Tips on how to make dreadlocks
N ever has a hairstyle been so misunderstood and generated so many rumors. Who would have guessed that people would be so willing to put random house hold foods and products in their hair. You can infact, with a great deal of work and suffering, start dreadlocks in some hair types with honey and tree sap but like Chris Rock says, "You can drive a car with your feet but don't make it a good f---ing idea!"
Rumor: You do not wash dreadlocks. Hair must be dirty to dread.
Rumor: Simply not combing your hair is the only way to get nice dreads.
Fact: This is called the neglect method. Under some circumstances simply not combing hair will make it dread. The best example of this is African-textured hair. Left alone, African hair will eventually dread. Unfortunately the results, although technically called dreads, are usually less than pleasing to the eye. The hair forms giant matts at random all over the head. Some caucasion hair, if it is curly enough, will also dread by neglect but the same problem exists. It takes several years for the hair to lock fully and when it does it generally looks un kept, kind of like you might expect hair to look after not combing it for a few years. We do have tips in the methods section for caring for you dreads as you neglect them, but please note that the neglect method is not the only way to go about getting dreads and that the dreads you will get are rarely "nice" looking.
Rumor: Only black people can have nice dreads. Nice dreads are high maintenance.
Fact: While it is easier for black people to have nice smooth dreads it is completely possible for other hair textures to dread tightly and smoothly. Dreads are difficult to start and the first month is a pain, but as they tighten and mature they become virtually maintenance free. They look great all the time, all you have to do is keep them clean.
Rumor: Your hair grows slower when it's in dreadlocks.
Fact: Dreadlocks do gain length slower than un-dreaded hair but the hair is actually growing at the same speed, in dreads or not. The reason that dreadlocks gain length slower is that the hair does not grow in a straight line. I tends to grow back and forth randomly so it takes more than 3" of hair to increase the length of the dread 3". The thicker the dreads, generally the slower they gain length. To help your hair grow faster and to increase the strength of your dreadlocks, proper nutrition is important. In addition to eating well a supplement can be taken to ensure you are getting the vitamins your hair needs. A specialized hair growth supplement for people growing dreadlocks is also available. It includes MSM and Horsetail herb to greatly increase the speed of your hair growth. This boost helps make up for the fact that dreadlocks appear to grow much slower. It's also worth noting that long dreads can grow to become fairly heavy. Doing what you can to maximise the strength of your hair will be beneficial down the road when your dreads get longer.
Rumor: Natural dreads are those that are made by neglect.
Fact: There are two types of
natural dreadlocks. Those that are required by religion to be natural, and natural for you or I, which means non-chemically processed dreads.
If you are rastafarian or in some sects of middle eastern religions you are required to not interfere with the growth of your dreads. You have probably not seen many natural dreads of this type as most of these religions also require that no one, not even your spouse in some cases, see your dreads. These natural dreads can be washed, but they can not be cut, trimmed, rolled, rubbed or ripped in any way.
The second type of natural are those dreads that came to be without the use of any chemical proccesses. You can wash them, cut them, comb them, rip them, tie them and wax them as you like but they are started and grow naturally with no chemical dread perms or synthetic additions. This is what is commonly thought of as natural dreadlocks and what we reffer to throughout the site. All methods listed in our methods section are natural methods except for the dread perm. We personally belive that dreads should be natural and only natural products and methods should be used to care for them. For a list of natural dread products see our Products and Accessories section.
Rumor: Rubberbands break hair and can thin dreadlocks.
Fact: Rubberbands used correctly help roots and tips tighten, especially when dreads are new. If rubberbands are applied too tightly they can compress an area of the dread and cause a thin spot. However, proper tension will speed the locking proccess and prevent loose hairs especially when washing newer dreads.
Rumor: Dreads damage your scalp and can lead to thinning hair.
Fact: If cared for using the proper methods and products dreadlocks are actualy a very heathly hairstyle. Natural dreads do not require the use of any chemical processes making them better for your scalp than any hair style that requires your hair to be chemically permed or straightened. The residue free soaps that dreadlocks are washed in actually increase hair growth and cause hair to grow thicker and faster by removing residue from the hair folicles.
Rumor: If you decide you no longer want dreads you have to shave your head.
Fact: It is true that you have to cut dreads to take them out but you do not have to shave your head. You can usually leave at least 2" inches of hair when you cut the dreads, so your hair will be short, but not shaved.
Rumor: Mayonase, Honey, Toothpaste, Glue, Rubber Cement, Mud, Chewing Gum, Peanut Butter, Shae Butter, Candle Wax and Hair Gel all work great for starting dreadlocks.
Rumor: Any product you find that says it works for dreads will work for starting dreadlocks.
Fact: Many products on the market that mention they work for dreadlocks are actually intended to add shine and fragrance and to make corn rows look neater but they don't acually help the dreading process at all. The majority of these shine waxes are made with petrolium as the primary ingredient. Petrolium is a lubricant and products that contain petrolium will feel greasy and cause your dreads to slip apart rather than holding them together. Petrolium products are better suited for African textured hair which has already been dreaded.