Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Opinions: Baby Dreads

I took a day trip to a neighboring town, and while I was there, I stopped by a bead shop to see if they had any dread beads. They didn't, but the owner tried to convince me that I could put "large" beads on my dreads if I smeared crisco or oil on the ends and forced the beads over. I tried to explain that I didn't want to get my dreads dirty like that and that the beads (which were barely large enough to fit over the prong of a fork) were way too small to fit on my dreads, but she insisted that if I put oil on them, they'd slip on just fine. I pretty much didn't say anything else while she took me around her shop to show me every bead she had in that "large" size; I realized she wasn't going to understand.

She clearly didn't know and didn't want to know what she was talking about. The peak example of that was when she asked, "Why would you want to do something like that to your hair?" I certainly would have loved to share the answer with someone who was interested, but her tone wasn't interest, it was disgust.

The funniest part was that, thinking out loud, she realized she was being judgmental and said, "Well, it's your hair. I guess some people wouldn't understand why I like my hair short, but I like it that way,'" and ironically, I'm one of the people who would never want to have my hair short like hers was, but it never occurred to me to question why she wanted her hair short or to comment on it.

Though I wasn't really surprised or offended that she would comment on my hair when I didn't even think to comment on hers, and I don't think that makes me a better person in any way. I chose to have an atypical hairstyle, and I knew that'd draw comments, possibly mostly negative ones. In fact, I was excited that someone noticed my hair, regardless of opinion, considering the effort that's gone into it.

The strange thing about this situation was that the lady who made the comments was the owner of the shop. The owner. That means that she should have been concerned with customer satisfaction, with trying to be pleasant. Her aversion to my hairstyle of choice overcame her desire to win business, apparently. Maybe that was due in part to the fact that she said she was also a hair dresser, and I'm sure hair dressers have strong opinions on hair. Though from what she said to me, she really didn't know anything about dreads, so she was uninformed about that particular hairstyle.

Anyway, that's been my most interesting comment on my hair so far. There've been others, but mostly they are mostly acquaintances noticing, "oh, are you dreading your hair?" Not very interesting. But at this point, my dreads aren't very interesting; they're still very new and don't look terribly dread-like yet, so it's pretty much impossible to get a compliment. Right now, the comments I get aren't really comments on how my hair looks so much as people's opinion of my ultimate goal. That in itself is interesting.


  1. Water or mousse will work rather than crisco :)

  2. Thanks for the tips. I found some beads at Walmart a few months later that were the perfect size, and they were affordable! Having the right size (one I don't have to force on using a lubricant) is important to me because I've heard that areas excessively squished by beads can become weak, and I want strong, healthy hair.