Dreadlocks have a ton of perks. They're versatile, budget friendly, and can elevate any style. But here's the thing. Dreadlocks are not as low maintenance as you might think. In fact, this hairstyle requires a lot of attention.
If someone knows what a pain it is to keep your locs looking fresh, is Jordan Reynolds. He had been sporting dreadlocks for nine years straight. But after years of teasing and dreading his hair, he decided it was time for a change. And what happened after he got rid of his dreads was better than anything he could have imagined!
He Had Dreadlocks
Jordan Reynolds had dreadlocks—one of the coolest and most comfortable hairstyles out there. But dreadlocks are one of the most difficult hairstyles to maintain. The process can be pretty long and strenuous, depending on how much hair you're working with.
First, Jordan had to wash his long hair to start with a fresh canvas and remove any product buildup. There's a lot of twisting, teasing, sectioning, air drying, and palm rolling involved in the process. But after mastering the intricate art of locing, Jordan felt like he needed a change. After all, he got dreadlocks when he was just a little kid and by the time he was a teenager, he was tired of wearing the same old look.
They Were a Part of Him
At one point, Jordan thought his dreadlocks were just as important as every other part of his body. They were an extension of him. More importantly, they represented who he was. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always easy. He was used to getting mixed reactions and confusing opinions. Some people loved his hair style, while others felt that his hairdo would prevent him from looking more "professional" as he grew older. Was this why he wanted to cut them off?
He Had Thought About It
His decision to cut his dreads appeared to have come out of the blue, but it really didn't. Jordan didn’t just wake up one day and decide it was time for a completely new hairdo. He had been thinking about this change for a while now. So, he told his dad about it to get his input. Luckily, he was totally cool with it. But it was a special occasion and he wanted to have a memory of one of the most radical decisions he had made thus far.
His Dad Recorded the Process
In February 2016, Jordan had his dad, a YouTuber known as Maxbeatbox, record the whole process of having his dreadlocks cut. The clip was then uploaded on YouTube for the whole world to see. In the video, you can see Jordan’s mom, Melanie, break down when she gets home and sees what her son is doing. But why did she react like that? Was she really angry and ready to lash out at the person responsible for doing this?
Her Son Had Changed
Melanie had walked through the door the way she had done every other day. She thought it'd be just another uneventful day, but when she saw what her son was doing to his hair, she was speechless. It's not that she hated the new hairstyle. She was just taken by surprise after so many years. So, she turned to her husband, Maxbeatbox, and squinted her eyes in scrutiny. Was this a sign that he was going to be in the doghouse tonight or would she forgive him for doing what he did to her son?
His Famous Dad
Maxbeatbox’s real name is Maximilian Reynolds, but his friends call him Max. Aside from YouTubing, Max is a professional musician who has produced music for commercial release, advertisements, films and television. In fact, you can find his songs on Spotify and iTunes. But his YouTube videos weren't just a side hobby. Oh no! His videos get millions of views. According to his site, Max is focused on "producing music that generates some type of response, and now we offer this social place for you to hang out. Bass and rich chords will be involved."
Max is a Musical Genius
Max isn’t some amateur musician who's just looking to break into the industry. He’s a professional composer who's a total whiz when it comes to playing various musical instruments. He's also an avid beatboxer and he loves showing off his musical talents on YouTube. But what exactly is beatboxing? If you've never heard of it, I suggest searching for "beatboxing" on YouTube, but essentially, beatboxing is a process where a musician uses their mouth to simulate the beat of a drum. And it was this epic skill that helped him go viral a few years ago.
He Went Viral on a Plane
Max’s claim to fame began in 2009 when someone recorded him beatboxing safety procedures to passengers on board a Southwest Airlines flight. That video was then uploaded to social media where it spread like wildfire. Soon, everyone knew who Max was and that was only the beginning. Five years later, Max and a cello-playing commuter named Francisco Vila teamed up for a duo aboard another plane.
