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Here is a simple step-by-step process of dreading hair, no matter your hair type.
1. Before starting dreads, take note that your hair would shrink up to three times its length during your first years of having dreads, so you might want to have your hair at least three times as long as you prefer it. This may not bother you at all, but it’s good to put it out there.
2. Section your hair according to the size you want your dreadlocks to be, then braid three sections together very tightly. Leave them on for 1-2 weeks.
3. Wash your hair as often as you can, or as often as you usually do, the whole time that it’s in braids. But remember to not put any conditioner to it. Do not moisturize, but do not dry out your hair on purpose either.
4. After two weeks, remove the braids. You hair should already be trained to get used to tight curls.
5. Backcomb each section of hair using a metal comb. This is basically just combing your hair backwards, starting from the tips, towards your scalp. Repeat the process until your hair is all teased up.
6. It’s normal for your scalp to hurt after repeatedly backcombing, so have someone give you a massage on your scalp. You can also just do it yourself.
7. There will still be some loose hair that sticks out and not teased up to dreads, so you can use a crochet hook or a special locking tool to “crochet” the loose hair into the locs you have already made.
9. It should be a mess for a while, but make sure to palm roll each strand with the help of a small amount of dread wax to maintain it and encourage maturity of the knots.
Here are other methods you can do to start dreadlocks.
Unlike backcombing, wool rubbing will not ensure even sections of dreads. You will not be able to control the size of your dreads as this method involves just rubbing your head with a wool sweater or hat--anything you have the is made of wool.
Rub your hair with the wool sweater for 15 minutes or so, rip them apart to small sections, and then rub the wool sweater against your hair again for another 15 minutes.
Some people just could not be bothered. This method is literally just neglecting to care for your hair and wait for it to know together. Obviously, you also won’t get precision and even size of dreads from this method, but if you are lazy, then go for it.
All you have to do is wash your hair as often as you normally do, but never brush it or do anything else to it. After a few years, you will see the dreadlocks starting to form.
This is a process done at the salon. It is similar to have your hair permed except you are aiming for dreads. The thing is, this costs $300 to $400, depending on the stylist and the salon.
Another method done at the salon, except this costs relatively affordable compared with dread perming. This includes taking 1-inch to 2-inch sections of hair and twisting them with a comb, and applying a small amount (.2 grams) of dread wax at every 3-inch portion of the section to hold. The sections will be secured at the ends with elastics for a few weeks.
This is a method similar to backcombing. Section the hair into 1-inch to 2-inch sections, and pull a section apart into two equal parts, creating tension in the roots. Bring them back together, and then twist, then repeat the process of pulling the two sections apart and joining them back together, while making sure that they are not divided the exact same way as the previous one.
This will create the knots. This does well with a small amount (.2 grams) of dread wax at every 3-inch portion of the section.