Second part of your response, thanks!
This 2-part advice doesn’t really need an answer but I wanted your tips to be out there…thank you!
Some great points here about how valid my testing method is. I have a couple of comments which I will add below the “read more” link.
A little while ago I stumblred (my new word for stumbling upon something on tumblr that I just invented because I’m so bloody clever) across the blog of a pretty neat sounding experiment by the user dreadlikeme.tumblr.com. There is a lot of debate in some corners of the dreadlock world about whether or not WAX is bad for your hair. The ‘Nature Vs Nurture’ experiment intends to test this argument by pitting one side of his hair against the other - one will be allowed to mature ‘naturally’, the other will be maintained with wax and other generally frowned-upon methods. Ding, ding! Round one! Sounds like a worthy test, right? Well, unfortunately - as nice as I’m sure this man with an awesome moustache is - the experiment is littered with erroneous bits of information that compromise the accuracy of the results. I am going to tackle those key points with this post.
Firstly, a bit about me just so you know who I am and why the hell I think I have any authority on the subject. I’ve had dreadlocks for a combined eight years over two sets and am a moderator on a very active Dreadlock forum (dreadlocktruth.com), so I have seen the progression of hundreds of sets and answered thousands of questions (and you can see my own locks here: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v662/hereticmag/IMG_0636.jpg). So my knowledge is based on what I’ve seen happen rather than just warnings or rumours posted online and is echoed by the core of the forum. So anyway, let’s get to some of the points that need addressing.
- Wax is hidden. Yes, that is what I’ve heard. Can’t tell until you cut them off! That’s fine — I’m planning on doing that down the line, and then we will see. Most “truth” experts believe that waxed locks won’t last more than 3-4 years and I’m planning on keeping these for five, so if they fall apart, that’s pretty clear and damning evidence against wax.
- Not a real test because I started with wax on both sides. First, to clarify the timing: I waxed for three months, stopped entirely for five months, and began this test in January. I won’t know what they would have looked like completely untouched, but I’ve had a lot of growth over the past seven months, which has not been waxed whatsoever (although some of them got a single root flip). This will certainly show a comparison.
- Spreading misinformation. This seems to be based on the assumption that my conclusion will be that the wax was okay. I don’t know that. I don’t see that this test is skewed that way, either. If half my locks falls out, or are revealed to be mildewing and slimy and stinky, won’t that prove something?
As I said when I planned this test:
It won’t be exactly scientific, but at least it will be systematic.
Perhaps even more importantly, I’m pretty sure that I’m overusing wax, and that one of the problems is that even if it can be used responsibly, it’s very difficult to do.
Hope that helps clarify my position. Keep up the critical analysis!
Well it makes sense that conditioner, enemy of all dreadlocks, is the way to destroy them. Sounds disgusting!
Excellent question! It deserves a two-part answer:
1 - My plan for the test is six months but I expect to keep the locks for five years. The anti-wax crowd warns that my locks won’t last more than three or four years because of what I did to them, so 5 years is a good test. I have read that there are ways to unlock hair, and I want to try one out and see if it works. (I’m skeptical.) When I do that, I can cut off a lock or two from each side to see what it looks like in the core.
2 - Yes, I started waxing all over. Wax adherents (yep, that’s a pun) don’t expect me to use the stuff forever, so if they are right and wax is wholesome, I should see no problems when I look at the core, right? And if they’re wrong, or I have overused it by their rules, then the nurture side should reveal much more damage.
2a - Another theory is that dread shampoo is designed to strip out wax. I just finished my supply and will not be getting more. So, if it does remove wax, there shouldn’t be any more in the nature side, and it should start building up faster than ever on the nurture side.