Dreads' first outing (this happened before I split my skinny, rectangle dread into two pieces and added some twist and rip flavor to my bowl of backcombed happiness). Not exactly public, but the day after my dreads were put in, I went with my fiance to his mother's boyfriend's house for dinner. Before I put my dreads in, I figured they would make me a walking target for dread-related questions, and that was okay with me; I came prepared to answer questions!
My mother-in-law to be has yet to make any comment at all on my hair. Based on my fiance's warnings before I put my dreads in, I'm guessing it's due to shock, but I can't read minds, so I can't say with any certainty. She did tell me that she liked my shirt, though!
Her boyfriend, however, was not so shy, and I was grateful. I'd rather have people ask questions than wonder in silence. He was bewildered by the fact that my dreads were just "there." He is a professor, and he said that when he's seen students with dreads, they were braided. The fact that my hair appeared to be magically holding itself together in clumps had him stumped; didn't I have to braid my hair to get dreads? What had I done? When I told him that each section was backcombed, he asked, "So, will it fall out in the shower then? Do you have to re-do your hair every time you shower?" So I told him that it probably would fall out if I washed my hair right away, but I was planning on using a shower cap for the first couple weeks, until the knots got tight enough, and then I'd be able to wash my dreads as often as I wished without them falling out. To that he commented, "Dreads get pretty matted, don't they? You can't just brush them out. You'll have to shave them off, right?" Then I told him that although I had originally thought that was the case (and it was one of the reasons I hesitated to dread my hair for a while!), with patience, one could undo their dreads without shaving them off.
Some pretty good first questions, I think! Answering them was really fun, but I've always loved sharing my knowledge - however important or petty it might be.
When he said that he thought dreads had to be braided, I wondered to myself whether or not he had the twist and rip method of forming dreads in mind. The next day, I split one of my larger dreads in two and made two new dreads using the twist and rip method, and after seeing them, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what he was thinking. The twist and rip dreads look very much like little braids (see my previous post for a picture). Having a couple of them in my hair adds some character.
Meanwhile, the rest of hair, backcombed as it is, appears to just be hanging out in clumps, almost as if by its own free will - like an uber-duber, crazy-bad case of stringy, clumpy bedhead! And I love it! Can't wait to see how my hair looks as they mature. A little more presentable, I imagine; frizz be tamed!