It was really simple and much more natural than using all the "hard gels" and goopy waxes floating around out there. I did gentle back-combing to help define my baby dreads and I used (and still use) a little aloe vera gel on my fingertips to help form the twists along with a little honey added to the twist for moisture and hold. My twisting regimen was once every 2 weeks in the early months and I washed my baby dreads once a month in the beginning (very, very gently). Another great element that helped my dreads bud and begin to mature was using a daily spritz I mixed with a little jojoba oil, peppermint oil and water in a small spray bottle. I still use this daily spritz religiously and my dreads love it. I'm not sure of the texture of your hair, but I have a mixed head of loose coils blended with tighter, thicker coils. The bottom line for our type of beautiful natural hair is MOISTURE and gentle care. And contrary to what a lot of regular folks believe about starting dreads, water IS one of our baby dreads' best friends. It actually helps to form them faster. Just think of when you washed your hair when it was loose -- did you have much trouble with tangles and snarls you had to comb/brush out? Those were baby dreads just dying to come alive.
I'm so glad to hear you've got your feet firmly set on your journey, chica. Those early days and months are challenging, but you will learn so much about the nature of your hair and the way your dreads start to come alive. Patience is so key -- and consistency. Don't, don't, DON'T do any "dread waxes", bees wax or strange jars of stuff with polysyllabic words that are too hard to pronounce. If there's anything I've learned over these 16 years, it's to treat my dreads with wonderful natural stuff. Bleaching/dying my dreads has been the most chemical action I allow on them, and even then I keep a gentle touch and don't overdo it. I use either Dr. Bronner's soap or Aubrey Organics clarifying shampoo because there aren't loads of additives and chemicals like sulfates that make tons of suds but often lead to tons of build-up. I shampoo now every 2 weeks and I do a hot oil treatment with jojoba oil or olive oil after each shampoo. Keeping it as close to nature as possible has really helped me avoid build-up issues and strange smells. The sad thing I've seen with too many young dreads who started out using waxes and gels is that they always ended up with build-up issues or strange smells. Some much worse. Just imagine that each time one slathers wax on to their dreads, even using a blowdryer to melt it in, it goes deep inside the lock but it doesn't disappear. Now when you start to add water, the dread has a hard time drying out-completely in its core because of the wax there. THAT'S where the trouble with smells and mildew begin. I've seen way too many young dreaddies out there who were forced to cut their locks because of mildew issues. It's beyond tragic. Always read your labels, chica, and be very protective of your baby dreads. I don't care who claims to have the magical dread butter/gel/pomade, etc. that we can't live without and must have in order to start great locks...it's bullshit. We don't have to dump a lot of crap into our hair in order to create dreads. Have you heard the horror stories about people putting chunky peanut butter and toothpaste into their hair to start dreads?? It's crazy.
Have you decided what type of dread method you feel like trying?? Twists? Freeforming? Neglect? In my early months into my first year and a half I used to twist religiously, but after a while I started to like the fuzzies in my new growth and the top of my head. Now I'd say I'm a mild mix of freeforming and gentle twisting to guide the new growth into the mature dreads. I like my fuzzies and letting them find their way. Let me know how it's going, chica x0x
This 2nd try is looking good, chica. Be patient with yourself and keep going -- you can do it! I meant to say yesterday that if you ever need an extra ear or some advice never hesitate to give me a shout. There is no such thing as a dumb/silly question. I definitely remember what it was like to start the early stages of my dreads 16 years ago. This journey has been so worth it. Don't give up! x0x0x