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If you have a question that is not in my FAQs e-mail me at sweetdreads@mail.com.
I respond to every email .

*Questions relating to backcombing
*Updates

 


Q: How long does my hair have to be to start dreadlocks?

Q: Will I have to shave my head when I don't want dreads anymore?

Q: Are natural dreads better than backcombed dread?

Q: My dreadlocks need a trim. How do I trim my dreads?

Q: Do I have to stop showering and washing my hair if I have dreads?

Q: How do I get nice blunt ends on my dreads?

Q: Will rubbing my scalp in a circular motion really help to dread my hair?

Q: Are rubber bands good or bad?
*

Q: Are beads just for style?

Q: Are dreadlocks supposed to dread from the bottom up?

Q: What can I do to keep my dreads separated? They keep growing together.

Q: I found mold in one of my dreads. What should I do?

Q: I used wax to dread my hair. They are super thin. How do I get my dreads thicker?

Q: I think some of my dreads are going to break off. Some fell like they are hanging on by just a few hairs. What can I do?

Q: Is it ok to bleach or dye dreadlocks?

Q: Is there any way you put in temp dreads, just to see what they would look like?

Q: I want nice individual dreadlocks, but I have lots of loose hairs. What can I do to get them to dread?

Q: Are all waxes the same?
*

Q: How do I get rid of bugs?

Q: Can I swim in a pool with young dreadlocks?

Q: My dreadlocks keep getting thinner. What's going on?

Q: Is sea water ok for my dreadlocks?

Q: Is it normal to have flat dreadlocks?

Q: Should I worry about stereotypes?

Q: Is it hard to get a job if I have dreadlocks?

Q: What is back-combing, and how do I do it?*

Q: How many dreadlocks do you have?

Q: How can I send you a picture of my dreads to put in your gallery?

Q: What is "graphing" and how do I do it?*

Q: Can I backcomb my all my hair into dreads without help?*

Q: Do I have to have a flea comb to backcomb or will any brush work?*

Q: Is there any way to mess up if I am backcombing?*

Q: Should I start in a specific area of my head when I start backcombing?*

Q: What is Splitting and when do I use it?*

Q: How do I get dread wax out of my dreadlocks?*

Q: Why is all the hair falling out of my young dreadlocks?*

Q: How do I get rid of bumps in my dreadlocks?*



 

Q: How long does my hair have to be to start dreadlocks?

Your hair just has to be long enough to become tangled in itself. I think a good length is about 4''+. Your hair can never be too long to dread.

 

Q: Will I have to shave my head when I don't want dreads anymore?

You will have to cut off most of your hair if you have tight dreads. Most people have about 1''-2'' of strait undreaded hair between their scalp and their dreads. If you want to save some of your hair, get a deep conditioning treatment from a saloon and then cut your dreads about 4'' from your scalp. You will have a short hair cut but at least you wont be bald.

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Q: Are natural dreads better than backcombed dread?

First of all you need long hair to grow natural dreads. Natural dreads seem to grow thicker, but they do take longer, and you have to deal with having crazy hair for a while. More and more people e-mail me about their thin, backcombed dreads. They all wanted them right away, but now wish they had taken the natural rout. Even if you have the straightest hair on the face of the earth, you can get it to dread naturally. It needs a little help for some people but it will happen. Lots of people don't think they have the patience for natural dreads, so they go buy a flea comb and start making insta-dreads. A few months later they look in the mirror and realize their dreads are becoming thinner and thinner. Then they write to me and ask how they can cut out there backcombed dreads and start the natural dreadlocking process. Its all up to you. If you want fat dreads and you have long hair I recommend dreading your hair naturally

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Q: My dreadlocks need a trim. How do I trim my dreads?

There are lots of ways you can cut your dreads, but only one way that will keep your dreadlocks looking normal. If your dreads are tight and you need to trim then, I recommend using a razor blade. Using scissors give your dreads too straight of a cut. You don't want dreadlocks with squared off ends do ya? No, you want to keep them looking nice and round. Use a razor blade for a good looking uneven trim.

