FAQ

BEFORE YOU DREADLOCK YOUR HAIR

HOW DO I WASH MY DREADS AND HOW OFTEN?

My site is a work in progress. I am putting together full length and in depth answers to these questions as soon as I can! For updates or notifications, subscribe with your email address below! <3 Chelsea

WHAT METHOD DO YOU USE TO DREAD MY HAIR?

Here's what you need to know before the appointment:

1) A non-refundable, two hour deposit must be paid ahead of time before the scheduled appointment or the appointment will be canceled. The deposit will be credited towards the time at the time of the appointment but for no-call, no shows or for cancelling appointments within 24 hours, the deposit will not be refunded. Appointments will take longer than 2 hours, and the total amount due at appointment time will be the total amount of hours that day, minus two from the deposit.

Text me when you're on your way or when you think you'll be arriving. We'll chat and watch movies, we have wi-fi and you should bring food and drinks for yourself... friends are welcome to come. 


2) Come with your hair clean and dry and non-conditioned. You should pick up a big jug of Softsoap brand since it's residue free and you can wash your dreads with it. [$4 at Walmart]


Just don't get one with moisturizers. . You should start washing your hair with that for two showers/washes before the appointment, just to strip it of the residue. Make sure you really get the back-top of your head really well because that's usually the danger zone for oil! [like where a girl's ponytail would sit] I noticed some oil build up in the area where your hard hat strap sits, so when you wash your hair with this soap, really scrub your scalp around that back area. Don't use any conditioners and 

You should take some Tylenol or Ibuprofen two hours before the appointment starts, trust me. It's not that it's excruciating but it will definitely help you feel more comfortable for longer. 


3) Check out the products on dreadheadhq.com. All of their products are awesome but you might not know if you'll need them until later in the locking process, except the peppa does wonders. The locking accelerator is awesome and you could spray your hair with it the night before and then let it dry by the time that we start, and it's something that you can continually spray on your head week after week to help your dreads tighten. 


4) I must rant a little bit and say that it is my job to backcomb and lock up your hair as tightly as you want it and prepare you with knowledge on how to care for your dreads, but as soon as my job is done, YOU are responsible for their success. If you want them to keep looking amazing, you'll work on their roots as they grow out and palm roll them, etc and put the work into it to make them look good. If you don't work on them yourself, the badass work that I do is useless and that means that maintenance sessions will become mandatory in order to keep your dreads from turning to crazy hair. I will gladly help you work on them until no longer needed for $50/hr. The more often you come for maintenance, the quicker and easier the maintenance sessions go. Do not wait until it's too late, then they can take up to 5 hours to get back to "normal". As your dreads mature, maintenance sessions won't be necessary. On that note, if you know ahead of time you're not going to work on them and want the neglect method, let me know before we start so I can backcomb them differently. I am also very enthusiatic about dreads and WANT people to have the dreads they dream of, so it makes me very happy to get calls and texts and emails with questions days,
 weeks, and months after we put them in. On average, it takes about 10-15 minutes to put a dread in, longer if I put them in tighter, and longer if the hair isn't in good locking shape, and most people have around 60 dreads. I charge $60/hr and work very fast and meticulously! Dreads are awesome! Text me with any questions!

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO COME BACK FOR MAINTENANCE?

My site is a work in progress. I am putting together full length and in depth answers to these questions as soon as I can! For updates or notifications, subscribe with your email address below! <3 Chelsea

WHAT IS INTERLOCKING? SHOULD I INTERLOCK MY DREADS?

My site is a work in progress. I am putting together full length and in depth answers to these questions as soon as I can! For updates or notifications, subscribe with your email address below! <3 Chelsea

AFTER YOU DREADLOCK YOUR HAIR

If you have a question that I have not answered above, please use the form on my home page to submit your question to be answered or schedule a phone consultation with me!

