First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

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helloimkitty
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First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by helloimkitty » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:49 am

Hey, so little back story to me. I've wanted dreads for about 5+ years now. At first I just kind of thought of it as a cool fantasy to have but the more "research", for lack of a better term, I did on dreadlocks the more I fell in love with them all together. However, by the time I made a firm decision my hair was maybe two inches long. Now, I've been growing my hair out for almost two years and I feel my hair is ready to dread. So I am turning to what has become my "dread-bible" over the past year or so for some advice. I already know I do NOT want to use wax, but am still contemplating on putting rubber bands just on the tips. What do you think? Rubber-bands or no? Also any tips on products to use as far as shampoo goes, or maybe just baking soda and water?, is there anything I can do with my hair before dreading that will make the whole process easier?, really any type of advice would be MUCH appreciated.

Thanks!
-<3-
alice a.

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helloimkitty
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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by helloimkitty » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:28 am

Hey, also another thing I've been thinking about. I've come across a lot of options on how to get your backcombing done. Either getting a group of friends and having a "backcombing" party, going to a professional or doing it yourself. What do you feel is the best option? I don't have a lot of money to spend on it but don't want them to turn out poorly either. Is it possible for someone to really mess up your backcombing? And how hard is it to do yourself? If it's not too difficult I'll probably just do them myself. I'm done raving now. >.<

Thanks!!!
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alice a.

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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by ..::AtomicLox::.. » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:43 am

In my experience it's best to have one person help you with backcombing rather than several, and I wouldn't attempt it yourself (at least not in the back, the front would probably be okay). Sectioning and uniform backcombing are essential to having nice uniform dreads.

I'm not personally a fan of rubber bands, but it won't hurt too much to help with the tips, especially if your hair is super silky and straight. DEFINITELY don't use them at the roots, though! My preferred method for ends is either keeping them loose-ish (great method for curly/wavy hair) or working them in to blunt ends with a small crochet hook.

While I do start dreads professionally, I am a huge supporter of "do it your own way" as it is such a personal journey. I allow my clients to let me know which methods suit them (save a handful I discourage on principle), and stick to those. Same with products! I will say though I have had the highest number of success with Dread Head HQ's shampoo users. Whatever you use, you want it to be residue-free!
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Gracey
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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by Gracey » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:49 am

helloimkitty wrote:Hey, so little back story to me. I've wanted dreads for about 5+ years now. At first I just kind of thought of it as a cool fantasy to have but the more "research", for lack of a better term, I did on dreadlocks the more I fell in love with them all together. However, by the time I made a firm decision my hair was maybe two inches long. Now, I've been growing my hair out for almost two years and I feel my hair is ready to dread. So I am turning to what has become my "dread-bible" over the past year or so for some advice. I already know I do NOT want to use wax, but am still contemplating on putting rubber bands just on the tips. What do you think? Rubber-bands or no? Also any tips on products to use as far as shampoo goes, or maybe just baking soda and water?, is there anything I can do with my hair before dreading that will make the whole process easier?, really any type of advice would be MUCH appreciated.
I don't like the use of rubber bands on dreads personally, and if the backcombing is done properly, you really shouldn't need them. There are many people who start their dreads themselves and end up with beautiful heads of locks. The key is knowledge and patience. I would usually advise against having them done by more than one person though, especially if you want roughly uniform dreads, because there will be a lot of variation from person to person. It is very possible to mess up the back-combing; areas which are not tightly backcombed will result in kinks and loops as they mature and compact and likewise the looser the backcombing, the more they will shrink up over time.

The most common mistakes are made in the sectioning. Badly organised sections will have a massive impact on the way the dreads look over time. A pro will know how individual clients' hair will behave and structure sections accordingly, ensuring the dreads are wearable over many years. Dreadlocking is a specialised skill and while those who have researched a lot, such as yourself, can manage to produce good locks, there are many more who rush in and set themselves up for problems further down the line. Obviously a pro will be expensive, but your locks will be done in one go and in far less time than a DIY job. The other option is to start them yourself and get a pro to give them their first maintenance session to aid them on their way.

As for shampoo, I don't really think dread shampoos are necessary. I personally have always just used whatever is handy; in my case usually one of Lush's shampoo bars. As long as it is rinsed properly, you should be able to use what you like. Baking soda is useful as an occasional deep-clean but not recommended for frequent use, as it is very drying. It also drags colour out of dyed hair. As mentioned above, a residue free shampoo or a clarifying one would be perfect. Before dreading, I sometimes recommend that people wash their hair in washing up liquid for a couple of weeks, but that is more on those whose hair errs on the side of greasy. My own hair is quite dry and I have always gone as far as to condition my dreads once they are on the road to maturity.

I am guessing you are the lady whose email I have just read. Thanks for the compliment about my dreads; i'm assuming you meant the red ones. When I started them I had 200 skiny dreads. I loved it but the maintenance was too big a job so I joined some over time, particularly underneath, to give me roughly 120. I do have quite a lot of hair though; usually I would do about half that amount. My red ones are no longer alive, I cut them off a year ago. I did recently begin a new set; platinum blonde at a count of 83. They are three weeks old now and coming along nicely, pics will be up over the next few days when I get around to taking some.
What, that? It's a spade.

Gracey xx
Formerly known as Woolhairhabbit

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helloimkitty
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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by helloimkitty » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:57 pm

Thank you so much for all the great advice! I really appreciate it and it definitely helped clear up some of the more gray areas for me.

Gracey: yes that was me that emailed you. I'm glad you got it. Yeah I was talking about your red ones. 200 does sound like a little too much for me to handle. I was thinking about going around 100-150. And now I'm pretty much decided on lower 100s. Thanks for all your tips! Can't wait to see your new dreads.

Thanks again!
-<3-
alice a.

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helloimkitty
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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by helloimkitty » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:45 am

Hey so just thought of a really noobish question, and have searched the site but can't find anything. Obviously I don't want my dreads to smell but I am a smoker. Can the smoke make your dreads smell funky?
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alice a.

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Gracey
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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by Gracey » Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:37 am

No more than it would make your undreaded hair smell funky. You will be washing the dreads regularly, I'm assuming? If not, smelling of smoke would be the least of the considerations. ;0)
What, that? It's a spade.

Gracey xx
Formerly known as Woolhairhabbit

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Re: First time dreading my hair! Advice PLEASE!

Post by AGE » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:01 am

I 've been a dread head for a while now. I've looked for a good shampoo to use, and Dr. Bronners is my buddy. Thumbs up on not using wax...I regret that I did as I have fine hair. I also rocked yarn extentions during the locking process, it was a blessing, keeping my sections while alowing me to look decent in the office. (I can't hold my arms up for long periods of time)

Rubber bands on the ends.... meh i don't see the benifet. Back combing well and palm rolling like a mofo ftw.
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