Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 34: Dreadlocks!


I know that many of you are following along each day, trying to accomplish the tasks as we do them.   Consider this a day off.

I know it's not for everybody, but my husband and I recently decided to get dreadlocks!

The Why:  We have been trying a number of natural ways to wash our hair, things that didn't involve nasty chemicals.  We tried the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method and gave it a couple weeks because apparently your hair needs a couple weeks of a new routine for the PH to balance out or something like that.  We tried a shampoo bar and found it left an awful residue that made our hair feel heavy and dirty.  We bought an expensive natural shampoo that works nicely, but is just too costly considering how much hair we have. And both of us, for ages, have wanted dreads.  As we struggled against our hair to try and get it silky smooth without using any of the chemicals that make it silky smooth we finally just decided to get dreads.

I had dreadlocks when we met, and I spent weeks conditioning them and tediously washing and combing them out 7 years ago because I felt that it was time to start looking like a responsible grown up.  I am so over that.

Dreadlocks are a journey.  They are a practice in patience and contentment.  They take time to become what they are going to be, and in the mean time you just wear a lot of bandannas!  They are controlled chaos.  Instead of using products to get your hair to look a certain way, you just wash dreads with regular soap and let them do what they naturally want to do. I don't just love our new dreads, I love the idea of dreads.


The Verdict: I know that a lot of you have actual jobs that require you to look professional.  I know that this isn't for everyone, that many of you are shaking your heads right now and writing us off as crazy hippies.  But for us this is a letting go of what we think we ought to be.  For us, this is a stepping into freedom.

Besides, let's face it: Luke is a construction worker with a passion for organic farming.  He reads Joel Salatin and Wendell Berry and will go off on tangents about Monsanto and Walmart if you let him.  I am a tattooed homeschool mom who wears clothes I made myself and writes about giving away all our stuff....we weren't really ever in the running for normal anyways!


The kids, by the way, don't have dreads.  They are using Aubrey Organics Blue Chamomile Shampoo (It is currently the second highest rated shampoo on GoodGuide.com, a site that rates products according to their safety to our health, environmental effects, and social impact).  My five year old is asking for dreads, but we just aren't sure.  We've told her to ask again when she's six....

We are doing one small thing (almost) every day for a year to create a simpler, quieter, more intentional life. Take a moment to read all About Us, check out The Rules of our year long project and sign up for our RSS feed or "like" us on facebook so that you can follow our journey to radical simplicity!

48 comments:

  1. Awesome! Really! I just chopped off all my hair, and I used to want dreads! :)

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  2. In my dream world I would like to be able to live a week with dreads just to see what it was like. I don't think it will ever happen :) but I think they are awesome.

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  3. Good for you!! I vote for the 5 year old to have dreads. Hair is a tricky thing. My 2 boys have shaved heads and get their noggins wiped down with a soapy wash cloth every day. My daughter and I wash our hair every 3 or 4 days. Some people think I'm crazy, but I'm a stay at home mom. My hair is a pony tail 110% of the time. I love all your posts.

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  4. I think that for people who love and want dreads, they're great! They also look really good on both of you guys! :)
    But for me? It's just not my thing. BUT, I just blogged about how I am so thankful for my incredibly low-maintenance hair. Literally, I wash my hair once, sometimes twice a week. It's long and I love it. I'm using up the shampoo I already have and then I'm also going to try the baking soda method. We'll see. I think it could work for me as I don't even have issues with shampoo as it is and having to wash my hair every other day.
    But I liked this post - very "outside the box".
    Plus, who wants to be normal anyway? :)

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  5. This is great! I had dreads when I was younger and have seriously considered going that route again. It is just so much easier and I love the look. I'm curious, how did you form yours?

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    1. Hi Pamela! We backcombed my hubbies hair, and did mostly twist & rip in mine. Last time I had dreads I backcombed...but I'm really happy with the twist & rip this time around. We didn't use any wax or other products.

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    2. I backcombed mine and really liked the look. You two look great! I really enjoy your mission for a simplified lifestyle and wish your family the best of luck!

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  6. the dreads really suit you! meaning, they look nice. :) I wish I could do dreads but my hair is just too dry or oily. it never worked for me. :/ I also wish I could wear cute bandanas like you!! but my hair is SOOO not thick enough.

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  7. You both look fabulous and I have so much respect for you living out your principles xx

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  8. You two are adorable - this totally suits you. :)

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  9. hahahah Kelly I love the whole ask us again when you;re 6 !!!! and i have secretly wanted dreads myself but there is no way i can have them for work! maybe when i'm older with white hair ill do it!

