Dreadlocks FAQ

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Backcombing

Backcombing is a method where you can start dreads with very little hair but your hair should be at least 3 inches when starting dreads with the backcombing method. If you start any shorter than that you will have big problems with getting the dread to stay in, because there is not enough hair to hold the knots together.

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Backcombing is probably the fastest way to get permanent dreads. Because the hair looks like dreads right after they are finished, there is also an estimated time of 3 months to lock up. This is the least amount of time out of all the methods.

The fastest way to get temporary dreads is probably the loomed dreads method. But you can only leave them in for a few days. So if your going with temporary dreads use the silky dread method.

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Yes you can, and you have the choice of backcombing the extensions in with this method. Other methods only allow you to braid the extensions in.

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You can see some pictures in the pictures section of this page. You can also find pictures on sites like DreadHead and Knotty Boy.

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This is probably the best method to start with if you have Caucasian hair. I believe that this method was thought up with Caucasian hair in mind. Because it’s really only one of the few natural ways to make dreads naturally in Caucasian hair.

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This method will work wonders in African hair. The dreads seem to lock up just weeks after you are finished backcombing.

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Asian hair can be very hard to lock up and this method is one of the few methods that will actually make dreadlocks in Asian hair.

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You should start with the back and bottom of your head. Backcombing is a skill and you get better at it the more you do it. So the last ones you do will look the best and you want your best to be the ones people see and your worst to be the ones hidden. So it only makes sense to start in the back. A good idea when starting dreads with the backcombing method is to get some synthetic hair and backcomb a dread or two to get the hang of it before you start on your head.

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Yes there is. You can mess up while your backcombing if you push to much hair forward at a time. Some people get confused and push all the hair forward at one time. You should hold the hair taught and only push about an inch at a time. You will only push a few hairs into the dread at a time. But it is a long process and you should know if before you start.

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You don’t have to but you will use about 10 plastic combs instead of just one metal comb. The plastic combs just aren’t durable enough to push hair back at that force and not break. You will end up with little plastics bristles all throughout your dreads.

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You should create a graph of 1 inch sections of hair.

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Backcombing is a lot like teasing hair except you leave the hair teased. It is basically pushing the hair towards the scalp.

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Usually people only backcomb once, but sometimes they don’t push the hair back hard enough when they are backcombing and the knots start to spread out. In this case you will want to backcomb again. You can start at the root and push the knots you have already made towards the scalp.

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They will begin to lock up in about 2-3 months and they will be completely locked up by six months.

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Just washing, the occasional waxing and palm rolling.

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These are the two things you should make your decision by

If the dreads get really long they can pull on the scalp if they get really long which can make you loose more hair.

Another way to look at it is that you will get to keep the hair longer, because the dreads will hold the hairs together.

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Yep, your hair will dread, you will probably want to use the backcombing method because you will have the best results. The hair might slip out a little, if you don’t backcomb the dreads tight enough, so make sure you do, and make sure you put rubber bands at the tips.

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There are two types of thick hair

1. Thick strands- usually Asian people have this kind of hair, it is harder for this kind of hair to actually lock up, but if you use the backcombing method with a good wax, you won’t have many problems. Neglect, and twist and rip will not work well with this hair type.

2. Lots of hair- people who have curly have usually have lots of it. The stands are usually thin or normal size, and the dread great. A person with this hair will have no problems getting dreads, with any method.

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Backcombing
Not really, you just have to make sure that you hold it taught, and backcomb small sections of hair at a time, so you don’t get loops. Your dreads might not turn out as smooth as straight haired dreads; there might be some “S” shapes… But that only adds style and it will go away once the dreads locks up.

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They may curl a little when they are new, but if you palm roll them a lot they will straighten out in about a month.

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Backcombing
It will be harder to hold the hair to backcomb it and you should make sure you use rubber bands on the tips to hold the knots together. At one point you will feel like your dreads aren’t going to form, but don’t give up, they will lock up soon.
It is really hard to get good results with short hair, there isn’t enough hair to hold the knots together, my advice is use the backcombing method if you are Caucasian or Asian, or use the comb rubbing method if you are African, or wait until your hair is longer.

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Backcombing
You will have great results; your dreads will look awesome right after you make them. Make sure you send me pictures!

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Backcombing- it will take about 3-6 hours to dread the hair, and about a month to three for them to lock up.

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There are a list of salons with web pages in the salons section.

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You can try posting on message boards to see if there is a dread head in your area that would be interested. And if you are interested in helping someone out with their dreads email us and we will recommend you when people email us. You can also check the salons section in the links section for salons in your area.

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It is OK to have your dreads made in a salon, many people will say that they are fake dreads, but I do not believe this. I believe that if there were fake dreads are made by using dread perms and bleaches, because the dreads are not matting by themselves, they have had chemicals put on them, to damage the hair so it will mat easier. Let me just say that even though I believe this, I have nothing against dread perm dreadlocks. Your dreads are your own thing, you have the right to make them however you want, and anyone who scolds you about it is just bitter because they made their dreads by doing nothing to their hair because they didn’t do any research to find other methods of doing it, and they’re upset because they have been working on these dreads for about 6 years and they still look like crap and you just walked out of the salon and your dreads look awesome.

