Updated on August 8, 2022
Any1 with experience that can also tell me a few steps?
there are many ways to start dreadlocks depending on your hair type and your patience. BUT whichever route you decide to take in starting dreads, you MUST wash your hair.
wash your hair regularly and thoroughly. just make sure you are washing every 3-4 days or whenever they feel dirty.
clean dreadlocks lock up faster than dirty oily ones because oil lubricates the hairs and helps them to slip out of the knots. washing it strips the oils from it making it less likely to slip and slide and more likely to for knots. in basic terms it increases the friction and increases knots. =)
you might get a bit of dandruff for the first little while but it will go away. almost every dreadhead gets a bit of dandruff in the beginng. this is because the average person with “normal” hair washes it every day or at least every second day. every time you wash it you are stripping your hair of its natural oils, and as we all know, the right amounts of oils keeps your scalp and hair healthy. so your scalp kinda freaks out when you take away all the oils so it works extra hard to replace them right away, which is why you need to wash it again the very next day to prevent it from becoming oily looking. when you have dreadlocks you cant wash it every day because your hair holds more water than others. its like a sponge. so your hair needs to dry COMPLETELY before you get it wet again. now and then wont hurt, but if you keep getting it wet before it drys, it will be constantly wet, providing the perfect environment for mold growth. by waiting 3-4 days you can ensure your hair is dry before you wash it again. you might get dandruff at first because dandruff is caused by a build up of oils and dead skin cells on your scalp. at first your scalp will still think that you are going to take away all its oils each day so it will continue to overproduce the oils for a little while. but after sometime it will realize that you arent stripping it of its natural oils every day so it will slow down oil production and adapt to your washing schedule. it just takes some time. in that inbetween time when your scalp hasnt caught on yet you may experience some dandruff but if you just keep washing regularily to wash away the excess oils and skin cells ot will go away within the month. any further scalp problems you experience after that are caused by something else, and not your dreads.
now there are two methods that can be considered “natural” but there is debate whether one of them really is natural. You can simply neglect your hair, or you can backcomb it. Remember, ANYTHING will dread if you leave it alone long enough, but that can take years if your hair is not extremely frizzy/kinky like aafrican textured hair. many people consider backcombing to still be natural because you are only speeding up natures clock by startiing out with a few knots and after that it is all up to nature. no products and no chemicals are used in this method. just a comb and shampoo.
so first i’ll give you the secret instructions to getting dreadlocks the totally natural way.
are you ready for it?
here it is…
DO NOTHING =P
all you gotta do is wash ’em and keep em clean following the instructions i gave above.
sounds easy eh?
no conditioner, no maintenence, no having to brush your hair.
its pretty sweet but if you choose to get dreadlocks in this way you must be patient especially if you have smooth straight hair.
it could take YEARS to form anything that remotely looks like the dreadlocks you are used to seeing. and be warned, as awesome as they are, they will look more “unruly” than backcombed dreadlocks which can be a hardship what wiith all the negativity of stereotypes that surrounds even the neatest looking dreads. but the choice is yours and all natural dreads would be amazing =D
however, as much as i like to stress the key role of patience in forming dreadlocks, i too did not feel i had the amount of patience, and confidence to sport ALL natural dreadlocks.
I got a friend to backcomb mine, and after that i left it up to nature. =)
so if you want to take the faster track and backcomb first make sure your hair is long enough, i’d say 3 inches is the standard minimum for any hair type. next, go buy a metal fine toothed flea comb for dogs and cats at the pet sore. you’ll need to section your hair, you can do it beforehand or as you go, it doesnt really matter. you can make the sections perfect uniform squares or you can just randomly pick a chunk of hair but you should at least make sure it is somewhat round or square. long skinny sections usually dont work out. they either try to split and become two, have manyy loops, or become very flat. the general size of the sections is from 1-1.5 inches across. you can make them bigger or smaller if you like but skinny dreads take longer to lock up, and fatter dreads make it harder to wash your scalp. i wouldnt go past 2 inches across unless you are aiming for very few, very fat dreads. i’ve had my 37 dreads for over a year now, but some people have 15 very fat ones, some have 50 moderate sized ones and others have as much 100 very skinny ones. its all up to you, but keep in mind that if you have very thin, fine hair, your dreadlocks will be skinnier than someone who has very thick, coarse hair but the same sized sections.
once you have a section, you can go ahead and get a friend to backcomb them for you. hold the hair straight out from your head. place the comb in your hair (section) right near the scalp and using very small strokes comb towards the scalp. and keep working your way down to the end of the section of hair. when you reach the end, take the baby dread and roll it between your palms for a minute or two and then move on to the next one. the baby dread should be very puffy and should stick straight out from your head. you’ll prbablly be rocking the sideshow bob look for a week or two before the start to settle down and lay more flat. it will take them months and years to tighten and become really dreadlocks. but its well worth the wait. with one friend working on your head, making the dreads should take about 6 – 12 hours depending on the type and length of your hair. 6 hours for short hair, 12 for very long hair. mine took 8 hours to make and the longest part of my hair was down to my upper ribcage or just under my boobs.
now you can also form dreadlocks through many other methods such as rip and twist, or a rip and twist/backcombing combo, or even a dread perm. however, backcombing is widely accepted as the most effective and natural way to start dreadlocks, and i wouldnt reccommend anything different unless you have extremely dense kinky/frizzy african textured hair (like those super dense solid looking afros that you can just stick a pick/comb in and it will stay), as many other fast-track methods will end you up with serious hair damage.
also, never use wax. companies like dreadheadhq and knottyboy only try to sell it to you because its just another way to make money. wax just hinders the locking process.
think about it. if you ever had long hair you would understand. when i was a little girl i had long hair like many littl girls. and like many little girls i’d wake up in the morning with knots in the back of my hair. this is caused by all the friction created when you move around and rub your head against your pillow. free movement and friction causes knots, and thats all dreads really are. now, if you put wax in them all that does is glue them into one position where they cannot move and cannot form knots. never use wax in your dreads. it also attracts fuzzies and dirt, and thats not fun to get stuck in your hair.
wax is also non water soluble whicch means it can trap moisture in your dreads when you wash them and lead to some serious mold growth. YUCK! =P
I have so much more knowledge to share with you but my eyes are starting to burn from staring at the screen, and my hand are staring to hurt from typing. if you have anymore questions about ANYTHING to do with dreadlocks i encourage you to send me a message and we shall talk =P
and if you decide to go ahead with it, i wouldnt mind seeing progress shots of your hair either =P
man i love dreadlocks! =D
have a fun journey!
Stone Cold made his debut May 11, 1989
you need to use beeswax, and a fine tooth comb, after applying the beeswax to the hair you can the lock it with the comb, thats if ur hair is short