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Q: Do I have to stop showering and washing my hair if I have dreads?

No. Washing isn't exactly good for dreads but you can still shower and wash your hair. Just not as often. If you want details about showering go to the Do's and Don'ts and read about showering.

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Q: How do I get nice blunt ends on my dreads?

The best way to get those blunt ends is to back comb the ends until the only thing you have left to hold on to is one single hair, which can then be folded back up into the rest. After this you want to get out the Knotty Boy. Put a good amount of wax onto your palms and rub your hands together until the wax starts to warm up. Friction is good stuff. Next do the same thing with your hands only have a dread between them this time. Use a nice consistent circular motion until the ends start to tighten and become rounded.

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Q: Will rubbing my scalp in a circular motion really help to dread my hair?

Look at my dreads. Does it work? Yup. It doesn't sound like much, but it is one of the most important techniques to dreading your hair naturally, especially if you have strait hair(like me). Even if you have the straightest hair on the face of the earth, you can still get it to dread. It needs a little help, but it will happen. Some insta-dread heads think this one is a joke, but I will tell you myself, IT WORKS.

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Q: Are rubber bands good or bad?

Rubber bands are good to use in short periods of time. If your hair has started to dread in a area, rubber bands are good for containing your hair and helping the dreading process along the way. Once you have noticed that the dread has tightened below the rubber band you should remove it. The area where the rubber band is located usually does not helped although above and below the band will tend to tighten. Rubber bands are also good for graphing out hair sections before you start backcombing.

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Q: Are beads just for style?

No. Just like rubber bands beads help the dreading process. I believe beads are a better solution because, beads allow the whole dread to form while, rubber bands only help above and below where they are located.

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Q: Are dreadlocks supposed to dread from the bottom up?

When you let your hair dread naturally, they usually dread from the bottom up. Your hair is less healthy and more likely to tangle at the ends, and then eventually works its way up to the roots. Makes for some nice knobby dreads, but takes a long time.

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Q: What can I do to keep my dreads separated? They keep growing together.

This is one of those things you have to keep an eye on. Every once in a while you should pull your dreads apart just to make sure they are not growing together. If they are, just give them a little tug, and rip them apart. If your dreads have grown together, and you cant just rip them apart, use scissors and cut them apart. You may loose a little hair from the inside of your dreadlocks but its no big deal.
Go see the dread video to see how to rip your dreads apart.

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Q: I found mold in one of my dreads. What should I do?

Mold. It's gross. Mold grows in dark damp places. Your problem is just that your dreads remain damp too much. It may be the weather or it might be that you take showers everyday and your hair never dries out. To get rid of mold, use rubbing alcohol on the moldy spots and then take a shower, and use shampoo. Once you are out of the shower make sure you dry your dreads. It is best to have a hair drier but if you don't just towel dry the best that you can. This problem is not common. So, those of you who don't have mold, try not to worry about it.

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Q: I used wax to dread my hair. They are super thin. How do I get my dreads thicker?

Once your dreads are as tight as they can be, they will begin to grow thicker. Remember all that hair you used to loose in the shower? Where do you think it is going now? Strait to your dreads. All that hair gets locked into your dreads and while that hair is falling out new hair is growing. Your dreadlocks will only get thicker. Some things help your dreads thicken the right way, like, just rubbing your dreads and scalp with your fingers and palms. This helps to keep your roots wild and crazy, which will lead to nice dreads down the road. Do it as much as you can, it really works.

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Q: I think some of my dreads are going to break off. Some fell like they are hanging on by just a few hairs. What can I do?

First thing you should realize is that you probably have very brittle dry hair, and worse it is at the root. Everyone experiences some breakage at the root of there dreads, but when it gets to the point where you think your dread is going to break off you need to do something different. You should first get some hair moisturizing cream like Hair Food. You can find Hair Food at places like K-mart or Wall Mart. Smear a good amount on your roots everyday and be careful not yo break anymore hair. Do this for about a week and than add wax to the brittle area. Once you have wax on there you want to rub your dreadlocks root area against your scalp in a circular motion. This will reattach some of those loose hairs.