1. How do I sleep with dreads?  For now, palm roll in the morning, it will help them lock and make them round again. Covering them with a nylon while you sleep will keep lint and feathers out of them. You can also run your fingers though your dreads like a big comb in the morning. This acutally makes them look a lot better and helps you find loose hair that you can dread ball and pull in with a loose hair tool. If they are fuzzy and you don't have wax, palm rolling them is the next best thing. Otherwise, palm roll with the wax. Heat the wax up with a blow dryer and put SOME on your finger tips. ONE application of wax per week! Then every time you feel like you need to wax, you should just blow dry on your already dry dreads to heat the existing wax up and Palm roll them that way. You won't need to do this every day unless you're a perfectionist ;) 

2. What do I do when dreads seem to be growing together? There are two main things you can do to prevent these dread relations. First, while they are new, having a rubberband at the roots of each dread will help keep them apart. Sometimes two dreads are so attracted to each other they find a way to combine when you're not looking. If this happens -and you don't approve of their union, the best thing to do is rip them apart. Grab one in each hand and pull in opposite directions. R-I-I-I-P. You get used to it, I promise. Something about showers seems to alway attract dreads to each other. When your dreads are dry after a shower take a minute to feel around up there and see what's going on. You'll usually find a couple dreads have hooked up. Ripping them apart now, before things get more involved will be eaiser and create less loose hair. Pull them apart after showers and if you see any of them "crimping" like an accordion, pull them using one hand above the crimp and the other hand below it to pull the crimp apart, basically like trying to straighten out a slinky. Also, doing what I call "bicycling" your dread around any shrinking area or area that wants to twist or loop in the middle of the dread. 

3. Do I need to twist my dreadlocks? You'll probably here some people say that they need to get their dreadlocks re-twisted. You might also see them twisting their dreads around and around in the same direction. If this is working for them, they have a specific hair type - referred to as highly textured or some people just call it African textured. 

Twisting only works in highly textured hair. In in straight hair it does pretty much nothing. Those with straight hair will use Clockwise Rubbing to create new knots instead of twisting. Another reason that people twist dreads is to help them compress. In straight hairPalm Rolling is used to get the knots to compress. In addition to different techniques, different products are used for highly texture and straight hair. Why is that?

In short, Straight hair or Caucasian hair types require more help to make decent looking dreads. The hair is more resilient to knotting and doesn't hold knots as well. If your hair has enough texture or curl to it that it turns into a nice, tight afro when it grows, you'll be able to used the twisting technique to start and maintain your dreads. If not, you'll have a much easier time using the instructions on this site, which are primarily for people with harder to dread, Caucasian hair types. 

4. What is palm rolling? Palm rolling is a method for compressing knots that have dread wax in them and helping them tighten.  It works much better than "twisting" around and around. To palm roll you simply grab the dread between the base of your palms and rub it back and forth with squeezing pressure. It's a bit like rolling Play-Doh between your palms to make it long and skinny. Click here for how dread wax is used in the tightening and compression of dreads to help them mature faster. 

5. My dreads are loose! What do I do?  Relax! We've got you covered! To understand why you're doing these techniques and how all this stuff works you'll want to understand the "A-B Maintenance Routine" stuff here. Once you are confident with all that helping your dreads tighten will be pretty easy. This page is packed with dread tightening goodness, it will help you tighten each of the main dread areas.

BTW, if the looseness in your dreads is at the tips (the opposite the roots) then it's technically "loose hair". You'll basically keep it held with a rubber band until the body of the dread matures a bit, then you'll pull it into the dread with a loose hair tool and make an amazing, blunt, rounded tip that will stay put and look great. At the bottom of the loose hair page you'll find more info about when and how to deal with loose hair at the tips of your dreadlocks! This is also something I can do for you. 

6. I thought my dreads were really tight, now they seem to be loose. Why?  Dreads don't go from loose to tight in one smooth transition. It's natural for the dread to adjust itself, going through tighter and looser periods. They start out as nice, tight knots. Not nice tight dreads (there's a big difference). The knots will loosen from their initial tightness after backcombing. This normally takes a week or two and a few washings. What you do need to look out for is the actual body of the dreads loosing knots and becoming straight hair.  If you keep the dreads free of all residue and clockwise new growth to help it lock (which you can start doing at your first "A" Week)  this will never be a problem. Prolonged use of regular soaps or shampoos and neglecting new growth at the roots make proper maturity slow and difficult. Depending on your hair texture it may prevent locking entirely.

