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Really long roots--just started

FiddleSticks268
@fiddlesticks268
4 years ago
14 posts

So I did TnR on just a few dreads to test the waters. So far they are locking up really well except for right at my roots. I have a good 3-4 inches loose and they keep tangling in with the ones around them. The problem is that when I separate them, the knots don't actually come apart, they just get stretched since the roots are so long and nothing actually separates. (I have to go in from the base up to separate them.) Does anyone know how long it takes for the roots to dread and is there anything I can do to speed up the process? I have only 5 dreads and it takes me a good 20-30 minutes each time to separate them. I must be doing something wrong because I can't imagine that in the beginning people spend 2+ hrs a day separating the roots if they have a whole head?


updated by @fiddlesticks268: 01/13/15 09:49:50PM
Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

Baby locks should have between about 1-3 inches of straight hair at the roots. So 3-4 isn't abnormal.

That straight hair is completely natural, and absolutely necessary for your lock health and maturity. It tangles with strays and new growth in order to promote a thick and sturdy base. Don't try to rip your locks apart all the way to your scalp. There needs to always be a messy tangle of hairs around your scalp. Your locks should NEVER grow out completely individually. Remember, that all of your hew growth still grows out like normal hair. Locks don't ever grow out as 1 giant hair. So hairs will tangle with eachother. Let it happen. You only need to separate when the body of 1 lock starts to each the body of a separate lock. Separate by pulling them in opposite directions. When you're done, if there are any hairs still connecting them, let that go. In a few weeks, check back on it. If they can be separated a bit more, do it. if thy don't leave them go for a while longer.

How often are you separating?

FiddleSticks268
@fiddlesticks268
4 years ago
14 posts

I probably could do it more often but right now just every other day (I've only had them a week). Last time I tried dreads I only pulled them apart like that instead of separating to the scalp and there was a giant mat of hair at the base that would not have separated into dreads if I had just pulled them apart. And that was with separating *at least* once a day. It "dreaded" into a mat on my scalp with dreads sticking out but if my hair had grown any longer it would have been one giant messy congy thing. What is bad about separating them to the roots (especially if I go from the scalp up where I'm not actually breaking any hairs...)?

Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

You need that loose hair at the roots to snag onto new growth. if you keep separating to the scalp, you thin out the hair at the root. Your locks end up with thin spots and can just keep getting thinner. The weight of the lock can pull the out in time.

You should always have a messy web of hair at your scalp. It's healthy. It protects your scalp from the sun, and like I said before, it promotes healthy roots.

Plus, pulling hairs out all the way to the scalp and unintentially cause traction alopecia, which leads to balding

FiddleSticks268
@fiddlesticks268
4 years ago
14 posts

Sorry if I'm being annoying as hell, haha. I am super visual, science-minded, very type A... So just to clarify:

I always thought dreads were like the one on the right... But you're saying this weakens the roots and the dreads are too heavy to be supported straight by just their own roots?

So I should go with the one on the left where there's a tiny bit of normal growth underneath a mat that is then separated into dreads? And the mat acts as enough support to hold the weight of the dreads?

The thing I'm scared of with the picture on the left is ripping the mat part into dreads... I feel like that's bad for my hair because it breaks all the hairs when I do that (that's the popping sound, right?) And what if the mat becomes so tangled that it won't separate into dreads anymore and then I'm stuck with a layer of mat that just keeps growing out and growing out? Also, I can't imagine that my hair would get so heavy that the roots can't hold it? (Obviously since I don't have mature dreads I don't know....)

Oh and you say that the mat thing helps snag new growth but how does the picture on the right not do that too? Also I live in a place where it's winter 8 months of the year and in the summer I wear hats anyway so I'm never too worried about protecting my scalp from the sun since it's almost never exposed.

I think that's everything I'm freaking out about. Sorry, I don't know anyone who has dreads and I have no idea what to expect!!! The type A part of me really hates them but everything else in me knows they are meant to be :D

Haha edit: One more thing--when I separate them I don't pull them apart, I gently untangle them from the scalp up so that it seems like it breaks fewer hairs. So I don't viciously tear them all the way to the scalp if it seemed that way from my post.



updated by @fiddlesticks268: 02/05/15 10:12:49AM
Nimbostratus
@nimbostratus
4 years ago
30 posts
I'm glad you've asked these questions. I was starting to wonder the same thing. I started dreading a month ago and it's really starting to make a web near my scalp. Haha if you've only had them a week and they are already doing that they are progressing much faster than mine. Do you have any loops yet? Thank you baba fats for clearing that up for me. I was trying to separate like fiddle sticks second picture all the way to the root. Sometimes something that sounds so simple can be misunderstood by noobies like us. :p
Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

Go with the one on the left. Why? Because you see those spaces between the locks on the right? Whether you intended to or now, hair get pulled out of your scalp. As they grow in, they don't start tangling with a lock until they are about 4 inches long. So your locks grow 4 more inches a littler thinner, then tangle with the new growth and thicken up. But if then you keep separating and they never full tangle with that new growth, so your locks keep thinning out.

That popping sound is hairs being ripped, that's ok. If you keep up on your separating, it won't mat into 1 giant ball. My locks are 6 years old and I don't have 1 giant ball. Eagle's locks are 22 years old and his definitely aren't matted into 1 giant lock.

The problem with untangling them from the scalp down, is that you can't be 100% sure you are starting at healthy place in the root. You can easily be starting somewhere that is keeps the structural integrity of your lock intact. By ripping from the tip down, you keep the structure of the lock intact at all times.

Here's a video I made a while back about how I go about separating. Hopefully it'll help clear up what I mean and why I do it, and why I'm trying to show how it's healthier for locks:

http://www.dreadlockssite.com/video/separating-tutorial-part-2

FiddleSticks268
@fiddlesticks268
4 years ago
14 posts

Okay this makes sense! Haha now I wish I hadn't brushed out my dreads in December!! I was doing it right all along... Thanks :)

FiddleSticks268
@fiddlesticks268
4 years ago
14 posts

Oh and to Nimbostratus--yes I do have some loops!! My baby dreads are super itty bitty for now but here is what they look like so far :) I have 5 that are a week old and I just put in another row (7 more) today! I'm using TnR just so they look like they are messy on purpose rather than that I just didn't comb my hair... I live in the wrong state to be experimenting haha :D


updated by @fiddlesticks268: 02/05/15 10:12:49AM
Baba Fats
@baba-fats
4 years ago
2,730 posts

No worries. It's all about learning experiences. If you do it right every time. life would be kind of boring. I've screwed up my locks a number of times. I even posted a video a week or 2 ago about how one of mine finally snapped off from tying a knot in a weak spot to try and make it stronger. It doesn't work

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