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Had to Cut Off a Dread

Tara C
5 years ago
645 posts

I cut off one of my dreads today. The past year or so, my scalp had been absolutely terrible. Itching so bad I'd have sores all over, flakes everywhere, etc. Obviously they got embedded into my dreads, some deeper than others. The one I cut off was literally rock-hard because of the amount of flakes in it, just at the top. I didn't feel like combing it out, because it takes forever and it's exhausting, I don't have the energy. I also didn't want the emotional aspect of it to be drawn out through the whole process. Anyway, after I'd cut it off, I opened up the hard part and saw literally nothing but white from all the flakes. The flakes were only at the top, the rest was fine and dreaded brilliantly, but that part wasn't dreaded at all, nothing but flakes engulfing the hair. It was disgusting, and you can imagine how upsetting it is.

I decided to dread because not only did I like the look of it, but I was so ill and in bad shape back then that I thought it'd be a good thing to do, something I could be in control of when everything else was out of my control and beyond my reach. But this just makes me feel like nothing is in my control. I thought my dreads were free and beyond the grasp of my health problems, but now it feels like my dreads have been suffocated by my health problems and it's so discouraging and upsetting. I see everyone on here with their beautiful, flake-free, soft dreads and I wish mine were like that. I love my dreads, I just hate what my bad health has caused them to become. I might as well have been crocheting them with how they've turned out; most are stiff, the thickest ones are thinner where the new growth has dreaded. I want my dreads to be soft and beautiful and exactly how dreads are meant to be.

I've combed out about seven or so of my dreads since the past year or so, I think. So to look on the bright side, I'm getting to experience a truly natural dread journey as much as I've experienced the backcombed one. And also, my scalp is so much better than it was. The past couple of months it's gone from being covered in sores to only having one tiny sore left that's almost healed. Itchiness is at a very minimum, and flakes are almost gone too. So that's good. But I guess I just wanted to vent. I feel like no-one else has this problem, even the people with scalp/skin problems haven't had it this bad, but I wanted to get it off my chest. And also ask if anyone knows if there's any possible way besides combing to get flakes out of dreads.

If you've read all the way through, sorry for the horribly-long post, and thanks.

updated by @tara-c: 01/13/15 09:56:08PM
5 years ago
321 posts
How are u washing and with what
Joey mipanyarack
5 years ago
81 posts
I get pretty large flakes too. It definitely can be a downer when you picture your dreads looking awesome and then you walk by a mirror and see huge flakes. I've been using the shampo bars from dreadlock shampoo more often then the liquid now and that seems to help some. When it gets really bad, or I need to look nice, my wife will sit down with a pair of tweezers and CAREFULLY remove the most visible ones.
the Barrellady
5 years ago
1,302 posts

Hi Tara, I am so sorry to hear that it is not turning out to be the care free method you envisioned. What if you were to soak you head in the bath once a week and move your dreads about with your hands, do you think this would help the flakes to float out? Are you regularly doing the cold head rinse after each wash??

My only other suggestion, if you have not already done so, is to contact the "hair scalp health experts" One of them must be able to have knowledge on that for you.

hang in there Tara, you are strong,

5 years ago
133 posts

Oh Tara I'm so sorry to hear how you feel, but by the look of your post it sounds like it was a temporary thing, like you say its nearly healed and that was the cause of the itching was the scalp healing, just wait for the rest to heal and then get a clarifying shampoo, but before using this shampoo or any shampoo soak your dreads just like Barrellandy said, then add some conditioner on the parts where you saw the entangled skin flakes, massage this in as much as possiblebetween fingers and thumbsthen get under a shower and rinse and rinse out all the conditioner, the skin flakes will come with it and then wash your dreads AGAIN. Clarifying shampoos are designed to break down organic tissue like dead skin. Also my dreads have done the same where they have grown from the skalp they r thinner too, that is how the real natural dread is going to form.Hope this helps, if you need any help i used to be a hairdresser and know alot about skin conditions and dreads, prefering the natural way is what lead me to leave the salon inviroment. All the best. Peace.

5 years ago
359 posts

I found the sandalwood and tonka bean bar from dreadlockshampoo to be the most softening.



Tara C
5 years ago
645 posts

Thanks all of you for your replies :)

I can't buy the dreadlock shampoo because it's too expensive to ship to the UK. But also it has beer in it I think, and I may have a wheat allergy on top of a gluten intolerance. Either way, I don't even want to risk it, because gluten is actually the cause for the majority of all of the issues I have. It's a shame, because it is an amazing shampoo by the sound of it.

I do use cold water after washing my hair, and the flakes/scalp isn't bad at all now, it's just the flakes stuck in the dreads from when my scalp was terrible. I will try soaking them and using the conditioner or getting a clarifying shampoo though, see if that helps, so thanks for those suggestions also :)

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