His Family’s Very Talented, Too
Max and Melanie have encouraged their eldest son Josiah, their middle child Jordan, and their daughter Eliana to follow their talents and explore their creativity. And since Max is such a musical inspiration, it’s no surprise that Josiah started displaying his creative side, too. At just two years old, the young prodigy started building his very own toys!
Josiah Didn’t Play, He Built
"[Josiah] never played with toys, but he always made his own toys – even at two years old," Max shared with the educational facility called Envision back in 2019. He went on to explain how one of Josiah’s teachers caught sight of the boy’s talents. "The teacher said [that] this wasn't just engineering, it was art. And my son's action figures were actually featured in an art gallery." But while Josiah and his siblings were all talented, they all shared the same obstacle.
Deal or No Deal
All of Max’s kids were undoubtedly as talented as their dad. Unfortunately, allowing them to pursue their individual dreams was costly, and the family was in a financial bind. Luckily, this all changed after Max was a contestant in “Deal or No Deal” in 2019. He didn’t win the coveted $1 million prize, but he did earn himself $211,000. And that was only the start of the family’s good fortune.
Jordan Earned an Envision Experience
One of Jordan's biggest dreams was to attend an Envision Experience and the producers at “Deal or No Deal” were aware of this. So, they not only enrolled Jordan at Envision, but his other two siblings as well. Max later shared: "I remember the day that Jordan looked at his invitation. You know how you can get something in the mail and look at it and then forget it because you don't have the money to do it? That's what I did." But why was Envision such a big deal?
The Envision Experience
Envision isn’t an ordinary school. They incorporate practical experience into their educational curriculum. In other words, kids get to test out various careers in fields like business, law, medicine and engineering. Unfortunately, these courses are about two weeks long and cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 per course. Given his family’s struggles, Jordan and his siblings pretty much figured that their Envision experience was dead, but it wasn’t thanks to their dad’s “Deal or No Deal” experience.
Their Reaction Was Priceless
The look of surprise and joy on Jordan’s face as well as those of his siblings was evident when they learned they had been gifted Envision enrollment. Their dad had come through for them just like he always had. They were now able to achieve the dreams they had always wanted to pursue. And Jordan himself already knew that he wanted his Envision’s program to be in engineering.
They Had International Opportunities
In addition to various fields of studies, Envision also allows enrollees to experience different parts of the world with their international programs. In fact, they offer programs in various cities across the United States as well as international cities in countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and China. Although Jordan’s family had been a tight-knit group, they were eager to pursue their dreams.
They Pursued the Dreams They Envisioned
Josiah was given a place at Envision’s International Scholar Laureate Program in China while Eliana earned an invitation to the Envision Game & Technology Academy. But what about Jordan? Did he get to go out and live the dream he always wanted? Yes, he did! He earned the National Youth Leadership Forum in the engineering course and he had never felt happier or more fulfilled in his life now that he was learning something that would shape his future.
Max is a Proud Father
Max told Envision that he was incredibly proud of his kids. "I was blessed to have three kids who know what they want to do when they grow up." As a father, he made sure to support and encourage his kids in pursuing anything they wanted. But just because he wanted them to excel, it didn’t mean that he denied them the freedom to express themselves. It was quite the opposite.
Jordan Has Encouraging Parents
Max and Melanie don’t thinks of themselves as strict parents. In fact, they have always been very open-minded and have given their children free reign (within reason, of course!). So, when Jordan initially approached them about getting dreadlocks, they didn’t frown and say no. They allowed him to make his own decisions about his hair and about how to take care of it, even though this took a lot dedication on his part.
He Loved to Stand Out
Dreadlocks have been around for a really long time. In fact, many of the earliest depictions of dreadlocks can be found in murals that date all the way back to 1500 BCE in Europe’s Minoan Civilization in the area of Crete. Minoans walked the Earth during the Bronze Age, which was approximately, 3,600 years ago. But they weren’t the only civilization to rock the locs.
Ancient Egyptians and Christians
Egyptian mummies have been found with dreadlock hair pieces, which suggests that this comfy hairstyle was pretty popular among the Egyptians, too. But they're not the only ones of course. There are some indications that early Christians, particularly Samson, a legendary Israelite warrior and judge featured in the Bible, was said to have seven dreadlocks that reportedly gave him inhuman strength.
