Dread the Wax
Ok, so if you have been around this site at ALL, you will see that there's not a whole lot of support for the use of wax. In fact, you probably do not need my post, then. However, perhaps this is the one post you will stumble across and it will make a difference.Before I get too far in, let me just say, "DON'T USE WAX."Alright. I thought about dreading my hair for at least five years, on and off, weighing pro's and con's, whining about how my lifestyle wouldn't allow for it, bouncing back and forth about social acceptance and whether that mattered to me, and so on. After several confirmations recently, and a newly designed life that allows me portray whatever image I choose, I decided to take the plunge. I reviewed several how-to videos, and of course went to the big names in the biz: Knotty Boy and Dreadhead. My only friend that I had seen go through the whole process paid someone to backcomb, wax and palm roll. So it seemed logical.During my research, I came across one lone post about the downfalls of wax, and many rebuttals on the commercial sites assuring me and others like me that these were myths, and wax was fine. Since this allowed my plan to move forward, I opted to buy into it and go on. Not wanting to pay several hundred dollars, I went and bought wax, a puppy comb and some rubber bands (which I never used). About 17 hours later, I had dreads, or at least a similar look. Either way, I was happy to begin my journey, and took my new locks out for dinner and a beer or two to celebrate. This was August 6th.On the morning of August 7th, I found this website. With growing apprehension, I read about dreading methods, how backcombing damages the hair, and why no matter what, you shouldn't use wax. I thought, "Ok, that's fine, I used a little bit to get them started, and just won't do it anymore." Until I saw a post that was titled something like, "Lesson Learned...Wax, Not Even Once!" or something like that. Horror!Well, that was me, just once, and I was shocked to find out that the wax from just that first time can and will work its way into the dread and stay there, becoming a black sludgy mess.I thought about my friend who had locked his hair four years ago, and wondered about the health of his dreads. I thought about the websites that mentioned the wax remained on the outside of the dread. And I thought of how many times I reminded myself and then forgot to do as the Knotty Boy website instructed and blow dry my locks in order to "melt the wax into the dread." Thank goodness I am forgetful!!!I decided after reading that discussion that I needed to get the wax out of my hair. It was an unpleasant process. I was concerned about washing my hair so soon after all of that work. I also used several different all natural soap concentrates, laundry and general use. These concentrates are meant to use about 1/4 TBS to 16 oz. of water. Even with using hot hot water and scrubbing each dread individually with these cleansers that cut grease, I had to go back multiple times. And I was left with a very irritated scalp.Immediately afterward, I could see a difference. For one, when I lifted a single dread up from the pack, it flopped down nice and soft like natural hair, rather than jutting out sideways like a candlestick. I also was no longer grossed out to have my own locks touch my face. I am grateful not to have pillowcase fuzz and all other manner of debris sticking to my hair, and I am relieved that all of that daily ongoing maintenance of waxing and rolling did not have to come to fruition.Now I take a dip in the ocean once a week or so, wash my hair every few days, and use aloe vera leaves from my plants in the back yard to calm the frizzies. I am in an Aromatherapy class this semester, and have received an awesome essential oils kit as part of my study guide. I am excited to play around with some of the natural recipes posted on this site for scalp cooling sprays and good smelling goodies.I am happy with my decision to help the process along, in my case, with backcombing. I am not good at waiting once I make up my mind, though I would probably opt for the twist and rip method if I were just starting. It sounds like that is a less damaging option, and I also suspect there would be less "buckling" of the locks as they tighten. BUT, all those who say the weird-shaped dreads will become your favorites are correct!Now I am almost three weeks into my journey, and loving it. My hair is actually locking up more and more everyday, and I look forward to having true dreadlocks.Below are two pictures. The first, my profile pic, is the night I finished. You can kind of see how the dreads are suspended out by the thick texture of waxed hair. The second is the very next day. I tried to mimic the hair style, and you can see the softer texture. All other pics on my profile are wax-free.Hope this helps... Peace & love!
updated by @renee: 02/05/15 10:12:49AM