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Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
03/07/14 02:48:48PM
44 posts

Dr Bronner's?


Dread Maintenance

I used to use Dr. Bronner's, I've since switched to the Dreadlocksshampoo.com products. For Dr. Bronner's a 1:12 ratio is a good place to start, the only problem is I find it takes a lot of water to wash out. My own recipe for an 8 oz (237 ml) "spray bottle" was 1 Tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint & 1 Tablespoon of Dr. Bronner's Eucalyptus with 2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt. Two Tablespoons (29ml) total of soap to 8 oz (237ml) of water is very close to 12%, again a good place to start, but some find this ratio leaves their hair feeling too heavy so you might have to play with the formula and dilute it further like Soaring Eagle suggested.

Since your dreads are just starting out I would also add Sea Salt to the mix as I used to, use only a 3-4% salinity just like the Ocean. For an 8 oz bottle that is only 2 teaspoons of Sea Salt.

The Baking Soda & Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is good to do once a month to really deep clean the scalp & dreads and get rid of any deep lingering funk before it becomes a problem. Remember to boil the water first, it helps. Leave the ACV in a good long time so that it really soaks to the center of the dread, this helps bring the hair's pH back to normal and strengthens the hair. Here's a link to a really good discussion on proper ratios:

http://www.dreadlockssite.com/forum/topics/ratios-baking-soda-wash-...

The best advice I can give you though is keep the Dr. Bronner's and use it as a body soap and use the Liquid Locking Up Shampoo from the Dreadlocksshapoo.com site. I've tried them ALL, from Jamaican Mango & Lime, Knotty Boys, DreadheadHQ, Dr. Bronner's, and smaller local vendors. I can say from experience that the best hands down are the small batch Artisan made products made by Vicki, no other products even come close. She really cares about giving us the best made products with the best ingredients like using Himalayan Sea Salt in her formulas. They rinse out really well and boy do they smell great. Honestly I wish I had started using her products sooner. Here's a link:

http://shop.dreadlockshampoo.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2

I like to use the Locking Up Sea Salt Accelerator spray as well in-between wash days, Vicki adds Icelandic Kelp and other plant based proteins to help strengthen the hair.

http://shop.dreadlockshampoo.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&a...

Lastly head out the beach. Swim, surf, free dive, anything as long as your in the water. Ocean water is the best for frizzing up & locking up hair. It'll be all poofy once it dries before they start to mature so take a bandana if you don't like to rock the beach head look.

Good luck and blessings on your Journey brother & keep us posted.

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/25/14 06:08:51PM
44 posts

dread gel


Dread Products

I use it every other wash (once a week) right after I get out of the shower. I'll towel dry each dread individually wringing them gently from base to tip. I find this works better then just mashing it all up in the towel and squeezing as this leads to a lot of dreads combining that will need separating later on. I then add the a small amount of gel to the undreaded base and gently move it up the hair shafts toward the tips via gentle palm rolling. My dreads are maturing now so I only use it sparingly at the base. It is REALLY light, much lighter then all the other gels out there. I've tried the Jamaican Mango & Lime (way too greasy) as well as Knotty Boys (way too heavy and hard to wash out). Vicki's from the Dreadlockshampoo.com site is truly the best. It is very light and it helps but it also washes out very easily. Actually you'll hardly even notice it's there once it dries in a couple of a hours after your shower apart from the great smell. I love the Karma scent. I've never tried it on dry hair though. I think you would need to use more on dry hair as it wouldn't move along so freely up a dry knotty hair shaft.

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/20/14 02:09:55AM
44 posts

residue free


Dread Maintenance

What are you starting with? What are your ingredients? Are you trying to make a castile type soap fromsaponifying oil or fat with an alkali? For that I would do a lot of research and maybe study under an artisan soap maker. The best I have ever come across are Vicki's products from the Dreadlockshampoo.com site. For far simpler methods take a look at the Dread Maintenance section under the Dreaducation Tab at the top left of the page next to the Home Tab. They have a page on dread washing in there. Here's a quick link.

http://www.dreadlockssite.com/page/washing-dreadlocks-guide

As far as home shampoos the easiest to make is the Banking Soda wash, be sure to follow it up with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse to bring the pH of your hair and scalp back to normal so the alkaline baking soda doesn't fry your hair and scalp, Here's a link to the ratio's from a discussion post:

http://www.dreadlockssite.com/forum/topics/ratios-baking-soda-wash-...

