Dreadlocks have always been a no maintenance to low maintenance hairstyle, but in recent years salons and loctician's try to convince people that they are very high maintenance.
Let's take a look at examples of both.
Natural dreads natural dreads have nothing done to them, they're not backcomb maintained were best with regularly. Just washed and optionally separated to prevent them from joining together into Congos.
Started then left alone these are dreads that are started by twist and rip backcombing or whatever but that mostly left alone possibly with minor palmrolling (which is generally useless) and washing and separating.
Salon dreads salons make you believe that you cannot maintain your hair, often not even wash your hair without their help. They request that you come back in often every two weeks to every couple months for retightening or maintenance. (At a cost of course) the methods they use are generally harmful and create the need for extra maintenance.
Crochet dreads crochet dreads the hook breaks a lot of hairs, so creates the loose hairs that they generally try to fix with maintenance. As you fix loose hairs, you damage the dreads severely causing loose hairs to pop out every couple months requiring more crochet to fix up this can be one of the most high maintenance methods used.
Waxed dreads wax is said to speed up the dreading process and tame frizz and loose hairs, but the truth is it only creates the illusion of speeding up dreading and actually slows or even prevents dreading entirely. Wax glues hair together to make it look like it's dreaded but prevents the movement needed to actually create do knots. So constant palmrolling is used to compress the hair into the wax and make it look more mature than ever is in addition they recommend root rubbing dread balling crochet root flipping tip rubbing and many more other maintenances to simulate the dreading that would happen if wax was never used.
Maintenance vs. harm finding a balance:
Of course we recognize that some people do need to perform some level of maintenance to fit a professional image, so this is a guide to choosing the proper maintenance that does the least harm and is most effective.
Roots don't ever really need tightening. They should have some loose room to dread properly. Below are some common root tightening techniques.
Twisting generally only used in African hair, twisting pulls the hair in real real tight to the roots. This causes the scalp to be exposed and slowly but surely causes a condition called traction alopecia is a how often do twist this can take months years or longer to develop and can get to the point of becoming permanent hair loss twisting can quickly weaken the roots and cause dreads to break off most people will only twist four times a year, several twist monthly and that causes a lot of harm is never necessary to twist dreads or recommended however if you do it rarely and not severely tight it can be effective.
Interlocking also known as root flipping looping rooting and other terms (including sister locks brother locks nappy locks and other so-called designer locks) interlocking involves taking an entire dread and feeding it through a gap in the root over and over again pulling the roots extremely tighten scalp. Issues this causes traction alopecia as explained in twisting, weak spots (every interlock point is at least 30% weaker than the rest of dread it can be as much as 80%) a crinkly zigzagging look. The interlock points twist the hair around to tightly and that removes any elasticity so any yanking on the dread can cause it to snap because that point has no stretch to it and will simply snap. Simply twisting or just separating is a better option. If you choose twisting don't overdo it.
Root rubbing some people rub the roots to try to get them more knotty, again it's unnecessary and can cause friction damage thinning and weakening of the roots. Traction alopecia is unlikely but possible if done to extreme.
Dread balling not technically used to tighten roots, but tidy up loose hairs of the roots. This involves taking the loose hairs rubbing into a ball and tucking them under the roots. Some say they just pop right back out so it's useless but if they do stay in its probably not that harmful.
The roots are better off left alone however, they will take care of themselves. But during the early months they will be loose several inches as they dread and that space is needed for movement in order to dread. They tend to tighten up around the eight-month to year mark. If possible they should be allowed to tighten up on their own.
Many think that the blunt tips make them look more tidy. African hair will blunt naturally because of the tight curl texture. Other hair types don't often. When the tips are blunted they hold water in longer, loose tips let water run right off the end. This could greatly affect drying time blunted tips can make them dry up to five times slower. Below are the most common tip blunting techniques.
Rubbing against palm some people try rubbing the tip against the palm in circles to try to get the tip to blunt. It takes a lot of rubbing and is not very effective but eventually will round the tips.
Crochet crochet can run the tips in a hurry but can make them very tight and hard and damaged.
Wax some people will put wax in the tips to force them to blunt and then fold them over tie them band them sew them even glue them. This will prevent any water from running out the end and most likely cause them to rot.
Palmrolling generally considered to be totally useless, palmrolling can smooth and round dreads temporarily. The effect usually only last a few hours to a day. Some however palmroll obsessively and to the point of causing heat and friction. Palmrolling lately all, and much or do much palmrolling a lot and so pointedly can cause some harm including weakening of the roots weakening of the dread and friction. To achieve a temporary effect will not be to harmful to achieve a permanent effect can be, and the balance between doing harm and doing anything permanent is a fine line.
Waxing wax to control frizz is a very bad idea. Wax never washes out of dreads, causes severe buildup and can cause dirt to be trapped in them water to be trapped, and eventually they can rot. Wax never belongs in dreads.
Sewing threading latch hooking etc. just like crochet anything that pokes holes in dreads is not good idea neither is wrapping the roots and thread which because thin weak spots.
Rubber bands: again rubber bands should not be used, very quickly knots can form around the rubber bands when you remove them you remove the knots. If you don't remove them soon enough the rubber bands can become swallowed, sometimes they break up into little pieces. Sometimes they melt into sticky mess other times they dry rot and fall apart in little pieces inside the dread. Rubber bands can be completely lost within a dread in as little as a week. If they don't they also squeeze the dread to tight causing weak spots.Him
It is always best to choose the lowest maintenance options you can get away with. Your dreads will be healthier, stronger, less hassle, easier to care for, cheaper, and last much longer.
30 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 10 feet long
also on the board of, and a student glider pilot with freedoms wings international - soaring for people with disabilities
updated by @soaring-eagle: 01/13/15 09:21:27PM