1: For teenagers, especially, who are researching starting methods, (a lot of dread questions come from those who are hoping to hide them from their parents or school) the natural way has the least drastic changes right away. Most kids want instant results- want to see dreads right away, but also want to get away with having them. With the natural process, no one will notice you have dreads until they are actually dreads. It will just appear as if you have some frizzy hair that looks absolutely normal in a ponytail. You think because those times you broke or lost your brush and it tangled really bad that your hair will dread up so fast you won't be able to control it and it will look awful but once you wash with the right stuff, and brush your hair for the last time it is so different because you are waiting for EVERY knot- you are so amped up because you wanted dreads so long and you are finally going for it and it is MUCH slower that way. Some people hate the idea of waiting and the slowness, but it gives you plenty of time to catch "congoing" and conjoining of sections when you are so patiently waiting, and thus, end up with more evenly sized dreadies. 2. A lot of people worry wayyyy too much about the sectioning - what patterns - brick/fan and whatnot. I did a lot of research myself when I didn't even consider going Neglect. I had no idea hair naturally sections so perfectly all by itself! Once you realize it yourself, you will see it happening in everyone's hair around you, going "You'd have good dreads, you would and you would." My natural sectioning was so much more beautiful and evenly shaped and sized than my own rushed, rubberbanded twist and rip nightmare lol. You can look at the beginning of my timeline to see how big and irregular they were. I had no one to help me and I couldn't see what I was doing. I honestly couldn't afford to go to a salon, and opted to do it myself. If I had known how much easier it would have been just to start washing with cleaner, more natural stuff and stop brushing my hair, I could have avoided two weeks of wearing a silly knit cap over my gaps and trying to talk myself into keeping them. Luckily, I found this site and started over at two weeks instead of two years! I could not imagine having different dreads than the beautiful budding ones that I have now, at almost 4 months! The hair sections at the root - you will notice if you pinch about two or three inches at a lock of hair near the root and push to one side or the other- you should see a place where the lock seems to split perfectly (more obvious in oilier hair types). That is where you would naturally continue to separate the hair -from the root down , most usually until the sections become more defined and then it would become easier to separate from the tip up, as well. The sectioning will become obvious anywhere from immediately after your first wash with the right stuff, up to a few weeks in most hair types. Check my timeline for the one week and two week photos. Once the hair is fully sectioned (way before any knots) you will notice they stay together fairly well when freeformed, because that is the how the hair naturally always wanted to be. As long as you don't run your fingers through or blast it with high pressure water on a daily basis, they will stay together even without knots and you can start to see what your dreads will look like. Unlike most other methods that have to fall apart in order to come back together which is scary to new dreadheads. Once you start getting knots, you will be so ready for them, you won't let it get too crazy if you keep separating (while wet for better results) and stay calm when they finally do. Always come here for advice before doing something drastic like cutting or splitting when you get scared. Long story short, natural is the simplest and cheapest way to start. I'm always open to questions or advice about the methods I tried so don't be afraid to ask any step of the way. 3.The least damaging of all methods as it allows the hair to knot at its own pace -which all hair will do given enough time (some take weeks, some years) rather than having them "forced in" by comb or hook. 4. It would most likely be the easiest to brush out, for a job, or a disapproving parent, or if you missed regular hair. Since the hair is not forced in at odd straight angles the hair would naturally never tangle in, it would be a great deal less time consuming and damaging to brush them out, if necessary. And if you didn't know that dreads could be brushed out, you will learn a lot on this site. With some spare hours, a bottle of conditioner or coconut oil and a fork, even ten year old dreads can be undone with minimal damage if done patiently and carefully. & 5. The best of all! If you do let your hair section naturally, and still want to use a starting method to achieve a certain aesthetic look (for example, the more braided, uniform look) you already have the perfect sections made for you and you won't have dreads splitting at the root because you went with the way your hair naturally lays ! If your hair is naturally sectioned, all you have to do is twist and rip or backcomb those sections lightly to accelerate their knotting process. Although it is more damaging than freeform,we believe those are the least damaging starting methods to use otherwise. With natural sectioning used, you don't have to worry as much about your dreads sticking up all crazy - a drastic change to your appearance that you have to prepared for negative remarks about. People aren't gonna give you guff for "frizzy hair" but they will for instadreads. Same people will be complimenting them years later when there isn't all that much difference in how you started them. So why not embrace the awkward teenager phase that most people miss out on half of when they rush hair dreads? Every puff of frizz and loop and loose hair is your future knots! Love them and be patient for them and enjoy them because one day you might have fully locked, mature dreads and you will wish you hasn't rushed it so much. Some people don't go in it for the journey, just the hairstyle, but end up realizing it was the beginning of a journey all along. Dreading is a lifestyle change, and it has a lot more to it than a look. It teaches you things about yourself and how much you value yourself based on others opinions of what you should do with your appearance. If you are reading this, and even if I haven't convinced you to give a little more consideration to the slowest, most unpredictable but easiest and most rewarding method out there, I hope it gave you some food for thought in your research ! At the very least I like to present myself to those thinking about getting dreads so that they know NEGLECT/NATURAL/FREEFORM dreads can be beautiful, too!! I have heard many people make exceptions for my hair, saying they usually don't like neglect but love mine. I had no idea my hair could do this - I thought Neglect was scary! At least try it, and see what could happen before spending money and hours doing something everyone could have for free.Don't knock neglect if you haven't actually tried it! That time your hair knotted up doesn't count - when you decide to let it happen it is so much different!
updated by @aetherfaither: 09/29/16 04:05:55PM