Dreadlocks FAQ

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Misc

Well that all depends on how much work you want to put into your dread locks, if you start your dreds with 2 inches of hair, then you will be putting a lot of work into them but they won’t really look like dreads. If you start your dreds with 5 or 6 inches of hair then you will have a much easier and rewarding experience with making dread locks.

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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.4. And if you have chosen the silky dread method all you have to do is take out the extensions.

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I’ve heard that if you soak the dreads in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes and cover the dreads in a plastic bag and then repeat in one week then it will kill the lice and their eggs. I haven’t had lice before so I haven’t tried this so I don’t know if it works for sure, but it’s worth a try, because dreads are part of you and you do not want to give them up easily.

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I haven’t had a problem with getting a job. But I’m in fashion design, so most people expect me to look different. As long as you go in with a positive attitude, nice clothes, and don’t live in a close-minded town you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Sometimes, when I first meet people they have this idea that I am a drug using, problem causing, antisocial person, but then I talk to them and they loosen up and find out that I am not what they thought. The key is, don’t take offense and jump on them with anger, realize that you are more open-minded then they are, and show them that you are a great person, with an awesome personality. You might have more of a problem if you were in real estate or something where first impressions and clean-cut people are important. You should check out the book Don’t Worry, Be NAPPY! How To Grow Dreadlocks In America And Still Get Everything You WANT!

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You can see more pictures of dreadlocks in the pictures section of this site. You can also find some pages that have pictures on them in the links section.

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Of course you can sleep with your dreads, were you really planning on taking them out every night and putting them back in every morning? NOPE, didn’t think so. You sleep on dreads just like you sleep on normal hair. Sometimes when the dreads are new, they will be flat when you wake up in the morning, but they will poof back up as soon as you palm roll them.
Dreads can get on your nerves when you are rolling around when you sleep, they can get under your face, or poke you in the ear, but my dreads have grown long now, so I just tie them back, now, when I sleep.

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It depends on which method you use. Check out the methods section in FAQ Part 2 to find more information about the method you want to use.

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It depends on which method you use. Check out the methods section in FAQ Part 2 to find more information about the method you want to use.

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You can, and you can keep the sides short if you want, or let the sides grow out and dread them later.

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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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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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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.

It’s really a give take situation, but I have never heard of anyone’s hair follicles being damaged because of have dreads, it’s just a warning that needs to thrown out there just in case anything did happen.

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I recommend not using conditioner for about a week before you dread, because it can make the dreading process easier.

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You could use gel and put twist in your hair. Or you could add loomed dreads to your hair. Or make silky dreads.

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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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Sports and sweating will not hurt your dreads. If you are involved in a water sport where your dreads will get very wet, very often, then you may want to use a swim cap while they are new.

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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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Wearing a helmet will not hurt your dreads. Your dreads may be a little flat after you take the helmet off, but they will poof back up after you wash them. You may need to get a larger one that your dreads will fit in.

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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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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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It depends on which method you use. Check out the methods section in FAQ Part 2 to find more information about the method you want to use.

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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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There are a list of salons with web pages in the links section there is also a list of salons in the methods section.

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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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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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Well there are many different ways to make dreadlocks, I personally think that the backcombing method is a very easy, clean, and effective way to start dreads. This method allows you to make nice clean sections, so the dreds will all be the same size and you won’t have any problems with some of them having to much and some of them not having enough hair to lock up.

But there also many other ways to start dreads. Some people start dreads by not combing and washing their hair. They call this the neglect method, for those of you who have not started your dreads yet and are considering this method, let me please say that this is not a fun or rewarding way to make dreads. Your dreds will not be in nice sections, some will lock up and some won’t. The dreads will itch and they will probably smell bad.

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Some shampoos can be really bad for dreads because they leave residue behind on the hair, which can lubricate the hairs and cause the knots to fall apart. Residue is not a problem for normal hair because normal hair is straight and free flowing, whereas dreads and braids are a little harder to rinse well because they hold residues much easier because of the way it is tightly packed together. The residues can also cause itching and irritation on the scalp because they build up and the scalp cannot breath.

Conditioner will always lubricate the hairs and loosen the dreads, because that’s what it’s supposed to do.

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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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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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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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A dread perm is when a salon chemically damages your hair to make it hold knots better.

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There is a list of salons in the salons section of the links part of this site.

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It’s up to you; the pluses of a dread perm are that they look like dreads right after you make them. The down side is the price, the maintenance, and the fact that you will have to cut almost all your hair off when you don’t want them anymore.

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It’s up to you; the pluses of a dread perm are that they look like dreads right after you make them. The down side is the price, the maintenance, and the fact that you will have to cut almost all your hair off when you don’t want them anymore.

