Alright, so I've had starter dreads before, but the comb twist method just didn't work. Gel and crusties and falling out in the back, and...just no. I'm going for something I can more easily maintain myself. My hair is about three and a half inches long, and it's hardcore afro kinky whatever you wanna call it. I'm mixed, but I got the short end of the stick when it comes to hair. I know neglect is the "best" method, but I can't just leave it at the moment, even though I know I would eventually see results (I don't brush my hair much as it is and I have little balls of knotted hair forming all the time). I've had the same haircut for 18 years, so I'm ready for a change, and I'd like to kick start the process. I've been thinking of the following methods:
Brush Rubbing - I've heard it hurts a bit, but it's also cheap and relatively simple. Seems like a nice idea.
Backcombing - I'd have to probably very slightly relax my hair to get the most out of this method. I'm wary because I know (at a deep chemical level) what relaxers do to hair, and I'm aware that my naturally fairly strong hair will become more brittle. It seems safe enough if I don't go for bone straight, but it's low on my list of favorite ideas.
Twist N' Rip - I've heard that this is less damaging to hair than backcombing and can also lead to better looking locks in the future. It seems, however, that this method requires longer hair, which is something that, without a stop-gap so to speak, I can't have.
Single ended dread extensions, then wait for my hair to grow longer and try something that requires longer hair. Okay, so yeah, this is about the best way I can think of to effectively protect my hair as I wait for it to grow longer. Black hair tends to break at a certain length (for me it's about 3.5 inches), and can't easily grow longer without being in some form which protects it from breakage. Braiding it along an extension would allow it to grow longer due to it having a lower chance of breakage (the extension forming somewhat of a framework). No colorful neon things, just normal, human hair extensions. They'd probably be relatively short...I'm not big on super long hair. I'm thinking like 6 inches or so, and reassess the situation when my natural hair is about 5 inches long. I know it's weird for dudes to wear extensions, but I'm just tossing it up against the wall. Thoughts, anyone? Thanks.
updated by @james-matarrese: 02/14/15 03:49:42AM