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How to separate dreadlocks when they are tight?

Little Wing
6 years ago
41 posts


I was wondering about how to separate dreadlocks when they are tight already.

I am only on my third month and well, I pretty much don't know much about. I'm gonna tell you the way I've done it (don't know if I'm doing well), but if you read this, would be lovely to share some information.

When all my roots get super messy after shower, seems like my dreadlocks want to get together, so... what I've done is to rip off the connecting hairs... when the dreads were loose, I was able to rip hair by hair, complete, without breaking it (I don't know if this is ok).

But now I have more tight dreads, and when my roots start to connect, I just try to losen the hairs a bit (now some are so tight to the point that I just can't take off hairs of them), so when they are the more losen I can get, I cut those hairs and just let them be part of all the hair flow (maybe in the future will become part of the dread, I don't know, because some are already too tight). Sometimes in the process of losen those hairs they break (also don't know if I have to take more care about this).

And also the process for me hurts a bit, but I try to be really careful on not pulling my hair too much, that's why It takes ages to me to separate.

But well, on this month, I have my dreads separated from one another but also with lots of losen hairs (you can take a look in my pictures if you want).

I just wanna know if I'm doing well, and to share advices. Sometimes I look my hair (comparing it with those tidy dreads I've seen around here), and I look like a homeless pretty much, with all messy hair and you barely can notice dread shapes. I don't care that much about the tidy looking fact, but sometimes I just don't know if I'm on the right way.

Well, take care!. Hope you can share knowledge. And sorry about my bad english, it's not my mother language, hehe.

updated by @little-wing: 01/13/15 09:30:29PM
6 years ago
334 posts

Hi Georgina,

I wouldn't cut at the dreads if I were you. You canseparate by pulling them apart. Only use scissors if it is absolutelynecessary (dreads have been growing together for a while).There is a a guide in the dreaducation section that explains how to cut and do the least damage. Personally, I plan to let some grow together and have a few big dreads.

The loose hair you have should join into the dreads eventually.

Hope this helps.

P.S. I'm no expert, so take my advise carefully :)

Little Wing
6 years ago
41 posts

Thank you very much!.

Well, I've been just cutting connecting hairs twice. I try to separate each time I wash my head, but I think I don't get at all the producedure. To me is like each time I wash the dreads, they really try hard to become congos.

So, not necessarily they have to be completely separated from one another?. Maybe I can take some pictures for you to see.

I started the journey with dreads between medium and pinky size, chest lenght, and now all the hair had shrunk over my shoulders. But I think, despite the cutting i've done, still have good size in my roots.

Thanks for the advices. I'm gonna try not to cut the connecting hairs.

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
6 years ago
28,336 posts

if its dreading real fast you might have to seperate more often

the way i do it is 1st pull them apart ripping the connecting hairs then ill slide my finger along the scalp between them tryingto hook it under and hairs close to the scalp that are conecting and pull them up and out

i stopped seperating tho years ago and let them congo at will with the ocasional rare seperating of any that are pretty big already

27 years growing dreadlocks the natural way
My dreads are over 9 feet long
6 years ago
544 posts

I know what you are going through Georgina. I am at 3 months and have had a lot of shrinkage and looping and, in spite of separating almost constantly, there are always a few that end up going congo. I do the same thing as SE says and, when I notice tight pulling of a small bit of hair that may have crossed sections and ended up in the wrong spot, I pull it out like you explained (if I can) to relieve the tight pulling pain at the scalp. I've only had to perform dread surgery twice and really, if you are careful, it's not the end of the world. After all, your comfort is what's most important and the hair will just re-dread anyway.

You are most certainly on the right track and your pictures look great!

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