I stopped washing my hair November 12 2013 and started neglect method dreads. I separated them and backcombed and palmrolled with beeswax on January 31, 2014. I want to wash them for the first time. I looked up different things I should do after the first wash and the only suggestion was to palm roll them while they are damp. Also, alot of dread advice blogs say they don’t recommend wax. I only used it for the initial set up. I was considering palm rolling with wax after the shower but idk help!

Hello there.

I have to tell you right now- it was 110% unnecessary to go this long without washing your hair. In fact, aside from comb coils and some other very delicate setups for locks- there is absolutely NO waiting period to wash your hair once you start the locking process. None. 

In fact, washing your locks is somewhat similar to felting wool. You use warm water, soap, and friction- and these things lead to knotting and tangling. Did your mother or father ever wash your hair with only shampoo as a child and try to brush it? There were knots in your hair, right? (yeowch- my mom did that and I remember it vividly!!) Shampoo without conditioner causes knotting, and it is completely acceptable (and pretty much necessary) to wash your hair when it is locked on a regular basis. 

Please read our washing page: http://dreadlockinfo.com/washing
This will allow you to use some rules of thumb to decide your own regimen of washing your hair. 

I highly implore you to wash your locks regularly- it is more hygienic, and it keeps your skin and hair clean. It won’t harm your locks. 

With your hair texture, washing your hair once a week would be good. My hair is a similar texture and I washed it every other day when it was locked. 

Now, while some people use wax with success, we at dreadlockinfo do not really promote using wax. You can read past Q&A on wax here:
http://dreadlockinfo.com/tagged/wax

We discourage the use of wax because it is difficult (if not impossible) to fully remove from locks without brushing them out. It is easy to use too much wax. It does not increase the speed at which your hair locks. We also discourage it because it is absolutely unnecessary to use any wax at all to obtain mature, beautiful locked hair. 
It is up to you whether or not you use wax, but I personally would discourage it.

There is nothing special you need to do after washing your locks. I suggest using a regular storebought shampoo of your choice. As it’s been months since you washed your hair, I recommend shampooing and rinsing your hair 2-3 times when you decide to wash it. 

The most important part of washing your locks is rinsing them. You need to rinse a full 10-15 minutes after washing your hair, from every angle. Part your hair in many places and let the water flow through, and lean your head forward to rinse back to front, then lean back to rinse front to back. Rinsing is the most important step in preventing buildup in your locks. 

I’m sorry to sound stern, but we try really really hard to bust through this stereotype that locks can’t be washed for certain periods of time. The locked status of your hair doesn’t change its hygienic needs, so don’t be afraid to wash it! You’ll do more harm than good if you do!

-JR

Advertisements

I want to get some dread extensions to add with my dreads but all the places I’ve seen them on the internet were really expensive, have you ever used them if so were’a the best place to get them xo

Hello there. 

They are very expensive because they take hours of difficult skilled labor. I make them infrequently, and to make a 16” set of extensions takes me over a week of working many hours per day. 

The queen of synthetic dreadlock extensions, Anouk Dreadmaker, said that she can knock out 4 full sets in a week- to me that is madness! 
Check out my video of making them:
http://youtu.be/Hnfinze-_co?t=5m35s

When it shows the crochet hooking, it is at 8x normal speed! They are expensive because they are worth it. 

Synthetic hair extensions can easily cost $150+, and I’ve seen human hair dreadlock extensions easily reach over $300 (human hair costs quite a lot more than synthetic hair- that’s why). They are really labor intensive- and I really admire the people who put their heart into making them! 

Once you’ve installed human or synthetic dreadlock extensions, you can keep them for years and years- essentially as long as you’d like. They last quite a while. They are high quality if they are made right, and they are absolutely worth the investment. 

You can choose to make your own (which is taught in the video I linked), and you’ll see what I mean! You’ll learn why they are so expensive.

