Dreadlocks journey Swallowthesun/Svala
Tell us about your self:
27 year old dreadhead. I live in a small town in Denmark, enjoying life with my hubby and our cats. (Yes, I’m a crazy cat lady).
I’m fairly creative and spend most time creating things. Created to create and seize the day - those are two quotes I try to live my life by. I draw a lot and I make jewelry (including jewelry for dreads!).
I’m studying social work and work with people with special needs. I find these people very inspirational, so full of passion and zest for life. It’s encouraging!
I’m all about: Nature, dreads (of course!), dresses, creativity and adventures. (Wanderlust is in my blood)
Other than that I’m just a down-to-earth, hippie-minded girl, trying to find joy in those small, simple moments.
How to find “dreadhead Svala Rossella” :
www.etsy.com/shop/swallowthesundesign Check out Svalas shop you can find here lovely drawings and dreadlock jewlery there!
How did your dreadlock journey start?
My dreadlocks journey started nearly five years ago.
I’ve always wanted to try, as I’m not the best at maintaining undreaded, long hair. I would always forget to comb it, never really wear it up or do anything to try and stand out.
I needed a hairstyle that suited my temper - and for me that was dreadlocks. It’s the easiest hairstyle I’ve ever had and I love every single one of those crazy locks!
What kind of hair do you have naturally?
Brown, semi-curly hair.
How are your dreadlocks made?
I used the rip and tear method or twist and rip. This was the obvious choice for me, as no tools were needed. Only patience is necessary here. (Hard to explain how they’re made, but if you google this method videos will come up ^_^)
I lost approx. 7 cm of the length, but since that they’ve grown at least 40 cm. All of the hair is my natural hair, and I never had extensions. However I’ve done dreads on other people, including extensions.
This is when Swallowthesuns dreadlocks were about one week old.
How did people around you react when you said that you were thinking / getting dreadlocks? Well my mom hated it. Actually, all of the “elder” generation thought I had lost my mind. Why would I want to ruin my beautiful hair with a dirty hairstyle like that?
But mostly people have been reacting nicely. I often get stopped when I’m outside and some curious soul comes by and asks me a lot of questions about the colors and style of my hair.
And now, nearly five years later, my mom couldn’t picture me with another hairstyle. It’s just me, a part of who I am.
About one year old dreadlocks.
How have the reactions been after you become a dreadhead? Do you experience that people are different towards you?
Mostly, as written, people are nice. I find that they’re very curious and want a lot of questions answered, for instance: How do you maintain it? Do you wash it? Is all of the hair yours?
Some are more intrusive and wants to smell (wtf?!) and touch it.
But other than that, I rarely experience that people act differently towards me.
What do you do for a living? Have you ever experienced any judgment in the workplace towards you for being a dreadhead? I work at a half-way house for people with special needs.
When I went to the interview I’d made sure to add a picture of me in the job application, just to give them a heads up ;)
Both of the leaders were very kind and waited until the end of the interview to ask the obligatory questions; is it yours? How long have you had them and so on.
They had absolutely no problems with the dreads, but just to make sure they made me say hi to the residents and asked whether it was okay with them or not that this crazy dreadhead came and worked there.
They were all so freakin’ awesome; “Of course! Doesn’t matter how she looks, it’s what’s on the inside that counts”.
Now I come to think of it I mostly get great comments on my dreadlocks. I think the colors play a role here - people often say my hair makes them happy to look at.
Did you get inspired by anyone special that made you want to get dreadlocks?
Well, no not really, but every time I saw a dreadhead on the internet I fell in love. All dreadheads are beautiful!
Did you do a lot of research before you started your dreadlock journey? If you did what did you get to know and what did you learn?
Short answer: No.
I did absolutely no research. I just went for it and hoped for the best ;)
How old are your dreadlocks now? 55 months.
How many dreadlocks do you have? 93
How did you take care of your dreadlocks in the beginning? Did you wash your hair often, or maybe not at all etc. Let us know how the first part of your dreadlock journey was. I decided not to wash my hair at all, which was an extremely uncomfortable in the beginning. My scalp itched like crazy. But that went away after a couple of weeks. (or so I remember - it’s been a long time. And my scalp is fine now ;) )
The main reason for me to choose dreads was my lack of dedication to maintaining my hair, so naturally I chose the easiest way to care for my dreads. No washes, no maintenance what so ever, other than ripping them apart in the beginning so they wouldn’t grow together.
Did your dreadlocks tighten up a lot the first year, maybe you lost some length of your dreadlocks when they mature? They didn’t lose length as the matured, no.
How do you take care of your dreadlocks now?
Now I cleanse my hair once every second month when I dye my locks. And that’s about it. Of course I make sure they to separate them if they start to act up, but mainly - nothing. I knew that was the kind of dreadhead I wanted to be. Hence the crazy loops in my locks as well ^_^
Do you maintain them at all? The most maintenance I do is the dying of my locks. Takes an awful lot of time.
Do you do anything special to your dreadlocks while sleeping? I make a sloppy updo/bun on the top of my head. But mainly because they’re so long and my cats tend to play with them if they’re hanging loose.
How do you keep your dreadlocks clean?
I guess I don’t really. Other than the cleansing once in a while, using only water. Never had any complains about smell though ;)
Do you use any dreadlock products in your dreadlocks? No? (I use dreadlocks accessories, but not sure that qualifies as products)
Is this your first time as a dreadhead? If no, Tell us a bit about your dreadlock journey before this. If you’ve had dreadlocks before how did you take them out? Two year before I made these I have now I had dreads. But I didn’t know anything about dreads, I used wax which made them sticky, I used ordinary shampoo and the residue caused my hair to, well, rot - it was NOT a good dread-journey. This one is way better ;)
When removing them I used a comp, a pointy subject and a LOT of patience.
What is your favorite way of decorating your dreadlocks? I love glass and wooden beads. And home-made accessories with gemstones.
Here is a pic of dreadlock jewlery made by Svala you can find them for sale in her etsy shop here:
Do you feel that you have noticed any judgment towards you just because you are a dreadhead?
Sure. But that happens rarely (fortunately!).
And actually it mostly happens when I’m travelling south - southern Europe. And again, only by the elder generations.
What is the best tip you can give to someone that are thinking of getting dreadlocks done but are a bit hesitant?
I don’t know if I’m the right person to be asking here, because I’m kind of spontaneous and I’m always the first to shout: DO IT!
I guess that’s not much of a tip, but … If you’re in a point in your life where becoming a dreadhead won’t interfere with either your personal or professional life, I stand by my words; do it.
If using the twist and tear method, (can only speak of this method as it is the one I used), you can always take them out if you regret. I believe that the things we don’t do often ends up being the things we regret.
And I think people tend to make “too much drama” about dreadlocks. They’re not necessarily for life :)