One Good Thing Leads To Another
I first saw dreadlocks in Dallas, Texas, after graduating college. I'd changed to a vegan diet to lose weight. My dream job gave me a lot of disposable income. I used this newfound wealth as an excuse to eat out more for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once a fit 160-pound high school football player, I was unhappy my weight had risen to over 200 pounds in three years.
With the help of a vegan diet and exercise, I lost about 35 pounds in 8 months. My weight loss success led me to a spiritual journey. I realize no animal needs harming for the sake of my nutrition. Protecting the environment, racism, animal abuse, health, and personal development became more concerns.
When I saw a Rastafari with dreadlocks, I knew there was something special about his hair. Veganism and dreadlocks both help me try to live in harmony with nature. One good thing leads to another. I go to great lengths to avoid animal products in my diet; it only makes sense to avoid using harsh chemicals on my hair.
I stopped manipulating my hair to do unnatural things like lay flat or create waves. Dreadlocks are a natural hairstyle requiring little or no maintenance. I don't use chemicals that might damage my hair or pollute the environment.
What Society Thinks
Initially, I didn't prepare for the emotional turmoil I experienced with dreadlocks. Family, friends, and even strangers made negative comments about my hair. Some people even shunned me. I thought family and friends would commend my dedication to culture and individualism.
Social media, television programs, and print media affect public opinion. They define what is acceptable and unacceptable about one's appearance. Many attribute dreadlocks as a hairstyle for entertainment, sports, and sometimes, crime. But not for the business world, technical fields, academia, or medical professions. Some even ask, "If people give you so much grief about your dreadlocks, why don't you cut them off?"
Even with negative stereotypes, dreadlocks are my source of inspiration and meaning. Dreadlocks brought many challenges, including emotional pain and isolation, into my life. They also gave me inner strength, unwavering morals, and determination to succeed.
The Bottom Line
I have dreadlocks for many reasons. First, they symbolize strength, resilience, and confidence. I feel invincible with them, like the biblical Samson. They have been through job changes, failed relationships, and many business ventures, and they continue to motivate me to live an awesome life on my terms.
Second, I have to prove to myself and the world that I can have everything I desire. These include financial stability to work from home and save for retirement. Immaculate clothes that feel good against my skin. Fresh, healthy foods for my vegan lifestyle. A comfortable, safe home for my family. Dependable vehicles for safe driving and protection. And exotic travels for exposure to world cultures. All while maintaining a head full of dreadlocks.
Finally, dreadlocks are a way for me to express my individuality and personal style. I love the way they look and feel, and I feel like they represent who I am as a person. They are also a low-maintenance hairstyle, which is important to me because I don't have a lot of time to spend on my hair.
If you are thinking about getting dreadlocks, I encourage you. They are beautiful and versatile hairstyles worn by people of all ages and backgrounds. Remember to take care of your dreadlocks properly to stay healthy and strong.
Here is some positive advice for people who are thinking about getting dreadlocks:
- Do your research. Learn about the history of dreadlocks and the different ways to care for them.
- Talk to people who have dreadlocks. Get their advice on how to care for your hair and how to deal with any challenges that you may face.
- Be prepared for people to make assumptions about you. Some people may think that you are dirty or unkempt.
- Be prepared to educate them about dreadlocks and why you choose to wear them.
- Most importantly, be confident. Dreadlocks are a beautiful and unique hairstyle. If you love the way they look and feel, then don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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