I used to use this method when I started out, it works great but does leave you smelling like Apple Cider Vinegar. There is also Dr. Bronner's, these work as well and up until recently these were my favorite wash. I would use a 8-10% ratio of Dr. Bonners to boiled and filtered spring water. I used a mixture of equal parts Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Peppermint liquid soaps. For a half liter (500ml) sports squirt bottle like I used it translated to simply one table spoon of each of the three soaps for three tablespoons (44ml) total of soap to 500ml of total volume (456 ml of water). In addition since my locks are still maturing I would also dissolve one tablespoon and half of sea salt into the mixture to help with drying out and frizzing up my locks. You have to rise well with Dr. Bronner's soaps or they will leave your hair clean but feeling "heavy". The best are the artisan made shampoos and soap bars from Vicki and the dreadlockshampoo.com site, she really understands what dreads need to be healthy and clean plus they smell great! Even three days afterward when I'm getting ready to wash again my dreads still smell good.

Good luck with your dreads let us know how your soaps turn out.

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
03/12/14 03:38:04PM
44 posts

ends of dreads..


Dread Maintenance

I hear you Sunflower, tips do seem to take the longest. I also understand & applaud Eric's position. From my own personal experience I can confidently say that the soap used really does make a difference. If you use a conditioning shampoo it will hamper your progress and a friend of mine & his wife undid their very mature (years) dreads by using a conditioning shampoo & conditioner to unravel the the knots and combing them out.

Locking Up Liquid Shampoo sold by Vicky really helps I've tried them all and can definitely tell a difference. It is also without question that Salt Water works as well. Just look at my picture Bouldering in Dreads from my Maui Surf Trip that was at about nine months. The difference from eight months was dramatic they really tighten up & I lost a lot of length but they finally started to appear cylindrical. The reason? For two weeks I was surfing every morning at dawn patrol spending at least two hours in the ocean. As you can see in my 10 month photo they look much more cylindrical now, though only a few of the tips are now just starting to dread & "blunt".

Sunflower you live far from the coast I imagine so I would say use the Liquid Locking Up Shampoo, make sure you work it all the way to the roots and let it soak in don't rush to rinse it out. I love the smell so much I'll just relax, soaking in the great aroma. The Nag Champa scent reminds me of the temples I visited when I was in India, it just helps me recenter & release all the tension that inevitably builds up my body from my high pressure job at the hospital. The gel does help, but only a little bit. I would use Vicki's Salt spray (she uses kelp & plant based proteins in addition to sea salt) on your tips in between wash days. You can also make some of your own. Remember to just keep it the same salinity as the ocean 3-4% for typical 8 oz (237 ml) spritzer bottle that translates to no more then two level teaspoons of sea salt.

Hope this helps & keep us posted on your progress, by the way how is your little pet rat?

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/19/14 04:16:54PM
44 posts

Having second thoughts


General Talk

Mold and the accompaying funky smell is a fungal infection from mold and mildew trapped inside the dreads on the hair strands of well meaning deadheads who wash their dreads far too often and never let them dry completely to the center of the dreads. It is spread by fungal spores not powders. If you are truly worried about mold from living in the damp humid UK, Vicki from the dreadlocks shampoo site makes a product that uses natural plant based fungicides that actually kill the spores (the hardest part to get rid off in a mold and mildew infection). Its called Rot Knot Mold Eliminator and you use it sparingly, once a month for preventive maintenance. With the exchange rate of pounds to dollars it should be very inexpensive for you. Here's the link:

http://shop.dreadlockshampoo.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=24

The best way to prevent mold & mildew is to make sure you wash less frequently then you used to. This is more important the more your dreads mature and go from loose hairs to knotted ropes of hair. The thicker and fatter the dreads, the more time they will need to dry. The general rule of thumb is three days. The outside hairs will feel dry to the touch within a day but it is the deeper hairs within the center of the dreads that will be the most prone to mold and mildew as they retain moisture and are never exposed to sunlight.

As for workplace cleanliness I hear you loud and clear. I work in healthcare, understandably one of the worksites most prone to infections. We worry about fungal, viral and bacterial contaminates getting onto our skin, hair and as well as into our respiratory systems. For protection we wear protective clothing and equipment as I am sure you do as well. For longer hair specifically use a Scrub Bouffant that will cover your head completely from your forehead to the bottom of the nape of your neck. Make sure it is long enough to fit your dreads into. Try healthcare scrub sites, you'll find a lot of different patterns and colors that will look professional yet fun as well if that's your style. They should be of a nonporous non-woven material like polyester as they will offer better protection then cotton ones.

