A Teen Cut Off His Dreadlocks After Nine Years, And The Result Left His Mom In Tears

Image: YouTube/Maxbeatbox

For the past nine years, Jordan Reynolds had sported dreadlocks. He’d maintained his hairstyle ever since he had been a kid, in fact. Then, one day, the teenager made a momentous decision: he was going to cut off those dreads and get himself a brand-new ’do. His dad agreed to help in the process, too. But when Jordan’s mom came home, she cried when she saw what her son’s hair had been hiding all those years.

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That haircut was also captured on video after a YouTuber who goes by the name of Maxbeatbox – and who also happens to be Jordan’s father – filmed the entire process. Maxbeatbox then posted the clip to his channel in February 2016. And halfway through the footage, Jordan’s mom, Melanie, can be seen arriving home to see her newly shorn child.

Image: YouTube/Maxbeatbox

It’s unclear whether Melanie knew that Jordan wanted to cut his hair. But nothing could have prepared her for what she saw when she walked through the door on the day that it happened – and came face to face with what her son’s dreads had been hiding all those years. And now more than eight and a half million people have seen Melanie’s reaction, too.

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The YouTube clip itself, meanwhile, was uploaded by Maximillian Reynolds – or just Max to his family and friends. He’s a professional musician who produces compositions for film, TV and advertisements as well as for commercial release. And according to Max’s website, “bass and rich chords will be involved” in the tracks that he makes.

Image: YouTube/Maxbeatbox

But many of the videos that Max has uploaded to YouTube actually showcase his impressive talent for beatboxing. For those who don’t know, beatboxing is a skill that has long been associated with hip-hop culture. Specifically, it involves vocalizing the sounds of a drum machine using movement of the mouth, the tongue and the lips.

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And some may have became familiar with Max’s skills after a video of his went viral in 2009. Yes, he found internet fame as a beatboxing flight attendant when he delivered safety procedures to Southwest Airlines passengers in his own unique style. Then, five years later, Max teamed up with cello-playing commuter Francisco Vila during another plane journey.

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Max also encourages creativity among his children: oldest son Josiah, middle child Jordan and daughter Eliana. And perhaps thanks to his and Melanie’s encouragement, all three of the kids have clear career paths that they wish to pursue. In fact, Josiah displayed his artistic inclinations at a very early age.

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“[Josiah] never played with toys, but he always made his own toys – even at two years old,” Max explained to educational facility Envision in March 2019. A teacher at Josiah’s school apparently noticed the little boy’s skills, too. Max went on, “[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.”

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However, all three Reynolds kids benefited from their dad’s participation on game show Deal or No Deal in 2019. And while Max didn’t quite scoop the top prize of $1 million – instead, he cashed out at $211,000 – the whole family was left in shock when they received an unbelievable gift from the show.

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You see, it had been Jordan’s dream to attend an Envision Experience, and the Deal or No Deal producers had made that dream come true. Max later recalled, “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.”

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Envision is an organization that provides education through practical experience. In particular, it gives kids the opportunity to sample their desired careers in fields such as engineering, medicine, law and business through various programs that can be taken in addition to formal education. However, the courses come at a price, and this cost was something that the Reynolds family could ill afford.

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And owing to that expense, Max may have pushed the idea of the course to the back of his mind. Jordan, by contrast, had never let go of his dream of taking Envision’s program in engineering. So when all three kids were gifted Envision enrollment during their dad’s turn on Deal or No Deal, their collective jaws hit the floor.

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Yes, Jordan was given the National Youth Leadership Forum in Engineering course that he’d had his heart set on. Josiah, meanwhile, was gifted a place at Envision’s International Scholar Laureate Program in China, and Eliana received an invitation to the Envision Game & Technology Academy.

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Naturally, Max is incredibly proud of his children, and he explained to Envision, “I was blessed to have three kids who know what they want to do when they grow up.” Even so, it appears that Max has never let his desire for his sons and daughter to excel in life affect his ability to have fun with them.

