Monday 10 March 2014

Wax And Other Dreadlocks Regrets

My Top 10 Young Dreadlocks Regrets:

1) Wax - no surprises here, wax is going to top my list. Technically it did stop the knots from loosening.. but left me with club-like backcombed lumps that never softened and eventually all had to be cut off. Biggest regret.

2) Wait on washing - I took the 'don't wash for a few weeks' too literally and wouldn't let any water (or rain touch my dreads).

3) Soap residue - I had no idea what residue was and therefore paid no attention to all the soap building up in my young dreads.

4) Young dreads stress - I used to stress out REALLY bad with my young dreads, so much so that I would get up 2 hours earlier than I would normally to straighten them neat every day! Unneeded stress and a waste of time.

5) The no washing method - I used the no washing method for a fair while when my dreadlocks were young. I didn't use it because of the myth.. just because I didn't enjoy trying to wash waxy, residue'y dreads. Didn't take long for my head to get used to it and I'm certain someone in high school would have made fun of me if they smelled bad from not washing... the only thing I really noticed is that the roots and loose hairs really don't lock well when you don't wash your hair and it gets uncomfortable in the heat. Not exactly recommended.

6) No poo method - A few years ago the 'no poo' method was all the rage on a different dreadlocks forum so I gave that a go. Pretty much the same results as the no washing method really apart from it did feel nicer to have some form of washing there. No horrible side effects, just not all that great for promoting locking. Again, not all that recommended.

7) Palm rolling - Palm rolling in itself is not really a regret as nothing terrible comes of it... but in my case nothing really came of it at all, so I regret wasting hours and hours and hours doing it for no real reason.

8) Root flipping - I thought I'd invented this myself, but obviously most people figure out root flipping at some point. Temporarily tightened the roots in question but then I was left with split roots for a few months after.

9) Dread Rot - Dreads take a long time to dry... so why not let them dry while you sleep? right? I used to not own a hair dryer and I'd sleep with them wet and so all unpleasant things happen - dry your dreads!

10) No documentation! I regret not taking many pictures of my young dreads. I took like... 0 because... well.. I kinda hated the wax, residue filled things, but looking back it would have been really useful to have the pictures for one to show what some of these regretful things do to the hair and also to show that if you leave them alone long enough you can fix most problems.

A couple of other regrets that didn't get into the video... because I forgot:

11) Trimming loose hair - I used to try and trim my loose fringe hair because... well.. it was loose. Problem is, it grows back and then you're stuck with a silly, mini-fringe until it grows back out again.

12) Grid sectioning - I had a rigid grid-type sectioning with no brick-lay overlap that didn't look all that pleasant with young dreads. After years of congo-ing it's no longer an issue, but it would have helped to start out with a more irregular pattern if I had my time again.

Ok so plenty of regrets there... but luckily I've learned from all of them. Have you made any dreadlocks mistakes? anything you wish you hadn't done? something you'd like to go back and change?


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    1. Roots splitting into two is quite common. In most cases the root halves will knot back together by themselves - given enough time dreadlocks that are next to each other will join together unless - this is why dreadlocks require separating every now and then. As long as you don't separate the two root halves, they should eventually rejoin. If you wish to encourage them you can slide a bead over the start of the split.

  2. sorry! one more question i forgot to ask! what is your opinion on conditioning sprays? i have knotty boy conditioning sprays, haven't used them a ton. they smell lovely but feel a little weird in the hair, and the ingredient list makes me a little uneasy. do you have any experience with these sprays?

    1. There are lots of different sprays and concoctions available, some will certainly be better than others. I personally have no experience with that specific spray, but if you're uncomfortable with the ingredients, there are other options out there - or you can even make your own!

  3. Knowing everything that you know now about dreads, if you could go back and restart them what method would you use?
    I'm 4 months in just letting them do what they do and so far so good I guess, I don't know any one currently who has dreads so other than the internet pictures and videos I don't have any thing else to compare them to.

    1. If I was go to back and start over at 14 again, I'd backcomb/twist and rip, then leave alone. I would not be opposed to having someone else start them for me - I just wouldn't allow products to be used.

      If I was to start over again now (at 22) I'd freeform them.

  4. I have very curly, Sicilian hair and am starting the freeform method.. I'm about two months in and loving it so far! Any advice on keeping my hair looking good as it matures?