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  10. The picture of you and Luke is adorable. The hair looks fabulous too. And really, what IS normal?

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  11. Your post made me laugh! In a Wow-Kelly-is-Crazy-but-Inspiring kind of way. It was nice to see a picture of your smiling face!

    And Thanks for the link to GoodGuide.com I have a feeling I will be on there often.

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  12. You guys are adorable. Rock those dreads for all of us hippies in young professionals' clothing. ;)

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  13. OOOHHHHH! can i just TELL you how jealous i am??????????????? i tease my hubby all the time that he is a nike/izod/preppie left over from 1985 (he IS btw!) and i am SOOOOO NOT!

    i have always wanted dreds but i know i will not be allowed in my own home if i do..... besides, he has a career that requires him to look semi-professional so i sometimes feel i have to at least pretend to fit in. :( keep livin' the dreams i dream and posting lots of pictures so i can enjoy your journey! (he's not totally on board with my idea of "less" either.....yet) you're my hero!:)

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  14. So Luke and my husband are the same man. No seriously my DH can not stand Monsanto and I can't stand Wal-Mart. Awesome Post. I started my loc journey in 2004, got a divorce, cut the first set off. And started the second set while I was still single. So after four kids, three pregnancies, my locs are down my back. I joked with my DH that I was going to cut them off and start again for the maintenance during this first year of son's life. I think its wonderful. I learned how to do maintenance from a Caucasian woman on YouTube. Have you tried Dr. Bronner's pure Castile soap? ( I know you said you trying to limit the gunk in your hair and I think the ingredients are minimal). Since my hair is naturally dry, I just recently did my maintenance with water and bobby pin. Enjoy the journey.

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    1. Hi! We use Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap for our bodies, faces, and our dreads. I love the stuff. If it's properly diluted it doesn't leave any residue in the hair and seems to actually tighten the dreads up a bit as well. :)

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    2. i just went to the dr bronners website and holy crap its expensive. is this something you can buy in stores or only on the web site and does it last a long time? i see its organic so i know it will be a little more expensive, just seems like a lot.

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    3. Hi Judy! I buy it at a store. I get a 16 oz bottle of the almond liquid soap for 12.99,which isn't expensive AT ALL because the stuff is highly concentrated. You're supposed to dilute it with 12 parts water. It only takes a few dribbles to clean your whole body. It last our family MONTHS. So it seems pricey, but it isn't. :)

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    4. good to know, thanks kelly. its not at all expensive if it gets diluted. do you mind if i ask you what store you get it at? i'm thinking i'll try our 'tara natural foods', they sell stuff like that. glad its not only sold online.
      again, thanks kelly.

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    5. We get it at a small bulk foods store in our town. Your natural foods store sounds like a likely place to find it.

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    6. thanks kelly, for your help with this and all your writings :)
      i'm going to try 'tara's' to see if they carry it and give it a try. i'm using a shampoo now thats supposed to be all natural but i'm just not sure and the less chemical the better.

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    7. FWIW - I get the bar soap, grate it, add it to boiling water (8 cups) and 1 TBS of vegetable glycerin and make my own 'liquid Castile soap' - I could never find the liquid soap in person where I used to live so that's what I did to not spend a fortune on soap.

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  15. Have you guys ever heard of Waldorf education? Our kids go to Waldorf school (and we have friends that follow a Waldorf curriculum for homeschooling) and it is RIGHT up your alley. Very Kim Jon Payne.

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  16. I like how it looks on you...not sure I could pull it off...and I think my husband would get fired though. Even though he is in total agreement and support of natural and simplistic living, he is very Tobey Maguirish...from Pleasantville...LOL....anyway...I am jealous:o)

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  17. i love the idea. i've always wanted dreads but i also like to donate my hair to make wigs for cancer patients so dreads is out of the question for me at this point. you both look great though and i love that you kept your bangs kelly!

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  18. Dreads really suit you both, you look great! It isn't my style, but this week I did switch most of our soaps to Dr. Bronners. I really love the hair rinse and using the Citrus as a replacement for handwashing, and the Peppermint for the shower. We still have to test out the laundry and house cleaning soaps, but I am confident that they will work as well as the others. It seems like such a small change, but it is a beginning of a long term plan to use grey water one day in our garden... every little step forward is lessening our impact on the environment, even in an urban environment.

    I really enjoy your blog and look forward to reading it each day!

    adventureonplanetearth.blogspot.com

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  19. You both look very cute with your dreads.

