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What is best way to dread your hair? Had dreadlocks 1 year ago, and loved them. I got them done in a salon,they were to much $


  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I have had dreads for 3 years now. It was very easy to put them in. Just get yourself a metal comb with very fine teeth (they look just like the combs you use to comb fleas out of a pets hair, available at any pet store). Wash your hair with a sea salt paste. Then, section out your hair (best to get a friend to help you if possible), and back comb (sometimes known as “ratting”) each section until the dread forms. Then roll it between the palm of your hands, and repeat 1-2 more times until the dread is as firm as you can get it. Then, put hemp wax/bees wax what ever your preference on the dread and palm roll again to make sure that the wax really gets in there. Continue until the whole head is done. Then, go stand in the sun for a while to get the wax really warm so it gets all in your dreads. Don’t wash for about a month, and just try to baby the dreads by rolling them when you think about it.

    Maintenance: for about the first 6 months, wax your dreads once a month. After that, once every 3 months, or as needed.

    A great website for video instruction is dreadhead.com I didn’t have much success with their products, but I love the site and the info. on there.

    Hope that helps!

  • Thanks I am going to have my husband help me start these tonight. I will let you know how they turn out. P.S. What is a sea salt paste?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Sea salt paste can be made by mixing sea salt with water until a pasty consistency. It dries the hair and makes the hair easier to dread.

  • Ok on my way to the store, so how much sea salt should I get. My hair is just to my shoulders. Do i have to use sea salt?

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Spirited Mama, what do you think about this method?

    I have heard that if you shave your head, you can let your hair naturally dread as it grows back by not washing it or brushing it.Apparently it grows meshed and matted if you don’t do anything to it. If you have very curly hair like me I guess it would work well. It is a method I have always wanted to use on myself. I tried the beeswax thing on my friend’s brother when I was 14, I made such a mess of his hair, it was gross!!! Am reluctant to go there again, but I am sick of having curly hair that will not behave, so I think dreads would be neater and tidier than what I have on my head curently!

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Lilt2n- sorry I didn’t read the post until this morning, I hope you got the sea salt paste figured out! The amount of salt depends on how much hair you have. I just add a little at a time until the paste is created. I think sea salt works best, but I guess regular salt would work too.

    Zoe- I have friends who have NOT shaved their heads, but HAVE just stopped brushing their hair and it will naturally dread, especially if your hair is curly. The reason why some sort of “sticky” is needed in the beginning of the dread process is just to keep the dreads together. It really doesn’t take much (maybe you used too much on your friend’s hair?). It is rare that I put any in my hair now, but when I do, I use maybe at most 1/2 teaspoon per dread. You put it in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together so the “wax” gets really smooth and then palm roll it onto the dread. O.K., that was the long answer…So, I guess the short answer to your question would be yes, you could shave your head and have it dread naturally as it grows back, but I don’t think you have to. Just not brushing your hair will do the same thing, but it will take quite a while (as it would after shaving too).

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    thanks Spirited Mama, I’ve been actually wanting to shave my hair off for ages now as part of a Hindu purification technoque I am drawn to. Also my “raw hair” is so different to my older “cooked hair”, I would like it all off so it grows back raw!

    BTW, Yes I totally made a mess of that guy’s hair. I melted loads of wax and used tons on the poor boy’s head, literally pouring it on his head, it was way too much…I had a crush on him aswell, the whole thing was just so embarrassing!!

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Cool Zoe! Which Hindu technique are you referring to? I would love to know more! Also, I would love to see a before shaved head and after shaved head picture if you feel like sharing!

    Lilt2n- I would love to see a picture of your new dread babies!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    There are different versions of it, but it is done for purification,to lose attatchment to vanity, and as devotion to Shiva. I can’t remember what it is actually called but it has a name! A few female friends of mine have done it when staying at Ashrams in India and said it was so liberating and a powerful thing to do when done conciously in this manner, quite a different intention than shaving the head in the Britney Spears way! Some say to do it once every 9 years, others say to do it every day for 9 months. It depends on who you talk to and where you go.

  • Yes I will sent a pic. of my hair when it is done. spiritedmama- So I did the sea salt paste wash lastnight and I am working on back combing my hair today. I am tieing some relly cool looking purple yarn into some of my hair, and some wooded beads too.

  • I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing dreads myself so I’ll be interested to hear all about it Lilt2n. Thanks for posting those intructions SpiritedMama! My biggest fear is screwing it all up ala Zoe’s friend, but I guess worst case scenario would be I’d have to cut off all my hair (which would probably be good for my vanity!)