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Most salons can put them in your hair, but you should check around and see how they put them in. It is better if they dread it into the hair, because if they braid it in the braided part never dreads and it looks really funny, but if they dread it in it looks like your real dreads.

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Yes, you can let your braids turn into dreadlocks. And yes, it will work, but these are some things you should expect and know about before you choose this method.

1. The dreads will not be as thick as they would if you were to use another method such as backcombing. When you backcomb the dreads the hair is teased up and down and across and every direction, so it makes a thick dread because the hair is scattered everywhere. But when you let the braid turn into a dread the hairs will be side by side, so the dread will be a lot thinner. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have thin dreads if you use the backcombing method, because you can, it’s just another way to have thin dreads.

2. The dreads will probably have a lot of loops, lumps, and bumps. The hair is side by side, so nothing is holding them in one place, so one side of the braid my pop out of the dread and cause a big loop or bump.

3. The dreads will probably never look smooth. I’m not saying all dreads formed this way will by wavy and lumpy and loopy, you may have dreads that have formed this way and they look great, good for you, but most people who make dreads this way will have a big problem. You will be able to see where the hair is braided, because the only way to cover up the braided part is to have the loose hairs knot and dread over the braid, and you probably don’t have enough loose hairs to cover the entire braid.

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I personally think this is a painful time consuming way to make dreads. Not to mention it is not very effective.

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The main thing you should stay away from with shampoos is strong scents. Whenever there is a strong scent present there are loads of residues left behind. It a shampoo is advertised for its scent you know its bad.

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DreadHead makes a great residue free shampoo that removes other residues along with not leaving any residues of its own behind. At the moment it is the only residue free shampoo we know of that is sold on the internet.

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It depends on which method you use. Check out the methods section in FAQ Part 2 to find more information about the method you want to use.

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It depends on which method you use. Check out the methods section in FAQ Part 2 to find more information about the method you want to use.

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You can use the Dread Head, Knatty Dread cream, and Knotty Boy products on already dreaded hair. I do not recommend the Knotty Boy shampoo, though, because it has all kinds of added scents that leave incredible amounts of residue behind.

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It’s really not a good idea, most of the things you could use like eggs, honey, and glue will really mess up your dreads and hair, and you will probably have to cut your hair off.

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Aloe Vera can be used in dreads to condition them, but it will not help the dreading process.

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It’s a good idea to use a shampoo that doesn’t leave anything behind when you have dreads. It is more important to use a shampoo that doesn’t leave anything behind when you have dreads rather than when you just have normal hair because dreads hold a lot of stuff that usually falls out of normal hair when you brush it. The stuff will build up in the dreads and will cause the dreads to break down, loosen, and fall apart.

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The reason the smell is there is because your hair is not clean, it could be that you haven’t washed for a while or you may have some residues that have built up and are now molding. It could also be mildew from letting the water sit in your dreads to long. If you feel the reason may be a cleanliness problem that one is easy to solve, just make sure you wash your hair at least once a week. If you feel it may be a mold problem the first thing to do is try and wash it with a residue removes shampoo, it might take 3 washings to determine if the problem is severe. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach. If it is a mildew problem wash your dreads in a residue removing shampoo and make sure you squeeze all of the water out of your dreads when you are finished washing them.

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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.

Twisting

While your dreads are new you will want to wax them about twice a week and not wash them. Once the dreads are about 2 weeks old you should wash them and once they are dry apply the wax. Once your dreads are locked up you will only want to wax them about once every two to three weeks to condition them and make them look healthy.

Twist and Rip

You should wash your hair about once every 2 days. You can rub your hair in the shower to make the knots or you can wait until the hair is dry. You will not want to pull the knots apart when they are wet, because it will damage your hair root beds. Once you have finished pulling the knots apart you should wax each dread section and palm roll or twist them, depending on the length of your hair.

Dread Perm

You should not wash your hair for at least 48 hours and longer if you stylist says to wait longer. Once the perm setting time is over you can wash your dreads about once a week while they are new, because they will be delicate. You should wax your dreads after each washing, but wait until the hair is dry before waxing because you will have a mildew smell if you don’t.

Brush rubbing

You can wash your dreads as often as you like and you should wax about once every 3 days while the dreads are new. And once the dreads are about two weeks old wax once every week or two.

Neglect

Your choice…. Everyone has their own ideas of how they want it done.

Dread Braiding

You can wash as often as you like. Actually I recommend washing everyday, because the more you wash the more loose hairs will come out of the braid and turn into knots. You should palm roll and wax after every washing but make sure your hair is dry before waxing because if you don’t you will get a mildew smell.

