I hope that all Sistren and families are blessed!
I myself am doing okay, taking each day at a time and doing what I can - business, house, homeschooling, the whole shebang.
Today I finally was able to wash Nile's dreads and make her look neat for dance class later - they were just looking dry and in need of a good wash! So I decided to just make a simple little tutorial on how to basically care for dreadlocks. What I do for her i also do for myself but I don't make mine neat I just let them dry. I do it for her because our kind of hair clumps together really easily and I didnt want her to have a massive bongo on her head before she was big enough to really manage such a dread. I only make it neat once a month otherwise it is free and wild when washed and she wears her headscarves when out in public anyways. So it's not that I style up her hair all the time. I just separate and oil her dreads when washed.
Note that it is good not to palm-roll or interlock the dreads at all, or more than every four to six weeks. Salon dreads or "manicured" dreads tend to be thinner than free form dreads, and when they become very heavy, like around waist length, they pop at the root. The root must be thick and tight to support the weight pulling against the scalp. Letting thin weak ones join or fuse will help, as well as tying it up or having a good regular cleaning and oiling regimen. The breakage is inevitable if your roots are not thick enough though.
Caring for your dreads naturally or in an ital way, is the best way to go: spring water, aloe vera gel, rosemary water, lime/lemon and natural soap are all you need for the softest cleanest healthiest strongest dreadlocks. Of course I know that most just have to make do
with what you can get readily in your neighbourhood, but it's best to go all natural and forget the commercial shampoos that have cancer causing agents in them.
I use raw Afrikan black soap for both skin and body. It's just a brown-black bar that you tear a piece off of when you are ready. it is water soluble as well. Black soap you can get at your local rasta culture shop or an afrikan shop! But if you don't have access to buying blacksoap locally and would prefer to order a ready made product I recommend a nice all natural shampoo made by MyCoCreations - it's called Cleanie gel. You can use that for body or hair and you can choose what ingredients you want to add, and it's really affordable and works excellent for an all natural product! I've been using the last of mine of Nile's hair since I got a big chunk of blacksoap.
In trinidad you can get raw blacksoap at various spots in port of spain and at Kamara's culture shop in chaguanas. It costs $25TT per bar or for whole sale about $125 TT which is a great deal!
Same goes for the essential oils - you can get your olive and coconut oil in the grocery and you can
also get the essential oils like lavender, peppermint, tea tree and almond oil from a pharmacy in small glass bottles most times - under $20TT each! otherwise you can just order a bottle of each online and then make a blend and voila you have hair and body oil! your supplies will last by blending.
one more tip I forgot to mention in this tutorial is the aromatherapy scalp rinse - for adults of course because it can burn the eyes and kids wont like it! For a non burning rinse, steep a big bunch of fresh rosemary ( keep a plant for your dread! ) when cool, throw over scalp and dreads that have been washd. In a big cup of water put 2 drops of rosemary, peppermint or lavender or tea tree oil - no more or it will burn and wont be a pleasant tingle! Pour over scalp, squeeze out water from dreads and wrap in towel turban style. Sit for a while doing nothing or something very quiet while the tingling works on the scalp and opens up your sinuses. I love it!
So here is my tutorial: