Saturday, January 24, 2009

Headlock with Dreadlocks

I didn't think there was anything as cool as Pipo's dreadlocks when he played soccer, but I must say, they are pretty cool when he is wrestling too!

A fellow blogger recently asked me to do a post on hair, so I will do my best here.

I have posted about hair in the past, but never in depth. I have been incredibly fortunate in that the summer camp we work at has several people who I have been able to go to for hair advice. I was SO happy this summer when one of our good friends from Jamaica told Pipo his hair looked great and that that was how he started his dreads when he was a boy.

When Pipo first started growing his hair out, I wasn't sure what to do with it. One of my camp friends sat with me one afternoon and talked me through these 'comb coils'. These are done by taking small chunks of hair, greasing them up good, and twisting them up with the end of a fine toothed comb. While it looked cute, I didn't love the style on Pipo. His face is just too pretty, and I felt it made him look a little girlish.

Eventually I started to do two strand twists on him as his hair got longer. This was a little easier for me... taking two bits of hair and twisting them around eachother, so that the final product looks almost like a bit of fat yarn (or at least mine did!) But again, it looked a little too feminine on him. I saw a photo online of a boy with all but the top of his head shaved. I asked Pipo if he wanted to try it. The big bonus was that it took much less time to do his hair with only the top of it to twist. I loved the look on him, and we went with this. As his hair got longer though, it got pretty time consuming to do a retwist. He would wash his hair, and I would have to pick it all out with a comb, and then redo all the twists. He didn't seem like he was going to want to cut his hair anytime soon, so I suggested going to dreadlocks. I told him it would be for good (until he wanted to cut his hair) but he liked the idea.

So now his hair has been "locked" for well over a year. It's getting pretty long, but I must say, it suits him.

When I first started his dreadlocks, I read anything I could find about them. One of the best resources was a post by another blogger, which you can find here. These two adorable boys have had their hair locked since they were very young toddlers. It's a great post with lot's of info.

Starting Pipo's locks was fairly simple. I just kept the two strand twists in, and every week in the beginning I would retwist. His hair wasn't that long yet, so it wasn't too bad. After about a month, it was 2-3 weeks between twisting, and now I can go up to 6 weeks without it looking too bad. The main issue is the new hair growth. The base of the locks get pretty fuzzy.

I take each lock, dab a bit of gel at the base, and twist up the new growth.

Then I glide a bit more gel up the length of the lock and palm roll it as you can see below. It is simply putting the lock between my hands and rolling it back and forth.

I add a clip to each finished lock, right at the base. You can see below how fuzzy the untwisted part of his head is.

When his whole head is done, it needs to dry. Pipo is not a fan of the hairdryer, so I usually do his locks early on a day when we have nothing going, and then he can just hang around the house for a couple hours with his head all clipped!

There are lot's of variations to this routine. I use "Let's Jam" for gel. I have tried many products, but this is the one which worked best for Pipo's hair. As far as parting the hair goes, I was pretty loose about it. Being a boy, I didn't care so much how 'uniform' his locks looked. So the parts are not even at all, and the locks themselves are varying sizes. I like this look for him, it seems more 'boyish' and natural.
The biggest benefit by far though, is how much bonding happens with hair time. I have posted about that before, but I will say it again... the physical one on one time we get with retwisting is SO good. Pipo actually will ask me to do his hair before it even really needs to be done. And I am sure it's because he needs that time. Time to just relax, and have mom to himself. And for that... I will keep twisting his hair as long as he wants me to!


JourneytoFamily said...

I love this post! And all the bonding time you get while doing hair.

Jane (a.k.a. patjrsmom) said...

Hey there,

Your son's hair is my "goal" hair for my son. If I could only get him to sit still long enough...;-)

And, as far as the "following" thing goes--just look in my sidebar and click on "follow this blog" and it will let you see all new posts, etc...when you log into Blogger or in Google Reader if you use it.

God Bless,

Easties and Co. said...

Great insight about hair time and bonding. Thank you for sharing!


mayhem said...

Thank you!! Interesting that you said the smaller locs and coils and twists looked too feminine... I wondered about that with my boys, and I think you're right that medium thickness, irregular locs look best for guys.

How long is Pipo's hair in the picture with twists? Looks like 3-4 inches? We just started growing out their hair and I'm already impatient... I'm not crazy about an afro look on my kids (though their little 1/2" afros look really cute right now). I guess we have a while to wait while it grows. It seems like locs aren't too difficult to care for once they are established. For now, I love doing the hair care, the daily combing, the yummy-smelling products, etc. Thanks for the info on how you maintain Pipos locs. Oh, and the ends of his locs look really great! Not frizzy, a little bit blunt... He's a good looking kiddo and the hair just makes him look extra awesome!

Chapter Two Manmi said...

I love his hair -- and that self portrait a few posts below! Doing my girls hair is one of my surprise joys in being their manmi. It is a special bonding time and they eat it up--so do I. With girlies who can't help but rought it up, we're doing hair every other weekend. It could be a lot of work but mostly it's a lot of quality time together. I wonder if my boy will ever want longer hair and/or dreads.

The Golf Widow said...

He is so CUTE! Love the hair!

WOW,I struggle to get one single piggy-tail in my 4 girls' hair. The one on one "hair time" would be nice, but I can't imagine mine sitting still that long.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting on this! I so want to do locks in J-man's hair!

Adoption Cubed said...

Thank you for all this information and for the links. I have hit a hair snare with our youngest. Her hair texture has changed and I am wanting other natural hairstyle ideas.

You're so right! The hair bonding time is priceless.

DexterP17 said...

That is how i'm trying to get my hair. That story was good! I'm glad you spent time doing this.

Anonymous said...

nice post. I would love to follow you on twitter.

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