Okay, I've posted a few discussions on my last crop of dreadlocks and I decided to post what I do now with my last set. I hope never to get rid of them or ruin them or anything like that... so, I hope that you all enjoy how I take care of my dreadies.
First off, I should start off by saying--You are going to make mistakes. I know I did. I was a fool and did two or three things to my hair that I wish I hadn't done, but was lucky enough to learn that it was bad for my hair before I permanently damaged it.
I crocheted my dreads.--> Now, I didn't crochet all of them. Honestly, I was just trying to see what it would do and how my hair would react to it. Yeah, it felt like it was tightening the dread and it took care of some good loops that I didn't want sticking out (which is dumb, loops are kind of cool looking and eventually go away on their own anyway) but they also felt grainy. Kind of like a cat got a hold of my dread and scratched it a hundred times. Which I guess in retrospect---that's what it was. So, I stopped doing that and left them alone. The dreads that are affected by the crocheting may change later on, I hope they do, but I'm definitely not doing that again, ever.
I swam in some chlorine water.--> Usually people say that's not too horrible if you wash it out thoroughly and let your hair dry. But the thing is, is that I didn't wait a month before I did it. The set of dreads I have now is not an old set, they are still babies and I shouldn't be putting harsh chemicals on my hair anyway. My smallest, newest dreads came out completely and the dye that I'd put in came out, and the hair felt horrible. So, I washed and rinsed so thoroughly you'd think I was trying to get oil off of a penguin in the Arctic. Anyway.. I hate that I did that, so I've swam in nothing but natural water since.
Last mistake, I dyed my hair only four days after getting them.--> I know, and the bad thing is, I didn't even use a natural type of dye like Henna. I used regular hair dye like Splat. I hate that I did it but honestly, my dreads seem less effected by that than the crocheting and the chlorine. I am letting it wash out and am sticking to only dying my bangs (which are not dreaded) and side hairs. I am going to let my dreads mature for about four or five months before I buy some Henna and then dye them again.
Okay so, now that I've told you my mistakes, I suppose that I can tell you my routine on how I maintain my dreads now. Most people say, wash, and separate and that's all you need to do. I couldn't agree more! I'll be honest, I'm a bit high maintenance and it's hard for me not to mess around with them every day. Seriously I wake up every day, brush my teeth, put my skin lotion on. I have different natural lotions for my hands, for my feet, and even for my face. I clean everything as if my body was a temple. I suppose my body IS a temple... A beautifully painted temple. Then my dreads come in the line of what has to be done to them.
Every four days, I wash my hair with Suave Naturals shampoo. I know that it's probably not the best for my hair, people suggest Dr. Bronners or a Baking Soda concoction and I just haven't gotten around to putting the recipe down and doing it for my hair--but my babies are young and I'm trying to give them a while to mature on their own before I start soaking them and things like that. I am also planning on buying me a natural dreadlock shampoo. I've been looking around for some awesome dragons blood shampoo, or tea tree oil and things like that. I want to buy a dreadlock bar shampoo and see if that works.
Now, often, dreadlocks will dry out your scalp and it ITCHES like a mother! However, I have a solution that ceases the itching and also feels rather refreshing. Every two days, on routine, I take a large pitcher and fill it with ice water, and then slowly pour it over my hair. If I have a horribly raw spot, I put it in a water bottle (the cool water) and then put one drop of tea tree oil (you don't want a lot, it will sting) and pour it over the raw spots. That feels refreshing, and gets the oils off of your dreads enough so that they can do some extra locking.
In the shower, I'll pull my hairs apart so that I don't get any congos, because when my hair is dry and I try to separate, it's incredibly painful, and I hate the sound of ripping--but it has to be done unless I want one huge dread on my head. o.O
As for things like palm rolling, I don't do it because its dumb and I don't really see the point in it. If I'm trying to see if the hair next to it is attaching or not I might palm roll it a little but that's not for locking or trying to round the tips.
I tried blunting the tips of one of my dreads and I honestly like the way that it looks, but I was planning on seeing what everyone else liked about that or disliked. I know for a fact I worried about it taking longer for my dreads to dry if I had blunted tips, and I worried about smell and mold and such. But if I wash with a non-residue shampoo the mold wouldn't really happen much if I just took care of it, which I do.
All in all, I keep my hair really "ventilated" by running cool water over it, and letting them get cooled down with the fan when I'm in my room working. My dreads are my babies and I hate that I caused damage, but I have a feeling that they are healing a lot better than usual.
Love the lovelies, Carpe Noctem <3
updated by @ladyofthekastle: 01/13/15 08:41:59PM