Those with dreadlocks are often discriminated upon when it comes to finding work and even if they have already found work. There are many reasons why an employer might have a problem with your choice in hairstyle, many of which are probably not even true. But anyway I am not going to talk about the negative aspects of dreadlocks and work. I’m going to share with you a personal story of how my dreads actually helped get me a job.
It was several years ago for me when I was attending college. One of the main jobs at the campus was working for the restaurants on school property. The job was convenient and you could get free food. The downside was it didn’t pay that well, but it didn’t matter much to me. I wanted a job there. I had applied at the beginning of the semester but there were so many others applying that I never heard a thing about my application or the job.
Offered a Job
It wasn’t until probably a month later that something happened. There were many managers around campus and one of them came up and talked to me. About what? About my dreads. We got to talking about my hair and the manager was very interested in it. That very same day at the end of our conversation he asked me if I were looking for a job. Of course I said yes. So we went his office, I filled out some paper work, and the next week after the paperwork had been cleared by corporate I had a job.
You might find it surprising because this job was a food server/perparer job. With all of the sanitation requirements for food providers along with all of the beliefs in dreadlocks being filthy and dirty, you would think this kind of job would not work out. But it did. I worked there for over 2 years until I graduated.
I got along with mostly everyone and only one person had a problem with my dreads. This person was a manager. The reason was that I could not wear the little black hats that were part of the uniform. They were small and could not even come close to fitting on my head. To keep him from bothering me I would sometimes set one on my head (just sitting on the top). He didn’t like that. Eventually he gave up on me ever wearing a hat and I just wore a hair-net from then out.
So while there are a lot of people out there that will discriminate against those with dreads, there are still some that do not have a problem with your hair choice.
Wash your hair, make it look neat, don’t assume the worst, and you will be fine. There are opportunities out there. I know this job was not by any means a career, but still. My dreads actually helped me get it. I just wanted to share this story with those of you who feel that everyone puts you down for your hair choice of dreads.
Ever wondered how long dreads can get? Well take a look at this world record for the longest dreadlocks. The record holder is Asha Mandela, whom some call the black Rapunzel. Her hair’s length as of 2013 was 19ft 6in and she held the 2009 Guinness World record with a length of 19ft (growing 6 inches in 4 years seems inaccurate).
55 Foot Lone Dread
Even though the record was only at 19ft, she supposedly has one lone dread that is 55ft long! Whether that is true or not is difficult to say. I can’t imagine one dread growing at that fast of a pace. She has been growing her dreads for over 25 years and at 55ft that means over 2ft a year for that single dread. It general it is said that hair grows about 6 inches a year, and with dreads it is usually less due to the “locking” process. This makes it unbelievable to me that it could be true.
No More Record?
If you go to GuinnessWorldRecords.com you will not find her record from 2009. Why? Not because someone broke the record but because Guinness decided to do away with the “Word’s Longest Locks” category. The reason for this decision was due to possible cheating and inaccuracy of dread measurement as Guinness stated below in 2010:
“Following a review of our guidelines for the longest dreadlock, we have taken expert advice and made the decision to rest this category. The reason for this is that it is difficult, and in many cases impossible, to measure the authenticity of the locks due to expert methods employed in the attachment of hair extensions/re-attachment of broken off dreadlocks. Effectively the dreadlock can become an extension and therefore impossible to adjudicate accurately. It is for this reason Guinness World Records has decided to rest the category and will no longer be monitoring the category for longest dreadlock.”
In the Beginning
In the beginning she had never considered dreading. Asha says that the reason she started was from spirutual dreams and visions. Dreams and visions that showed her she needed to changer her lifestyle. Growing dreads was part of this change.
When she first began to dread she did not like how things were going. Her dreads were short and spiky (I can relate to this) and just not what she had envisioned. Her family disapproved of her choice of hairstyle, with her mother calling her a “mop head”.
She didn’t know how long she would grow them for but she felt that they had a purpose. Before she new it her dreads were long and as they had been envisioned.
After making the choice to dread she claims that it changed her life. Even her aura and energies had changed.
I have heard other stories of dreads in the 20 feet range but can’t find any information online to back up these stories. So until I can get some proof I guess Asha still has the record.
Do you know or have you heard of anyone with dreads longer or close to this length??