If you've been following me on Instagram (@andkathleen) you may have already caught a peek at my dreadlocks in progress. For a little over 3 weeks I've been working many hours a day on dreading my hair. I only lost sleep one night over them - I was being completely neurotic about botching my hair and never looking like Sarah Jessica Parker. Ever. I was only half a dozen dreadlocks in at this point - so in the middle of the night I asked Jeremy what he truly thought about them. I was looking for an out but he told me to stick with it. So I did - and I'm glad.
On that note, a lot of people ask me what Jeremy thinks about them. I'm not sure yet. You see, he's privy to the hours and hours of twisting, ripping, crochet-hooking - the dreads are more of a time-suck hobby than a hairstyle to him at this point. But regardless, Jeremy has never been the kind of guy to have negative feelings about how I wear my hair.
Mostly we joke about them. For example, when I asked Jeremy if he wanted to go see a Bob Marley documentary at a local film festival he asked me if "this was a dread thing." NO. I just happen to really like documentaries and want to be involved in my local art community. Or the other day I was cooking up some tilapia and veggies in a bikini with my dreads down. I told Jeremy I felt very tropical. Like I we should be on an island. That's when he responded with "You mean, Jamaica?" And we both had a good laugh when the cats tried burrowing in my hair in the middle of the night (gross, right?) - I quickly put a stop to that.
So, as my dreads grow so do the questions about them. I'll answer a few here:
• Are they permanent?
Kind of. People who have had dreads for years have been able to brush them out with lots and lots of work. But I imagine when I don't want dreads anymore I'll just cut all my hair off short.
• Are they real?
It's all real - but it's not all mine. I'm actually dreading my hair. Then I'm dreading hair extensions (made out of human hair - so I have the option to dye them later) and weaving the extensions into my dreads. So it's actually really rad to all of a sudden have hair down to my butt.
• Can you wash them?
Yes. I wash mine once a week (which is about how often I washed my hair when I didn't have dreads). I use a residue-free shampoo followed up by spraying them down with lemon juice (to help them lock up).
• How long does it take to make them?
On average, I've been completing about 2 dreadlocks a day. Each take about 30 minutes. However, it takes months and months for them to mature and lock up. I keep reading about how awful the first 4 months are because they're kind of a loose hot mess until then. (I devoured this girl's YouTube stream to learn how to make & extend my dreads).
• You mean you have to make them? I thought you got dreads by just not washing / touching your hair.
I wish. They're are some people who use the "neglect" method. I'm not one of them.
• Can you wear them down?
I mostly wear them up in public because I'm still in the process of completing them. Once I'm done with all my extensions I'll be able to wear my hair in lots of different styles including down.
• What does your mother think?
My mom thinks I'm beautiful no matter what. (She taught me to marry a man with the same attitude - and I did).
The most surprising thing that I didn't expect was the feeling of claustrophobia I get from not being able to freely run my fingers through my scalp. It's almost like a sensory deprivation thing. And another surprising thing is the amount of strangers who react to my hair with compliments and curiosity. I even had one girl at a Sephora counter tell me that she's always wanted dreads but could never commit. Which brings me to this: It's just hair. Feel free to ask me questions and I'll answer in the comments.
I'm curious - when it comes to your hair do you like to switch it up or do you have a signature standby? Would you ever do dreads?
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- Chicago Architecture | Bertrand Goldberg
- Navy Pier
- Meeting Interesting People
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Those Jeans
- Freelance Matters | How to Write An Email
- Thunder / Cat
- Anatomy of an Outfit: My Urban Cowboy
- Brand Identity: Greer Inez
- About the Dreadlocks
- Carrot Juice
- Period | Matters
- Girl Crush: Girls Jemima Kirke
- My Favorite Quesadilla Ever
- The Tour Bus
- ▼ June (16)
- ► 2011 (257)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings