What are Dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks are hair that becomes matted together after not being combed for a period of time. Most dreadlocks are intentionally done as a hair style. Some people who “dread” are doing this for spiritual reasons. The people who dread due to spirituality are known as Rastafarians.
The meaning of the matted hair worn by Rastafarians, is to honor to God. I have heard that there is an actual passage in the Bible that says they must not cut their hair. (Leviticus 19:27, Ezekiel 44:20) Rastafarians believe in natural living. With that in mind they believe that combing the hair is not allowing the hair to be in its natural state. This is the meaning of the dread locks worn in Rastafarians culture.
How to get Dreadlocks
It’s very easy to get dreadlocks. I’m sure these methods will work for those with straight hair as well. Use some bees-wax or just use nothing, and twist your strands of hair into locks. Depending on your hair texture you then probably want to hold the ends with elastic rubber bands, or bundle your “lock twists” into a pony tail, while they have the lock gel, or lock wax on them. Another thing you can do is wash your hair with aloe. Real aloe! Not aloe gel from the drug store. Go buy an “aloe plant” and wash your hair with it. You should section your hair into the sizes (strands of lock sizes) you want your hair to grow. The size of each individual parting in the scalp is the size the dread lock will be once it is mature. Also it is extremely important, when you begin (the first month only) do not wash your hair. This helps to speed up the dreading process so that the “virgin” hair can become matted. Be sure to sleep with your hair covered in a silk scarf. This will prevent the locks from picking up lint which can stay lodged in the dreadlocks.
How long will my locks take to dread?
This is a great question. Everyone’s hair is different. Different hair textures mean different “matting” rates. In general, it will take three months for your dreads to look and feel like dreads. Many people notice that the back “mats” a lot faster than the sides or the top. This is do to the fact that most people sleep on their back, with their head in the pillow. The back of the hair also comes into contact with clothes, scarfs, etc. One tip I picked up along the way if want your hair to dread fast is to “sleep with a wool hat on” or you could just cover your pillow with a rough piece of fabric and sleep on it.
How to wash Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks once matured, can be washed like any other hair. I have dreads. I’m now in my seventh month, and I wash them every two days. But when they were forming, I would wash them once a week. When washing dreadlocks, be sure to use a shampoo that will give your locks a deep clean. I use Head and Shoulders, which is primarily a dandruff shampoo. That works really well for dry scalp and to keep locks clean and smelling nice. I wash my scalp first, being sure to get some shampoo in between all the lock parts, then I was the actual locks. Be sure to always rinse your locks well. Use warm to hot water to wash out all the shampoo. Locks retain a lot of water, and you want to be sure there is no residue from the shampoo left in your hair as this can cause odor.
How to get Dreadlocks out!
If you want your dreadlocks out, there is two things you can do. You can allow the new growth to grow out to a length of your liking and then cut your locks, leaving only the new growth, or you can just cut out your locks.
How to get Dreadlocks with long straight hair
So you have long straight hair and you want dreadlocks? Many people with straight hair use the back combing method. However, I have always thought that they could probably just use the method that most African-Americans use and be able to keep their length. Many African-Americans take the lock of hair they want to form a dread lock and separate it into two pieces, then they twist the hair, and over time it locks up on its own. You can try this too if you want. I watched a video one day of an Asian girl getting her hair dreaded in a hair salon in Asia. They were using a latch hook and each dread came out very neat.
Most Rastafarians “free form” their dreadlocks, just as Mr. Bob Marley did. Many of us also twist our hair in between our fingers every now and then and eventually those twists become matted and form dreadlocks.
My dreadlocks – my story
I began dreading my hair in Oct 2009 (it is now May of 2010) and I love my dreads. I can’t wait for them to get longer. I am African-American and dread my hair for spiritual reasons. What advice do I have for someone just starting out. Do them small, but not too small. I believe smaller dreads are easier to manage. You will have more flexibility too. I knew I wanted my locks to look natural, or authentic, so I made the parts different sizes, but all sized small. When I began, I was doing it partly as an experiment, and partly hoping it would dread. When I started, Jah let me know that locks are for me. I fell in love with my hair. Now I feel so beautiful and am happy I did it