Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dreadlocks: How To?

Man with dreadlocks.Image via Wikipedia

How to Dreadlock Your Hair by Eddie Firestone

Dreadlocks Are Fun! Dreadlocks are a fun and easy way to style your hair and once they are formed, they are very low maintenance. Even though, technically, dreadlocks will form if you simply stop brushing your hair, it will take anywhere from one to three years to form, and they will tend to form as matted clumps of hair rather than the well shaped dreadlocks that can be achieved through other methods.

One of the best methods for dreading your hair is backcombing. Using this method, your hair will lock up very quickly and the initial effect will be closer to the mature dreadlock than other methods. To use this method, you should start with clean dry hair and section it into 1-2 inch sections. If you use smaller sections, you'll end up with smaller dreadlocks, with bigger sections, bigger dreadlocks. When you're sectioning the hair separate it into square sections for nice even round dreadlocks. It's best to section the whole head before you begin backcombing. You can secure the sections with rubber bands.

Once it's all separated, use a dread comb to comb the sections from the tip to the root. Make sure you start very close to the scalp, not more than an inch away. After you have worked you way down to the tip of each section of hair, you can secure the end temporarily with another rubber band as this will help the dreadlock to stay tight at the base and mature faster. You can leave the rubber bands close to the scalp as well to help the dreadlocks form, and remove them once the dreadlock has reached maturity.

If you do not know, a dreadlock comb is small and metal with teeth that are made specifically to slip in and out of hair sections freely while grabbing as much hair as possible for backcombing. They are also called teasing combs and can be found at some beauty supply stores and at various dreadlock products websites.

After you have backcombed the whole head and secured both ends with rubber bands, you'll want to go over each section with a good dread wax. This will secure loose hairs and help the dreadlocks to mature faster and with a more even structure. There are many places to find dreadlock wax, but most of them contain petroleum, which is not the best for new dreadlocks or dreadlocks in caucasian hair. Dread wax with natural ingredients is also better for the environment and for your scalp and body.

This process of dreading your hair will take a bit of time. Depending on the hair length it could take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. If you need some help with back sections of you head, you can go into a salon and ask a stylist to help. They are often interested and willing to help. They may ask for 20-30$ per hour, which may seem like a lot, but once your hair is dreaded you won't require a haircut for as long as you want to keep the dreadlocks in.

Once your hair is backcombed, it will take about 3-4 months for the dreadlocks to reach maturity. As they are developing and to maintain them, you'll want to wash your hair about every three days with a good soap, and apply a good dread wax to help them smooth out and tighten up. Now that your hair is dreaded, it should continue to dread itself as it grows out of your scalp, but in the event that it needs some help, you can wear a rubber band at the root to help it lock up. In terms of washing, make sure you work the soap through your hair thoroughly like a sponge and it will always smell clean and fresh.

Many people also use Dreadlock Wigs to avoid the process of actually dreading their hair. Make sure to find a quality Costume Wig Store if you are going to purchase a Dreadlock wig. You can find many good ones by doing a Google search.

It should also be noted that any wig store with a good selection of Afro Wigs ought to have dread wigs as well.

Good Luck!

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