Let’s Dread Together and Feel Alright
Dreadlocks are a great way to completely change your look and make a statement with your hair. Its Rastafarian origins are linked as far back as the biblical Samson who wore his hair in dreadlocks and lost his unsurpassed strength when Delilah cut off his seven locks. Contrary to the belief that dreads are always tied to drugs, they are also a symbol of non-violence and non-conformity, and worn as a heavy spiritual statement.
If you’ve decided you want to try this bold and unique hair style, there are many ways to go about it. After much research and mellow conversation, I’ve found the most versatile and natural method is one called “backcombing.” This technique is all natural and will work on virtually any hair type that is 3 inches or longer. Also, hair will look like dreads once completed, compared to the “neglect” method which takes at least 10” of hair and 3 years. Be warned, this is a labor intensive process and will take several hours – nothing a couple of good friends and a Bob Marley CD can’t handle!
1. Start with hair that is clean and completely residue free. Use a purifying shampoo such as the Back to Basics Cleanse Clarifying Citrus Sage. Do not use a conditioner. Make sure hair is completely dry before starting the backcombing process.
2. Section the hair into 1”-2” squares - these will make round dreads. Temporarily secure the sections with a rubber band.
3. Start close to the scalp (not more than 1” away) and use a dread comb to comb the hair towards the scalp until the hair starts to pack up at the roots. Do not twist the hair, but rather roll the hair between your fingers as you are backcombing.
4. Continue working towards the end of the hair, keeping the dread as tight as possible. Secure the end with a rubber band.
5. Secure the dread at the scalp with another rubber band to keep it tight at its base. These rubber bands can be cut later once the dreads have matured.
6. When all the hair has been completed apply a petroleum-free dread wax to each dread.
Your dreadlocks should be in full affect once the process is done, however they will begin to tighten and smooth as they mature. With proper maintenance, full maturity can be reached in as little as 3-4 months. Be sure to continue using dread wax that does not contain petroleum and a purifying dread shampoo.
For difficult dreads, keep a rubber band on the scalp end. Also try rubbing the root of the dread in a clock wise direction against the scalp to help it lock up.
About the Author: Kristen is a Hair and Beauty Product Writer and Specialist for popular brands including FHI, Crede, Yuko System, Paul Mitchell, Redken, ISH Ionic Rescue, Alterna and more