What You Should Know About Dreadlocks
- Dreadlocks are a natural, universal style.
- Washing and maintaining clean dreadlocks is easy.
- To achieve dreadlocks, you need nothing more than enough hair to work with, personal desire, and persistence.
- If you have enough hair to gather, and twist into sections, you can dread your hair.
- You can wear dreadlocks in many ways
Your hair is manufactured by your skin cells. What determines the texture of your hair determines the texture of your skin. Melanin is a natural pigment, found in most organisms, produced by the process of polymerization, which oxidizes the amino acid Tyrosine, 1 of 22 amino acids used by body cells to synthesize proteins. A group of cells known as melanocytes produce the pigment. Inside melanocytes are tiny granules of melanin pigment contained in vesicles called melanosomes that move into the skin cells. In the rare condition known as albinism, there is a complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin due to a lack of Melanin production stemming from absence of the amino acid Tyrosine.
The results of ancestral geographical origins are inherited. Generations of ancestors exposed to the sun produce higher concentrations of melanin in their skin cells and pass this on through their lineage. People generally have varying degrees of melanin or natural pigment in their skin. More melanin will produce darker skin tones and denser layers of skin. Less melanin will produce lighter skin tones and thinner layers of skin. Hair texture will naturally be aligned with the skin’s texture.
Your hair, in its natural state is likely to dread itself. The first step in helping your hair is to lay the brush and comb down. Your dreads will develop by persistently twisting sections of your hair. You can tease the hair as you twist it, or you can twist, then separate the hair and twist again. Persistence is the key. For thinner hair you can massage the juice of a lemon into hair and scalp, let it dry then twist on.
Starting your Dreadlocks
When starting dreadlocks, you want the hair to strike a balance. Hair that is too oily will be harder to lock. Hair that is too dry will break off. Sebum, the oily substance produced by the Sebaceous glands decreases with higher levels of vitamin A in the blood. Massaging the scalp thoroughly and eating foods containing vitamin A will help to neutralize oily hair.
For dry hair, consuming foods containing omega-3, (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and applying them externally can strengthen and hydrate your hair. Alpha linolenic acids, or (ALA) are the omega-3 fatty acids found in plant oils. Dreading your hair when it is completely dry will cause less damage to the hair.
Washing and Maintenance of Dreadlocks
For best results, stick with 98%-100% natural hair products. Coconut or olive oil can add strength and moisture to dry hair. Lemon juice neutralizes the ph-level of oily hair. Massaging the scalp will evenly distribute oil produced from the Sebaceous glands. Celebrate your uniqueness. when you dread your own hair, your own personal style and texture will emerge as it develops with time, embrace it.
Paying Attention to Product Labels
I have listened to hairdressers compare Sodium Laurel Sulfate to floor wax. You may find that it is a main ingredient in many common, and name-brand hair-care products. Any wax, when applied forms a stubborn coating on hair. It’s buildup can make your hair heavy, pulling on your scalp. When you wash your dreadlocks, you want to remove dirt and buildup. Use a natural soap with a base such as vegetable glycerin and a carrier like coconut oil or olive oil. Before you buy products with obscure ingredients, Google the ingredients listed. The hair-care section of a store does not always carry the products most suitable for the care and maintenance of your dreadlocks.
What you put in your Body will Reflect in your Dreadlocks
What you consume or put in your body will reflect in your dreadlocks. Smoking and alcohol consumption can deplete your system of vitamin C which hydrates all the cells of the body. Eating the foods that nourish your body within, and applying natural plant oils or derivatives to hair will strengthen your dreadlocks and protect it from breakage.
There is a certain pride that comes with wearing dreadlocks. Subsequently, cultivating one’s own, natural resources produces this sense of pride. Dreading your hair is the process of developing the art wherein you are the medium.
Vitamin A in foods: fruits and vegetables: apricots, bell peppers, cantaloupe, carrots, limes, mangoes, melons, oranges, peaches, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tangerines, and watermelon. The liver stores vitamin a in fish, and animals. It is also found in crab, cod, halibut, in addition to the flesh of swordfish and whitefish
Vitamin C in foods: fruits and vegetables– bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits, green cabbage, guava, pineapple, green leafy vegetables, green tea, melons, (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), plums, radish, squash, strawberries, tomatoes
Omega-3, (polyunsaturated fatty acids) In Foods: chia seeds, flax-seeds (ground), pecans, sesame seeds, walnuts, winter squash, fish; Plant oil: extra-virgin olive oil, flaxseed or linseed oil (cold pressed), walnut oil
Bibliography: Melanin. [Last updated 09/17/2015.] “Wikipedia” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanin] [09/29/2015.]; Mandal, Dr. Ananya, MD. What is Melanin? [Last updated 09/08/2014.] “News Medical Life Sciences & Medicine” [http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Melanin.aspx] [09/29/2015.]; Sebaceous gland. [last modified 09/23/2015.]; “Wikipedia” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebaceous_gland] [09/29/2015