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Sometime last summer I decided dreadlocks (lox) would be a good idea. I was going through a spiritual renewal, and I thought a change to lox would help me remember that. I was headed to a conference where I wanted to be noticed and remembered. And – hey, I do funky things with my hair all the time. Maybe this is a midlife crisis, but more likely it’s just me.

Beginning the dreadlocks journey
The Journey Begins (Again)

I read and researched and let me tell you it’s hard to have Caucasian or straight hair and know what to do with your lox. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. So I turned to a local expert. She assured me she’d have me all locked in—in no time. I went for it.

Problem is you can’t treat straight hair like you’d treat ethnic curly hair. It’s not the same thing. My hair ended up in braids (What??) with tons of wax on them. Extensions were added.

“Don’t wash your hair for at least a month,” was the parting cry. Uh-oh.

Despite reading that it was okay to wash your hair, I followed instructions. It lasted a week. After washing it I felt a little better. But during the entire First Month of Lox, I had a problem: those braids kept working their way out of the twisted-on extensions. “Just twist them back,” I was told, but I was pulling and twisting constantly, and it wasn’t getting better. My head had little braid loops all over it.

I consulted another local expert, this time a Caucasian gal with blonde hair and… hooray… dreadlocks. She assured me she could fix me. Horrified at the wax, she said it could destroy my hair. We took out all my braids and extensions and she began to wash my hair.

woman in salon chair
Getting New Dreadlocks Installed

And wash.

And wash.

She called in another stylist. She switched shampoos. Nothing was working on the wax. After 3 hours she sent me home to wash it myself.

For three days I washed. I read every Internet article and watched a hundred YouTube videos. I dunked my head in vinegar for hours. I rubbed baking soda on it. I shampooed with several (expensive) products. I washed with Dawn, since hubs helpfully pointed out they use that on ducks. Did I mention all this hair doesn’t dry for 24 hours? Yeah. I stayed waterlogged for 3 days.

Finally I figured out that if I completely coated my hair in baking soda, dunked my head into hot vinegar water for several minutes, scrubbed and rinsed, there was progress. I did this a million times and got it all out, though my hair was now a few shades lighter due to dryness. And my brain had leaked out.

Miss Loctitian put my hair back into lox, no braids or wax this time. She used the back-combing method, what the first gal had said she was going to do but didn’t for some reason. Now they’re small and tight. I love them. We also left the front few loose; this too was what I’d originally asked for and didn’t get. I feel like my weight makes me need more volume around my face.

Stick around to see what happens next.

Because of this wild ride, I’ve started a new blog devoted just to straight hair people, or wavy hair people – those with the softer texture who need to treat their lox a little differently. (edit: the site is gone now. Despite how much I loved working on it, Google would not index it because it referred to “caucasian hair” and other phrases they found offensive. I asked for numerous reviews, and finally gave up.)

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