undid my hair, traumatic horror swept over me as I watched my hairline recede right in front of my eyes. Each braid came off with tufts of hair…but that was not even the worst bit. Imagine I went back and got braided again. My friends, isn’t that plain witchcraft? My hairline would have given one of our former president’s hairline a run for his money. Anyway, I am healed now, thanks to my locks.
They are easy to maintain.The first three months are a bit taxing because the hair needs to bind. So if you are home-waxing it then you will spend more time on your hair for that particular period as the strands bind to give it a neat appearance. Once you are past that stage, it is a walk in the park. One year in, I prefer to let mine loose or tied up in a band. I tried crotchet-styling them once and they looked really nice, but this undermined the benefit of easy maintenance. Now I just add a few shells and all these new accessories for hair and simply let them hang.
Dreadlocks are fashionable.Since the days of Samson from the Bible or the days of the Mau Mau (Mau Mau is also how my mother sometimes refers to my hair, yes, she is a typical Kenyan mother who feels that I gave up my beauty and femininity by having marasta on my head) locks have continued to rock the fashion world. It is a timeless fashion trend that will serve you for ages.
They are a unisex hairstyle. Couples are out here loving each other and doing cute stuff together all the time, they are calling it “twinning with bae.” In addition to matching hoodies, dreadlocks are another way to twin with your beau because they look fantastic on both men and women. No, my beau doesn’t have locks but that is because he doesn’t exist to begin with. However, I think it would be fun to borrow each other’s hair shells, Black castor oil and that molasses hair conditioner.
They are time saving.Back in the pre-locks day, I would spend close to five hours in the salon just getting my hair made only to go back home with a splitting headache. Woe to me if I bumped into one of those elderly Maasai men from our village who insist on patting the head in greeting, such a painful greeting! It now takes me about one hour to have my locks done; 20 minutes washing, 15 minutes waxing and 20 minutes in the drier. I am left with five minutes to tie them up and nag my loctician as he holds the mirror for the rear view: “Let me see the side...oh nice…hold it up a little…wonderful…and down, no down on the side…yes…wow.” He is so patient.
Dreadlocks will help you cultivate patience.It has taken me more than a year to manage holding up the locks in a ponytail. Even then, a few strands still escape because they simply do not measure up yet. I am in the habit of shamelessly asking other dreadlocked people how long they have had theirs, especially those whose locks go beyond shoulder-length. Most of them answer between four to seven years. Whoa! But if I held on for those first six months when the locks were short and stuck out from awkward angles on my head making me look like a porcupine, what is a few more years?