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Salons usually charge between $100 & $400 to make dreads. IMPORTANT! Many salons say that they do know how to make dreadlocks, but few really do. They will just put your hair in twist and cover it with gel and call them dreads and charge you $200. The best thing to do is decide which method you would like to start your dreads with, print it, and call around. Just take the directions to the salon and tell them THIS IS HOW I WANT THEM DONE! and see if they can do it. If not, try another salon, you will be able to find one that can make the dreads the way you want them.

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Backcombing
Yes, yes you can. It is extremely hard to do the back by yourself, but it can be done. I do not recommend it though. I recommend getting a friend or a salon to help you make them.

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Regular beeswax is very brittle, it will be really hard to put on the dreads unless you melt it and then put it in. But as soon as it dries it’s just going to chunk off, and leave little pieces behind, that will hold dirt and make black spots in your dreads.

Honey is very sticky and it is not very thick so it will just coat the hair like gelatin would and not help hold the knots together in the dreads. It also attracts bugs and dirt.

The only thing Aloe Vera can be used for in dreads is to condition them, but it will not help the dreading process when the dreads are new.

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Aloe Vera can be used in dreads to condition them, but it will not help the dreading process because it will coat the hair causing the dreads to have a hard time locking up.

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It depends on the size jar. Probably two. You will probably use a jar when you first start your dreads, and then get another one after the third month, and that jar will probably last a year, if not more.¬†Once your dreads are locked up you won’t need to use wax anymore and you can start using a dread moisturizing product like Dread Butta to keep your dreads soft and prevent them from getting brittle

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Backcombing
When the dreads are new you will wax them about twice in the first week and not wash the dreads. In the second week you will wash the dreads once and wax them twice. In the third week you should start to wash your dreads twice a week, you will still wax your dreads twice in this week. And you will do the same in the fourth week. Once the dreads are about a month old you will want to wax them after you have washed them, make sure your dreads are dry before you wax them, otherwise you might get a mildew smell. Once your dreads are about 3 months old you will only want to wax them about once every week or two, it is always best to wax your dreads when they are clean.

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Well that depends on what wax you are using, if you are using a pomade wax (like Murray’s beeswax, which I do not recommend, it is greasy and they will make your dreads fall apart) you will have to use a lot because it does not hold the dreads together.
If you use the Dread Head, Knatty Dread Cream, or Knotty Boy you will be using a finger full of wax on each dred (depending on how thick the dreads are and how long they are).

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I’ve had my dreadlocks for over 4 years now, and I still use wax for little loose hairs, frizzes, and to condition them so they don’t get brittle. But you will not have to wax them all the time, once they are about a year old.

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Expect the wax to be firm and a little sticky. It might be a little hard to get off of your hands, since it’s waterproof, but you can use liquid Dawn to get it off or a product called Waxx Off that is specifically made for breaking down dread wax. You may find it a little different to work the wax into the dreads for the first time, if you do, get a hair dryer and heat the wax a little before you smooth it on the dread, then melt the wax into the dread using the hair dryer when you’re done.

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As often as you please. Some people will say that you can’t wash dreads at all, because they will fall out, but that is just another dreadlock myth. Dreadlocks should be washed at least once a week, just like normal untangled hair. Your dreads may feel a little loose after you wash them, but they will tighten back as soon as they dry. With new dreads you should be careful with them, the first few times you wash them, make sure to be gentle with them, after all, they are newbie baby dreads, and they are fragile
Can I swim with dreads?

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While your dreads are new you will probably want to wear a swim cap, but after they mature you will not need one.

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Yes, actually your hair will dread easier because the hair has been damaged, so it will hold knots a lot easier. You can use any method and the dreads will lock up.

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You will loose about 20%-30% of your length when you dread your hair, you will loose more if you make the dreads really big or if you backcomb large amounts of hair at a time and you will loose less length if you make smaller dreds and backcomb a little bit of hair at a time.

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Actually there are. Here are a few tips.

1. If you have really straight hair you can give it more texture by braiding it for a couple days before you dread or getting a cheep perm from Wal-Mart.

2. Don’t use conditioners on it for at least a week before you dread.

3. Get the items you will need to dread a head of time; you never know what could happen at last minute.

4. Bleach or color your hair, but don’t use the conditioner that comes in the box. This will make your hair holds the knots better.

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There are many different products out on the market that say they are intended for dreadlocking hair, but that does not mean that they actually work. Any wax that has the ingredient of petroleum is bad for your dreads, it will make your dreads feel nasty and it will make your dreads fall apart. There are 3 waxes that are appropriate for dreadlocking hair:

1. DreadHead wax
2. Knatty Dread cream
3. Knotty Boy

1. DreadHead wax– This is the best of the waxes we have tested. Its strong points were its long lasting hold and its lack of grease.

