I get a lot of enquiries about what to know about starting dreads and it is sometimes challenging to remember all the points when asked on the spot. I do answer according to the individual situation but being human, I might think of some other information I could have said later. Because of this, I am hereby compiling a complete list of things about what to know about starting dreads:
- Super curly or frizzy hair length has to be at least 3 inches to make twists if you are starting them with short hair.
- Hair length has to be 6 inches or chin length for curly wavy hair.
- Straight hair has to be 6 inches or chin length
- Most mixed or biracial hair will need 6 inches as it looks more like “shirley temple” curls than twists if you wish to start dreads that way.
- Hair can be washed and dried the day before so you start with clean hair. It is more difficult to backcomb the dreads if you wash them that same day.
- For super curly/frizzy hair it holds twists better and if your hair hair is longer then backcombs better too.
- Avoid putting too much oils or creams on the hair as it makes it difficult to hold.
- The length of time to make the dreads varies. For super curly/frizzy hair, it could take me from an hour up to 4 hours, depending on how much hair the person has. This is for starting dreads by comb twists or backcombing.
- Straight, wavy or mixed hair can take 3 hours and more. I have done dreads that took 8 hours and it is murder for both client and me. Well, mostly the client, if they have a sensitive head.
Currently I charge by the hour and not by job because everyone has a different-sized head, different amount of hair and sensitivity. A person with more hair can take more time than a person with a larger head or about the same. Sensitivity can be an issue as we might have to take a break often.
- I recommend not washing the newly made dreads for the first 3 weeks unless you absolutely have to.
- I use a tiny bit of beeswax when I make them and say the client could use a small amount just to maintain the frizzies once a seek until the first 3 weeks are done before washing. They usually do not need it after that.
- Next appointment is scheduled for 3 weeks to do first maintenance unless client is able to do own work on the new dreads.
- I tell them to get a good quality moisturising shampoo and conditioner. As I do not use a lot of product in the hair, my clients do not have a lot of build up so I cannot speak for other locticians.
- I recommend a silk scarf to sleep or bandana to tie hair if clients works in dust or sits anywhere the hair will get messed up.
- Colour is best left until the dreads lock as the wash to get it out will eliminate them.
And now the most asked question: When will they lock?
I do not know but typically between 6 months to a year. If the person has dry hair it can happen in 3 months but this is rare. If the person likes to play with the hair and make styles etc. even longer. Patience, is really a virtue here.
By Paula Barker, Silkielocks.com
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