Silky Dreads

I recommend only washing about once a week because the more you wash the more delicate the dreads will become. You will probably wax once every day or two to hold loose hairs down.

Industrial Dreads

It depends on which method you choose when you make the dreads. Check out the sections above for your method.

Loomed Dreads

You can take these out and wash as often as you want. You will probably want to wax them once every 2 or 3 days to hold the loose hairs down.

Twist & Pin

You should apply cream or wax before you make twist and re-wax or cream after the twist are about 4 days old, then once a week after that. If any of the twist fall apart apply the wax or cream and re-twist them. You shouldn’t wash your dreads until they are a month old, your dreads will be very delicate, you should cover them with a nylon when you wash and be very gentle. After you have washed and the hair is dry, apply cream or wax to the twist and re-twist them. Do not change your sections or comb the twist out.

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The best way to get rid of bacteria is to wash the dreads in a residue removing shampoo. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach.

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The first thing you should try is to wash the dreads in a residue removing shampoo. If the problem is severe you should dilute some bleach and rinse your dreads with it. The measurement is 1-gallon water to a teaspoon of bleach.

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The best thing to do is cover them with a nylon when you sleep, and when you wash. You can also use a tam or beanie hat.

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There are two kinds of flat dreads

1. Dreads that were made using rectangular sections, there’s really nothing you can do to make these dreads round, because they start out flat. If you want round dreads section the dread into two sections at the roots using a string, and they will start growing round.

2. Helmet/hat/sleep head dreads- these can be poofed back up by palm rolling or washing.

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There are two types of loose hairs:
Root loose hairs
You should twist them into a ball and thread them through the root of your dread. Put a rubber band around the roots, do not make the rubber band to tight, just snug, if it is to tight the hairs will not be able to move to knot into the dread. Then use the clockwise rubbing technique and rub the dread against your scalp. Put a little bit of wax on the dread and work it into the root to help hold things together.

Mid-dread loose hairs
The best thing to do is get a dental floss threader and thread the hair through the middle of the dread. Then add a little wax to the dread and start palm rolling.

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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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If your hair is a very light blonde then it’s really easy. If not, then you have to bleach them first. I have heard of people using regular household bleach, but I have never tried it and I don’t think it’s a smart idea so I do not recommend it. Go to Wal-Mart or Sally’s and get the cheapest hair bleach you can find. I have used Clairol and it worked great. Some bleach will make your hair turn orange, but this one turns you hair a very light blonde. Let the bleach sit in the hair for a while, because you want to make sure you get all the hair, and make sure you squeeze it into the dread when you do it, otherwise the dark hair will show through. Make sure you wash all the bleach out, and wait a day before coloring your hair, because your hair may be very delicate right after you do it. When applying the color, do it the same way you applied the bleach, squeeze it in the dred locks to make sure you get all the hair you can, and make sure you wash all of it out.

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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, bandana, toque, or those head wraps. You can put beads, peyote stitches, or Pyrex in too.

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No. Just like rubber bands beads help the dreading process. They are really great for loose spots on the dread locks. They also smooth out lumps, and flaps.

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The dreads may have a crease just like your normal hair would after you take the ponytail out, but don’t worry, it will go away when you wash them, or palm roll them.

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The best way to take care of a lump is palm rolling or you can put a bead over the lump and take it off in two months.

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Depends on which method you choose

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

Twist and Rip- it will take six months to a year to form dreads, and they lock up on the way.

Neglect- it usually takes about 2-3 years to lock up.

Dread Perm- locks up in about 3 months

Twisting- I haven’t heard of it working for Caucasian hair, but it usually takes about 2 months for African American hair to lock.

Comb rubbing for short African American hair- it usually takes about 3-4 hours to complete the process

Dread Braiding- it can take 1-5 hours to braid your hair depending on how long your hair is. It can take anywhere from a year to three for the braids to turn into dreads and lock up.

Silky Dreads- It can take 2-6 hours to braid the synthetic hair into your hair and wrap the braids. Your dreads will look just like normal dreadlocks right after they are finished

Industrial Dreads- Check methods for your dreading method.

Loomed Dreads- It will probably take about 1-2 hours to put them in and they will look like dreads right after you finish.

 

Twist & Pin- It will take between 1-3 hours to put the dreads in and it can take 3-6 months for the dreads to lock up.

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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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You should use the crocheting method. Just thread the dread through the loop and pull it through, kind of like sewing.
Click here to find out about loops

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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.

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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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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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Roots
Use the clockwise rubbing technique.

Mid-Dread
The best way to tighten them is to palm roll them. Palm rolling has amazing affects on tightening the middle of dreads.

Tips
Use the tip rounding technique.

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