The Aztecs Wore Dreadlocks, Too
Recent evidence indicates that dreadlock-wearing priests have been featured in literature by the Pre-Columbian Aztecs from the 15th century all the way to the 17th century. And like ancient Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Central American cultures, dreadlocks even made their ways to other cultures as well, like Germanic tribes and Vikings. According to Roman accounts, the Celts reportedly wore a hairstyle that looked a lot like "snakes," too.
Dreadlocks Survived to Modern Day
There are plenty of cultures who still sport dreadlocks like the Maasai warriors who believe that their thin, red locks are a source of power. But it means so much more in religions like Rastafarianism, which came into existence in the 1930s in Jamaica and is seen as a religious and social movement. But what does the hairstyle represent to the Rastafari Movement?
The Rastafari Movement
In Rastafarianism, dreadlocks are symbolic of the Lion of Judah as well as Emperor Haile Selassie I. They also symbolize African sovereignty, pride, kingship and strength. As a result, this hairstyle is a representation of their beliefs. Many Rastafarians also choose to wear dreadlocks as an expression of their spiritual self, as dreadlocks are tied to the following bible verse: "They shall not make baldness upon their head." (Leviticus 21:5).
Rastafarianism Was a Global Phenomenon
The Rastafari movement became a global phenomenon in the 1970s thanks to Bob Marley. Not only did reggae musician help popularize dreadlocks, but a lot of his songs referenced Rastafarianism, too. Eventually, the hairstyle became as famous as the singer himself and people around the world seemed eager to adopt Marley’s look.
Jordan was one of these people. He wanted a fun hairstyle that showcased his cool and outgoing personality. This was pretty important back when he was a teen. But anyone can rock dreadlocks regardless of their age!
Whoopi Goldberg Also Popularized This Style
The comedic actress who is best known for the movies “Sister Act,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” “Ghost,” and “The Color Purple” has donned dreadlocks pretty much since she first graced audiences with her presence on the big screen. On rare occasions, she was spotted wearing her hair down, but as it turns out, those were just wigs. The fact is, Goldberg has maintained her dreadlocks for years, and she isn't the only one in Hollywood who has done this.
Lil Wayne, Too
Lil Wayne is a rapper and record executive from New Orleans, Louisiana. His career skyrocketed thanks to mega hits like “Lollipop,” and “Sucker for Pain,” which made him one of the greatest rappers in music history. But he's also an undeniable trendsetter thanks to his signature look. Lil Wayne's dreadlocks are one of the most iconic hairstyles of the past decade, which he sometimes bleaches in a yellowy shade of blonde. But Jordan wasn’t interested in changing his hair color or accessorizing his locks with a hat. He wanted it all gone. But was he acting on impulse? Or did he get fed up of people commenting on his looks?
Dreadlocks Require Commitment
Jordan was pretty young when he told his parents he wanted to grow his hair long enough to turn them into dreadlocks. This was not an easy process. And while the common misconception is that dreadlocks are dirty, they’re not. Dreadlocks are a high maintenance hairstyle that require routine and care to keep it looking proper. But once the hair is in dreads, you can keep it in the same style for months or even years.
To create dreadlocks, the first thing one has to do is wash the hair thoroughly, but avoid using things like hair masks or conditioners because they make the hair way too soft and almost impossible to get the dreadlock look. Instead, professional hairstylists recommend using a purifying shampoo to get rid of excess oil. This is an essential part in making the hair’s texture more suitable before proceeding with styling.
Section off the Hair
After the hair is washed, it needs to be sectioned off into squares with a wide-toothed comb. Then each segment gets tied with a rubber band to keep them separated from one another. Keep in mind that the smaller the sections, the thinner the dreadlocks will turn out. So, the level of thickness is determined by the way the tails are sectioned. And what happens next requires more than a conventional comb.
