After making dreads for the first time,

many clients are excited to go show them off but quite often, you will get that call asking how to fix flat dreads.  They may have only had dreads for 2-3 months so I am always interested to see what they look like. My clients know I will put on my best Oprah to find out what they have been doing to be asking how to fix flat dreads, so early in the locking process.


Dreads do not lock immediately but can take anywhere from 3-6 months up to a year to fully develop.  When they are first made, if they are done properly they walk and talk like real dreads, but they are hollow on the inside.  If you should touch them, the dread will flatten. For a prescribed time determined by your hair type the dreads will remain like this until you feel it become less pliable.  It becomes a firm cylindrical form that is only maintained if you care for it regularly.


Dreads can become flat for any of these reasons:

  • You are not palm rolling regularly: ¬†unless you are doing free-form or neglect dreads, regular palm rolling is necessary to maintain the shape.¬†¬†
  • Sleeping on wet hair: ¬†when you wash the dreads, after palm rolling them you need to dry them thoroughly before sleeping. ¬†As mentioned before, new dreads are hollow so they are prone to becoming flat but older dreads also become flat over time if you sleep on them while wet.
  • Using dreads as a elastic band: ¬†if you continue to use a particular set of dreads to tie up other ones, they will become flat over time.

With regular maintenance and care, your dreads will maintain their shape so stick to a schedule of at least palm rolling them every three weeks and they will look spectacular!


By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design

Buy my e-book:  Dreadlocks: A Hairstylist’s Manifest (


Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area