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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
soaringeagle said:look at any backcombed dreads in the 1st few days and tell me they dont look goofy
I liked em after I took my first shower,,, lol
Er well SE asked me to post my experience with wax here so here you go, and I'll let you know how the dewaxing goes ha.
I've had my dreads for like three years now, originally backcombed and going on the advice of the guy who dreaded my hair, who'd had his for 6 years and another friend of mine I used wax consistently for at least 6 months and then every so often up until maybe last year when I realised how much damage it was actually doing. The wax in some of my dreads had hardened and become heavy enough to really weaken the roots. I've had to cut some of these heavier ends off and the insides are absolutely disgusting. It's almost rock solid in some places and although its obviously been able to dry properly and not moulded, the wax itself has just collected dirt and grime and just turned almost black and sealed up the centre of my hair.
I wish I hadn't used wax.
Don't use wax is my advice.
I'm gonna try ironing out as much of the wax as I can followed by a few baking soda washes and another iron and see how it stands. I'll probably split and end open again to see how it is and if it's improved enough I think I might try just leavin them to recover in a tam (if I can find a big enough one ha)...if not...I dunno.
I had a bad wax experience to, just kinda stuck with it, and used alot of washing to help get rid of it, after about 3 months of having used the stuff, my dreads don't seem 2 have anything in them, in the future i might cut one of them 2 see if anything is in them, maybe wax or lint or w/e.
my dreads are fine to me right now tho. I still wished I hadn't used it tho,
Iain said:I had a bad wax experience to, just kinda stuck with it, and used alot of washing to help get rid of it, after about 3 months of having used the stuff, my dreads don't seem 2 have anything in them, in the future i might cut one of them 2 see if anything is in them, maybe wax or lint or w/e.
my dreads are fine to me right now tho. I still wished I hadn't used it tho,
Think it's funny I said that then, and noticed it oozing out of my locks months later when I tried stronger cleaning methods. let's see I wrote that Oct 31 of 09 and last time I used it was april of 09,,, jesus
to be honest, I don't know exactly, I have a few that were practically stick stiff, but feel softer after a few months of repeatably using different methods,
I'll keep at it for awhile, I'm contemplating restarting in the future, but just not within a year.
Hey, just so everyone knows, I used the iron method to get the wax outa my dreads. my assistant took about 4 dreads at a time at the same "latitude" on my scalp, stuck em on top two paper towels and under two more, then stuck the iron on top and held it there for... i don't know, about a minute? lots of pressure, plenty heat. the dreads totally flattened out and felt way waxy when before they weren't waxy at all (on the outside). so i palm rolled em while they were still hot and loads of wax came out on my hand while none was on the surface before. so i'm gonna repeat the process a few times in the coming months, because i know i just palm rolled some of that wax right back into the middle. good luck fellow dreadheads who got suckered in by the wax lie...
☮soaringeagleॐ said:just came across this
Dread wax makes for quick dreads and is often encouraged by the companies that make it and discouraged by those experienced with dreadlocks. Essentially, there are two removal methods, either wash it out or melt it out. The process can be long and difficult, especially if there is a lot of wax in the dreads. Here are the recommended steps to remove the wax.
You Will Need:
* Apple cider vinegar
* Hot water
* Bee and Flower Chinese bar soap (available in many Chinatowns or online)
* Good bar soap (if Chinese soap is not available)
* ProSolv cleaner (available at Wal-Mart)
Steps to Remove the Wax:
1. There are several different steps you can take to wash out the wax, and the success will vary greatly depending on what type of wax was used. If beeswax was applied, such as Knotty Boy, it will take much more work to break it down for removal.
2. This process uses several different cleaning products, but always employs the help of hot water to soften the wax and make it easier to remove. Use the hottest water that you can stand without causing harm to yourself.
3. To complete the first approach, fill a sink or bowl with hot water.
4. Add apple cider vinegar to the water. The amount will depend on the amount of wax and the length of the dreadlocks.
5. Place the waxy dreads into the solution and allow it to soak for at least one-half hour.
6. Wash immediately with hot water and a high quality shampoo. It will be necessary to scrub the dreads to get the softened wax removed.
7. If beeswax was used, there is a Chinese bar soap available that can be used to remove it.
8. Again, apply the soap with hot water and scrub well to remove.
9. Repeat until all of the wax (or as much as possible) is removed.
10. A last resort cleaning product is ProSolv. This product will remove the wax, but will most likely cause damage to the hair as well. Apply it to the hair with hot water, scrub and rinse.
You Will Need:
* Cotton cloths
* Brown paper bags
* Ironing board
* Partner to assist with the removal
Steps to Remove the Wax:
1. This method involves melting the wax out of the hair and should only be completed with the help of a friend while using great caution not to burn the scalp. If the dreads are short, do not attempt this method at all.
2. Have the person sit so that the dreadlocks can be draped over the ironing board.
3. Take a small section of the dreads and wrap a piece of brown paper around them.
4. Use a warm iron with NO steam and gently rub it over the paper. You will begin to see the wax transferring to the paper.
5. Repeat with a clean piece of paper until the wax is removed.
6. Continue with new sections of hair each time following the same steps above.
7. Use great caution not to allow the iron to become too hot or to get too close to the scalp as both can cause serious burns.
Additional Tips and Ideas
* Knotty Boy, the maker of many dreadlock products, also has a removal kit that can help remove wax and dreadlocks.
* If the wax cannot be removed, the dreads may need to be cut off.
Vegetable oil is supposed to work as a solvent for beeswax so if someone is willing to test it out on a waxy dread or two(probably wont work that great for dhhq) and post how they did it and how well it works here....Probably not good for baby dreads though because of the lubricating properties.