Backcomb Each Tail
Each tail needs to be backcombed from the root using a wire brush or dread comb. It’s important that every section ends up looking even and that the tail is packed tightly before proceeding further down. This may prove challenging for anyone with straight hair, which is why using an elastic or rubber band the keep the dreadlocks in place is so important to keep the dreads from unraveling.
Secure the Dreadlocks’ Shape
Once the sectioning and combing process is complete, it’s important to secure the shape of the dreadlocks. But this can’t be done with conventional hair gel or hair spray. In this case, each dreadlock is coated with a generous amount of wax. Then it’s shaped between the palms of both hands as well as the fingers. This will leave the dreads in the desired position and allow the person to remove the elastic bands keeping them in place.
Jordan Can Show You How
Max posted a video in February of 2019 that features Jordan detailing the entire process of creating dreadlocks one step at a time. He also shares tips on how to properly maintain the hairstyle. Although the process seems easy, it takes a lot of patience and commitment, which is why everyone was so surprised by Jordan’s dedication. In general, teenagers like to change up their look, but he kept his dreadlocks for nine years before deciding it was time to move on.
The Full Spectrum of Ethnic Hairstyles
Max has proven himself a capable dad who is very supportive of his kids’ dreams, and he never misses an opportunity to praise them for their achievement. One such event occurred in September 2014, when he posted a picture of his three kids on Facebook and wrote: "I'm really proud that my kids represent the full spectrum of ethnic hairstyles." By that point, Jordan's dreadlocks were pretty long and looked beautiful on him. So why did he decide to cut something he had worked so hard to grow?
He Asked His Dad for Help
Jordan was 14 when he decided that enough was enough and wanted to cut his dreadlocks off. Most people in his situation might have been a little hesitant, but not him. He knew what he wanted and he even asked his dad to lend a hand. Max was, of course, happy to help. But there was one person he wasn’t sure would be okay with this and that was his mom, Melanie. And it’s not surprising given that she hadn’t seen him without dreads since he was 5.
The Beginning of the End
Max set up the camera and grabbed the shears he was going to use on his son. Then he told Jordan to have a seat and brace himself, not that he needed to do so because this was his idea. In the YouTube video posted in February 2016, a shirtless Jordan is seen sitting calmly by the kitchen table while his dad prepares to cut. Then the teen leans his head forward and Max starts clipping each of the dreadlocks on his son’s head.
It Was a Lengthy Process
The entire process of removing the teen’s dreadlocks was lengthy, but for the sake of time, the video was sped up to keep YouTube viewers from jumping through the video or losing interest in it. So, most people couldn’t appreciate that Max had to cut the dreadlocks at the root to restore the teen’s head to the way it was before the dreads. But this isn’t the only way that someone can have their dreadlocks removed. Just ask one hairstylist in Las Vegas.
She Didn’t Want Her Dreads Anymore
Staci Linklater, the director of Las Vegas’s Globe Salon, had also decided to get rid of her dreadlocks, but there was one small problem. Unlike Jordan, Linklater wanted to retain some of her original hair length. This presented quite a challenge at first since chopping dreads often leave people with what looks like a shaved head. Fortunately, her experience working with other people’s hairs gave her the knowledge she needed to come up with a different way of getting rid of her dreads.
She Needed a Trim
Linklater concluded that the first thing she needed was to have her hair trimmed. She wasn’t worried about losing her ends either because the tips are often too badly damaged no matter how much a person cares for their dreadlocks. But cutting the bottom sections of her hair had another benefit because it made unraveling the locks that had remained in the same position for years a whole lot easier.
She Smothered the Dreads in Oil
Once the trim was done, she had her dreads smothered in oil. This dampening process allowed the hair to release its knots, making them a whole lot easier to untangle. Then she used a comb to tease the locks out. And she had to be very patient because it took about 45 minutes to completely untangle one lock and she had a total of 105 in her head. Good thing she didn’t have anything pending on her calendar.
It’s Not a Quick Fix
Anyone interested in following Linklater’s technique in order to preserve some hair length should know that her method takes a long time. She should know. She had an entire team of professional hairstylists working on her hair and it still took over a day to get all the dreadlocks out. But she wasn’t done just yet because her hair became matted overnight. So, she had to treat the hair with oiling and braiding to ensure that her hair remained smooth.
