My Freeform Journey to Dreadlocks

My Freeform Journey to Dreadlocks

"In my white-collar IT job, despite a polished attire, my freeform dreadlocks stares, jokes, and even the VP's concerned gaze. Why? Dive into my journey of self-expression amidst corporate expectations.

When deciding to grow dreadlocks thirty years ago, I don't remember speaking to anyone who used the freeform method to grow or develop dreadlocks. Most people advised the use of a loctician or hair salon. However, they both required three essential things: time, money, and a decent amount of hair.

With a growing young family, I did not have the time nor money to hire a loctician or visit a hair salon. I decided to just shampoo and moisturize what little hair I had. But no combing or cutting. This process is called freeform. You do nothing to your hair with minimum care, but let it be free.

As my hair grew longer, I expected the dreadlocks to start forming immediately. Instead, a nappy little afro developed resembling the wool on sheep. Hair strains intertwined in different sections at the root as it continued growing. Parting my hair, I could see little "baby" dreadlocks forming at the root.

None of Your Spiritual Business

I started this freeform process while working a white-collar job in Information Technology. My hair looked wild in comparison to popular hairstyles. My coworkers thought I didn't give a damn. Maybe I did, perhaps I didn't. Other people's opinions have seldom been a concern of mine.

My work attire was always professional: suit, starched shirt, tie, facial trimming, and shining shoes. Upon waking each morning, I tried to tame my hair's appearance by pulling and patting it into a more presentable-looking afro. Despite my intentions to use my dressing style as a distraction, my interesting-looking hair caused stares, jokes, and weird questions everywhere I went.

Soon my hair's wild personality got the attention of managers, particularly the department's vice president. One day he stopped me in the hall with a look of concern on his face.

"Hi, Jeff; how are you doing?" His gaze wandered from the top of my head to my eyes.

"Fine, Matt, and you?" I responded.

"How are things in the command center?" asked Matt.

"Great. We've drafted and implemented the new policies to help customers resolve issues faster," I said.

"Good. Good. I'd like to see the reports soon."

I nodded, "Just let me know when you'll be coming by, and I'll have a draft sent to your office for review before you come."

Looking directly at my hair, he said in a low voice, "Your hair is getting long."

Since Matt was bald on the top of his head, I had no other response but, "Yeah, I'm letting it grow naturally."

"Natural, hum. You do know about the dress codes?" asked Matt.

"Yes, sir, I read them." We parted.

I studied the dress code policy. No instructions existed about hair length or style.

On another occasion at a local grocery store, two black men screamed across the parking lot, "Damn, Nigger! Why don't you comb your hair?" I'd expected stares and uneasiness from white people but not from black people in my community.

Because of faith in my vision myself with natural dreadlocks, I shook off all types of remarks. Others' negative thoughts about dreadlocks are none of my spiritual business.

The Black Swan Emerges

After about six months, I had a head full of dreadlocks about four inches long. During the process, the only control I had over how they looked was through "popping." Since I wanted to have long thin dreadlocks, I pulled apart any two dreadlocks matting together.

Today my dreadlocks are long, healthy, and mostly grey. I have achieved numerous goals, including working in various fields of IT in many companies, teaching myself computer building and repair, initiating a parenting magazine, launching an Internet publishing business, starting a blog, becoming a cyclist, increase my salary three fold, and currently working on a revised version of my self-published book "Don't Worry, Be Nappy!"

I attribute most of my remarkable achievements to several factors, including having precise SMART goals, attending seminars and workshops, understanding sacrifices are necessary, engaging in extensive reading, setting goals, receiving job promotions, saving money, making wise spending choices, experiencing multiple failures, and adopting various positive lifestyle practices. I am excited to share these valuable insights with you through this blog.

The numerous positive changes in my life are a direct result of my unwavering belief system, visualization, meditation, and relentless determination to define myself based on my standards. Each idea I had started with a clear vision of the desired outcome. Rather than worrying about how to accomplish the task, I maintained faith in its eventual completion. I then planned my actions, diligently worked according to the plan, and voilà – achieved successes that work for me.

"Hold the vision. You have the power in you to resurrect your dreams and make them become a reality. Work on yourself. Believe in yourself and in a power greater than yourself. Be patient and keep moving forward. Things will work out for you." - Les Brown

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