cutelittlecat asked: Hi! I started a few dreads in my hair prior to reading your blog, and I used the twist n rip method. This worked well on my hair last time (I had dreads before, years ago) as I have very curly/wavy, thick and naturally frizzy hair. I'm only gonna do partials this time, until I can dye all my hair back one color and do my whole head. One question though. Is it wrong to want my partials to mature a few months-a year before I add more in? I feel I could manage them better if a do a few at a time.
That isn’t wrong at all!
Many people who choose to start off with partial dreads often end up locking up their whole head eventually, & it isn’t uncommon to do it a little at a time. It may even be an easier transition for some, as it gives you ample time to adjust to viewing yourself with dreads, & also gives you the option of concealing them with loose hair if you choose.
Whether you only do a few & stick to those, or slowly dread your whole head over a few months/years, you want to keep the basic guidelines of partial dreads in mind. Mainly:
— It’s easier to start from your nape/behind your ears & work forwards.
— Allow the dreads to dry out completely, & exclude them from your daily washing if necessary to accomplish that (include them 1x/week-ish).
— Keep conditioners & styling products you may use on your loose hair away from your dreads.
— Periodically (once or twice a week is usually enough) police the line between your dreadlings & the loose hair they will try to consume.
Anonymous asked: do you ever have problems keeping your fringe separated from your locks? I'm considering dreads with bangs. Do your dreads eat the fringe, or do you pull hair out of your dreads when combing your bangs?
The first few months I had to police the line between the two, but as it was a pretty clear part it wasn’t much hassle. Just removing a captured loose strand now & then.
After my dreads matured more, I never really worried about it at all. My dreads more or less leave my bangs alone. The longer fringe around my ears does periodically try to form it’s own little neglect dreads every so often, though ♥
hellsfireflower asked: Hi! I'm going to make a dread soon, and will probably add a few if I feel I can take care of and maintain them. Could you recommend any dreading techniques where I could still comb it out if I decide I don't want to keep 'em, please?:)
Backcombing will be your best bet!
The way the knots form is very natural, & while your dreads will get very tight, you can remove them even years down the line (expect it to take a good deal of patience, a sturdy comb or three, conditioner, & elbow grease!). Neglect dreads are good for this too, but that method is very impractical if you aren’t locking all or most of your head. Other methods form very unnatural, braid-like knots that can be very difficult to remove later, especially because of the amount of hair broken off in the process.
Keeping dreads is actually far easier than maintaining loose hair, once you get out of the habit of thinking you need to “do something” all the time. I hope you find they suit you! You can read up more on partial dreads here.
i-am-not-a-human-beingg asked: yoooooo, i've been trying to dread my hair now for along time, but im trying to do it different and i dont know if what im even trying to do is possible, im trying to dread in pretty THIN dreads just the bottom of my hair, i dont want from my ears up to be dreads, and i dont want my ENTIRE hair to be dreaded either, just like 80% of it. Is that possible, or should I just go all out and do the whole thing?
It is absolutely possible! I actually started my own dread journey only dreading my hair from my ears & back, & even now I keep loose bangs/fringe around my face while the rest of my head is locked up.
You can start & maintain them exactly how you would a full head of dreads. The only difference would be that your loose hair up front may need more frequent washes in the sink (bangs & such touch your forehead/hands all day, & so get greasy when the rest of your head doesn’t even after adjusting your scalp).
If you keep a good deal of loose hair, you may also need to police the part between the loose & the locked- dreads (especially babies) love eating nearby loose hair ;)
eztlicitlalli asked: What if you only have a few a dreads and are planning on keeping it that way? will it negatively affect their growth? also is it true your dreads can just break off if they are too tight? thank you!
Your dreads will form happily whether your whole head is dreaded, or they fly solo. You will need to be mindful when washing them, be sure they dry completely, & remove surrounding loose hairs from them periodically (more on partial dreads).
Dreads that have naturally formed tight knots on their own are safe (assuming there aren’t other factors, such as excessively thin sectioning, dye damage, etc). Starting via neglect (not a realistic option for partial dreads) or backcombing are excellent choices.
Dreads formed or maintained via heavy crochet, felting, T&R, chemical perms/treatments, root-flipping/interlocking, etc, can (& often will) break off later down the line. Anything that damages/breaks your hair will weaken your dread, & that may mean breaking off at the weak point at some time!
dawittlemermaid asked: Your blog is lovely, and an inspiration. I'd like to eventually dread my entire hair but for now I put one lonely dread in last night and I was wondering what precautions I should take when I have to wash my hair?
The three most important things are that you’re sure:
— Your dread(/s) are drying out completely. For many people this means not including it in your regular wash- tie the dread off with a plastic baggie while you shower, or wear a shower cap over your whole head in the shower, & wash all your loose hair in the sink afterwards. About once a week, wash the dread with the rest of your hair.
— No conditioners/etc are touching the dread when you do wash it. Obviously, things of that sort are uber detrimental to forming knots! If you currently use a conditioning shampoo, try switching to a daily clarifyer instead. Also keep in mind that only your scalp needs to be scrubbed- soapy water running through your dread is plenty to clean it. Scrubbing/wringing out the dread can undo all those delicate knots early on!
— You always rinse well! There shouldn’t ever be any soap bubbles left in your hair. If you can’t tell by looking, try giving your dreads a squeeze- you can often hear the sneaky bubbles hiding inside. If so, rinse more.