Or you could save up and buy some. They’re so worthwhile. 
I recommend these folks:
Anouk Dreadmaker (synthetic locks)- http://www.etsy.com/shop/AnoukDreadmaker?section_id=13273973&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2

Lunar Dreadlocks (human hair locks)- http://www.etsy.com/shop/LunarDreadlocks?section_id=11358022&ref=shopsection_leftnav_1

So, there you have it. A video teaching you to make them for yourself, and links to a human hair and synthetic hair seller! I highly recommend both of them. The choice is yours!
-JR

I have backcombed and backcombed my hair and palm rolled and palm rolled them to death but rubber bands are the only thing that keeps the roots together. So what do you do if your roots are simply not locking correctly? Sorry if there is a tag. I’ll keep looking for an answer on your site, thanks.

After you install your dreads, they have to loosen up before starting the process of tightening up again. The roots are the first thing to loosen up, and it is completely normal. You are supposed to have an inch to two inches of loose hair from your scalp to where the hair is dreaded. That should be what is loosening at your scalp: just hair that is unfrizzing at the root. Normal and healthy. 

Re-backcombing your hair causes more problems and is damaging. After installing your dreads, there should be no need to backcomb them again. And palm-rolling is pretty much useless unless your hair is wet (and then it is great for helping get water out of your dreads, and keeping them in shape while they dry). Rubber bands seem like they keep the hair together, but they actually prevent the hair from moving around… which is what it needs to do to start tangling. So, rubber bands may seem like they are working now, but they are actually hindering times maturation process. 

If you are worried that your roots are longer than what they should be normally (again: an inch to two inches from your scalp to the dreaded hair), then you can root rub. I find that root rubbing works best the day after I wash my hair. It is clean and completely dry. Sometimes I even root rub the same dreads two days in a row. Day 1: Wash and Dry. Day 2: Root Rub the roots of the dreads that seem a little long. Day 3: Root rub the same dreads.  The next time I wash my dreads, I notice that those dreads are closer to the scalp and tangling nicely! You don’t even have to do your whole head all at once. I usually just do a dread or two at a time, when I notice they have long roots having trouble tangling. 

I hope this helps!

-Dani

Hi there! I have the underneath of my hair dreaded and a few have clumped together at the roots and I keep separating them and they also have rubber bands in them. Any suggestions on what could help? Thanks x

Hello there! 

I strongly suggest that you remove the rubber bands from your locks. They can tangle in your hair, cause damage, and they restrict movement in your locks and will prevent your roots from locking. Here’s our tag on rubber bands if you’re curious to read past Q&A about them:
http://dreadlockinfo.com/tagged/rubber%20bands

One method to keep them from clumping is to do alternating wraps on them. Wrap one, don’t wrap its neighbor, wrap the next, don’t wrap its neighbor and so on.

Now, when you wrap baby locks, they are at a high risk of warping and looking weiiird as time goes on. If you remove your wraps once every week or two, let your hair “rest” and then alternate the wraps to the other locks, or just re-wrap your locks a few days later, this will keep your hair from warping to the shape of the wrap.

Keep separating them daily. Perhaps sleeping with the locks braided together will keep your brushable hair from getting eaten into your locked hair, too. 
-JR 

So I have naturally red hair, and I recently decided to accent with a few dreadlocks. I read on multiple internet sites that you should wash them with baking soda, so I did. Now I’ve noticed white strands throughout the dread. And I know that when ginger hair loses it’s pigment it goes blonde than white. I was wondering if by doing this I’ve killed the pigment in my hair? And if not, what I’ve done to make them turn white…

Hello there,

I don’t see how baking soda could cause your hair to fade. What is more likely is that you just have residual baking soda in your hair. 

Or perhaps there are a few greys you didn’t notice before? 

At any rate, you do not have to wash your hair with baking soda. You can wash with regular shampoos and it is a lot easier and gets your scalp more clean- baking soda doesn’t really have the ability to take all the oils from your scalp when they build up. 

