Tilly Moon's dreadlock journey
Tell us about yourself: Hey guys, my name is Tilly moon, I come from a town called High Wycombe in England, which is about half an hour away from London! I am currently a student at Bucks New University, studying art, but also plan on studying either sculpture or design crafts in a different university soon. I enjoy all aspects of art and music and really enjoy spending my time creating things, teaching myself to play instruments and singing. However, I have many more interests, including travelling, spending time with friends, being outside and generally living a happy life.
How to find me:I post a lot about updates on my dreads and life in general on Instagram and have just started a facebook page!
How did your dreadlock journey start? Since the age of 13 I have enjoyed experimenting with my appearance and expressing myself through my style. So over the past couple of years I have had many different hair colours, gained many piercings and have recently started to get tattoos. I have always thought it is incredibly important to feel comfortable in your own body and for it to express your personality. A few years ago, after spending the summer in Budapest, Hungary, I saw a lot of dread heads and became fascinated in dreadlocks, so I started doing a lot of research into them, including how you make dreads, different methods of making them and how you can maintain them.
How my dreads were made: Before I started my dreads my natural hair was a little longer than shoulder length, quite wavy and also quite thin, after dying my hair quite a lot it was also very dry and knotted up very easily. In October 2013 I finally decided to start my dreadlock journey. As I was not quite sure if dreads would suit me I decided to start by just dreading a few at the back of my hair, I did this by using the twist and rip method, and also a bit of back-combing and crochet hooking. After a week or two of having dreads I decided that I wanted more so I carried on dreading the underneath of my hair, leaving the top and my fringe free. After a month of having these dreads I decided that I wanted to extend them a little bit as they had lost a little length during the dreading process. I had researched into buying dread extensions, but found that they were a bit too expensive for me. So I purchased some high quality 100% natural human hair, and created the extensions myself by using the same methods I used for my dreads, and added them to my dreads by using a crochet hook. Four months later I dreaded and extended the rest of my hair, leaving my fringe and front parts of my hair free.
Image 1: very first dreads that I made. Image 2: Just after I installed dread extensions. Image 3: After I dreaded and extended the rest of my hair.
How did people around me react when I told them I was thinking about getting dreads? Most of my friends were very supportive of me dreading my hair, as I had spoken about dreads to them a lot before, and I think they kind of expected it. My family were harder to convince however, mainly because of the bad connotations surrounding dreads and because of the misconception that dreadlocks are dirty. However, because I have always experimented with my appearance, I think that they gradually started to accept that it was just something I was going to do. And after getting my dreads, a lot of my close family and friends accepted them very well; however, it took a while for them to see that they were not dirty or smelly and that I take care of them!
I even think that in some ways my dreads have helped me gain friends and have encouraged different people to start conversations with myself. I like to call my dreads my “narrow-minded people” filter, as people that are judgmental and shallow tend not to want to talk to me because of my hair, whilst other people are either very open to them or do not really mind them.
Did you get inspired by anyone special that made you want to get dreadlocks? My first inspiration came from my love of reggae music, Bob Marley in particular, however, the beautiful model Natalie Phillips aka Natlips and the blogger and youtuber Anna April aka Galapril really showed me that girls with blonde dreadlocks look just as cool!
How old are your dreadlocks now? My oldest dreads are now 15 months old! The youngest ones are about 6 months old ( as I took some of the top ones out and re-did them a few weeks later)
How many dreadlocks do you have? I have about 50 now, although I am letting some of my dreadlocks join together to make a bigger ones.
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. In the beginning of having my dreads I didn’t really do much maintenance, apart from making sure they didn’t join together at the roots, by pulling them apart and occasionally fixing the loose hair with a crochet hook. I originally washed them about once or twice a week with a dread shampoo bar by Dread Fusion. I didn’t really have any problems with my dreads coming apart or getting loose, I think that is just because my hair has always been very knotty anyway! It probably took about 1-2 months for my dreads to properly start locking up though.
Did your dreadlocks tighten up a lot in the first year? Yes! The dreads that are now more than a year old have tightened up a lot, and started to shrink up about 4 months ago, they probably lost about 2-3 inches! Although they’ve also gotten a lot thicker, which is awesome, they are starting to look a lot more mature now.
How do you take care of your dreadlocks now? Do you maintain them at all? How do you keep your dreadlocks clean? Nowadays I don’t do much maintenance. I wash them about 2 times a week with Lush’s sea salt shampoo, and if my dreads are starting to join together at the roots then I will pull them apart when they are still wet. Every 4 months I do a deep clean on my dreads, which is where I soak them in warm water mixed with bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice, tea tree oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil, this helps get rid of any residue in my dreads, stop my scalp from itching and makes them smell lovely.
Do you do anything special to your dreadlocks whilst sleeping? No, I prefer to let them be free whilst I sleep; they act as a good pillow! Although, if they are particularly annoying me, then I will put them in a loose braid or bun to keep them out of the way.
Do you use any dreadlock products in your dreadlocks? No I don’t, I prefer to use as little as possible on my dreads, I worry about getting product stuck in them. Also I like to keep them as natural as possible and let them do their own thing.
What is your favourite way of decorating your dreadlocks? I don’t decorate my dreads as much as I used to anymore, but when I do I love to decorate them with beads and charms I find around my room and house, I also like to make little wire wraps with beads that I sometimes put in my dreads. Sometimes, I dye some of my dreads bright colours but if I’m feeling lazy then I wrap my dreads with wool/yarn, pieces of material or ribbons. In terms of how I wear my dreads, I usually have them down with two dreads from each side tied together at the back, although for work or if I’m really busy I will have my dreads in a ponytail or a bun.
Do you feel that you have noticed any judgment towards you just because you are a dreadhead?All the time! I think a lot people believe the typical stereotype of dreadheads, “they are smelly hippies who take a lot of drugs”, and so in a lot of cases I get treated the same. I don’t really mind though, everyone faces judgment because of their appearance at some point during their life. It’s just a shame that people judge others on how they choose to express themselves via their own body. Most of the time I just ignore any negative comments or reactions that I receive! My dreads make me happy, and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters!
What is the best tip you can give to someone that is thinking of getting dreadlocks done but are a bit hesitant? The best tip that I can give is just do it! If you decide you don’t want them then you can take them out. It’s difficult to know if you’ll like having them or not without trying it out! I live by the motto of “it’s better to regret something you did than something you didn’t do”, if you want them then get them done! Or you can do what I did, which was gradually add them in, so you get an idea about what it is like to have dreadlocks before you have fully committed to having a full head of locks!