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Q: Is it ok to bleach or dye dreadlocks?

I have never dyed my dreads although people tell me there is no harm in it. I personally think if you bleach your hair yo much you could cause damage. I would think that bleaching too much could dry out your hair, and then lead to breakage. I say go for it, but only in moderation.

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Q: Is there any way you put in temp dreads, just to see what they would look like?

You can usually get young,, fresh dreadlocks untangled relatively easily, and then if you like them, you can let them become real dreads. If your hair is dreaded for more than two weeks you will have some problems getting them out. You can also section off your hair with rubber bands at the roots, and add a lot of hardening gel. Good Luck and I hope you like your temp dreads enough to go through with the real thing.

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Q: I want nice individual dreadlocks, but I have lots of loose hairs. What can I do to get them to dread?

First of all, everyone has loose hairs. I have heard of three ways to get rid of them. 1. Using the tips of your fingers, roll your loose hairs into a little ball. You don't want to have too many just enough that it will stay together by its self. Once you have the little ball rolled down to its own root, you want to stick it in the root of the closest dreadlock. Work it in and hope it stays.
2. After you isolate some of the loose hairs you simply stick them straight trough a dreadlock. Let it come out the other side and then back through another area of the same dread? Does that make sense. After you have it out again you simply roll the dread between your palms and hope that the hair gets tangled in. Eventually it will combine and, POW, problem solved. <Not a fan of that one.
3. I like this one. Separate your dreads. With your palms rub your scalp in a circular motion between every dreadlock. Keep doing this until you start to notice your loose hairs getting nappy on your head. It will just feel like extremely tight curls on your scalp. Once your hair is all napped up, put a little wax in the area you have been rubbing. This will keep the hair in place. After a few days you will see that this area has become a really short nappy dread. These little guys will help to make your dreadlocks more full and eventually will all grow together.
To see the example of this, watch the dread video.

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Q: Are all waxes the same?

No. Not at all. There are big differences between waxes. Pure bees wax takes forever to dry. You will have to deal with a sticky head for a long time if you try to use this stuff. Some waxes are too greasy. These waxes have Petroleum in them, which make it hard to roll your hair in your palms when you are dreading. What you want is a nice dense semi sticky wax. I have said it before and I will say it again. Knotty Boy makes a great wax. I would recommend it to anyone.

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Q: How do I get rid of bugs?

This is an e-mail I got from Josh about getting rid of lice. I have not tried this but he stands by it.

"I have a cure for bugs if you catch them early. I've been going to
gatherings for a few years now and bugs are a major problem. A few years ago
a good friend of mine gave me the cure after I got bugs at the ocala gathering. Seems everyone gets bugs there. Anyways, what you do is mix vinegar and peroxide, equal parts. With 1 half part of rubbing alcohol. Soak your head completely. Put a plastic grocery bag over your head and let soak for no less than around 5-8hrs. The longer the better. This mixture works every time, unless you've had bugs for quite a while and are infested, in that case there's no hope. But like I said, if you catch it early, there's about a 100% chance it will work. Its worked for me twice and my girlfriend twice also. There's no worry of rehatching eggs either. The vinegar kills them all, so no need to resoak. You do need to make sure to wash all your clothes and hats though. If you have a house or car you should buy the rid bed spray also."

"Well, that's it..This cure is 100%!."

Later,
Josh

If you have had bugs for a long time and you can not get rid of them, CUT OFF YOUR DREADS. It is your problem, and you can try to get rid of them, but do not leave your house and make it everyone else's problem too. By cutting of your dreadlocks and debugging yourself, you will save lots of other happy dread heads. Hey, I would do it for you.

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Q: Can I swim in a pool with young dreadlocks?

