My Dreadlock Story
Why I cut my 8.5 year old dreadlocks & life without them.
Over a year and a half ago I shocked family and friends by cutting my eight and a half year old dreadlocks off. They were long and beautiful. I still have them tucked away in a shelf (I plan to say goodbye, just haven’t figured out how).
LIFE WITH DREADS
Not a day went by without a compliment. Literally, if I stepped outside of my house it was a guarantee. Although that was not the reason why I locked my hair in the first place, it was a nice byproduct. They were fun and they differentiated me. They also placed me in a narrow stereotype. “NO, I DON’T SMOKE POT.” Recreationally I do, if I feel like it, but I don’t enjoy it so I don’t partake on a regular basis, as was so often thought.
One of the best things about dreading my hair became one of the worst.
One of the best things about having dreadlocks was that it was an incredible conversation starter. It drew people in. From little girls, with mouths wide open, asking their mom to ask me about my hair, to execs. So that was awesome. The draw back was that the conversation was often quite BORING. Boring for me anyway as it was the same questions over and over again; “How long is it? (down to my waist) Do you wash your hair? (yes) How often? (depends, at least once a month) Can I touch it? (NO, maybe, okay) How did you do it? (I stopped brushing my hair and using conditioner) Is it heavy? (No, but I might be used to it) Would you like to fly high like a kite? (I don’t smoke) How old are they? (Most likely older than your kid).” And so on. Maybe, if I was less of an introvert the conversation might have turned into something more interesting. I’m currently learning the skill.
LIFE WITHOUT DREADS
It was super weird and something to get used to, that’s for sure. And if I’m completely honest, I missed my daily dose of random compliments and the effect they had on little kids. All of a sudden I found myself walking into a room and getting used to not being stared at or noticed at all. A certain POWER arose within from being able to blend it. I thought for sure I would begin another set or do something else with my do. But I really enjoy blending in and looking “normal” and I am currently diving more deeply into that. Excited to explore and connect with more individuals because there is no stereotype, there is no BORING conversation. There’s just simply me. And I am no boring “normal” individual. But I love remaining hidden.
WHY I LOCKED MY HAIR IN THE FIRST PLACE (the short answer)
After a break up I chopped my hair and let it grow for about 3/4 years. When it reached my shoulders, I was in my early 20’s and incredibly connected to something greater than myself. I was intentionally single and sober. I was happy. I wanted to capture this feeling the best way I knew how. So I decided to lock my hair. It would be an outward expression of my inner state. The dreadlocks grew without any wax or help really. I had a nicely kept unruly head of hair, the bottom of my head dreaded first. After about a year or so I separated the tangles into sections and formed the locks with the palms of my hands. They continued to form and grow thicker every year. I was determined to have them reach the floor. I was very proud when they were long enough to wrapped around my head.
WHY I LET THEM GO
My locks, although they looked unruly, grounded me. Their energy was very conservative and safe. Toward the end of my Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga Six it became very clear that this energy needed to be released. I was making space for something new and uber wonderful. Katie Brauer, my teacher, shared a vision she had with me, that I would transform and cut them off. Indeed the time came to release all the stuff that had built up and stayed. Once again my hair would be a symbol of the inner workings. Deep excavation of my mind, heart, and spirit began. A great time of healing and letting go commenced. Biggest take away…I didn’t realize how much I was carrying…until I let go.
Until I let go, I didn’t realize just how heavy they were. How much I carried everyday for the last 8.5 years.
People say and maybe you have heard, ‘hurt people hurt people’. I like to add, ‘healed people heal people’. By no means am I claiming to have arrived or to even know all the answers. But what I do know is how to find them, and how to guide others to find their answers. Currently, I am developing/ writing ALIGN, a digital course for less hustle and more flow. Included in it will be all the tools I used to bloom, to let go, to heal. I will announce once it goes live. Super excited for this offering.
CONNECT WITH ME
I teach weekly yoga classes around North County, San Diego. Check my schedule here.
I offer FREE weekly yoga classes on my YouTube Channel, which include movement, breath work, and meditation. Subscribe to my channel by following this link.
I also run a free, no rules, no strings attached virtual book club, if you’re so inclined click here.
In 2018 I am making space for one on one sessions so reach out if you are interested in working with me.
Here’s a video of YOUNG Ilona with dreadlocks, captured on our road trip out West in 2012 and complied shortly there after, enjoy!