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If you have long hair
(6in +) and you want big random looking dreads like Bobs, I recommend going natural. You will find that your dreads will be thicker and more ununiform. The only drawback from the natural method is that your dreads can take a long time to fully develop.

If you have short hair (3-6in) or you want evenly divided thinner dreads in your long hair, use the backcombing method. You can do them all one by one or graph them all out to get the exact look you want.


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The Objects below are tools you may want to think about
when dreading your hair.



A loose tam or crown can be great for when your hair is still wet after a long refreshing shower. They help to get hair tangled and can never be worn too much. Tight winter hats are also good for when you want to frizz your hair. Just rub it all over your head really hard while wearing it. You can get tams online at my Links page

 


If you have a dog than you probably have a flea comb. It is best that you do not use it, although I did, haha. I really don't recommend it. Your dog may have bugz. You never know. If your really strapped for cash and you trust your dogs hygiene, than go for it. If you do it and start growing bugs in your head, just remember I gave you fair warning. backcombing is a great thing.


You will need a mild shampoo for your dreads. This stuff is perfect. If you have ever used Knotty Boys Shampoo than you know it smells yummy. This shampoo has the exact same sent with the exact same result, only it is cheaper. Just go to your local health food store and look for it. Its called Desert Essence daily replenishing Shampoo.


Good Wax is the start to healthy dreads. I have used several waxes, and a lot of them have petroleum which make them wet and sticky. Knotty Boy Dread Wax is petroleum free and really is the best wax I've used. After you buy some from Hot Topic or the Knotty Boy web site, just remember to come back here.

Orthodontic rubber bands are great for dreads that have started to develop but just need a little more help, plus they are always free. Just go to your local orthodontist and ask those nice women at the front desk if you can get a little bag of rubber bands. Mine are tan but if your into rainbows and flowers, I'm sure you can get them in nifty colors. Also, I recommend not using too many of these little guys, and only use when starting. Take them out when your dreads start to tighten. Now your ready for beads.














Beads are the perfect alternative to elastics for your maturing dreads. Beads will help tighten while not restricting those little monsters growth. I sell these beads 2 for $5 and get this, you can pick what color beads you want. Just e-mail me and let me know. I don't have a order page right now. I didn't know if I would get that many requests for these little guys. I will say that these beads are strong, quality beads..

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Natural Dreadlocks

Stuff you may need:
Wax
Rubber Bands
Cap or Tam

This is the Deal with "Quick-Fix dreads". Think about it like this, when you follow the directions that most wax companies give you, what are they really telling you to do? The say take a finger's width of hair and back-comb it with a flea comb so your hair gets knotty and starts to turn into a dread. Most of the people with thin straight hair, like myself, who need wax, will not really have a large number of dreads and once they tighten, it looks ever worse. I have some good tips for those of us who want full thick dreads and weren't born with thick curly hair.

1. Load up your hands with some wax.

2. With a good amount of wax on both hands rub palms all over your hair.

3. Once you have rubbed in all the wax very well and your hair is frizzed and crazy, you want to hop into the shower.

4. While your in the shower continue to rub your hair with palms. Make sure to get your hair wet with hot water. This will help the wax to disperse into your hair. Do not use shampoo.

5. Once out of the shower, towel dry vigorously, getting your hair tangled thoroughly.

6. Put on a tam or loose fitting cap and let your hair dry. If you don't have either of these, just use a towel.

Repeat these steps every few days (more often is better) and do not shampoo your hair. Don't worry you will be able to shampoo soon. For the next few days pay attention to your hair, looking for the start of dreadlocks(areas of tangled hair).Shampoo usually tends to undread and untangle hair, try not to use it for a few days..

Simple right?

When you find a knotty patch of hair that has potential to turn into a fat dread you should help it along the way. A lot of people, when they find these patches, put rubber bands around the roots of the area. It worked for me.

1. Put a rubber band around the roots of the tangled hair patch.

2. Get out your wax and load up your hands just like before.

3. Take the patch of hair and roll in between your hands. Make sure your hair is rolling between your palms and not just sliding back and forth(common mistake).