7. How do you get rid of loose hair at the roots of your dreads? You definitely don't want to get rid of it! Loose hair at the roots is the future of your dreads, if you were to cut it your dreads would get smaller and smaller. Fixing it is easy but you have to have the right "environment" for making knots. If you haven't read about the "A-B Maintenance Routine" you should start by checking that out. 

8. How do I dread my roots as they grow?

Well Rastafari believe that Jah forms your locks and the shape of your locks is influenced by your personality. I'll go with that for the most part but I also believe that Jah helps those that help themselves. There are quite a few things you can do to ensure that new growth locks as it grows.

The roots are, by definition, the point where the hair grows out of the scalp. Since the hair follicle's continue to push the hair out straight and unknotted (the knots don't ever come pushing out of your scalp pre-formed) you'll always have some undreaded or straight hair at the roots. It doesn't seem possible that straight hair held at both ends could lock at all. The hairs that are actually doing the locking are the new baby hairs growing out of the scalp and the ends of the old mature hairs that just fell out but can't go anywhere cause they are being held in place by the rest of the dread.

Having some straight hair doesn't mean your roots will look bad, far from it, they can actually look supa nice. With that understood what you want to do is keep the roots looking clean by taking care of loose hair and keep the new growth knotting as is grows. As the dreads tighten your hair will dread closer to the roots with less help, especially with larger dreads and textured hair.

The best way to knot up new growth (the straight hair at the roots) is to use clockwise rubbing. You'll also find that washing residue free shampoo makes it much easier for new growth to knot - not only while you're clockwise rubbing, but also on it's own, which will save you a bunch of work!

9. How do I dry my dreads? You need to get as much of the water out as possible after you wash them. Don't ever let them sit wet. Drippy dreads are no fun anyway. Here's a routine that will get your dreads dry and never leave you drippy:

Phase 1, In the shower:

Drying starts while you're still in the shower, before you even grab a towel. Go ahead and wring them out. You can do this in several groups of 20 dreads or so. For long dreads, start higher up squeezing the water out of the higher part first and then lower and lower until you reach the tips. Water will continue to wick it's way though the dreads toward the tips. After you wring them out wait 10 seconds or so and wring out the tips again. In mature dreads you'll find them full of water again. Do this until you can't get steady drips, maybe 3 or 4 times. I've also found that shaking them a bit will bring water to the tips faster - it's fun too, just be sure not to give yourself whip-lash!Next you want to repeat this wringing out with a towel wrapped around them. Just put the towel over your hands and wring them out as you did before. This will suck more of the water out of the dread. Wait again and repeat. If you are outside you can swing your dreads in a big smooth arc to help get the water to the tips faster. You can also soak friends that are like 15 feet away! =] Inside, this is usually not the best idea. Squeeze the tips of the dreads again with the towel to get more water out.

Phase two, the wrap:

Now that 70%-80% of the water is out you move on to phase two. At this point, if you're pressed for time, the hair dryer is your best bet. With the majority of the water out of the way it should be much easier to dry them. If they are mature and thicker it's doubtful you'll be able to get them 100% dry but you will be able to get the outside of them dry and that will help the inside dry much faster.An alternative to the hair dryer is to wrap them up in another dry towel. The towel will continue to suck the water out. You can remove the towel after 10 minutes, flip it over so the dry side is facing the dreads, and wear it again for 10 or 15 min. while you eat and get ready to go to work/school or some other place to show off your really clean dreads. =]If you notice that over time your dreads are taking longer to dry you'll need to spend some more time with the hair dryer in this step. This can happen with both thick and thin dreads so be sure that they are getting dry and keep an eye on how long it takes.

Phase three, air dry or hair dry-er:

At this point you have about 85% of the water out. This is good but there is still enough water inside the dread that it can cause problems. You would not want to tie them up or put them in a hat, or do anything else that would slow down the rest of their drying. After several hours of air drying in low to medium low humidity (or about 10 min with a dread dryer) they should be good to go.

