Dreadlocks FAQ

My dreadlock vidoes on YouTube:
Dreadlocks Update(January 2010)
Dreadlocks 25 Months(January 2011)
Dreadlock Wrap(March 2011)

Different blogposts about dreadlocks:
Making dreadlocks on my babysister(June 2011)
Dreadlocks aged 0-13 months(January 2010)

Frequently Asked Questions+Tips & Tricks
Making Dreadlocks
Q: Does you hair have to be really dirty or tangled before making dreadlocks?
A: No, no, no. You want to wash your hair a couple of days before dreading, so that it is clean, but not just washed. You also want to brush it really thoroughly, so that you can start out with making sections. Dreadlocks aren't dirty at any point in there life - It's hair, and it will keep itself clean(of course unless you put mud in it). They aren't rotten or anything like that. Dreadlocks is a hair style(and to some a life style of course) :)

Q: Are they made with your bare hands, or do you use any tool for it?
A: They are made with bare hands. I know some people are using different devices, that I do not know of, and a lot of people use crotchet needles to maintain them. I never got that to work - they just broke on me ;)

Q: Do you separate the hair into sections before dreading?
A: Yes I do. I find that separating and using rubberbands is a great idea post to dreading, since that will give you a better idea about what you are working with and how thick you want the dreadlocks. I also think it is important to wash your hair in a standard soap(Read below for comments on soap-use) and comb it through, so there is no tangles. That'll give you a better result in my opinion. I used kind of a square/lines pattern for mine. You can do them round. Be sure to decide on whether you want a middleparting or such thing.

Q: Rubberbands?

A: Yes, I use rubberbands both near the scalp where I separate the hair and in the tips, after I finished a dreadlocks. The rubberbands I use is discarded rubber bands for braces. I buy them from this ebay seller and I've only had good experiences. I buy them in the colour Amber in size 3/8",  which I find to be useful for a lot of different sized dreadlocks. When using rubberbands it will not only give you a better take on what you are doing, but it will also help the dreadlocks settle in for the first weeks.. Many people, especially people with soft and shiny hair will find that it is hard to keep the tips together. Using rubberbands can help a lot on that problem. I recommend wearing the rubberbands until they break the first time you wear it, or just until you can't stand them anymore. Leaving them in for 2-4 weeks will do you good.
If you have really thick, curly hair you will find that the dreadlocks will "eat" the rubber bands. Try to get them out before that happens.

Q: I have really thin/light/scandinavian hair. Is it possible for me to make dreadlocks?
A: Of course it is. You just might want to think about, that you won't get as many dreadlocks as if you had really thick hair, and that might cause the scalp to show for a long time. My hair is what we call scandinavian - light, thin and breaky. In the beginning, my dreads looked a little silly, because they were so thin. The thing is: When you have "normal" hair, you lose about 100 hairs a day. When you have dreadlocks you won't lose that hair. That means that they are gradually "eating" themselves fat in hair :D So over time they will get heavier and the scalp might behidden again. I'd say go for it - you can always regret it and take them out, while they are still young.
Maintaining Dreadlocks
Q: Washing dreadlocks, how-to?
A: First of all I don't find that washing dreadlocks is necessary. See comment on washing of dreadlocks below in the section about my dreadlocks. If you want to wash, I have a few recommendations for you. First, use as simple a shampoo as possible. You don't want nothing that makes your hair "soft", "shiny", "light" or something like that. You just want soap that cleans your hair and don't leave any residues. Avoid very oily shampoos, if there is anything in it, you want it saponified.. I also recommend that you use a organic shampoo, not just because it is good for the environment, but also that there is a ton of things that are bad for you, that finds in standard shampoos and not in organic shampoos. I recommend a shampoo by the Danish brand Urtekram. It is called No Perfume Shampoo Organic and doesn't hold anything unecessary at all. I'm not sure where you can buy it if you are international but when searching I found that this website holds it.I also used KnottyBoy's Dreadlock Soap Bar a couple of times, and it is quite ok actually. Really hard using, but you are sure that there isn't anything bad in it! It also smells woooondeeeerfuuuul.. 
You can just wash the scalp. If you wash all of it, be sure to get the soap out real good and dry them real god, so they won't rot or anything. I won't recommend that you wash more than once a week, but you decide :) 

