This will be a long post about life lessons that I learnt from keeping dreadlocks. Read to the end, You will learn something.
Sometimes back I got bored with my hair. I believe it is because I had done the same thing for over 10 years and I couldn’t just do it anymore. I had had all the beautiful hairstyles I ever wanted to have. I had tried on whatever trendy style that ever was. Salon time usually used to be very exciting but not anymore. Now I dreaded it. The hair dryers now made me cringe and the task of thinking about my next hairstyle became a chore.
The thought of just sitting down to get my hair perched up never excited me anymore. I had contemplated shaving for such a long time. Getting my hair locked was not anywhere near my mind. So on the day I went to my hairdresser and told her to shave my hair, I had made up my mind not to have it plaited.
We had a small conversation of me wanting to cut my hair and her not wanting me to cut it. I even has a photo that I had downloaded from Pinterest, showing how I wanted her to cut it.
She looked at me, took a deep breath and said, “You have good hair, don’t waste it.”
“But it’s just hair, it will grow back,” I said.
I know, but instead of cutting it, why don’t you try dreadlocks?
“I am not sure if I really want locks, let’s just cut it,” I replied.
“Dreadlocks will really look good on you and if you end up not liking them at all then you have a choice, you can always cut them,” she said.
That is how my locks journey began.
If I tell you it has been a smooth journey, I will be lying. First let me admit that I have a problem. A big problem. Which contributed to my problems. I always want my things done in a specific way. So when this lady arranged the locks, I had not really put much thought on what goes on in making locks. I had to learn along the way which was not so pleasant.
Apart from just getting locks, there are also some life lessons I have learnt along the way. These lessons apply to every area of life. So sit back, read and learn.
1. Before Embarking on A Project, Do Some Due Diligence
There are several arrangement styles when it comes to starting dreadlocks, something I didn’t know when I started this journey. I am the kind of person who adores neat, well arranged stuff and here is where the problem set in.
Since I had not planned to lock my hair, I didn’t do any background checks on locked hair. So when I sat on that chair, I left it all to my hairdresser to decide the pattern. She did what she thought was good but to me it wasn’t. For this reason, I had it disentangled and rearranged five times with different hair dressers.
Every hair dresser I went to did not bring out what I wanted. I was not satisfied with the initial arrangement style which made me hop from one hair dresser to another in search for what I wanted. It cost me money, time and pain. Pain from disentangling tangled, curly, African hair, time for hoping from one place to another and money from starting all over again which is an expensive affair. All because I did not do my research well.
This taught me one thing, when you plan to do something you need to get some background information before immersing your feet into it. If it is a business, you will need to find a good premise, your suppliers, calculate your profit margins, know your clientele, your marketing strategies, etc. In case you want to get yourself a new job, do some background checks on the company culture, terms and conditions, working hours, do’s and don’ts etc. This will save you pain, time and money.
Your task may be as simple as selecting a gym, staring a blog, restaurant sampling, choosing accommodation facilities or choosing a holiday destination. You need some background information.
You do not want to waste your time and money into something that will not end up well.
2. Change Is As Good As Rest
Doing the same thing had become cumbersome. There was no enthusiasm anymore and when I changed. Everything changed. I fell in love with my new style. I always look forward to the re-twists, the new styles and the neatness of well done dreadlocks.
So if you have been doing the same thing over and over again that it doesn’t excite you anymore, then change might be all you need. Sometimes you may think it will not be good. You may be wondering about the many adjustments that you will need to do to accommodate your change but you will never know the fulfilment that comes with it if you never give it a try.
You learn new skills, your view on different aspects of life changes. Change also takes away the anxiety of not knowing what would happen if you tried.
You might just end up falling in love with your change just like I did.
3. Patience Is Everything
Every visit for re-twist made me feel a bit impatient. If you have locked your hair you will know that every time you wash, it tends to disentangle. It needs time before it can really form into dreadlocks. When I looked at other people’s locks, they looked so good, so long and so intact. It only means one thing, they have been patient enough to let their hair lock and grow that long.
Same case applies to life. There is no overnight success. When crops are planted, they are given time to mature. When you go to school, it takes time for you to acquire that degree. When you start a weight loss regime, it takes time and dedication for you to get to your ideal weight. When you start preparing a meal, there is a process before it becomes ready for consumption.
Whatever it is that you want to achieve. You have to learn to go through the process and when you tend to get a bit impatient, just remember that Rome was never built in a day.
4. You Will Earn And Lose People Throughout Your Life’s Journey
The person who used to plait my hair is not the same person who does my locks. I had to look for a professional loctician. I lost my initial hairdresser and got a loctician. I also learnt that you can simply get a friend from your hairdo. I have had random people talk to me just because of my dreadlocks. A conversation can just spur out of nowhere when someone calls ‘Ras’ – Kenyan slang to mean someone who has locks, which is really interesting. Something I didn’t know before.
Therefore when you make adjustments to your life, don’t be afraid of losing friends along the way. You might end up getting valuable and more friends who will impact you positively along the way.