Dreadlocks, which have their root in African and Caribbean cultures, have been around for centuries and have been worn for religious purposes as well as decorative purposes.
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Dreadlocks are more easily attainable for those who are black because of the coarseness and kinkiness of their hair. On Caucasian hair types, however, a little more work and ingenuity is required to grow dreadlocks.
Since dreadlocks are essentially comprised of hundreds of strands of hair that are knotted together, hair that is smooth and silky in texture will be very hard to dreadlock. Hair that is naturally very straight is also hard to dreadlock. This is why you have never seen an Asian wearing dreads.
How To Create Dreadlocks
The first step is to make sure that the hair is the appropriate length. Hair that is too long will be almost impossible to work with. A good starting point is hair length between 4 and 6 inches. Next, you want to section the hair into several small squares, about one inch long and one inch wide. Use smaller sections for “skinnier” dreadlocks and wider sections for “fatter” dreadlocks.
Once the hair has been sectioned, take the hair from each square and tease or backcomb the hair until it is evenly knotted throughout the entire length. If your hair is naturally silky in texture it may be necessary to spray the hair with hairspray before teasing it or else the backcombing will not stay. Don’t worry about teasing the hair too much or too hard; after all, the whole idea of dreadlocks is to have the hair knotted and matted.
After each section is thoroughly teased, it will be necessary to form the shape of the dreadlock using a styling product. Traditionally, beeswax has been used for centuries, but there are several different types of styling products that will work.
You want a product that is somewhat sticky and tacky, rather than something that is slippery. These types of products are marketed as paste, mud, taffy, waxes, and gums. If the name of the product implies that it is sticky and tacky, then it can probably be used for dreadlocking.
The final step is to let the hair grow so that it locks naturally. Once your starter dreads are formed, as your hair grows it should automatically begin knotting and locking into place.
One common myth is that you do not have to wash dreadlocks. Not only is neglecting to wash the hair unsanitary, but it also makes the hair harder to lock because there will be an accumulation of oil on your scalp. Although shampooing a few times a week is a good idea, there’s really no point in conditioning dreadlocks.
How To Curl Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks are often seen as a great low-maintenance hairstyle to have. However, many have the opinion that you are quite limited when it comes to changing the overall look. But have you ever thought about curling dreadlocks? If so then this is the article for you.
Here we discuss the ways on how to curl dreadlocks so you can create a different look.
Use sponge rollers
Sponge rollers are a great way to curl dreadlocks. The main point to remember is that you need to get sponge rollers that are covered in satin or silk. Exposed sponge rollers could catch on the dreadlocks causing tangled and frizzy locks. Smaller sponge rollers will give a tighter curl so consider this as well when choosing the right ones for you. Before using the rollers dampen your dreadlocks and then put a bit of setting lotion through them. Take a section of your dreadlocks and roll them around the sponge rollers. Let your hair dry in the rollers overnight by adding a silk bonnet to your hair. Once you wake up, if your hair feels dry then take out the rollers. If your dreadlocks are not dry then leave it a while longer before removing the rollers.
What about braiding?
Braiding is one of the easiest ways to curl dreadlocks, simple to do and very effective. You still need to prepare your dreadlocks in the same way you would have if you were using the sponge rollers. The best time to braid your dreadlocks is in the evening as you will want to leave them overnight to dry and set the curls. Divide your dreadlocks into four sections and then braid each section. Cover your braided dreadlocks with a silk bonnet overnight and in the morning check that they are dry before undoing the braids. If they aren’t leave it a while longer before taking out the braids.
Perm rods are another great way to curl dreadlocks. Make sure your dreadlocks have plenty of moisture with water and using a setting lotion. Then wrap the dreadlocks in sections around the perm rods. You will want to leave this overnight so that you give your dreadlocks the opportunity to set into a curl. Or if you are short on time, this method would work well with using a heater to dry the dreadlocks before removing the perm rods.
The pipe cleaner method
Finally, the pipe cleaner method is a little more tricky and intricate and will require a bit of a time commitment. However, when done right, the results are fantastic. First of all, you will need to prepare your pipe cleaners for curling. You need to make sure that you secure the pipe cleaners at the root, otherwise, you will find that they start to unravel. You also need to ensure that you don’t use craft pipe cleaners and instead make sure you buy the pipe cleaners specifically for use on the hair. The flexibility will help you to get the curl you need. Make sure you prep the hair in the exact same way as the other options and for best results leave overnight and protect with a silk bonnet.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you understand how to curl dreadlocks.