I put a lot of thought into what my first blog post should be.
Dreadlock topics are easy to imagine. Anyone who has ever considered getting dreadlocks would read posts about methods, washing routines, or care. I was going to randomly choose one of these topics and offer my opinion and share my experiences.
Reading that post triggered a whirlwind of emotions that caught me by surprise. I felt a twinge in my heart and sensed my brain racing, calculating, wondering.
Sophie first contacted me two years ago for an install appointment. The first time we met, I remember thinking her cropped, curly hair was super cute. Although she enlisted the help of her daughters to start her dreads, we met regularly for maintenance appointments for two years. I very much looked forward each maintenance appointment with Sophie. Sophie is radiant, refreshing and very funny. At the end of our sessions, part of me wished her hair was in worse shape so that i could stay longer. It made me sad to think that our time together would soon end.
After the initial shock subsided, I reflected on Sophie's dreadlock journey. Mired with potholes and speed bumps, she had invested so much time, energy and thought into her dreads. Now two years old, her dreadlocks were finally starting to look mature and well cared for. I didn't understand why she would cut them now that the journey would be straight forward and simple.
My mother believes in the philosophy that women drastically change their hair in an attempt at regaining control over an aspect of their life. This wisdom holds true for Sophie. When I weighed in on Sophie's Facebook poll, she explained that the decision to unlock wasn't an easy one. Timing and mediation ultimately revealed that she needed to shed the dreadlocks, to be renewed. I understood completely. I had been through my own undreading experiences.
It may seem cliché, but for many people, is not just a hair style. For whatever reason, dreadlocks truly create a deep and meaningful connection to identity. And so, rarely does cutting hair evoke such strong emotion and initiate debate. When researching for this post, I came across several blogs and videos about the unlocking experience. Often, these people would discuss the importance of their dreadlock identity and their struggle with the decision to cut them off.
I admit that starting this blog with this topic is odd. It's like starting a story with the end. But, understanding that dreadlock journeys are challenging practically and emotionally until the very last step, may make taking the first step slightly easier.