Sunday, 21 October 2012

Conjoined Congo Dreads



Overtime as your dreadlocks mature, or sooner if you're using the 'natural' neglect method you will find that some of your dreadlocks will start to stick together. Sometimes they will randomly latch on with a few hairs but they can start to grow together at the roots.

When they grow together at the roots you will have to rip or cut them apart otherwise all the conjoined dreadlocks will grow together and form one thicker dreadlock, this is normally referred to as a congo or congoing dreads. This effect does not happen quickly, it will look like the two or more dreads are slowly joining together more and more, but what is happening is the new hair at the root has started growing together as one. So without work and encouragement  you won't be able to take two dreads and fuse them together completely, but once they've started to congo and if you don't pull them apart they will eventually turn into one fatter dread with the original thinner ones still distinguishable at the end. You can then cut off the  separate thin tips if you wish.

I stopped ripping mine a few years ago so now I have about half as many individual dreads as I had to begin with, as they have paired up and congoed together.

This thick dreadlock has a single bass, but splits into 4 at the tip as it is a congo formed from 4 individual dreadlocks.

You can encourage the congo effect by banding the dreads together, but don't use rubber bands because they can get stuck in the dreads. Use a hair bobble at the tip of the 2 or more dreads you want to grow together and you should find that you will then have the two dreads growing from a single root. I would recommend you remove the hair bobble every now and then to make sure that the loose hairs haven't started to dread over it - you don't want it to get stuck!


You'll have to watch and maintain your dreads if they're already as thick as you'd like and rip accordingly. This will have to be done a lot more frequently if you're using the neglect route where you'll have to rip them a lot at the start to get them into the segment/dread sizes you'd like.

14 comments:

  1. i love you! finally. god... it felt like no on knew what the hell they were talkin about, or worse didn't want to share their congo techniques. So Thank you thank you thank you. I have black hair, and i am just starting this week. i want congos...i think they are beautiful! i'm a woman so i want my heavens to look amazing. i know they will. but you are the only person on-line that has explained how to congo throughly. so thank you.

    *my goal is to section how many i desire, two strand the root, wash, and go.

    *this sister mamayashi is inspiring:
    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljort4TJIC1qf3vf9o1_500.jpg
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lbybz7f11M1qakrqto1_r1_500.jpg

    love and light

    soul

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    1. Glad I could be of some help! congos, like dreadlocks simply require patience. Once growing dreadlocks they will try and stick themselves together, it's only natural. Naturally dreadlocks will form as hairs lock together. Dreadlocks are made of hairs. The hairs in multiple dreadlocks want to lock together. If you simply refrain from ripping the the dreads apart, they will grow as a congo!

      Good luck with your dreadlock journey.

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  2. why do my dreads seem like they are not locking up and dry?

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    1. How old are they? Younger dreads will certainly seem... not so dread-like! From day 1 they will usually get looser before they get tighter again!

      They may be dry, it depends on your particular hair and where you live... what you're washing them with etc.

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  3. I used the french braid method to congo mine.....now thinkin bout congoing them....

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  4. Quick question, I have three or four congos that have happened on my head since starting my dreads four months ago. So now I have 18 pretty solid dreads all over my head. I've read on other dread sites that having only 18 is too little a number to have especially since I have skinny hair. Do you have any advice about this? Should I stop letting any others congo? Are 18 dreads too little a number of dreads to have?

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    1. The numbers question comes up a lot - though I'm not sure why. Some people will have more dreads than others - there's no right number - some people will be happier with more, some people may be happier with less and in such situations people should try and aim for the number they'd be most happy with - but other than that, I don't think there's much point dwelling on it. If you have thinner hair you will be sort of predisposed to having a smaller number due to having less overall hair to go around.

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  5. My boyfriend and I both have dreads, I work on both of ours and just have to know , so had a problem with his growth just growing so fast and the dreads on the back of his head started to combine at the root .

    I'm talking 20-30 dreads all connected by this pangea root craziness and so I started cutting them apart and crocheting them. It's working but I'm scared of it happening again , he does have two Congo dread that are one at the root and split to two . I just leave those alone cuz idk what to do with them. Regrowth is so scary and I don't like the though of dreads combining at the root or at all really.

    I'm a firm believer in crocheting but as I read I didn't realize the breakage I was causing and that my dreads could really fall apart . I need help ?

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    Replies
    1. Dreadlocks will knot into each other if they're allowed to do so - the same process that allows hairs to knot within a dreadlock, and allow a dreadlock to form will also lead to hairs from different dreadlocks knotting into each other. Dreadlocks need to be regularly separated in order to stop them from merging together. How much separating is required will vary from person to person and will be dependent on how old the dreadlocks are.

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    2. Also what about flat spots , I put beads on my dreads while they were still young and now they have soft flat spots ..

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    3. Taking the beads out and leaving them for long enough will usually deal with most of the issue.

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  6. I had dreads for a few months and loved them until they would get matted and start new congos overnight...every night. I got frustrated and pulled them all out after battling with them for a while. Of course, I miss them now and want them back! Before I put them back in, is there anything I can do to prevent the matting/congos overnight?

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  7. I'm currently interested getting some free form dreads that will congo eventually. Very reminiscent of the singer "The Weeknd" whose hair was often dubbed as "the palm tree". Could you please provide me with a somewhat step by step method to accomplish that hairstyle?

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  8. Just wash your hair and let it do its own thing. The cleaner your hair is the faster it will grow. Kepp in mind that your dreads will not look like someone elses, but im sure if you were to free form they would look amazing. I have freeform dreads and i wash them every 4-6 days. In between those washes i may just rinse them with water so im not using too much shampoo or soap in them. I have a few congos of my own. Some of them grew together at the roots and a few of them i put a wooden bead around to congo them myself. I hear some people say spray lemon juice or use salt water to spray on your crowns to make them lock faster. I wouldn't recommend this due to the fact your roots could dry out and the lemon juice being so acidic could dye your locs. ( check out youtube freeform locks. Therea alot of guides that will help). Remember dreadlocks is a process and if you just be patient and enjoy your LOCK journey. You'll be fine.

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