For more details, check the “partial dreads” tag (which this post will be added to), linked here.
sherlock-baggins-uss-enterprise asked: I have just put 1 dread in (yeah i know, i'm going slowly and testing my hair out), so I wondered can i still wash my hair?
Of course ♥
Do your best to keep your dread away from the rest of your hair while you wash. For example, wrapping it in a plastic baggie while you shower. You can also wear a shower cap during your shower, then wash just your loose hair in the sink afterwards, if that’s easier for you. I’ve done both, & preferred the baggie method.
It isn’t the end of the world if it gets wet, but you want to keep it away from any conditioning products you use, & you want your dread to be drying out thoroughly (which is usually difficult to accomplish if it is getting wet daily). Include your dread in your wash once a week (but still keep conditioning products away from it). Remember, you don’t need to wash the dread itself unless something weird comes in contact with it. Washing your scalp & letting the soapy water run through your hair does the job.
Additionally, if you are considering eventually dreading your whole head, now would be an excellent time to switch to a non-conditioning, minimal-residue shampoo (think daily clarifying!), & also to start adjusting your scalp to less frequent washings.
Contrary to weird modern belief (as of the most recent decades), your hair does not need to be washed daily. It’s actually not even good for it! 1-2 times a week is plenty. The problem is, frequent washing dries out your scalp & makes it produce more oil than necessary. That’s why your hair gets greasy so quickly! If you (slowly) let your scalp re-adjust, you can easily get back to only needing a wash 1-2 times weekly, & not getting greasy in between.
This is uber helpful later on with dreads, because they have lots of time to properly dry out. Clean, dry dreads won’t have wet cores all the time, which promote growth of bacteria, mold, & mildew- gross! It’s also useful when your dreads are babies, because washing in the shower can loosen delicate knots. Besides, your shampoo will last forever- bonus for your wallet!
Re-adjust by gradually increasing the time between washes. If you wash your hair daily now, start doing it every other day for a week. After another week or so, try every two days. So on & so forth. It’s a little rough at first (expect ponytails to be your best friend) but it WILL adjust, & it makes your life so much easier, haha ♥
heroinmethwitch-deactivated2012 asked: i'm getting a couple friends to put like 4-5 dreads in my hair tomorrow and since i'm not doing all of it i was wondering how i should take care of it at first? i got some residue free shampoo and the combs i got are plastic back combing combs.... ): will those work???
Firstly, I would highly recommend partial dreads as an under layer as opposed to scattered all over your head at random. They are much easier to keep separated from your loose hair this way!
As for general care, it’s not a bad idea to keep your dreads tied off or covered (such as with a plastic baggie) while you wash your hair. Include them in your wash once a week. This way, they aren’t hanging around slightly damp all the time (& you won’t grow nasty things inside- like mildew!). Or you could put a shower cap over your entire head while you shower, & then just wash your loose hair in the sink afterwards if it’s easier for you that way. If your dreads get mixed in with your loose hair while you shower though, it isn’t the end of the world. Just make sure they are drying out completely every time, no conditioners are touching them, & you don’t make a regular habit of it! The only other care aspect is that dreads LOVE to eat surrounding hair… expect to have to interfere with their gluttony every few days by separating them from your loose hair.
Plastic combs can work… but they really aren’t the best option. The spacing on the teeth can make it difficult to do a really effective backcombing job, & the teeth often break off from the strain! If you stick with the plastic combs, expect to go through a few of them.
If you can, run out to your nearest pet store before you get started tomorrow. A metal flea comb usually runs between $3-10, & will last you a very, very long time ♥
Relevant tagged posts for more information:
learnchangedo asked: First, thanks for your dread wisdom... I have had 5 dreads in my hair for over a year in random places on my head. So I am very aware of how hungry dreads get. Problem-I love my hair and my dreads but one must go-In your opinion, would a front half of hair and back half of dreads look outrageous? I can not find anyone with hair as an "example" Of what this might look like. I did 'trial' a while ago but it didnt seem to help. I am seeking you and your great knowledge to help me&my dread journey:)
Man, did you ask the right person!!
When I started my dreads, they were done at random because I had only planned on having a few… but as the night went on, we decided to dread the whole back of my head. At the time, I actually chose to keep the front half (from my ears & forward) loose!
I’ve gone digging through the ancient depths of my HD to try & find you some example photos.
This is where it was parted, right at the ear (June 2008):
& this is the front, side, & back as best I could find examples of (September 2008):
I do feel this only really worked while my hair was fairly short. As my hair grew longer I eventually locked up the rest, leaving just the bangs/fringe I have currently.
There is a really nice plus side to the half dread/half loose look though… you can hide your dreads at will! I never want to hide my dreads now, but it was pretty convenient in their early years with the job I had & around a certain (rather judgmental) relative.
Loose hair pulled back over dreads (December 2008):
poetic-lunacy asked: I will be starting a mini dreadventure tonight with a single dread in my hair. I have very thick curly hair and cannot allow myself to go all the way.... Do you have any advice for shampooing/conditioning and brushing around the dread? I normally only use conditioner, but I know the maintenance will need to be different for that section of hair.
The main thing is to make sure if dries after you wash your hair.
If you can easily dry it completely through after each wash, great! If not (especially as it tightens), tie it off in a baggie or the like to keep it dry while you wash the rest of your hair. Only include the dread in the wash around once a week (& then dry it, of course). Regardless of which way you do it, make sure you don’t use conditioner on the dread (obviously, this will cause problems when you’re trying to form knots).
As for brushing, just hold the dread out of the way. Honestly…that’s it!