Yes, the chemicals in pools can be really good for tightening dreadlocks. Usually when your dreads dry after being in a pool your hair feels like straw. While your hair feels like this it is very easy to get it to knot up. I like pool chemicals, and plus soaking your dreads in the pool will help get rid of any smells your dreadlocks have acquired. You may not like the smell of chlorine but I do. haha its better than stanky dreads.

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Q: My dreadlocks keep getting thinner. What's going on?

First of all, you should know that everyone who has dreadlocks has gone through the shrinking stage. Your dreads are still becoming tight while getting thinner and your dreads will stop shrinking when they are supper dense. It is a good thing but it can make your dreads look goofy, depending on how thin they get. It is not something to worry about, and remember when they get super tight, they will then begin to grow thicker. All the hair you used to loose in the shower and throughout the day, now has nowhere to go but into your dreads. They'll plump back up a little.

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Q: Is sea water ok for my dreadlocks?

Sea water is great for dreadlocks. The salt in sea water dries out dreads and keeps them tight. Have you ever noticed, when you are at the beach, your hair always feels a little different? Salt is all over the place. It is in the air, and builds up on your hair, making it feel really dry. You are constantly covered in salt, which makes your hair tangle easier. If you really want your dreads to tighten, I recommend not showering after you get out of that wonderful natural sea bath. Enjoy the beach while you can, and if you live at the beach, I'm jealous.

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Q: Is it normal to have flat dreadlocks?

Yes it is. This is a typical problem with young dreadlocks. Your dreads are most likely not really tight yet, and certain things you do will flatten them. The most common reasons for flat dreads are sleeping on them, and wearing tight hats. Your flat dreads will grow out of this stage as they become tighter. Keep helping them whenever you can. Use wax to roll them round in your palms, try to avoid flattening them while you sleep, and stay away from tight hats.

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Q: Should I worry about stereotypes?

There are some stereotypes that narrow minded people tend to give dreadheads, but it is not something you should worry about. Dirt ball, hippy, drug addict, loser, and rasta wannabe are just a few. Don't worry about anything anyone has to say. Your dreads are for you and no one else.

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Q: Is it hard to get a job if I have dreadlocks?

I'll be honest, having dreads may make it a little harder to get a job. I like to say, If you try to get a job and they don't hire you because you have dreadlocks, you probably don't want to work there anyway. It may have a lot to do with the type of city or town you live in also. I really haven't run into this problem before but I know it is a problem for many people.

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Q: What is backcombing, and how do I do it?

Backcombing is a popular way of making dreadlocks, quickly. To backcomb your hair into dreads you must first section off your hair into a particular width depending on the size you want your dreadlocks. One by One you hold the ends of the hair sections and comb your hair backwards. Starting 2-3in from the roots you comb the hair to your scalp. You have to use a little force as you get closer to the roots so you get the knots nice and tight. Does that make sense? If you have shorter hair and you want dreads or if you have longer hair and you want dreads quick than go for it. If you already have dreads backcombing is also good for getting blunt ends.

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Q: How many dreadlocks do you have?

This was a question I never thought about, but I guess it is a good one for people who like the size and look of my dreads.. Plus, I also, was a little curious. After counting three times it comes out to 28. I wonder how many Bob had?

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Q: How can I send you a picture of my dreads to put in your gallery?

First of all, you somehow have to get a picture of yourself onto your computer using a digital camera, scanner, or web cam. You then want to come to Sweet Dreads home page and click on the "e-mail me" button. This should open your mail service, where you can white me an e-mail. Somewhere on the e-mail window there should be an "attach" button. When you press it you should be able to navigate through the files on your computer. Find the image of you and your fatty dreads and attach it. Now, hit send and you will be in the SweetDreads gallery in a few days.
If your mail service does not open when you push the "e-mail me" button on my home page, attach files to: sweetdreads@mail.com

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Q: What is "graphing" and how do I do it?