Q: So how do you keep dreadlocks healthy and clean?
A: Well, healthy hair is not dependant on washing. Healthy hair, like healthy skin and a healthy body in general, comes from eating well(Especially that one, I'd say), drinking water, having fun and moving your body. Lots of vegetables, little/no meat, little/no dairyproducts, lots of wholegrain, little refined sugar and such. Eat fully and variated. On the cleanliness, as I've mentioned before, hair cleans itself. Hair was never meant to be washed in soap. We invented soap. Hair only gets greasy because people wash it so much, ruin their  scalps and their natural oil balance. It is not needed at all. If you dip your head in mud, you probably want to use some water to get it out, but else it will take care of itself :)

Q: Can you brush dreadlocks?
A: Generally - no. And why would you? Dreads are tangled, if you brush it, you will remove these tangles and therefore remove the dreadlocks. I actually brushed 10cm/4" of the tip at one point, because I wanted them to be a litttle more lose, but that's a question of style. Brushing them is not part of any care routine :)

Q: How do you get the tips to dread?
A: I find this to be a really hard question, since I never had this problem, due to very worn down tips. Again, my main idea is just to use rubber bands. You can also be sure to mess up the tips by twirling them around in your palm, really fast or just palm-roll them. I just use rubber bands if someone's tips don't want to dread. After a while they'll behave, and you'll see them coming together :)

Q: Does the hair grow out in dreads or as normal hair?
A: That's a hard one - I figure it differs a lot, depending on your type of hair, your dreads and your hair growth rate. My hair comes out as "normal" hair, and the bottom 1 centimeter are therefor almost always just hair - a little tangled. For me, they turn into dreadlocks themselves over time, and I like not having to take care of that all the time. Yes the scalp and the hair becomes really tangled, and it's really messy, but I like it this way. I figure if you have really curly hair, if you have what we associate with typical afro-american hair, the hair will dread almost at the bottom by itself. My friend who had dreads had a normal hair type, and she needed to use a brush to redread the new hair growing out. Her dreadlocks were also nicely seperated, so I think it really depends on how much time you want to spend and what look you are going for :)

Q: Is it possible to remove dreadlocks if you don't want them no more?
A: Well yes. There is always the answer of shaving. Which is not a possibility for many. I've heard of it done, but I've only seen them removed when they were quite young. People claims that it is possible to get yearold dreadlocks out, by using a lot of hairconditioner and a lot of patience. Give it a try. Being scared of having to remove them, shouldn't be a reason for not getting them. Better regret what you have done, that what you didn't do. At least when it comes to a thing as silly as hair ;)

My Dreadlocks
Q: Do you wash your hair?
A: No, I do not. I feel that washing is unnecessary. Hair will naturally clean itself, if you just get it used to it, and using soap is unnecessary chemical waste and waste of money and time, since it takes quite some time to wash dreads.. Sometimes I soak them in water, just because it feels nice.

Q:How did people at school/at home/at your job react to the dreadlocks?
A: I really don't remember, unfortunately. I don't think people have a lot to say, or else they just don't tell me. It was never mentioned at my workplace, apart from questions of interest, and the same goes for school. I guess, that generally people in the larger cities of Denmark are quite open minded, so that's ok. My parents didn't say anything either, except for my mother being really interested. Nothing negative at all. Maybe some people thought that I only did it to please my ex-boyfriend, which was a bit pathetic, but after more than 2 years of locking, I guess I proved them wrong ;)

Q: How many dreadlocks do you have?
A: I have 48 dreadlocks, including one that is singular at the bottom, but splits out to three different dreadlocks later on ;) I started out with 55, but I've let a few of them grow together. Some because I wanted to, some because they insisted on moving together ;)

Q: For how long have you had dreadlocks?
A: Almost three years. Their birthday is on December 4th.. They we're born in 2008. Be sure to celebrate with me ;)

Q: Why don't you use crotchet needles/hooks?
A: Well, I actually never saw it as a possibility until people started writing me about it. I tried it out, but they just broke on me, leaving small parts of hooks inside my dreadlocks, which was very comfortable. It just never worked out, and I never found them to be particularly helpful to me :)

Tips and Tricks
  • Using a bit of a good oil(cold-pressed, organic oil. I use hempoil) in the tips, will make your dreads look healthier. Dont use too much!
  • If they are getting too loose or bumpy you might want to put in some rubberbands. That can help them get back on track. I normally leave them in until they break. If you have really thick, curly hair you will find that the dreadlocks will "eat" the rubber bands. Try to get them out before that happens.

My best tip!: Let them live! Love them! Nurture them, but don't become to motherly. Just let them grow with you. The beautiful thing about dreads is that they are always different, and loving them each day just makes it all better.