Dreadlocks, in all their glory may be one of the oldest celebrations of natural hair to date. However, with all of the myths and misconceptions, one could get confused and ultimately, discouraged.
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One of the major misconceptions concerning dreadlocks is that the hair must be dirty for dread success. The contrary is actually true. It is recommended that the hair be washed prior to, and during the locking phases using the sponge method. In this method, shampoo is worked in using the palms and finger-tips and then squeezed out before being allowed to air dry. Petroleum based products should be avoided during the initial dreading process as the oils could cause the knots in the hair to loosen. Before you dread, make sure you have at least one inch of unprocessed hair, chemical and heat. At this length, the sections will be more defined, adding to the beauty of your locks.
1. Back-Combing: In this method, a small comb with close metal teeth is used to comb towards the ends, starting very close to the scalp.
2. Wool-Rub: In this method, a piece of wool, preferably one or two feet all the way around (depending on hair length) should be used. The wool should be rubbed in circles clockwise in 15 minute intervals. After each interval, the hair should be pulled apart and twisted.
3. Twisting: In this method, the hair should be sectioned into the desired dread sizes. Twist each section clockwise with a rat-tail comb at the end of each section. Rubber bands may be used at the ends for stability.
4. Dread Perm: This process should be done by a specialized stylist. The perm will breakdown the bonds in the hair completely, making it easy to dread and lock. This process is very expensive, costing upwards from $200-400. It differs from relaxers, texturizers and perms in that the bond in the hair will NOT be reformed.
5. Brush Rub: In this method, a soft bristle brush should be rubbed gently clockwise around the head, causing knots to form. This method works best for shorter hair.
6. Neglect: This process requires no real labor, except sponge washing and allowing the hair to naturally form into knots, become matted, and then locked. The hair can also be put into two-strand twists and neglected.