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In fact, Max and Melanie’s approach to parenting appears very modern, as the support that they give to their children’s desired career paths is seemingly matched by an encouragement of freedom of expression. And when Jordan decided that he wanted to express himself through his hair, his parents didn’t stand in his way.

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In particular, when Jordan was young, he wanted to grow his hair into dreadlocks. Now, while some people believe dreadlocks to generally be dirty, the opposite is usually true, as they require a certain amount of routine and care to maintain. And the hairstyle comes with quite the heritage, too.

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You see, there’s evidence that dreadlocks were worn roughly 3,600 years ago. Murals depicting the Minoans – a people who lived during the Bronze Age – show them wearing their hair in long, ropelike braids. Mummified remains of ancient Egyptians who were wearing dreadlock-styled hairpieces have also been unearthed during archaeological digs.

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Yet although the origins of dreadlocks have been traced to the Mediterranean and Middle East, more recent evidence of the style has also been found in Central America. Literature from the Pre-Columbian Aztec era has described priests as wearing their hair in dreadlocks, with these books, or codices, all dating back to the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

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There are plenty of present-day examples of dreadlocks, too, The style is popular, for example, among Maasai warriors, who wear their dreads thin and colored red. Then, of course, dreads hold cultural significance to some people – not least Rastafarians, who took on the look from the Akan people in Ghana.

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In the Rastafari movement, dreadlocks represent the Lion of Judah – sometimes regarded as a signifier of the late Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassi, who is a central figure in the religion. And the hairstyle is representative of the wearer’s connection to the movement’s ideas and principles. What’s more, the Rastafarian adoption of dreads has arguably brought them to an even wider audience.

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That’s thanks in no small part to Bob Marley, who played a large part in the growing awareness of Rastafarianism in the 1970s. And as Rasta ideology is commonly touched on in reggae music, knowledge of the movement only increased after reggae – and, in particular, Marley’s songs – achieved global recognition. Now, dreadlocks are almost synonymous with Rastafarianism itself.

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For some, however, dreadlocks are nothing more than an easy way to wear their hair. Once you have your hair in dreads, you see, you can keep it in that style for months – maybe even years. And while dreads do need to be kept clean, they’re otherwise effortless to maintain.

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In fact, if you want to create dreadlocks, it’s best to begin with freshly washed hair. Avoid using conditioners or serums on your tresses, however, as these may actually leave hair too soft to achieve the style. Instead, lather up with a purifying shampoo, as this should rid the hair of any oils and therefore create a texture more suitable for making dreadlocks.

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Then, the next step is to divide hair up into uniform sections that each measure around one inch in width. After that, tie each segment up with an elastic band to keep it separate from the rest. These tails will form the basis of the dreadlocks – so the smaller the sections, the thinner the locks will be. Ultimately, though, the thickness is entirely up to you.

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Each tail also needs to be backcombed near the roots using a dread comb or wire brush. Take time to make sure each section is nice and even, starting roughly an inch from the base of the head. Then, ensure that that tail is tightly packed before moving further down. If you typically have pretty straight hair, though, secure each section with elastic to hold the dreadlocks in place.

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Next, each of the dreadlocks needs to be waxed with a product without petroleum so that there is no build-up. So, using just a small amount of the wax, coax a dread into shape between the palms and manipulate it with your fingers. Doing this will fix the dreads that you create into position, too, leaving you free to then remove the elastic bands.

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And this process can be seen in a different video featuring Jordan that was posted by Max in February 2019. But while it’s fairly normal for teenagers to change their image every now and again, Jordan had held fast, keeping his own dreads for years on end.

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Max appears to actively celebrate his children and their style choices, too. In September 2014, for example, he posted a photo of Josiah, Jordan and Eliana on Facebook along with the caption, “I’m really proud that my kids represent the full spectrum of ethnic hair styles.” And by this point, Jordan’s dreadlocks were already long.

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When Jordan was about to turn 14, however, he felt that it was time for a change. Yes, that meant cutting the dreads he had spent years cultivating – even since he had been a kid, in fact. Indeed, Melanie hadn’t seen her son without dreads since he was around five years old.

