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before we begin discussing dreadwax lets look at a few definitions first
Dreadlocks, sometimes called simply dreads or locks, are matted ropes of hair which will form by themselves if the hair is allowed to grow naturally without the use of brushes, combs, razors
or scissors for a long period of time. Dreadlocks are a universal phenomenon and through the ages, people of various cultures have worn dreadlocks. It can be said that what are known today as "dreadlocks" are one of the oldest and most universal hairstyles known.
Wax is also the name of several bands, an American, a British, and a Korean one.
Wax has traditionally referred to a substance that is secreted by bees (beeswax) and used by them in constructing their honeycombs.
In modern terms, wax is an imprecisely defined term generally understood to be a substance with properties similar to beeswax, namely
* plastic (malleable) at normal ambient temperatures * a melting point above approximately 45 °C (which differentiates waxes from fats and oils)
* a relatively low viscosity when melted (unlike many plastics)
* insoluble in water
nothing about these two definitions suggests one has anything to do with the other in fact, by definition the wax would be extremely difficult to remove from the matted hair of dreadlocks without increasing the temp above the melting point long enough to luiquify the wax.
ok so, how are they able to sell wax for dreads? simply by telling you lies on top of lies.
lie 1 wax helps dreads to lock up faster
the truth, wax greatly increases the locking time by not allowing the hair to move and knot naturally, it glues the hair together into clumps instead that vaguely resemble locks, but which take far longer to truly dread
lie 2 dread wax is conditioning truth, wax is in no way conditioning, however, they add vitamin e which is conditioning, however, vitamin e would work far better withouit the wax as it could then penetrate the hair and scalp without being blocked by a layer of wax.
lie 3 wax is a great way to tidy up without buildup truth, this ones a multi part truth since they prey on your insecurity, vanity and hyper criticalness of yourself
first off, the loose hairs they try to tame and the frizz is part of every dread on earth, however, you don't see it much in others cause you generally look at them from at least a foot away, your own dreads however you can look at from an inch or two so every tiny hair is more visible and leads to you feeling insecure and like every other dread looks so much better then yours
secondly, wax is buildup, nothing but buildup, and the buildup is unavoidable
as you see above the properties of wax include insoluable in water, and hydrophobic (lacking affinity for water; tending to repel and not absorb water; tending not to dissolve in or mix with or be wetted by water)
so, normal washing does absolutely nothing to remove buildup
thirdly tidying up can be accomplished with pure aloe gel, or even the straight vitamin e , (aloe is recomended) both rinse out easily in plain water
the lie of all lies this is a multi part lie, which makes no sense whatsoever, but the latest dreadheadhq vids deffending dread wax introduced a whole new level of lies. in the vid first they say wax only coats the dread surface and cannot build up in the core since it never penetrates, then he says wax wont trap dirt, (then admits if you put wax on a wall it will trap dirt, but not in the core of the dread) (wait didnt he just say wax never gets into the core?) he goes on then to say wax doesnt feel sticky or leave behind a waxy film on pillows (at the end he introduces yet another product, dreadbutta saying nobody likes waxy feeling dreads, he admits to not liking to touch his own dreads, and claims the butta makes them feel less waxy (maybe slimy instead?)) the truth
wax not only traps dirt, but moisture as well, obviously waxing wet dreads traps water, but, wax trapped in dreads waxed when dry still traps water when wetted., it also traps dirt grime and polution, over time this very often leads to mold. for this reason the average lifespan of waxed dreads is 3-4 years
johny clean (or should we say johny moldy) in the vids is bouncing around very animatedly, while talking, but not 1 of his dreads moved a fraction of an inch. (except the one he jokingly points out was stuck to his face) they were too stiff and sticky to move.
to review why ya dont want it or need it, it does nothing good for dreads that plain old aloe doesnt do much better.
the potential for harm is always there no matter how little was used
and wax is the number one cause of dreads being cut and restarted prematurely
so, what can be done about it?
its not hopeless if your in the 1st weeks of dreading, even up to a month or so its highly recommended you comb em out and dewax then start over fresh.. heartbreaking I know, but the benefits of starting over wax free greatly outweigh the weeks lost in progress (plus you will dread so much faster free of heavy residues)
if you cant easily start over you can at least get alot out with extreme effort you probably wont get all out but if your able to remove 80% your going to be helping yoiur dreads a ton.
with wax removal there's 3 schools of thought none of which are 100% effective
1st, possibly the best method for removing the bulk of the wax, but requires extreme care as it can be dangerous., melt the wax out.. the melting temp of wax is 45 c or 140 f which is hot enough to cause a burn. additionally the wax must be heated above that temp long enough to melt, so most people use near boiling water. dip 1 dread in let it soak a minute or so, then with thick rubber gloves squeeze out the waxy slime from root to tip (if your tips were forced to be rounded instead of left to be whispy, this decreases the effectiveness since whispy tips easily draw liquides out while rounded tips hold liquides in)
do 1 dread at a time then repeat, you will have to reheat the water and change it often
method 2 emulsification in soap..just normal washings isnt enough, you need a ton of soap, along with lots of intence scrubbing, i hear dawn dish soap works best you will want a few bottles. saturate the dreads scrubbing like crazy then rinse with as hot of water as you can stand.. repeat over and over.. a freind whos done many wax cleanups this way says she typicaly keeps on soaking scrubbing and rinsing for 8-10 hours each time it will only remove a small anmount
method 3.. dissolving if your able to find dissolve it http://www.dtep.com/de-solv-it.htm?gclid=CKStisfXj5wCFVRM5QodywE5ZA it might be worth experimenting with. its an all natural citrus based solvent that dissolves tars glues caulks adhesives and more i have never used it on hair (only a homemade weakened version) so by all means test it on a lil hair 1st to make sure your not gonna dissolve a dread too..
theoreticly it should be safe though.
but if ya arent gonna get that you can make yoir own weaker dissolving solution
i have seen the deep cleanse formula used with citrus added and it worked well for some but not all
this is experimental so try varying strengths and ingredients to find what works for you
basic formula 1/3-3/4 cup baking soda in a gallon of water..add to that any of the following orange essential oil lemon oil grapefruite oil..or..you can use the juices, but be sure its only pure juice no sugar added no extra crap, if u can squeeze em yoirself thats best
let soak a good long time (even an hour) then rince very thouroughly
each method will only do so much so should be repeated many times..in fact many times past when you think you got it all
the very nature of dread wax makes it resistent to removal and many times ive seen people claim they got it all only to find wax caked in the center 3 years later when they cut em off
if you used wax i hope you dont feel insulted when people say you made a mistake, its the most common mistake made because those sites insist you need wax to dread. i know on this site right now we have very few who used wax so you feel like a minority, but that will change as the site grows since most who started theyre dreads in the last 10 years had only the lies to be used as guides and on average about 2/3 fall for the wax trap at least the 1st time around
eww... I just wanted to go throw up after seeing the inside of the waxy dread...I'm so glad I never used wax...
However, I almost wish that I had taken the time to back-comb...
look at any backcombed dreads in the 1st few days and tell me they dont look goofy