2 April 2012

Ways to Start Dreadlocks

Before you read any further check out Guide: Start Your Journey.

As far as my research has taken me I have decided on the comb coil method to begin my very own dreadlocks. I chose this method based on the results I have seen on various other people and on my own hair type.

The choice of starter method is predominantly based on how well your hair can hold before the locking process begins and this seems dependent on hair type and length. Thick and tightly curled hair seems most likely to hold the following methods and the thinner and straighter your hair is the fewer options you may have but there IS an option for everyone and many use a combination to achieve the desired results!

If you're planning to start you're own dreadlocks take a look at the common methods used to create them:

back combing
As seen in the picture, back combing is a method where by a fine tooth comb is used to comb sections of hair up toward to root creating tangles that can then be manipulated by either twisting or palm rolling to form a loc. Over time these tangles will matt together and firm knots will form. Rubber bands can be used to keep sections together until the matting process begins as the locs mature. Regular washing will help the process. This method works well on longer hair because more tangles can be formed.

Make sure each section is properly saturated with water and/or a water based dreadlocking product. Manipulating dry hair will cause breakage and hair loss.

twist and rip
Similarly the twist and rip method creates tangles and knots by forcing two or more sections of hair to interlock together. First each section is split in to smaller sub sections and twisted together down from the root a few centimetres at a time. and then the loose hair below the twist is pulled and "ripped" apart in various directs. Each rip begins at different  apoint in the section. Along with back combing this can be a very productive method for those with a looser/straighter hair texture though both methods can prove damaging if not done properly with patience and care.

Be sure to only do this on wet/lubricated hair.

Free-forming and neglect are virtually one and the same. This method requires the least amount of maintenance but the most patience. To begin and maintain this method simply leave clean hair un-manipulated, focusing instead on keeping the hair moisturised and clean. This method requires time to develop and no styling tools such as combs, brushes, clips, bands etc are need if you wish to up hold to the purest sense of free-forming. Hair will eventually mesh and matt together on it's own aided by regular washing. If you wish to control the size of your locs try to separate hair, ONLY WHEN WET, into sections, gently teasing knot and tangles at the root. Note: this method can prove ideal for those with curlier hair textures though anyone who uses this method may not see desired results for several months or even years. It is best to enjoy each stage of this process and not focus on the end result.

two strand twists
Two strand twists can be worn as style that leads to dreadlocks. Simply section hair into the desired widths. Then split each section in half and twist the two parts together from root to tips. Hold with snug (but not tight) rubber bands if needed. Over time these twists will begin to mesh together and many have noted that the two strand twist patterns disappear over time, Once the new growth is sufficient simply take each tst and continue to twist is the same direct.

If you use water and oil before starting each twist they will hold better after they have dried completely.

comb coil/finger coil
In order to start your dreads with coils either grip the section (the hair should be wet) at the root with a fine tooth/barber comb and twist at an angle away front the scalp graduating the comb toward the end or twist the section between your fingers and secure with a band. Make sure all coils go in the same direction.

The current trend is to use oils and/or water based products to lubricate the hair and clip each one in place before drying.

towel rub method
The towel rub method is ideal for those with hair that is less than an inch in length. Starting on clean, damp hair rub a hand towel in firm circular motions all over the head until the hair begins to knot together forming small bumps. Rub regularly to ensure the bumps stay intact and change to any of the other methods mentioned above once the hair gets longer than two inches.

There are also a variety of newer methods such as crocheting and interlocking. Do plenty of research and ask questions to find the method best for you. As a final course of action before you begin, pop into  a reliable loctician* to assess which method will work with your hair type.

*A loctician is a professional hair dresser specifically trained to assess, start, maintain, style, rectify and protect dreadlocks throughout the dreading journey.


**I DONOT posses photography ownership or creator rights. Photography ownership or creator rights are held with the person(s) photographed and photographer**

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