I'm not really new to the idea of dreads, but I'm new to this site and to the concept that you don't have to put a ton of junk in your hair to get them. I got my first set of dreads almost 10 yrs ago when I was in high school. There was hardly any info online on good ways to do them, so I bought one of those evil dreadheadhq kits. Used wax maybe a couple of times. Really it smelled so bad and seemed so illogical that I couldn't stand using it. I mean come on, if you rub two candles together they aren't going to knot, so why would candle locks?
After 3 1/2 yrs I decided to get rid of them. Mostly because my head always felt greasy, even right after washing. The hair by the nape of my neck would never dread (too much residual wax, not enough knot). I was also starting college for art ed. and was worried when I started going into the classroom I'd get comments. (Not so worried about that anymore.) And last of all my dreads were getting to be too long and I didn't want to trim them as that just seemed wrong somehow. So I decided to comb them out. Which was actually really successful (used a huge bottle of conditioner and conditioned my hair every hour or so while uncombing). My hair was really dry and frizzy, but I just made sure to condition it as much as possible and use a hair straightener for a while. It took about a year for my hair to regain its original texture.
In the 6 yrs I haven't had dreads I've always known I'd get them back someday (even if I had to wait until I was an old granny, granny dreads sound awesome btw). Finished up student teaching and got into a graduate program and now I have a bit more freedom to dread again (not so worried about employment once I get out of school so I think I'll be keeping them more long term unless absolutely necessary).
Luckily I ran across this site before going out and buying a special comb, elastics, shampoo, etc. I probably saved myself $40 just by doing the twist and rip method and washing with bs/acv wash. I was tempted to use elastics, but thinking back on the last time I used them, they never really did anything (if anything they trapped hair from moving keeping them from knotting). After 3 yrs the first time I had dreads I always had wispy ends and long roots because of my hair type, so I'm not going to worry about it now.
Anyways, it's great to be here and to get so much helpful advice. I'm really glad this information is so easy to find now days. Only had my dreads for a couple days but they are already 100 times better than my last set. They are so light and fluffy and clean. I keep expecting them to be greasy (like the last ones were) but they just feel so normal. Go figure right, a natural hair style feeling natural. Who would have thought?
And if anyone has any questions about the differences, getting rid of dreads, or anything else feel free to ask or comment.
updated by @wbandel: 01/13/15 09:40:22PM