Graphing is simply dividing all the sections of hair where you want dreads before you actually start the dreadlock process. Use the orthodontic rubberbands near the root of every section to hold it together until you start that dread. Graphing is used when you are doing the backcombing method to create your dreadlocks. It is a good way to make sure you end up with the look you want. I personally don't use graphing when I make dreadlocks for friends, because I like the random look better.

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Q: Can I backcomb my all my hair into dreads without help?

Yup to can do it yourself. It will be hard to reach the sections in the back, and your arms will start to hurt from reaching back there. I recommend getting someone to do it for you but don't think it is impossible to do it yourself. If you decide to dread your hair on your own make sure you start in random areas with each one in case you cant get them all done at the same time. This way you wont have one half of your head dreaded and the other half normal. haha that might look funny.

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Q: Do I have to have a flea comb to backcomb or will any brush work?

Flea combs are good to have although I have used regular combs and brushes with the same result. If you have one of those universal black combs with two sizes of teeth, make sure to use the smaller teeth. If you cant find any kind of comb its ok to use a brush as a last resort. Make sure you use a brush that doesn't have the little balls of plastic on the end of each bristle. When you go to backcomb with a brush like this the bristles will get stuck in your dreadlock due to those little balls.

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Q: Is there any way to mess up if I am backcombing?

Backcombed dreads are hard to mess up. The one thing that I found my self doing a lot when I first started making dreads in other peoples hair, was not pushing each backcomb stroke firm against the dreadlock I was working with. Not making each stroke firm results in a thin spot within the dreadlock. Other than that, mistakes help build character in your dreads. Don't worry to much about them. They don't have to be perfect and they never will be anyway.

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Q: Should I start in a specific area of my head when I start backcombing?

You can start backcombing anywhere you want. Don't feel restricted to start in any specific area. I started dreading my friend Iris's hair about three weeks ago. I started by putting one in the back and have done about one every other day in random areas around her head. They are coming along very nicely and we both like the ununiform look of them.

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Q: What is splitting and when do I use it?

Splitting is something I came up with to help get my ends real tight. Just recently I realized it works great the whole way thorough the backcombing method. After you have established some dreading in the roots of a section of hair, you can start splitting. It works like this: Rub your index finger and thumb up and down the hair section to get it messy. 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 directly apart from each other 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 with the comb to help tighten all the knots into the dreadlock.

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Q: How do I get dread wax out of my dreadlocks?

This is an easy one.. Do you remember the Valdez Oil Spill back in 1989? Do you know what they used to clean all the oil off of everything? Dawn Liquid Dish Soap.. Kinda scary huh? I always used Dawn to clan off my hands after I waxed up my dreads.. The other day I didn't feel like having all that sticky wax in my hair and I thought Dawn may do the trick.. It did. You will have to use a good amount, and make sure to rinse very very well. Liquid dish soap is made to cut grease, build to a super lather, and can get deep into your dreadlocks.. Rinse well and squeeze out all the soap. My hair feels fine, and without damage.

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Q: Why is all the hair falling out of my young dreadlocks?

There is no reason to be worried. First of all, I had the same concern when I had young dreadlocks. hahaha.. I thought I was going bald. Just remember everyone loses hair.. I'm sure you know this.. Remember before you locked up, all the hair that collected in the drain of your shower.. The only reason you notice more hair now, is because it's getting stuck in your young dreads. When you pull all your hair back with your hands, you are getting all the hair that normally would have just fallen out, never to be seen again.. does that make sense? As your dreads tighten, all that hair falling out will begin to get stuck in your dreadlocks, and the more you loose, the thicker they grow.. Its a wonderful thing

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Q: How do I get rid of bumps in my dreadlocks?

There are a lot of different reasons for bumps to develop.. Some people have loops and others just have a loose area in the middle of there dreadlocks. I have a few loops and a few areas that just need some tightening. The best way to fight bumps is with a nice tight bead. I like the sleeves(beads made with other very tiny glass beads). I have made a few, and I find they work great to tighten my bumps. Just slide a bead up your dreadlock right over the bump, and leave it on for about a month.. Thats it.

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