It’s fine if you want to wash your hair with baking soda, but shampoo is my preferred method. You just have to make sure to rinse your hair 10-15 minutes after your wash it because if you don’t, you risk a product buildup. 

If this didn’t adequately answer your question- please send us some photos on our submit page so we can see what is going on with your hair. 🙂 

Also, check out our washing page- 
http://dreadlockinfo.com/washing

It doesn’t tell you what you *must* or *mustn’t* do, but rather gives you guidelines on deciding your personal hair washing regimen. 🙂 

-JR

I was at a party last night and things got wild. Long story short I have glow-in-the-dark paint all over my dreads. What would be the best way to get this stuff out? Thanks.

Hello there- 

Oh goodness that sounds like a fabulous kind of party!!

If it is acrylic paint, you’re in for a nightmare. I hope it was something easier to remove than acrylic paint. 

Obviously, your first resort is to wash. A LOT. Hop in the shower and scrub the living pee out of your locks. Scrub scrub scrub. Wash your hair and dry it every single day for a week. When you wash it, shampoo it fully and rinse it fully 2-3 times every time you are in the shower. Scrub every last little bit of your locks. Scrub 5ever. 
Be sure that you are washing early in the day so your hair will be dry by bedtime (or use a hair dryer if necessary- just don’t sleep on wet locks).

If this doesn’t remove most of the paint, then you might have to resort to some other options. 

You could try some oil on the worst spots. Allow it to sit for a while, and then massage it out. Oil will be difficult to completely remove from your locks if you really saturate them, so use it strategically. 

Finally, you might have to brush some locks out (which will be difficult if they are gummed up with acrylic paint) and remove the paint on your brushable hair. It will slide off much more easily from brushable hair and won’t be trapped in your locks. 

In the future, please be careful to cover your hair in messy situations – especially ones involving substances that are difficult to remove from brushable hair- let alone locked hair!

Best luck!
-JR

Followers: Any experience removing paint from your locked hair? Any tips or tricks that worked for you?

Hello. I just bleached the ends of my dreads, and i had a really hard time getting all the bleach out afterwards. My dreads are a year old, and after washing for almost 30min i could still see bleach deep inside the dread. I’ve got it out now, but it was really hard so i was wondering for the future, how i should prevent the bleach from sinking so deep into the dreads. Thanks in advance :)

Hello there, 

There’s not much you can do to keep it from getting deep into your locks. As bleach processes, it foams up and expands. This is why they say to leave a gap between where you apply the bleach on your hair and your scalp as it will puff up a little bit as it processes, for example.

So, instead of worrying about keeping it from getting in, focus on getting it out! 
As I learned in my geography class, folks like to say “the solution to pollution is dilution.” 

If you can dilute that bleach (aka “pollution” if you will :P) as you’re trying to remove it, that will help it to stop damaging (or “polluting” if you’re still following my metaphor) your hair. 

Hop in the shower and just let the water soak your hair as much as possible. Palm roll the water into your locks. Keep that hair soaking wet and drenched as you rinse, and rinse for 15-20 minutes (yes, I am serious, literally 15-20 minutes- make a playlist that lasts about that long or set a timer). However, your 30 minutes was pretty dang good, too! 

Also, you can shampoo several times while rinsing, and you can also condition once or twice while rinsing, which is especially allowable since you’ve just done something damaging/drying to your hair and it will need the additional hydration and closing of the cuticle that conditioner can provide.

Rinse and scrub and it shouldn’t be a problem! 

It’s a pain in the butt, but as long as you get most of it out and you strongly dilute it by rinsing for an ENTIRE 15-20 minutes literally, then it shouldn’t be able to continue damaging your hair or reacting.

Another idea if you are really worried would be to apply it with a brush to just the outsides of your locks. This may not give you fully even coverage, but it would only apply a very small amount of bleach that would be less likely to penetrate the lock as deeply. 
-JR