What Dreads Mean To Me

The Legend Bob Marley

What do dreads mean to me…

It means making mistakes and being okay with them.

It means learning who you are without products to “make you better”.

It means taking a shower at night and not caring how your hair will look in the AM.

It’s going to be wild anyways.


It represents accepting yourself regardless of other people’s opinions or beliefs.

I’ve spent hours in front of a mirror as I try to get each hair in place.

Those hours are now filled with dance parties.


It’s strange at first.

Allowing yourself to be unapologetic.

The child inside me forgot I can truly wake up and just go.

Without worrying what other people may think.


Dreads are a journey of watching yourself evolve.

Black hair can do amazing things.

Dreads teach you that our hair grows as wild as the leaves in the trees.

It doesn’t need a single product to be beautiful.

It’s truly amazing as it is.

Can’t you see?


For a long time I compared myself to others.

Jealous of other girls’ flowy long hair.

They said mine felt like a rug and laughed in front of everyone. 

I was excluded because my hair wasn’t like theirs.


I used to relax my hair but that wasn’t enough for me.

So then I shaved it all off.


Year after year it was a cycle of cut and grow.

Cut and grow. 


Growing not only in the physical sense.

I was growing to love myself no matter what form I came in.

I wore my afro as big as the moon some days. 

Other days, it was tied up to be the ultimate puff. 

Both were sights to see.


Big natural hair gets tiring.

Especially when you have to manipulate it to society’s liking. 

Two neck surgeries and countless metal in my skull. 

I was over it. 


So here I am.

Eighteen years later and I’ve given up.

Not in a negative way.

I’ve given up caring. 




What have I learned so far in my journey? 

All you have to do to be beautiful: 

simply exist.

No work is necessary. 

3 thoughts on “What Dreads Mean To Me”

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