  • When I dreaded my hair, and others as well, I haven’t used beeswax. A couple of friends used beeswax in their locks, and to me, they looked very straight and “boring” – to me, locks shouldn’t be one thickness all the way. Also, I found the locks made with beeswax to be harder than the ones without, which were soft. Actually, one of my friends who used beeswax ended up having mold in his locks from the wax, but they were quite thick, and I don’t think he cared for them very well, so maybe not the beeswax’ fault.. :-P

    Anyway, I prefer the look without the wax, and to make them that way, I simply used something sticky when I made them, and then I put a small rubberband (the ones you can get in afro hair shops) at the top and the bottom, to keep each lock together. It will probably take a little longer to look good, though, as it doesn’t have the wax to keep it together, but I would say it’s worth it. Maybe not the way to go if you want a very neat and straight style, but if you want it to look more natural, I think I would prefer the non-wax way, after the waxed locks I have seen (I do not mean to insult anyone in here, this is just based on what I’ve seen).

    And about the “not washing your hair for 1 month”- good luck – it will itch! and probably smell as well. In Norway we have something called green soap, which is some kind of natural soap that usually is used for washing floors. You get it in liquid, but also in bars I think, or more like a jello. It doesn’t contain any conditioner, and is actually used when felting wool to get the wool to stick together. I would advice to try not to wash for a couple of weeks, or as long as you feel comfortable, and then wash it with either green soap if you can get it, or a special shampoo for dread locks without any conditioner in it.

    Good luck!

    Lots of light and love.


  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    If you rinse your hair with water/salt water(just not use shampoo) it will not stink. Mine never has, and never did. Also, the stiffness from beeswax is often from not using the right amount. My dreads have always been soft, and pliable. People touch my hair all the time and tell me how nice they feel and not what they expected. But, if you don’t want beeswax, hemp oil/butter works well too, as does shea.

    I will say the rubber bands are a good idea….I forgot to put that in the instructions I posted. I used rubber bands at top and bottom for about a year.

  • i’ve been letting my son’s hair dread up naturally for a few months now, i started out waxing it just a tiny bit and didn’t like the results so i stopped. i don’t wash his hair, mostly water rinse, but on occasion i use a baking soda paste to scrub the dirt off his scalp if he’s been playing really hard! i think i’ll try the sea salt paste to get the front dreaded up, that’s a good tip. thanks

  • Never having dreads before…what happens when you want to take them out? I have long wavy hair (and too much vanity) :) to want to shave it off. Is it possible to comb them out?

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Yes a couple of my friends combed theirs out. Their hair was beautiful after, no damage. It takes about 2 days, less if you have help.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    If you have really well established dreads, the only way I have seen to get them out is to soak them in a conditioner and comb them out. Another thing you can do is cut the dread about half way and try and comb it out that way. But, the easiest is to just shave them off.

  • Hello girls how is everone today? When I got rid of my dreads last time I had to cut my hair realy short. Spiritedmama how often should I do the sea salt paste wash? I have been doing alot of highway driving and letting the wind mess my hair up realy good. Have’nt got around to ratting my hair yet, trying to juggle being a New mama. Also been working on some art for an upcoming show.

  • Is there anything I can do so my hair is not so greasy?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Lilt2n, the salt paste is used to “prepare” your hair for dreads. You don’t need to use it after that.

    As for the greasiness….I am asuming you now have the dreads in? If so, a great way to “cut the grease” is to spray salt water or rinse with salt water. Your hair won’t be greasy long, it is just going through the natural “detox” that happens when you are not washing it so frequently (see our no ‘poo thread).

  • Thanks Spiritedmama I will mix some up tonight.

  • ok so got the dreads in, I put rubber bands in the top and bottoms of them. How long should I keep them in?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Keep them in until they are well established, so about 3-6 months. Another thing you can do is just let them fall out and not replace them.

    I am getting my hair done by a friend this weekend, and I am so excited. I have been “neglecting” my dreads lately and am glad that they will be getting some TLC!

  • right on good luck. thanks for the info.

  • Hi lilt2n, I’m new to this site and was just browsing the blogs. I’m so glad to have found this topic. I was wondering how your locs are coming along. I’m in the long-slow-steady process of loc’ing my hair as well. I had locs a few years agoo that only lasted one year before I cut them 2 inches from the scalp off. I’ve learned some things that I’m doing differently this time around. 1st time I used the backcoming and beesewax method and rarely washed (like only 1-2 times a month) but THIS TIME I used the 2-strand twist method, NO WAX, and I wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s hemp liquid soap every 3-4 days or so. On day 3 of having new locs I went swimming in the Pacific Ocean. That seemed to have jump started the tightening process. The rest is up to my hair. I’m going for more of a “neglect” method but will continue to was as needed and retwist when I can the few that come unraveled. It’s a JOURNEY! I love it! Thanks for postin this topic.

  • Hey lilt2n, how did your locks go?

    I am new to this site, and have started locks (2 weeks in now) I went to capilocks in Paris to get them started (recommended by a lady with gorgeous locks who had hers started there) They use the rubbing method and a vegetable glue to help separate and strengthen. So far it's working, my hair is breaking into sections exactly where it wants to and a glue bath every 2-3 days is helping it along. Each day I rub my hair with a towel and break down any thick bits. For now my hair is psycho - I look a little like side show bob - but on the whole, it's a gorgeous journey as my hair is doing what it wants to do.
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