Josefina's Dreadlock Journey

My name is Josefina I’m 39 years old, Swedish/Spanish, I grew up in Sweden, but since 1998 I live in Iceland.
I always had a wish or a dream about to go to Iceland, ever since I was a kid. As an adult I worked a few years on farms with cows in Sweden.
Then I decided before I got stuck where I was, to go for it and move to Iceland to work with braking  in young Icelandic horses.
So I left.
In Iceland I found a lot of nice and open people, and it´s been really easy to get different types of work, but I worked 8 winters with horses.
I´ve always been interested in handcraft, making things with my hands and painting, so I left Iceland for one year, and went two semesters to the school “Vindelns Folkhögskola” in the north of Sweden to learn old techniques with wood, but also a lot of other types of handcraft.

Now I live on our farm Giljar, in the Icelandic countryside with my “sambo” Einar and 3 young kids.
We run a traditional Icelandic farm with 400 sheep, around 30 horses, 4 dogs, a cat and a couple of rabbits.
In the summer I run a small horse rental, and in the winter I drive a school bus and do a lot of painting and some other handcraft.
I´m also at the moment 50% on “Baby-holiday”(Whatever that´s called in English).



I don´t know how I first got the idea of making dreadlocks in my hair, but I thought for a while about it, and then I met a girl with really nice dreadlocks when I was guiding her family in a cave where I was working at the time.
Then I decided that it was what I was going to do. I think this was in 2001.
I had really long hair at the time and a friend helped me to make the dreadlocks.
As a tool to “felt” the dreads she used a blue steel cat comb, it took days, a whole week I think.
I had those dreads for about 3 years, rolled them between my palms every once In a while, but I was never really satisfied with them.
It was also a bit uncomfortable with the dreadlocks, when I was wearing a riding helmet all day, every day.
In the spring of 2003 I let our neighbor shave them off with hes sheep cutting machine.
I loved being bald over the summer, and I shaved it a couple of times more, but when the autumn came I started to let it grow again.
I missed more and more being a dreadhead as my hair grew back and I started looking more and more like a lucky troll.

A friend had told me that you can´t make dreadlocks on yourself,  you can´t wash them or you´ll destroy them and so on, so I decided for myself that I would  prove her wrong, and at easter 2004 my hair had grown long enough for me to be able to start make dreads in it.

I used the whole easter holiday and sat each day, for as many hours that my arms would let me work on the dreadlocks.
I actually still had the blue cat comb, and after I separated the pieces of hair that I wanted to use for each lock I used the comb to “felt”or back comb it a bit at the tops, and then I kind of braided it, using a knitting needle, close to the scalp. the same method that you use when you braid a leather rein.
To maintain the locks I use this method with the knitting needle every second month.
A couple of times I also went swimming in the Blue lagoon here in Iceland, the water there can totally ruin normal hair, but makes it perfect for dreading it.



I never used extensions, and no one but me ever did anything with my dreads.
I used to wash them once a week but now I just can´t find the time that often, so I wash them maybe every second week with some ordinary brand dandruff shampoo and every once in a while with a shampoo from the farmacy.
I´ve never used any special dreadlock shampoo or wax. And I don´t use a hair wax unless I ´m going to a party or something and I don´t want a lot of small lose hairs flying around my head.
I´m a bit lazy with doing nice things with my hair so usually I just wear it in a big knot or bud on the top of my head, or in a ponytail.
I have a couple of glass beads in my hair, but that´s the only decoration I ever had in them, and they´ve been there for years.



Here in Iceland, and especially in the countryside, I feel quite alone as a “dreadhead” and after a few drinks people often tend to ask about why on earth I did this to my hair, if it´s possible to wash them and how to get them out of the hair, and if I haven’t completely ruined my hair now…
Younger people sometimes ask me if I could make dreads in their hair, but it never happened after I told them about the time it takes to make them, that you can´t take them out after a week. And after they asked their parents…
Every once in a while, usually when I´m in town, people actually make compliments about my hair, and that feels nice!



My natural hair is quite soft, but grows very long.
I was worried that I didn´t have the amount of hair that you need to get nice dreadlocks, but I´m satisfied with them now.
Next easter they will actually turn 11 years old, crazy!

In my work I haven’t noticed anyone judging me because of my hair, and I worked with a lot of different things, but I live in a small community on the countryside so everyone knows each other, and also, I live in Iceland and here you wear a hat most of the time, so the hair maybe isn´t so obvious.

As time passed and people was asking me when I would cut the dreadlocks of, I used as a standard answer that the day I would get tired of my hair I would just cut it off, sell it on ebay and make a fortune.
This worked, they seemed to think of it as some kind of a long term project..
Myself I actually haven’t thought of my hair a lot, the years just passed and my hair kept on growing.
One friend often asks me if I realize how long my hair would be if I hadn’t put dreadlocks in it.. but then I would probably still be bald as I liked that too.



Anyway, as my dreadlocks turned 10years old. I searched  facebook to see if there might be a dreadlock page, I found out there was, more than one, and more than two, but the first one I found was Seienstyle & Dreadstuff, and I found out that there is actually a lot of dreadheads out there, a lot of interesting dreadlock products, and a lot of different nice hairdos for people with dreadlocks.

Our homepage is www.giljar.com

My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HorsesHandcraft