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And so, one day, Max set about chopping off Jordan’s nine-year-old dreadlocks. In a video posted to the musician’s YouTube channel in February 2016, the teenager can be seen patiently sitting at the Reynolds’ kitchen table. He is shirtless, with his long locks cascading over his bare shoulders and a determined look on his face.

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Then, in speeded-up footage, Max sets about meticulously cutting off his son’s dreadlocks one at a time. But while simply chopping dreads away is one option for getting rid of them, it is possible to follow another method if you don’t want to be left with a shaved head or a pixie cut.

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When the director of Las Vegas hairstylists Globe Salon, Staci Linklater, thought that it was time to remove her dreadlocks, you see, she wanted to do so while still keeping some length to her hair. And thanks to her years of experience, she was able to come up with a method of removing the locks without shaving her head.

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To begin with, Staci had a trim in order to improve the overall condition of her hair. After all, regardless of how well-maintained dreadlocks are, the ends will be badly damaged – meaning these should be chopped off anyway. And by cutting a small section off the bottom of the hair, you’ll not only save time, but you’ll also make working out the locks a little easier.

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Then, by smothering the dreads in oil and keeping them damp throughout, Staci was able to tease the locks out of her hair with a comb. This process was incredibly time-consuming, though, as each of her 105 dreadlocks took up to 45 minutes to completely untangle.

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All in all, then, removing the dreads took more than a day to achieve – even with a team of professional hairstylists to help. And because Staci’s hair was accustomed to forming knots, it also started to become matted again overnight. Further oiling and braiding was therefore necessary in order to keep her tresses smooth.

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After that, Staci enjoyed a pampering treat that she hadn’t experienced for quite a while, undergoing hair conditioning treatments and a cut-and-styling process that left her mane soft and silky. And although the director ultimately lost more than a foot off the length of her hair, it was nevertheless still below shoulder length.

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Jordan, on the other hand, wasn’t bothered about keeping his hair long, leading his father to implement a more common and much faster dread-removal method: simply chopping each lock off. Then Max set about tidying up his son’s fresh new cut with hair clippers. And while the transformation may have had a less glamorous end result than Staci’s, the effect was no less jaw dropping.

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The change was one that Melanie seemingly hadn’t been prepared for, either. In any case, when the mom returned to the family’s Roseville, California, home, the camera turned to her for an unfettered reaction to Jordan’s new look. And as she opened the door, the sight of her newly shorn son made Melanie stop in her tracks.

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Melanie was so stunned at Jordan’s new look, in fact, that she started to cry. And that’s understandable, as it had been nearly a decade since she had seen her son with a short haircut. Indeed, the mother of three was so emotional that when she was asked to comment on the transformation, she requested that the camera be turned off.

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Then, the following day, Jordan paid a visit to “the most amazing barber in town” for his first professional haircut in years. But the teenager didn’t entirely swear off dreads altogether, as it happens. Yes, he’s since started putting his hair back in the style. And in February 2019, Max completed the circle by posting a video in which he demonstrated how to begin creating dreads for yourself.

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Yes, switching up hairstyles can totally change your look – that’s for sure. Just ask Connecticut librarian Wendy, who hadn’t cut her incredibly long, curly hair in over eight years. But she was ready for a boost of confidence, so she signed up for a makeover – and the incredible result left her looking like a brand-new woman.

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Librarian Wendy had been known for having extra-long hair for most of her life. By the time she went onto TV’s Rachael Ray show, though, she was ready for a change. And her first haircut in eight and a half years completely transformed her appearance.

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Bridgeport, Connecticut, resident Wendy had always let her hair grow to super-long lengths – and her flowing locks had made up her signature look for years. “People know me by my hair,” she said on Rachael Ray in October 2018.

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That look went well with Wendy’s fashion style, too, which she calls bohemian. “I like flowy skirts and dresses and colors and patterns and florals,” she said. “The world should have more color in it.”

