How do I look after my dreadlocks?
A common misconception is that dreadlocks take no work at all to look after. It is essential that you make friends with them, twist them, roll them, play with them, drag your fingers through them, pull them apart if they start to join at the roots and wash them now and again with a residue free shampoo or soap.
Make sure rinse your dreads properly! Just work the shampoo into your scalp then let the water run down the length of your dreads as you rinse them till it runs clear.
Dreadlocks are a low maintenance hair style but that doesn’t mean you can just leave them to their own devices and expect them not to turn into an unruly, smelly mess. It just takes a little tlc and some grooming now and again to dread up the new growth.
Head massage is good, add a little rosemary oil if your suffering from dandruff or itchy scalp.
I recommend at least a couple of crochet style grooming sessions in the first year as the dreadlocks mature, then after that it is really up to the individual, maintaining and grooming as they see fit. Everyone likes their dreadlocks at a different level of neatness/ nattyness but there is really no excuse for dirty, overly matted dreads. Care for your dreadlocks, get to know them and keep them happy and healthy.
Do I have to cut my dreadlocks off if I don’t want them anymore?
It is possible to brush out dreadlocks but it is not an easy job. It is extremely time consuming and not particularly kind to your hair. The longer dreadlocks have had to mature, the harder they are to get out.
Saying goodbye to your dreadlocks is not to be taken lightly. Dreadlocks develop over time and get better with age. You will definitely become more and more attached to them as they begin to grow, mature and become a part of who you are. I am not a big supporter of brushing out dreadlocks but you don’t have to shave your head to get rid of them either. For some people shaving their head can be a bigger deal than getting dreadlocks in the first place!
Cutting your dreadlocks off can be a liberating decision and I think it can be a meaningful part of the whole dreadlock experience. For those that don’t want to go as far as to shave their head I would say that a good method is to do it in stages, growing sections out a bit before cutting them out and doing a little bit of brushing here and there. Plus its really fun to experiment with undercuts, fringes and mullets as you go!
How long does it take you to put dreadlocks in?
This really depends on your hair type, how long and thick it is, whether it has a curl or is poker strait. Obviously longer hair takes longer time but the thickness and straightness of hair probably factors more into how time consuming putting in dreadlocks can be. I find it best not to ‘guestimate’ until I get stuck in but as a rough guide, shoulder length hair can take between five and six hours, longer hair six to eight.