2. Knatty Dread cream– Coming Soon!

3. Knotty Boy – this wax is pretty good over all. Decent hold. Its main problem is that it’s greasier than it needs to be and the hold, while long lasting, isn’t that strong. I also think the smell of their wax is a bit much. At first I was like mmm yummy, but after a few hours or so I was like sick to my tummy.

 

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You can ponytail, pigtail, or braid them. You can wrap them in hemp, ribbons, and string. You can dye them different colors. Wear a tam, crown, headband, bandanna toque, or those head wraps. You can put beads, peyote stitches, or Pyrex in too.

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Elastics are really good for dreads, they help the dreads form the way you want them to and keep loose hairs in. And if you palm roll them while you have them in it will actually dread the hair.

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The rubber band at the tip is used to help keep the dreads together when they are new and it helps the tip lock up once the dreads are tight. If it is just a regular rubber band then you should just leave it there until it falls off, but if it is one of those super Scunci elastics then it will never fall off, you should take it off after three months.

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It’s not really a good idea, because the dread will start to unravel because the hair that was holding the knots together before is gone. You will have to wait for the tip to lock up again and it’s just a pain in the arse. But if you are going to do it the best way to cut it is like a flower, cut it at an angle and then put a rubber band around the tip and rub the tip against the palm of your hand everyday for about 2 days and then take the rubber band out.

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I tried it once, and I didn’t like the way my hair looked afterward, it looked really unhealthy and singed, a lot of the hair broke off, and it smelled so bad. The tips didn’t have the blunt look I was looking for either they just looked fried. If you are going to do it make sure you don’t have any wax or products in your hair, most hair products are very flammable. But I got the best results just rolling the tips in my palms.

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You don’t have to shave your head. There are a couple ways to get dredlocks out, if you haven’t used a dread perm

1. The Easiest way: cut your dreads off a little below root and have about 2 inches of hair. You won’t have to spend hardly anytime with this, and if you are not partial to your hair then this is a good way for you to do it.

2. Cut the first half of your dread off, from the tip of the dread to the middle. Then soak the rest of the dread in conditioner and comb the dread out. This will take some time, but you will have cut the strongest part of the dread off, so it will be a lot easier to comb the rest out.

3. You just love your long hair and don’t want short hair: I can completely understand this, this is probably the way I would choose if I were ever thinking about cutting my dreads off, but I’m not so I don’t have to think about it :) Soak the whole dread in conditioner, and comb the dread out. Let me warn you that this will take a lot of time, probably 4 or 5 times longer than it took you to put them in, but if you love your hair, it’s completely worth it. Some people will say that you can’t do this, but you can, I know a person who did this, and I helped them take some of them out. I didn’t stay the whole time, but I know when I came back the next day, they were still working on taking them out.

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Of course, they grow just like normal hair. Your normal straight hair grows out of your scalp and then it grows into the rest of the dread.

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The best way to get round tips is to use the tip rounding technique where you rub the tip of the dread in the palm of your hand in a circular motion.

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Don’t worry about that, it’s normal for dreads to shrink right before they lock up. It means that all the hair in the dreads is finally locking up. You will soon start to get your length back and your dreads will get thicker!

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The best thing to do is roll the tip of the dread in the palm of your hand. This will make nice little round tips. I rolled my tips for three months and now they are round and really nice.

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Dreads do get fatter with time, because the hair that would have fallen out, builds up inside the dread. This is what makes the dreads become hard after a while. But if you want really big dreads and you haven’t started them yet it’s easy to make them fat, just make bigger sections. And it’s pretty easy to make the bigger if the dreads are only about two months old or younger, just rubber band them together and palm roll them as much as you can. But once they are hard it’s really hard to connect them, you can still rubber band them together, but you take a chance of having folds or creases in your dreads.

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The best way to have thin dreads is to make the sections thin when you start them. There really isn’t a good way to thin them once you have already put them in. You can tie string around the roots and make them grow in thinner sections, but if cut them or pull them apart it really tears up the dread.

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There are a couple methods for tightening roots

1. Crocheting– this really shouldn’t be used for tightening roots, you should only use it to get rid of loose loops. But what you do is stick the dread through the loop and pull it through; it’s kind of like sewing.

2. Clockwise Rubbing– In my opinion this is the best way to tighten roots, what you do is, rub the dread against your scalp in a clockwise motion. It has done wonders for my dreads.

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Use the clockwise rubbing method. Rub the dread against your scalp in a clockwise motion.

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The best way to tighten them is to palm roll them. Palm rolling has amazing affects.

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Well there are three things you can do

1. Dread them in with the other dreads

2. Make little dreads out of them. I saw one girl with little dreaded bangs, and she looked so cute!

3. Leave them just like they are, have dreads and straight bangs, I’ve seen it once before and it was neat.

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