So you’re thinking about joining the dread family, or maybe you’re already a part of us and have some questions about your dreads? I get asked so many question about dreads, even when I’m just walking down the street. So, below I’ve added some FAQ’s that might be of interest to you.
CAN I TAKE DREADS OUT ONCE I GET THEM DONE?
This depends on what method was used to get your dreads done and how long been in for. Good old backcombing allows for dreads to be taken out (combed out with lots of effort!!!) and without losing too much hair. Once dreads have been in for a while though and they have tightened up, they will be much harder to get out.
Dreads done with a crochet hook are hard to get out as the hook dreads so well and thoroughly. Dreads done this way would be hard to remove without losing a fair bit of hair. They’re designed to be permanent when done with the hook which is why its such a great technique.
All this being said, i once had some dreads in for a few years that I painstakingly combed out. I lost heaps of hair, but still managed to keep a lot of it too. The dreads i have now are quite matured and would be difficult to comb out. I dont think Id be left with much hair….
CAN YOU WASH DREADS? DON'T THEY HAVE TO BE DIRTY?
Yes – wash them! And no – dirty is not good!
Ok lets face it, having dreads is often like wearing a woolen hat and we sweat perhaps more than we would without them. Sweat = smelly heads. Washing dreads is essential not only to cleanse ourselves of sweat, but also to nourish our scalps and promote healthy hair growth.
Oily hair will not dread well. Dry hair does dread better, which is why swimming in the ocean is always great for dreads (as the salt dries the hair out). However don’t forget that there are lots of bacteria in the sea water, so try mixing up some sea salt in water and spraying it onto your dreads instead, or after washing.
I alternate between natural dread specific shampoo, and organic, natural (residue-free) shampoo – because I create only natural dreads I don't want mucky build-up in them. Most supermarket shampoo has heaps of nasty chemicals in it so I wouldn’t recommend using it – with or without dreads. Use a natural shampoo made from all natural products and oils. Conditioner has a lubricant in it with is not good for locking up dreads.
Another thing…. Dreads take AGES to dry. Wash them in the morning on a sunny day if you can so they dry out. Dreads can trap water and get a musty smell when not properly dried out. Very unpleasant indeed! If your dreads are still damp before bed time, give them a gentle blow with the hair dryer.
WHY IS GETTING DREADS AND BRAIDS EXPENSIVE AND WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG?
Those of us who create dreads usually have years of experience behind us, lots of learning and practice. Lets say you visit the hairdresser once every 6-8 weeks to get your hair done – how much do you spend? Maybe $150 each time? And you’re there for maybe and hour or two? Compare this to getting dreads. A head of dreads might cost you $400+ and you’ll be with me for about 5-6 hours. That’s equivalent to maybe 2 trips to the hairdressers – and the fact is you will not have to go to another hairdresser again once you come to me. Dreads take a long time to create because its essential to section the hair properly so it doesn’t all start growing into random clumps. And it’s also important that the initial dreads are put in quite tightly so they hang in there and have enough time to start to mature and grow on their own.
It’s not all terrible, hanging out with me for a few hours. Bring your own music, bring some movies, play on the iPad. It can be a fun and relaxing day really!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET HEAD LICE – WILL I HAVE TO CUT MY DREADS OUT?
There is heaps of head lice solutions for dreads online. I personally have never had lice (touch wood), but Ive known fellow dread-heads who have and I’ve heard of all kinds of solutions (some I can’t mention here due to potential danger factor!!!) Some remedies I’ve heard of are coating your head in Vaseline as the lice cannot breathe when that is on. I’ve always wondered how you would then get the Vas out though….. Another person told me she blasted her head with the hairdryer on high heat for ages and burnt the little buggers to death. There are natural remedies that you will find online. I have not tried them so I cannot say whether they work or not.
Lice don’t like clean hair – so yet another reason to keep them clean!
WILL MY HAIR JUST DREAD BY ITSELF AT THE ROOTS AS ITS GROWING OUT?
This is completely dependent on your hair type. I have naturally very afro curly hair so it dreads on its own without much assistance, plus I bleach it and this makes for dry and stiff hair which also dreads easily. I am a bit of a maintenance freak though and love my dreads really neat, so i tend to do my maintenance every month or two.
Getting the base (top of your dread near your scalp) and turning it round and round in a clockwise motion against your scalp then palm rolling is a good way to keep them knotting up if you can't get to a loctician. Having regular maintenance is also a great option as this makes the dreads nice at the roots and tidies up and strays. Dreads can naturally have a space of around an inch from the scalp and that’s ok. Anything beyond that you might want to start making maintenance appt’s. Some people like to have maintenance quite regularly – once a month, and other people once every 3, 6 or 12 months. By 6 or more months you would be quite due for some dread TLC.
CAN I DYE MY HAIR WHEN I HAVE DREADS?
The best thing to do is colour your hair prior to getting dreads and then do the roots as required. I definitely would NOT bleach my hair if I had dreads as they would probably snap off if done incorrectly or many times over, but if your hair is already bleached you can carefully get the roots done, as I do.
If you have dreads and want to colour the whole thing I would recommend going darker only.
I know there are stacks of dread questions out there but I hope this answers some of the basics.
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