New dreads! Doing my best please educate me!!
sorry for 3 consecutive replies haha just a lil dreaducation.
dreads in any hair type will happen by staying away from hairdressers most hair products, and especially..combs
heres a thing about combs and backcombing and crochet
1 when you comb your hair with the grain (as aposed to backcomb) you eventually cause split ends that require frequent trimmings so you lose 1/2 the growth over a certain period of time
when you backcomb you comb against the grain the hairs covered with cuticles, scale like coverings of the hair shaft that are normally smooth but open and close like your pores do, this is hair after being backcombed .. the gentle way they used to do in the 80s for the big hair look, just gentle teasing not the aggressive backcombing that you do to "make dreads"
these cuticles are damaged and no longer open and close in response to moisture, temperature, and ph changes (baking soda because of its ph can more easily damage hair that cant close the cuticles to prevent harm)
once the cuticles are compromised other forms of damage are more easily inflicted, like from dyes bleaches, temperatures and.. the crochet hook
crochet hooks break tons of hairs, everytime they pass through the dread, but even just hooking a few hairs and puling them through loose roots breaks hairs not as severely as when passing through a relatively tight dread.
this brings me to the tightness factor
crochet makes dreads way too tight, so tight they are stiff. theres no room for the hair to move and knot. so theres no progress at all till they loosen. furthermore the hairs you broke start to pop out all over making them extra frizzy, this is when crochet users start poking more holes in their dreads pulling these broken hairs back in
and.. breaking more each time
it becomes a never ending cycle of damage and repair, the repair causing the damage your repairing.
so whats a better way to dread? your right they don't teach it to hairdressers, cause hairdressers can't do it hairdressers have been in the business of preventing dreads since the profession began! it wasn't until they realized that people actually wanted dreads .. and were confused about how they happen that they saw another opportunity to make money by basicly exploiting the fct that we, as a species forgot what our natural hairs really like after centuries of hairdressers.
the key to dreading is to simply stop doing all the things that prevent dreads, go camping without a comb (that's what i did) or simply throw the comb away, wash with an all natural shampoo (again store bought shampoos are made to prevent dreads) and don't let any hairdressers near you (especially those that claim to specialize in dreads) (i know your girlfriend is 1 so just don't let her work on your hair haha .. or tell you you have to fix them or do anything to them)
a proper natural dread shampoo like www.dreadlockshampoo.com will help a whole lot, but stop towel drying too
and just leave the hair alone give it time and it will become dreads like these soon enough (but dreads do take dedication and patience) they aren't a style you just decide to get and run off to a hairdresser. you got to want them for years and years, if not for life
so if you want them to last and truly be a part of you you will be willing to wait them out let them birth themselves, (the step you skipped) let them be funky shaped babies (the all so precious stage you also skipped) then awkward teens (yours will get there around when most others would be nearly mature) then finaly settling down into maturity
its a process that can't be rushed, you can fake maturity by force but they will suffer consequences and as a result are likely not to last as long
so what to do from here on out-. well 2 choices
1 leave them alone from here on let them recover from the crochet (the ends will always be damaged theres no going back on the damage caused) this is a fine way to go many on here are in crochet recovery and continue on after making the same mistakes you made (and many others) ..or
2 some who start ff the way you did find they regretted it so much they decide to start over and just let them dread naturally. some waiting a few years in before making that choice.. you being just a month in wouldn't be losing much if you decided to do that now
for your girlfreinds sake there is a gentle low or no harm method called tnr twist and rip or twist and pull
this uses only fingers nothing lse at all so can define the sections and give the dreading a start..but even then some feel they missed out on seeing them form themselves with their own personalities and so some who tnr decide to start over too
i'm not saying you should or should not start over that's for yu to decide after you been here awhile read all you could and taklked to others who did as you did
i'm saying you can continue from what you got recognizing that if they are tight it will slow ir prevent dreading till they loosen (and possibly remain stiff for up to 3 years)
but if you do think for you theres a better way to start again then its better to do it now rather then wish you had 3 years from now and e facing the difficult choice of losing 3 years progress
if you choose to continue on, throw that hook in the trash! and just let them dread on their own from here on out.
starting over wont undo the damage (in fact your likely to find lots of lil roken hairs in a pile on the floor) the damage done can't be undone
you can only make better choices from here on out and decide if a bad starts something you can accept and move on from, or will be something you will regret till you start again a better way
either choice is fine were here to support ya either way just want you to have the full info to make the best choices possible