Dreadlocks FAQ

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New Dreads

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 or Freeform Dreads – 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.

Brush 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 above 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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The best thing to do to make the dreads lock up at the roots is the clockwise rubbing technique

To get your dreads to lock up in the middle you should palm roll them.

To get your dreads to lock up at the tip you should use the tip rounding technique and rub the dreads against your palm.

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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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If you cover them with a nylon when you sleep it will make them lay down.

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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, 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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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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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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Wash it out using hot/warm water, it will take a washing or two to get it all 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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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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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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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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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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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 should pull them apart and then put a rubber band around the loose hairs, wax them and palm roll. And keep an eye on them, because if it happened once it can happen again.

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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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There are a couple herbs you can take to make your hair grow fast

1. Horsetail- the is the most effective one
2. Salmon oil
3. Vitamin EScalp massages also help hair grow fast.

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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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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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Don’t worry; this will go away when your dreads lock up. Palm rolling will make it go away faster.

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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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