My hair texture was wavy, and so puffy and lightweight that you couldn't see my shoulders from the front. When I tried to take a shower and just rinse, it became a matted mess. I started globbing the conditioner on every day just to get a fat toothed comb through it. It took up so much of my time every day, glad that's over.
I think when I first decided I wanted dreads, it was more of an aesthetic choice. A vanity project. That and I was tired of people coming up behind me and calling me "ma'am".
When I started researching dreadlock methods on Youtube, I started realizing I had no idea what kind of dreads I wanted. My favorite natural dreads were these.
But those were just not gonna go over well with my black friends. Like I said, vanity project.
By the time I actually had the chick ready to do my dreads, I'd decided I wanted oversized ones with blunted tips. The crochet hook let her really give them a cylindrical shape and make them super clean. She was a real artist with it.
They were wicks until 3 months later when I got their first maintenance, and she made them lay down. By that time, I had already stopped the palm rolling and all that crap that some people do to keep them from flattening out. The only self maintenance I did was keeping them separated.
Most white people just use the twist-n-rip method, which is a hippy look. I still wanted them all nice and neat. Crochet is definitely better if you want to culturally appropriate with a swagger.
Another 6 months later, I got my final maintenance. I wanted to get the stray hairs to lock in. It didn't work, they strayed right out again in a month or two. I just now twist-n-ripped them into tiny dreads while on Youtube. That's the most maintenance I've done since July.
I'm at the point where instead of vanity dreads, they're anti-vanity dreads. That's how my view of them changed. They have a more natural look now, not a trap or hippy look, which I feel communicates the right individual message to almost everyone.
To some people, I want to be respected as a dread. To some people, I want to feared as a dread. To judgemental people, I just wanna say "fuck you". I feel like my appearance sends a message. Come to me as a mentor type figure, come to me as a human being, come to me as just a cool dude. Or, don't come at me at all, we aren't the same. Or even, stay away from me, I'm bad news. I'm willing to embrace it all, where not that long ago I was kinda neurotic, always trying to fit in, even where I never would.
Besides that, anti-vanity is a good style, it frees up resources and effort so you can focus on more important things. And it reinforces the mentality that I'm not trying to impress anyone, I'm just me.