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However, by the time Wendy appeared on the TV talkshow, she had perhaps taken that boho theme too far. She was 49 years old and hadn’t had a haircut in eight and a half years. With a big birthday on the horizon, then, Wendy knew it was time to switch up her look.

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“I’ve always loved my long hair, but now that I’m about to turn 50. I think it’s time for a change,” Wendy said. There were several reasons for her decision. For starters, she said her hair – which reached her lower back – had become “difficult to take care of.”

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“When my hair is this long, sometimes it gets stuck in things. It gets stuck in people’s glasses, in people’s jewelry. Sometimes I close a door on it,” Wendy said with a laugh. Her solution? Always to put her hair up in a bun or weave it into a braid.

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Secondly, Wendy thought her hair could potentially be having a detrimental effect on her personal and professional lives. She works as a part-time librarian, and at the time of the show’s taping, she reported that she was single.

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“I absolutely love my job at the library, and I wish it were full time… So I’ve been interviewing for more full-time work,” Wendy explained. “I think that a fresh new look would give me more confidence, and maybe it’ll be the same with going on dates.”

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But most importantly of all, Wendy wanted a makeover to honor her mother, who had passed away at 50 – an age that Wendy herself was now about to turn. “[Being] 50 is much more meaningful for me than it would’ve been if [Mom] had been around,” Wendy admitted.

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“In her honor, I want to just really live my life to the fullest and be the best me I can be,” Wendy concluded. And with that, she began her makeover journey on Rachael Ray – a show that, however, typically centers around its host’s well-known cooking expertise.

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In fact, Ray had been apprehensive when she’d initially allowed makeovers into her food-centric series’ line-up. “When we first started the show, I’m like, ‘Everybody does makeovers; let’s not do makeovers.’ And then we started doing them and… I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I love these! They’re so fun,’” she admitted.

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Ray’s excitement was certainly palpable as she stood by Wendy’s side, holding her hand as celebrity stylist Ted Gibson readied his shears. “So, are we gonna make the first cut?” Ray asked Gibson before turning to Wendy to wonder if she was “freaked out by cutting off a lot of hair.”

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Wendy again touched upon her own history with lengthy locks – but said she was prepared to close that chapter. “I’ve been known for my hair forever, so I am a little bit [freaked out], but I’m really ready,” she told Ray.

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Wendy also revealed that she had cut and donated her hair three times prior to her appearance on Rachael Ray – and that she’d be donating her clippings this time, too. Then, with that, Gibson got his scissors ready, while Ray reassured Wendy that the new look was “not short.”

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As the show’s live audience cheered, Gibson finished cutting through Wendy’s ponytail. And although she had the rest of her makeover to go, Wendy was clearly already shocked by her shorter hair. She asked, “Oh my gosh. Can I touch it?”

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Wendy’s complete transformation came later, though – after she had received a full cut and color as well as a new outfit. And when she made her way on stage, viewers clapped and cheered her stunning transformation.

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For her part, Wendy couldn’t believe the new look, which she got to see for the first time while she was up there in front of everyone. “Oh, my god!” she exclaimed as she examined her short hair, which now had a gingery hue. “Wow!” she added as she then looked more closely.

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Ray couldn’t believe the transformation, either, and she spoke directly to the man responsible for dyeing Wendy’s locks to a new, warm hue. “Oh my god, Jason! Look at that color!” the stunned talkshow host exclaimed.

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Of course, though, the makeover’s ultimate success depended upon Wendy’s approval. And the librarian made it clear that she felt incredible after having had her extra-long hair chopped off. In fact, just as Ray asked her if she liked her new look, she started to cry.

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Wendy admitted to the talkshow host that seeing her reflection was like having a stranger stare back at her. “I honestly don’t recognize myself,” she said. But that was a good thing. “I feel like such a different person,” Wendy added. “I feel so free and light and…” At that point, though, she had to trail off. The audience were clapping too loudly for the transformed librarian, who was walking into a new chapter of her life with a brand-new look.

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