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  20. Wish I could wear dreads but Mr. VZ has nixed them and I work in the legal industry - that sort of hairstyle would be frowned on.

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  21. love the pic of your smiling face! you wear them well!

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  22. I agree with everyone. You do wear them well! I'm chomping at the bit, nearly ready to shave my head! Short just isn't short enough for me. I so long for simple. =)

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  23. They look so good on you!

    If you are looking for a natural shampoo for your kids, we started using Fundamental Earth's and LOVE it. The best part is the ingredient list. I actually know what every ingredient is - no elusive chemicals! =) I'm not sure on Canadian availability, but here is the link where we purchase it from - http://www.earthturns.com/Natural-Shampoo-p/fe-pc-shampoo-12.htm

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  24. You guys are adorable! Thanks for sharing that with the world. :)

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  25. When I first read this post I thought... have I got the right blog? Isn't this chicky a conservative baptist Christian?
    And then I realised I have got the right blog, and you're just awesome!! You both look great and I love the motivation behind the dreads too!

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    1. haha Lauren...this made me laugh. Thanks :)

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  26. Really? Nobody is goin to say he's SO handsome?:)

    Dreads are awesome and you are awesome Kelly!

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  27. Kelly, I'm a frequent reader and just read "7" - I'm on a simplicity and Jesus kick right now. And the main point I've found is that I need to get used to being considered weird. My true self is what the world thinks is weird (crazy Christian) and so I need to stop pretending and be authentic.

    Love your dreads. Love the real you. But even if I didn't - you shouldn't care. Be you.

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  28. You guys are quickly becoming my favorite blog. Thanks you for the light-hearted openness you bring to your blog. It really is refreshing.

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  29. Good for you! I think it looks cool, and suits you. You seem to have a unique style and certainly dreads fit with that. :) I'm far too timid and conventional (although I wish I was neither) for something like that. I've been toying with the idea of a nose ring for a couple of years, but I just don't think I could pull it off.

    Enjoying both of your blogs! (And I love love love your earrings.)

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  30. I think dreads on a guy looks hot! But did you and your husband start at the same time? His look more progressed than yours do. How long does it take to get them really the way you want them?

    I would say to check with the school first about the 5 year old, but since you homeschool, it looks like you already have approval!

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    1. My husbands dreads are a few days older than mine. I've heard it said that it takes about 3 months for dreads to start to look like real dreads, but it's different for everybody.

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  31. Yes, I think you're crazy...but ONLY because they just aren't my thing. Plus I don't think I could pull it off. YOU, on the other hand, look ADORABLE! (and glowing, by the way, can't wait until your new family member arrives so you can post pictues) I haven't seen very many of these posts, but am sitting here reading a few. I follow your Imperfect Housekeeping blog (love it) and have just subsctibed to this one. I REALLY don't know how you do it (and DO IT WELL AT THAT!).... homeschool, two blogs, projects, the twins... Thanks for inspiring!

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    1. Hey Rachel! Thanks for your kind words :) Only 12 and a half more weeks (or so) until I get to hold our newest baby girl in my arms (and post pictures of her, of course!)

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  32. Just found your site today and am loving all your organizational tips, and your heart for Christ. Hey, if dreads make your life simpler and more focused, then I see no problem with that!

    One thing I wanted to note is that I've actually had problems with goodguide.com not always listing the ingredients correctly for things I am checking on. Apparently they've had issues with their software every now & then truncating ingredient lists, and therefore inaccurately giving some things a higher rating than they would otherwise give it. I always check the Environmental Working Group's skin deep site now: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

    Hope that helps!

    p.s. I'd be chatting away w/ your husband about Joel Salatin, Monsanto, etc... (due to some health issues I was having, within the past year I found out about the "real food" movement, Nourishing Traditions, etc.... great stuff)

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  33. I love this post.
    Not doing dreads, but love the idea of it :)
    Good luck with talking the kiddos out of wanting them though. You, parents, are just too cool!

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  34. HI,

    I just found your blogs today true pinterest, looking for your free printables in the household... I've been reading for a while now...;-)
    Love this post! A specially the part of letting go of how you think you ought to be. That for you it's freedom...
    It's not about what people think, but what God thinks...Hope I'll get there some day to;-)!

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  35. About the soaps and chemicals in shampoo and body wash. I gave up using shampoo/conditioner and body soaps all together. It takes time for your hair to adjust, but once it does, you will never want to go back. I comb my hair before I shower, and wash with water only. My hair is shiny and healthy. I use a wash cloth and water to clean my body. I am just as clean as anyone who uses soap, but with out the chemicals! Great Blog.

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