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How long is the dreading process? And how long until my dreads look like 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- 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 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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What should I be doing to help my dreads lock up?

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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My dreads are shrinking? What's up with that?

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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How do I make my new dreads lay down?

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

 
 
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How much dread wax should I be using?

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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In what order should I wax, wash?

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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Can I swim with dreads?

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