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Newbie - Need some tips :)

Micayla Balciunas
5 years ago
2 posts

So, I'm considering joining the club. I haven't completely made up my mind yet, but everyone who matters in my life is on board with the idea, and I think I'm almost there too.

I have a couple problems I'm concerned will arise..

I have very oily hair, and if it isn't washed every 36 hours it turns into quite the greasy thing. Any tips on how to make the transition from 1- to 3-day washing as simple and, ah, professional, as possible?

Also, I prefer the look of thin dreads, and so far in my research everyone seems to agree that the thinner they are the harder they are to lock.

I like the idea of the twist and rip method best but my helpers would probably rather backcomb, it seems a little easier. One better than the other? They seem to have a similar ratio of pros and cons.

I'm a little unsure about the sectioning as well.. Should I get a stylist to section for me prior to backcombing?

Any other tips you have for me, I'd love to hear from you!

updated by @micayla-balciunas: 01/13/15 09:56:04PM
the Barrellady
5 years ago
1,302 posts

Hi there Micayla. It is a big decision to dread when doing a method that is not instant. Twist & rip dreads are less damaging than back combed. The reason being is that the hair is "teased" when back combed, that does cause some damage, cracks to the strands of hair. T&R, if done gently, does not cause any damage that I know of, at least mine did not. So the order of what is best is...Neglect/free is T&R...then back combed.

As for your oily scalp. When dreads are mature, which takes a year - two years, depending on hair length when starting, that is when you should only wash once a week because mature dreads can take 24 hours or more to completely dry, depending on the thickness. Believe it or not, by that time the scalp and hair adjusts and does produce less oil. I too had oily hair, now I can go a week at a time if I want to. For the first 6 months or so, you can wash as often as you want or as often as you need to. The hair is not locked up yet, so it dries in just a few hours.

If you do back comb, please don't let anyone add anything, especially wax, to your hair. Wax prevents true dreading and has too many problems with it, like trapping water and causing mold.

As for sectioning. That you can start right away if you do decide you will dread. By just not combing or finger combing or conditioning the hair, it will form into sections all on its own. That is the best way, then your hair goes where it wants to, not where it is forced to. After those sections form within two weeks, you can always divide them smaller if you find some are too large. The mature dread will become the size of the section where it meets the scalp.

I have some tips that will help you, I did T&R, but you can use the tips for back combing also:

Dreads are clean, not dirty as some think, so it is normal to still wash 2-3 times a week. Oh yes, purchase a dread friendly shampoo.

Please ask any questions you need answered, we are all here to help....hope I answered everything...peace

Moon Raven
5 years ago
32 posts


My dreads are about a month old, still babies.

I just wanted to say that I started using the back combing method, before I found this wonderful place & decided to go natural. Anyway most of the back combed dreads came out on their own, cheeky little devils! lol and are reforming into dreads on their own.


Tara C
5 years ago
645 posts

The transition with washing your hair a bit less often is just to wash one day less than you usually do for a while, and then go from there.

The twist and rip method is the least harmful except for the natural route. I backcombed mine and it's basically the most damaging but 'not too bad' method to use. Also, you look like a palm tree for a good while afterwards because the hair sticks up like mad lol so there's that to consider.

I don't think thinner sections are harder to dread. Soaring Eagle has said he has a VERY thin dread that is made up of multiple extra-thin dreads. Thin dreads are easier anyway, don't take as long to dry and etc.

Nope, no stylist is needed at all. In fact, dreadlock 'specialist' stylists seem to think massive sections are good, not realising that they get thicker as they dread. You can either let your hair section itself naturally, which is good because it means there are no areas that are forced to section that don't really dread well (which is what I had with one or two). But you can section them yourself, just try not to be obsessive over making them all the perfect size in a perfect pattern and etc., because it isn't really needed :)

Micayla Balciunas
5 years ago
2 posts

Thanks for the advice guys! I think I'm going to go with the r&t method. I just have one more question..

I want to do the r&t method first and then just let it do it's thing.. is this a good idea? will they require a lot of maintenance?

I'm definitely not using any wax or anything like that xD glad I found this site before I fell into a trap!

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