For a long time I opted for the air dry option. I put up with semi-damp dreads for hours and I worried about them not getting dry fast enough. It actually made washing my dreads a real pain and sometimes I'd put off washing them so I wouldn't have to deal with drying them. I also had some close calls when they ended up sitting wet for far too long becuase of humidity or other factors.

10. How do I take care of them the first month? 1st Month Dreadlocks Maintenance:

1. Assuming the dreads were just done you won't need to wash them for 2-3 days. Make sure you have some nylons to wear over your dreads when you sleep. This will train them to lay down properly and it will keep frizz, fuzz and feathers away from your dreads. After they mature a bit they won't be such fuzz magnets but keeping them covered while they are still loose is a good idea.

If your dreads get itchy before your scheduled washing go ahead and wash them. You'll get some loose hair each time you wash, this is normal, no worries, you can fix loose hair easily.

2. Ok, it's been 2 or 3 days and you are ready to wash your dreadies. It is a really good idea to have rubber bands on the roots and tips of your dreads when you wash them, at least for the first month. Wearing rubber bands makes the maintenance a lot easier and makes them less delicate. You won't have to always wear them but in the beginning I highly recommend'em. Don't mind the ultra-separated, "I can see my scalp" look. That will go away as soon as you take the bands off and wash them for the first time.

In addition to rubber bands,  washing your dreads through a nylon will also help them hold up better while they are brand new. Same kind of nylon you sleep in but you will want to use a different one.....cuz nobody wants to sleep in a damp nylon. Washing your dreads through a nylon is pretty straight forward. (you're standing naked in your shower with pantyhose on your head, how straight forward is that) Just soak'em down, squirt the soap through the nylon, work it in concentrating on the roots, and then rinse them really really well. You don't want to leave any soap in the dreads or on your scalp. Un otro vez pato: Always rinse dreads really well! You can pull off the nylon right at the end and rinse again to make sure all the soap is out. You won't loosen much hair by rinsing, especially if you have rubber bands on the roots and tips. Of course I'm not going to tell you that you have to use the dread head soap to wash'em in but I will tell you that it rocks and once you start usin' it you'll never wanna wash your sweet dreadies in anything else... However, I used plain Dial hand soap for a few years and had no issues with dryness or locking, as long as you don't use one with moisturizers, it should be fine. Although maybe one with aloe Vera would be okay?????

Now you have to dry them well. The best way to get them dry is to lean over, letting them all hang down in front of you, and squeeze as much water out of them as you can. Wring them like a wet towel later but be gentle while they are new. Then wait about 10 seconds and repeat. Next, grab them in a towel and wring them out with the towel around them.

As your dreads get really tight, and they will get really tight, getting them dry will be really important. Dreads can hold water for many hours if not dried properly and mildew can grow inside them. This is called Dread Rot. This is the second most common reason peoples dreads get stank. The first is not washing. In 2 or 3 days you'll want to wash them again, same as before. Pick either 2 or 3 and stick to it. The more consistent you are with your washing the quicker your scalp will adjust and show you love. [read more about first month maintenance here if that wasn't suffiicient enough] 

11. What if the tips come undone or loose? How do I take care of them? You can backcomb or tease them by combing upwards if they're back to really normal straight hair, or you can use the peppa roll them into dreads as needed until they lock up.  This page shows you how.

All other answers to your questions can be found on the FAQs of dreadheadhq.com. Get used to that site! I recommend the shampoo [but dilute it when you get it so it suds up easier], the wax and peppa. I think it'd be extremely hard to maintain nice dreads without them.

Click here to see a slideshow of this one guy's dread maturity process. From day 1 to a year. 

!!And please send me photos so I can help you via internet if you can't come in to see me, and so I can see how they're doing! Most of all, learn to enjoy the process of dreads. It is a lifestyle, and it is a process. It takes a while for them to mature but if you work on them and take good care of them, you'll be set for life. My rule is "The nicer and tighter you want your dreads to be, the more you'll learn to work on them." It really can seem overwhelming the first week/month/fewmonths/year/ but the sooner you work on them now, the less work you'll have to do later and you'll find that you'll have to work on them less and less. It's your journey with your hair, so learn for yourself how to maintain and take care of them. I'm here to help you along the way if you need it, but I can't do it for you!