Eva-Willow: My Dreadlock Journey to Self-Love and Success

About me

I am Eva-Willow, your dreadlock artist and I’d like to tell you about my journey with dreadlocks to self-love, self acceptance and success . . .

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My own journey with my beloved locks started very long ago when I wanted them so badly but I was too worried about the opinion of others. Like many of my clients, I too was a person who let the fear of acceptance and who “would not allow me to dread my hair” get in my way. As I voiced my wishes, it use to be met with control, spitefulness and rudeness. I was told about “how people would look at me” all the way to scare tactics of “what kind of men and company I would attract”. The short answer to that is, everything that is beautiful and admirable.

And so a personal journey started

I think its very fair to say that starting out on this road was definitely a significant contributing factor in becoming a better version of myself. It has been teaching me about courage and self love – something that I was a deeply struggling with at the time. It is like many other praise worthy things – one never “arrives” and the learning simply carries on as time passes. It doesn’t ever stop.

During that same time I battled through an ugly divorce from all that was toxic. The difficult days called for some fire in me so I felt in the mood for change. I decided to go from my natural blonde to a red with henna paste. It was a beautiful, messy experience. Caca Rouge from Lush. So beautiful and messy that I needed to sit on the grass while my young little pink fairy hooligans lathered it into my hair. Rich, shiny and easy enough to do, excludes all the horrid chemicals contained by conventional hair color, not tested on animals – and – its affordable – bonus!

Beliefs, thoughts and ideas that shaped my idea around dreadlocks

At the time, my religious / spiritual beliefs and ideas were different to now but the story of Samson and his “7 locks” made an impression on me. I am not a professor in Theology and neither do I label myself as a follower of any particular faith, but I’ve always had the idea that his locks where not twirly curls but actual dreadlocks (I am not insisting that I am correct on this). Then I read up about the significance of hair as held dear by the Native Americans. I felt that the combination of the two was what I desperately needed.

So it started

Soon after this horrid time was partially done, we moved to Knysna where my lock journey started row by row, week after week, as and when there was some spare time. I was pretty much in the deep as I had to learn everything from scratch, with plenty of trial and error not to mention the very painful fingers after all the accidental stabs with a sharp metal crochet needle.

I was told that with any lice infestation I would need to shave. They said they’d give me 6 months, then it was predicted to look so bad that I’d be fed-up – that it would be such a huge mess that I’d have to cut and get rid of all my hair.

Guess what . . . . that never happened 😀

Learning to overcome some major struggles

A tender point about this is that I have been struggling with severe anxiety for most of my life but as we all know, definitely more so when us humans go through hard times. I use to do what many others do – various things that are physically destructive as it was hard for me to keep my hands still. Anything from snapping my hair off (before they were dreaded of course) to picking and scratching at my skin, to eventually fighting to not get into more serious ways of self harm.

The company I’d keep

That was the next incorrect prediction. I was told my haters that I would attract only “scum”. Especially when it comes to men who’d be interested in me. As it turned out – I have such incredible, genuine friends and as for a partner, I landed up with one of the greatest human’s who have ever walked the earth . With enormous sadness I also need to add that he passed away in January this year. I will still scrape some courage together to speak more about this in the near future on a separate post. The point remains – he was the greatest gift, in the form of a beautiful man. Blessed with the best for some years that was way too short.

My inner transformation

Since then, I’ve never put my crochet needles down, working, loving, respecting and working my locks some more.

The result ?

Well the result was the complete opposite to what I used to do. No more damaging myself but furthering myself, beautifying my temple, without a doubt.

A magnificent mane of dreads have been created due to my thing with fidgeting and faffing with my hands. I have created a small business out of this which helps to keep little tummies fed and little minds educated, warm blankets in winter and a home called The Land of Freedom. How can I ‘not’ feel super proud and accomplished?

Dreadlocks have been an absolute blessing to me . . . Thank you for reading my story . . .


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