Ways & How

How to Grow Dreads with Straight Hair

How to Grow Dreads with Straight Hair

It is traditionally believed that dreadlocks form when one stops combing, brushing, cutting, or generally grooming hair. This approach, called the “neglect,” “patience,” or “organic” method, can indeed lead to your strands getting tangled, twisted, and matted as they grow out, leaving you with locks that are uneven in size or form. However, this goes against the reality that there are many dreadlock care regimens that oblige wearers to actually wash their hair twice a week or so. If you want to know how to grow dreads with straight hair, you may try using the organic method, but you also run the risk of having matted coils of hair that look less flattering. Plus, it may also take more time for your hair to form dreads. As such, check out these tips on turning your straight mane into a head of dreads:

  1. It is important that you start with a healthy head of hair. This is because brittle or fragile strands can easily break off during the twisting process, giving you less than favorable results. As such, prepare for your dreadlocking phase by moisturizing your hair daily with leave-in conditioners and proper hydration (about eight glasses of water a day) weeks before you start.

    hould also eat nutritionally balanced meals so that you nourish your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to grow your mane and keep your tresses healthy and strong. Get enough sleep—at least seven hours nightly—so that you're better able to manage stress and prevent hair loss.

  2. If you have short hair, you'll need to wait a bit before you can have it dreadlocked. Minimum length is at least three inches. It's recommended that you go with the length you're most comfortable with, as long as its not shorter than that. The longer the length, the better it is. However, if your hair is quite delicate and fine, long dreads may not be a sound idea.

  3. Your dreads should not be thinner than half an inch or thicker than one inch. Big dreads are easier and quicker to create, although they're more difficult to detangle, which you may want to do at some point when you're done with your dreadlocked look. The thickness should depend on the type of hair you have, as well as your preferred look.

  4. Begin the process with clean, dry hair. You can shampoo your mane days before the actual dreadlocking, but don't apply conditioner, as this will make it harder to form twists. That's because grease or moisture will make your strands a bit slippery and un-dreadable. Dry, un-oiled, or un-conditioned hair has more grip.

  5. Brush out your hair so it's not tangled. Then, section it with a comb so it's easier for you to work on your locks. For smaller dreads, section your hair into ½ by ½-inch squares. For medium-sized ones, section hair into 1 inch by 1-inch squares. Start from the bottom or underside of your hair and work your way to the top of your head. Secure each section with a rubber band.

  6. Tease or backcomb a section starting from the roots and go all the way to the tips. You can go over it again a second or third time to make it more knotty. Avoid rushing through certain sections so the results won't be uneven.

  7. Once the section is suitably backcombed, twist the lock. You can also twist as you backcomb. After the section has been twisted all the way to the end, secure it with another rubber band. This end-to-end rubber band setup helps prevent your dreads from coming loose over time.

  8. Leave the locks in for about 10 days, although it's recommended that you wash it as needed. Still, don't use conditioner to keep them from unraveling.

  9. Once your locks are suitably matted and secure, remove the rubber bands one at a time. Do the backcombing and twisting once more and secure each dread again with the elastic band.

If you find it difficult to get your hair to form into a dread despite the teasing, consider applying hair gel, instead of wax, when you twist. This product washes off easily. Then, while your dreads are still new, sleep with your hair covered in a satin or silk hair cap to prevent unraveling, which will ruin your efforts. With proper technique and care, you can learn how to grow dreads with straight hair and sport that cool do you’re aiming for.


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