Thursday finally came and I met one of my volunteer friends (Tabatha of Fat Bottom Babies) at our laundry / shower facilities in our RV Park for my dread party! First things first, I brushed out my braids.
Tyler had come along to help watch Tabatha's son. I held Spencer in my lap and wore him, occasionally setting him in his wagon for a few minutes.
Tabatha sectioned the first (back) row for dreading. It split into 4 sections about 1½" wide. Then she started in with a comb, as per the tutorial from Knotty Boy.
This isn't suggested by the tutorial, but my hair is so fine that Tabatha had trouble getting it to grab onto itself. She found it very helpful to put a little wax in my hair before back combing.
She started out with the Knotty Boy Dreadlock Wax Roll-Up Stick, but a little bit later switched to the original Knotty Boy Dreadlock Wax (from the starter kit) and found she preferred it for this particular use.
My doula / friend / other volunteer, Jenni, arrived a bit later. Then I had both women working on my hair at the same time quite a bit. Often times I was bouncing or nursing Spencer while they were tugging on my hair. The most intense (read: painful) moment of the day was when I had Tabatha and Jenni working on my temples. Imagine taking a 1" section of hair from your temples and having it tugged over and over again, both sides at the same time. That part was awful, but it could easily have been done differently (don't do those two sections at the same time).
My dreadlock team found their groove as they worked. Tabatha had already been named the official hair-sectioner. It was also discovered that she rocked the roots while Jenni did better with the rest. At one point, Jenni took a break while Tabatha did the roots on half a row of dreads. Then Jenni started on the row while Tabatha finished the roots in that row.
I asked my team to give me a quick review of the actual dread process as well as the Knotty Boy products. Here is what Jenni had to say:
I thought the videos online were very informative and helped a lot. When we first got started, I was using the roll on wax because it seemed more convenient. But after trying the tub wax, found it was more dense and helped nat the dread better. As far as the combs go, I liked the black plastic comb best. The metal comb with the wooden handle didn't seem to grab your fine hair very well. Using the black comb on the staggered toothed end ratted and natted nicely. It would be nice to include 2 of each comb and some clips for sectioning in the kits. Overall, the kit worked well with great results.
Having your hair dreaded is a very lengthy process. We had scheduled 6 hours, but Tabatha's son (1 year old) just couldn't go another minute. He'd missed his nap and we had to call it a day an hour earlier than we planned. There was no way we would have finished in that hour anyway.
My 3rd row had 14 (or was it 13½?) dreadlocks in 1" sections. The 4th row had been sectioned out and the first root dreaded before we packed it up. Tabatha tied my loose hair up and banded together my sectioned and dreaded hair.
If you're planning on picking back up in the morning, do not band your undreaded hair like this! The wax soaked into my fresh sections and made it impossible for Tabatha to dread. I was stuck having to figure out how to wash half of my hair. I contacted Knotty Boy and they assured me it was alright if my new dreads got wet in the process. I was kind of freaking out, so it was very reassuring to get the quick, supportive feedback from them. I put off washing my hair (twice with the pre dread soap just like before) until I was about to have another session...
I was so horribly bummed about not getting my dreadlocks done in one day (or even the next day). And so this is where I bum you out about not getting to see them completed yet, either. I will, at least, leave you with one more cute photo:
Please come back next week to finally see my completely dreaded locks! In case you missed it, you can see the prep work in my post, Hippies wear Dreads.