Everybody around here knows that dreadlocks is one of the coolest hairstyle that has survived for centuries and passed on like a tradition; something that never goes out of trend. But what actually are dreadlocks? Well, dreadlocks, also known as dreads or locs or jata in Sanskrit, are rope like strands of hair formed by matting or braiding your hair. They can be formed by various techniques and require proper planning and maintenance.
While the most natural way to go about dreadlocking your hair is by completely neglecting it, that is, forgoing combing, brushing, and cutting your hair altogether, which is known as the ‘neglect method’. You can also go for different methods like backcombing, the most popular one; twisting and dread braiding are also some procedures that you can go in for.
How to Make Dreadlocks
- Residue-free shampoo
- Dread wax
- Sectioning clips
- Rubber bands
- Fine toothed comb
Step 1: Washing
Get your hair in the best possible form to start the dreading process. For this, wash your hair with a residue-free-conditioner-free shampoo. You can get these dread shampoos online. They are specially designed to cleanse your hair and scalp of any natural oily build-up that might hinder the locking process.
Step 2: Blow-drying
Now that your scalp and strands are clean to bit, start blow-drying your hair – up, down, side to side – from every direction possible. The aim is to get as much volume as you possibly can into your hair. You need to make sure there’s not a single strand of wet hair before your start dreadlocking.
Step 3: Sectioning
The key to easy-to-maintain locks is good, clean sectioning. The best way to get started is to work horizontally, from the nape of your neck and work your way up. You can use sectioning clips to hold up the rest of your hair. Now, from one corner of this sectioned off hair, pick up about an inch wide section of hair that’ll make your first dread. Make sure you section out enough hair to grab an index-finger-sized lock.
* If you want you can section all of your hair before starting to dread but the best way is to pre-section only the row you’re working on. Now make sure that you build a brick-lay pattern in your sectioning, that is, when you’ve finished dreading the first row of sections, simply repeat this sectioning up and around your head, staggering your sections to lie between those below them in a brick-lay pattern. This will help your dreads appear fuller, because the ones above will hide that gap between the ones below. Take special care to stagger your sections at the top of your head, as this way you can change your parting when the mood strikes. If you install a center parting now, you’ll be stuck with it as long as you keep your dreadlocks.
Step 4: Backcombing and Twisting
Grab a section and from about an inch below your roots, start backcombing the section towards your scalp. This will create a tangle that will be the foundation for your dreadlock. Continue backcombing this way while you move down the length of your hair until you reach the very ends. The texture should be tight and tangled. When you’ve got your section nice and knotty, twist it gently into a cylindrical form. You can also choose the twist and rip method as shown in the video.
Step 5: Waxing
Take a pea-sized amount of dread wax in your fingers and rub it to soften the wax and ease out any clumps. Next, work it down the length of your backcombed and twisted section, starting at the roots and working down the ends, while continuing to twist it. The aim is to smoothen down and bind together all the loose strands of hair. Remember, with wax, less is more.
Step 6: Palm Rolling
Starting from your root, roll this waxed up dreadlock between the palms of your hands till the very ends until it’s nice and taut. Dreads need friction to form, and this is how you provide it. Palm rolling is super important in not only forming your dreadlocks but also for maintaining them.
Repeat this process until you’ve covered your head with thick and beautiful looking dreads.
How to Maintain Dreadlocks
- Leave them unwashed the first week. If you want your dreads to last long and not loosen up in a few days, avoid washing them for at least one or two weeks, which will give them the time to get greased and tightly tangled and lay the base for the growth of your hair as dreads.
- Always make sure to use specially made for dreads shampoo that is residue free. Normal shampoos leave behind residues that lubricate your hair and loosen your dreadlocks, and also, this residue can really build up in your hair and form mould in your dreadlocks.
- Regularly keep waxing and palm rolling your dreads. Whenever you feel like your dreadlocks are loosening up, apply some dread wax and palm roll them to tighten them up. It is suggested to do this every week or so when your dreads are in their early stages.
- Sleep with a head scarf on, preferably silk one.
- Use crochet hook to fix the small strands coming out of your dreads. Fit them into the hook and push them into the dread and follow it by palm rolling the dread.
- Tighten new growth at roots. As your hair keeps growing, obviously there will be some loose hair at the roots. To tighten them up again, rub some dread wax between your fingers and use them to roll your dreads right at the roots in a clockwise direction.
- Regularly massage your head. After a while you will definitely start feeling uncomfortable and itchy in your scalp because of the dreads weighing your down. Practice massaging your head for 5 to 10 minutes daily before going to sleep. This will relax your scalp and also get the blood flowing there by promoting healthy growth of hair.
So go and get your tools ready for the dread party. It’s going to be a long haul!
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Image and Video source: Pinterest and YouTube