i`ve been growing it for 8 years now. and as much shit as i get for it, i like it, it`s part of who i am. my original plan was to cut it after a decade but now i`m not so sure.

i know there are a couple people who would never talk to me again. they were involved in keep my hair neat in the very beginning. dreads are not as no maintenance as they appear it takes a bit of hard work and effort. my hair is thick and doesn`t readily mat, so i have to braid in the new growth into the roots of my existing hair.

when i first started growing my hair my then girlfriend used to do it for me. it took then as it does now four hours. she was old school. plait and braid, by the time she was done with me, my hair was tight [like a tiger] and i had regained a few years. after a while, love or not, she got tired of doing it and suggested i start seeing a professional.

the first professional i went to, was after my hiatus in ny. my hair grows with temperature change and i had about two or three inches of new growth that needed to be tackled. so off i went based on the recommendations of friends.  i set up an appointment, the girl looked at my hair and said come for 10 am shouldn`t take more than two hours.

so i did. she put her hand in my hair and said, `oh shit.` that`s the general reaction. most people are surprised by how think my hair is. it took her four hours with help. after that i convinced a friend`s girlfriend to deal with my hair and she did yeoman service for three years until the length defeated her.

in between all of that various people have tried their hands at it. i`m not particularly pick about people touching my hair. as long as they ask or i`ve asked them. but my hair seems to attract all sorts of people. on my first trip to london i was in a bar in camden hanging out with friends, i had just come out of the bathroom and was on my way back to the table when this woman came up to me and started fondling my hair. and the words all people with dreads have learned and loathe, `it`s just so nice i had to touch it.`

i taught her a lesson that night however. i reached out and grabbed a bobbie and squeezed and said `it`s just so nice i had to touch it.` i told her, you don`t like it much do you when i invade your personal space. but then she got another look in her eye and i made quick dash for our table.

on my last trip to london i was sitting on the tube and this woman moves almost all the way up the car so she can sit next to me and out of the corner of my eye i see the hand coming up. i gave her the xiaolin dreadlock hair block. after a while with your hair you learn it to prevent random stroking and fondling.

since i`ve been in nashville, i think i`ve gotten a compliment about my hair every time i`ve been out. i don`t mind people asking questions or asking to touch, i don`t even hold to the superstition that let people touch your dreads will cause them to break. it`s hair, if it breaks it will grow back. i`ve had a few break, one or two close to the root, a couple more where my hair is bleached out, but it`s just hair, it will grow back.

i started growing my hair because i felt the need to assert my individuality. at the time i was young and i felt the need to further distance myself from the corporate drone mindset and that certainly did it. now that i`m older and i see dreads becoming more acceptable in general, i`m glad but i`m not about to cut to be contrary. when i cut my hair, it will be end a period of personal development.

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