4. Once wax is worked in, repeat the first set of steps to the rest of your hair.

Once you have a few tangled areas in your hair your dreads will begin to develop much faster. Dreads feed off each other in a way. They help each other grow.

Keep doing these steps, and in a few days you will start to see your dreads coming in nicely.

   

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Backcombed Dreadlocks

Stuff you may need:
Fine Toothed Comb
Dread Wax
Rubber Bands

1. The first thing you need to do is decide what size dreadlocks you want. If you want thin dreadlocks you want to make hair sections with a root radius of about 1- 1 1/2 inches. This should be the size of a thin pencil when twisted tight. If you prefer larger locks, make the root radius about 1 1/2 - 3 inches. This should be about the size of a large pencil when twisted.

If you are going to graph out your dreadlocks before you start, do it now and get ready for the first step of dreading your hair.



2.
Get a section of hair that is sized to your liking. With your fingertips hold the section strait out from your head. Get your fine toothed comb and insert it at a 90° angle about 3 inches from the roots. With a nice even stroke pull the comb to your scalp firmly. Take the comb out and repeat this step. Make sure to end each stroke with a firm push to ensure that the hairs lock tight.

Tip: When holding the tips use a slightly gentle grip. You want to allow the comb to pull out some of the hairs you are holding between your fingers.

Tip: You can start dreadlocks in random areas on your head. This helps to keep your dreadlocks looking more ununiform and natural. If you are giving yourself dreads without the help of anyone else, this also allows you to just do a few everyday without looking strange. You don't want one side of your head locked up and the other side undreaded, do ya?

Tip: When backcombing make sure to always insert your comb about 3-5 inches from the dreadlock you are working with. You want to be sure that you are not taking too much hair at one time. As you do more dreadlocks you will find the right distance to start each stroke.

Tip: A lot of dreadlock sites say to twist the hair section before you insert the comb and make a stroke, but I have found that this step is pointless and actually makes backcombing more difficult.



3.
After you have established the start of a dreadlock near the roots, you want to start splitting. Splitting is a technique I came up with to help get my ends suppa tight, but I have found that it works great the whole way through the backcombing process.

Splitting works like this: After you have the roots knotted, rub your index finger and thumb up and down the rest of the hair in that section to get it messy and crazy. Next you want to grab the tips of the hair section in two areas and split it down the middle. When it is split all the way down to where the dreadlock is, pull them tight apart from each other like your tightining a knot, and repeat. This time split the same section in a different area. Keep doing this 4-6 times or until you feel it not doing anything anymore. This is good to do after each stroke of the comb to help tighten all the knots into the dreadlock. It takes longer but the result is much better.

As I've been getting more experienced with backcombing, I find myself using the splitting technique more and more. It is essential for getting locks really tight the first time.


Tip: You may not start splitting until the roots are dreaded. If you try to use this technique before your roots are dreaded well, you will pull all the hairs loose and undo whatever was there.

Tip: When you are splitting, you may divide the hair 50% 50%. The next split should be made directly after the first split. This time make it 25% 75% hair to hair. Keep it random and try to avoid splitting the hair in the same place every time.

Tip: When using this technique it may feel like you are not making progress. It does take a little longer. The more you keep the hair crazy and the crazier you keep it, the more hair you will take down to the dreadlock on each split.

If you still dont understand splitting, I will soon have images to show how it works

Tip: When you finish a dreadlock there should only be a few hairs sticking out of the end of the lock. These can be crocheted into your dread or just wrapped around the tip and worked in with some wax.

After you finish all your dreads, or you are just done for the day, ready for step 4.



4. This is the simple step. Get your wax out and work it in. I seem to O.D. on the wax every time I break it out. I don't mind my dreads being soggy with the Knotty Boy but you may. Get a half a tea spoon size ball and work between your palms to soften it up. With the wax soft and warm work it into your dreadlocks, by rolling it in your palms. If that's not enough wax, add a more.

Well that's it... If you have more questions about Backcombing e-mail me and I'll help ya.. I respond to every e-mail I get.. sweetdreads@mail.com

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