As for cutting dreads, this is the most drastic and final step. If you were following the nazarite vow this is the final part of the vow. Once the allotted dedicated time had passed they would finally cut their hair and offer it as a burnt offering at the temple. This is the thing with dreads most who do not have dreads do not understand, even when you begin your journey it is not completely clear. Dreadlocks are very spiritual, it doesn't matter what your religion is. The longer you walk on this path the clearer it becomes. The letting go of appearance and vanity, this is the one of hardest steps in the dreadlocks process. Be patient and learn those lessons that the journey will teach you.

You are coming upon the hardest part of the journey. Once the newness and excitement has left, you are faced with the daunting realization that it will be close to a year before they start to resemble proper dreads. Do not lose hope, we have all had those same doubts. Be patient and strong, have faith that eventually the process will begin to unfold and your dreads will mature. I find that posting pictures here has helped a lot. I don't see the progress day to day until I post a pic and the progress becomes very apparent.

As for shrinkage, this is a very good sign. It means your individual hairs strands are maturing by tangling, knotting and weaving themselves into the properly strong rope like structure of dreadlocks. Your hair is growing all the time, so don't worry about the length never coming back. With dreads they are more like branches on a tree, they will grow and develop slowly but surely. Also you won't loose as much hair because the majority of them will be woven into the dreadlock. On average most people loose 127 hairs PER DAY. So don't fret over shrinkage, if anything it should be encouraged. Look at the locking up shampoos from Vicki on the dreadlockshampoo site. I've used all the different ones, Jamaican Mango & Lime, Knotty Boy, Dr. Bronner's. Nothing works better for maturing dreads then the artesian made locking up liquid shampoo from Vicki.

Finally if you still want to do away with them you do not need to cut them. I have friend who him and his wife had very mature and long dreads who decided to remove them before the birth of their daughter. It took a whole day and many washings with a conditioning shampoo and conditioner followed by extensive combing. The ended up using an entire bottle of conditioner each, but in the end all the tangles and knots were all combed out. Have friend or family member help out, and be prepare to see a lot of loose hair on the floor and bath tub. It will seem like your loosing more hair then you are saving, these are hairs that you would have lost anyways over time if they had not woven themselves into the dreads so don't worry.

In the end it is your choice, I hope that you keep them and keep us posted.

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/25/14 05:32:49PM
44 posts

Washing with liquid shampoo


Dread Maintenance

Glad to hear you like them, I actually look forward to wash day as a treat now rather then a chore. Vicki does no advertising other then a simple link from this website, yet her products are truly the safest and highest quality, I know I've tried them all. I can tell she really cares about healthy dreads as you can tell she uses only the highest quality ingreadiants like Himalayan Sea Salt.

As for essential oils, no you do not need to rinse them off at least I don't. If you put them on your hair directly with your finger tips as an oil do so very carefully. I learned the hard way that the oil will condition your hair and start to unravel your hard won dready knots and tangles. A better solution is to use a small spray bottle and just spritz it very lightly onto the hair. You don't need much, just a couple of spritz is fine. For new dreads I find that the best solution is simply mixing up a Sea Salt Spray (remember 3-4% salinity just like the ocean) and add the essential oil to the solution. That way you get the benefits of both with a single spray.

Experiment with diffrent strengths and scents to come up with your own special scent that reflects you completely. My personal favorite is a Nag Champa based with Patchouli added as a secondary scent with a special hardly known essential oil from the Australian/New Zealand shrub Kunzea Ambigua with a touch of Citrus as an end note to finish it off. I love this scent but the Kunzea Ambigua adds a very masculine scent to it, more Australian Outback then "woodsy". For a woman I would simply exchange the Kunzea Ambigua with Lavender all else can remain the same. The citrus gives it an "active" note.

Keep us posted and let us know how your dread journey progresses.

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/20/14 12:54:12AM
44 posts

Washing with liquid shampoo


Dread Maintenance

I've tried all the different shampoos from Jamaican Mango & Lime, Knotty Boys, Dr. Bronner's, Apple Cider Vinegar to local vendors. The best hands down is Vicki's from the dreadlockshampoo.com site. If that's what your using this go around you should be good to go as she uses sea salt in her liquid formulas. The thing about liquid shampoos for dreads is they do not lather up like shampoo bars or even regular shampoos because most do not and should not contain any lathering agents and chemicals that will accumulate and build up in your dreads. I like the bars as well as you can really scrub the scalp but as my dreads are not fully mature it's best to keep using the Locking Up Liquid shampoo with sea salt.

