My dreadlock journey started when after what seemed like years of thinking about it, I received my first set of dreadlocks from a good friend. Heaven only knows what ‘technique’ she used but I loved and nurtured those wonderful dreadies in my own way for 5 years.
I’d had those dreadlocks for just over a year when on a trip to Thailand in 2006 I met Ali, a Thai Rasta offering a dreadlocking service on one of the back streets off Khao San Road in Bangkok. I was travelling with a good friend Euan at the time and he was keen to have Ali do a tidy-up on his dreads. Ali was a wonderful character and a very welcome alternative to the prolific gangs of chattering Thai Ladies churning out dreadlocks on the main strip!
Up until that point I’d been looking after my own dreadlocks by using a pretty unsatisfactory technique called ‘looping the roots’. I was intrigued to watch Ali using a tiny crochet hook to tighten up Euan’s dreads. Ali had a very generous spirit and was happy to give me an enthusiastic tutorial by guiding me through his process and helping me to try it out for myself.
The next day I went to a department store on Ali’s recommendation and bought a bunch of those little crochet hooks. When I returned home I began honing my skills on my own and my friends dreadlocks. After a while I started getting requests from friends of friends to do their hair…Then I began to get requests from people who had bumped into my dreadlocked friends and asked for a recommendation. It was natural that through all this practice I was developing quite a talent and that as I became more accomplished, people wanted to pay and exchange services with me to help them create and look after their dreadlocks.
I don’t claim to know everything about dreadlocks as I believe each set of dreadlocks is as unique as the individual that owns them. I do, however, claim to be a heart-centered and understanding being who is extremely nifty with a crochet hook. I find the amount of debate, conflicting advice and consumer driven products for dreadlocks out there absolutely crazy! For me dreadlocks are about being natural and easy-going. A long term gift not an expensive trip to the salon.
I see dreadlocks as a kind of process hairstyle, from the initial experience of having them formed to their continued development and maturity. I would like to help people have a joyful and meaningful experience of receiving and growing them.