Looking After Her Hair
Admittedly, Linklater experienced a series of hair conditioning treatments that left her hair feeling softer, healthier and shinier than it had in years. Granted, it wasn’t all good news since she had to sacrifice about a foot’s worth of hair length. Fortunately, her hair still fell below her shoulders and she had found another way for people with this popular hairdo to get rid of their dreadlocks without shaving all their hair off. But this wasn’t the method Jordan’s dad had used on his son.
Jordan Didn’t Mind the Short Hair
Jordan didn’t care about preserving the length of his hair the way Linklater had, so he had his dad chop his hair off the way most people do when they want to get rid of their dreadlocks. And in the end, the teenager was left with just a few short inches of hair. But his dad also evened out his hairline and used a razor on the lower half of Jordan’s head to make his son’s hair look smoother and even. But how did the boy’s mother, Melanie, feel about it?
Mom Came Home
When Melanie walked into the house with a veggie platter and a bag full of groceries, she was expecting to set everything up in the kitchen and then relocate the food to the dining table. After that, she was going to call her husband and kids over to eat, but she realized something was different the moment she walked through the door. At first, she couldn’t put her finger on it. Then she noticed the teenage stranger in her home, but it wasn’t really a stranger.
They Were Filming Her Reaction
Melanie had no clue what her son had intended to do that day or that her husband would be his co-conspirator. As she stepped deeper into the house, she realized that Jordan’s brother and sister were filming her. She rolled her eyes and wondered if this was one of those pranks she had seen on social media. Was she about to become the butt of a family prank that would go viral and make her insta-famous for all the wrong reasons? And what role did the mysterious stranger in her home play in all this?
She Was Caught Off Guard
Moments after stepping foot inside her home in Roseville, California, Melanie realized that the stranger inside was no stranger at all. It was her son. She gasped. She had been caught off guard by the young man’s shocking transformation. Then she approached him slowly with a big smile on her face and eyes full of confusion. And as he got closer to hug her, her reaction to his haircut left everyone in utter confusion.
Her Wish Came True
Moments after realizing that Jordan’s gorgeous dreadlocks were gone, Melanie simply broke down and started crying. But these weren’t necessarily tears of sadness. She was simply overwhelmed because she hadn’t seen her son with short hair in almost ten years. She then admitted that she had wanted to see her son without the dreadlocks for a long time, but she kept her feelings to herself because she knew how much her son had loved his dreads. And she didn’t want to nag him about getting his hair cut. Now, it seemed as though she had gotten her wish.
From Dreadlocks to Shaven and Back Again
Although Jordan had chosen to get his hair cut, he didn’t get rid of his dreads completely. Shortly after his makeover, he started working on his hair’s aftercare treatment and eventually started putting his locks back into dreads. Then, in February 2019, he posted a video tutorial teaching people how to create their own dreadlocks. So, anyone considering this hairstyle is better off getting advice from Jordan as he has been through the process of getting dreads and removing them several times.
Don’t Expect Results Right Away
One thing Jordan likes to emphasize in his videos is that locing your hair isn't something you can achieve in just a few days. As a matter of fact, it may take three months before you will see any kind of progress. Much like anything in life, if we want something we need to work for it and trust the process.
Problems May Arise
A common problem that arises when locking one’s hair is that the hair may start to thin at the root. When this happens, the risk of the hair falling off increases. When this happens, people generally start to panic and consider cutting their locks off, but Jordan stresses that it’s important to not give up because being resilient will eventually pay off. Furthermore, dreadlocks have one major perk over other popular hairstyles like the fact that they are more weather resistant. So once the locks form, you won’t have to worry about them unraveling because of humid weather.
Expect Accomplishments and Disappointments
When Jordan began altering his hair from a faded haircut into locks, he experienced all sorts of disappointments along the way. This is because his hair went from curly to coarse over time. So, there were times that his tightly coiled strands of curls didn’t always look as great as he wanted it, but it all worked out in the end. And when it was all said and done, he got his confidence back.