As for methods I have found that with liquid shampoo it's best if you "prime" your hair and scalp. Really soak the the hair with water, get it as wet as possible, I then work a very small dollop the size of a dime onto my finger tips or palms and scrub my scalp. You won't see much lather but thats okay this is only the priming part, rinse it all off. Now repeat but this time with a larger quarter size dollop, really work it into the scalp and scrub it! As my dreads have matured it gets harder and harder to get at the scalp with my finger tips. I have recently resorted to using my palms and pressing them gently but firmly into the scalp and rubbing it in a slow deliberate circular fashion until the hairs get soft enough that I can get my finger tips to the scalp itself. I then take the excess suds and work them though each individual dread working from the base to the tips. I'll wring them and pall roll them gently working the shampoo deep into the each dread until they are all sudsy. I will let it soak in for a few minutes (about five minutes) soaking in the clean smell and just relaxing my body and mind into the aroma of Nag Champa, Patchouli or any of the other scents I use. I then rinse them all off by staring at the scalp and then wringing the dreads gently from the base to the tips.

Does this take time? Yes, but we should only wash our hair twice a week or every third day so it's not like it's an everyday ritual. Also the scents from Vicki's DreadlocksShampoo smell sooo good that it is a very relaxing ritual that removes a lot of the tension that inevitably builds up in my body from my high pressure job at the hospital so if takes a little longer so be it. These are my dreads why not pamper them. They have become more then extension of my body, they are more like an extension of my inner self, my very spirit and soul.

As far as essential oils, I used to use them as an additive to my homemade sea salt water spray in between washings (use a 3-4% salinity like the ocean, NO MOREfor the typical 8oz / 237ml spritzer bottle this is only two teaspoons of sea salt). I have since starting using Vicki's sea salt spray and honestly the scent from the shampoos will last the three days until the next washing that I no longer see a need to add essential oils to the spray. Experiment with different strengths until you find your ideal. Start light with just a few drops and add from there. Keep track of how many drops of essential oil you added right on the bottle with a Sharpie permanent marker so you can easily remake it or adjust to it.

Lastly I am a big believer in using mother nature's own ocean to help mature dreads. It helps to really frizz up the hair into a bushy knotty mess that dreads up so nicely. I'll spend hours catching waves early in the morning for dawn patrol. The whole day dreads will be poofed out and knotty. I loose a lot of length once they dry out but they look so much more mature and cylindrical.

Hope this helps and keep us posted on your progress this go around,

Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
01/26/14 07:30:16PM
44 posts

Oh No!! A Set-Back!!


General Questions

That's actually a fantastic idea, I have a couple of homemade ones myself as well that I use for doing chores around the house. I find that the older and more washed the T-shirt is the less lint it'll leave in your dreads. Use a tape measurer a few times to find the true circumference of your intended placement, it might be bigger then you think. For me it's from the beginning of my hair line on top of my forehead to the bottom of my nape. Make it just a bit smaller then your measurement as I found out with my first one that they will stretch. For me the sleeves are simply much to small and I had to use the body of the shirt to make them. Try hitting up the thrift stores for some light thin wool sweaters. Wool's texture really is the best for dreads, you'll notice them locking up tighter over time. I like the unfinished look on the back & only had one side hemmed & stitched up. Here's pic of one of mine.
Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
01/26/14 03:05:06PM
44 posts

Oh No!! A Set-Back!!


General Questions

I think for the most part many of us have difficulty with the back section. I have a few flatten dreads back there that are recovering slowly. It is most certainly due to sleeping on the back of our heads. Try using a wool head wrap to pull the hair up & out of the way in conjunction with a round head pillow that only supports the base of your skull so the dreads don't get matted up together. Through my own experience I have found that the best head wraps overall are made by Buff Sports. They are of excellent quality, long, great fitting & super comfy. Better yet they also happen to make a 100% Merino Wool headwrap that's ideal for us dreadheads and does not leave any lint. It's winter right now so a lot of cool unique designs are depleted but the basic colors are still in stock. They do cost a bit more, but I've tried many different kinds from local knitters to national brands these are hands down the best in my opinion. Hope this helps & keep us posted.http://www.buffusa.com/sports/collections/wool-buff-reg/styles/filter/original
Sting.Rey
@Sting.Rey
02/08/14 01:39:53PM
44 posts

who wants in on the debate


General Talk

Agree, let's put out the positive vibes & good karma, let's not match negativity with more negativity. We have to understand that this is their livelihood and income as loctiticans and wax peddlers that is at stake here. Is it any surprise that they would vehemently defend it no matter the consequences to people's scalps. Instead let's focus on educating our brethren about the dangers of traction apolacia and show them there is a safer more natural way along with safer more natural products like those from Vicki and www.dreadlockshampoo.com

Peace, Love & Education
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