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Do you need to section your hair before dreading or can you do it randomly?

You don’t NEED to, you can just divide it where you think the hair naturally sections itself, but personally I would recommend that you do section it first to make sure you’re happy with the placement of them all and so you don’t end up with gappy areas. It will also help to stop your dreads combining when your roots start to grow, and you’ll know which dread any loose hair may be escaping from :)

Hi I just go my dreads it's day 4 and my dreads are pretty soft. Is that normal and will they get hard latter on ?

Yes that’s completely normal! They’ll feel soft and fluffy for a while until they start to mature and really knot up inside. Give them time and patience and you’ll get there!

Hey i'm 17 and i feel like getting dreadlocks just because i love the way it looks even though i know nobody where i live who has dreadlocks and lots of poeple tell me i have really nice hair and i shouldn't do that because it's dirty... but i wish i could just try and keep them for like 4-6 months but i know they might not even have matured in such short time so maybe its not even worth it... plus idn where to go to get them done

You could do them yourself, with or without the help of a friend. You don’t need to go to a salon or anything. I think you need to do a bit more research to help you make your decision: look into the different methods that can be used to make them - backcombing, twist and rip, neglect etc, to see which one would be right for you. Look into the maintenance that is required, the pros and cons, all of these things can be found with a simple google search. Or if you have any specific questions I’d be happy to help you. If you want dreads simply because you like how you look, that’s a good enough reason, as long as you are fully aware of what you are getting yourself into before you decide to go for it. They take a long time to make, and just as long to take out - something you wouldn’t really want to go through in a short period of time. In 4-5 months they wouldn’t be fully mature, but they’d definitely have started to tighten up so wouldn’t be too easy to just comb out. For temporary dreadlocks you could try out synthetic dreads if you want to see how they’d look on you. You can buy them online, or make them yourself; have a look on youtube, there are loads of videos showing you how. Synthetics don’t require the same maintenance as real dreadlocks though, so either way, do lots of research and find out as much information as you can to help you make your decision. Good luck!

P.S. It doesn’t matter what people think if you absolutely know you love them. When you have dreadlocks you will constantly be faced with questions and opinions from people who know nothing about them at all. This is where doing your research can help, so you can explain with facts, that dreadlocks aren’t dirty - hair needs to be clean in order for the hair to knot, and other answers to the number of questions that will definitely come your way.

How much shorter will my dreads be than my hair is before I back comb?

People often say that you can lose 20-30% of the length, but I really do think that depends on the type of hair you have (straight, curly etc) and the length to begin with. The majority of the length you will lose won’t happen straight away, it will happen months later over a period of time when your dreads are really tightening up. I backcombed my dreads, and I didn’t lose any length off my hair to begin with at all. In fact, I’ve barely noticed them getting shorter at all, and I’ve had them for about 8 months now. I have pretty straight caucasian hair, so this may be why, but I really do think it all depends on each individual person’s hair type.

My friend did a "test dread" as we called it last weekend and it took 6 hours to do one dread. I have really long hair, seeing as I can tuck it into my pants, but is it really going to take that long? We tried back combing and twisting and ripping and it just went on for hours. We didn't use any wax, but don't you apply the wax at the end anyway? I'm just not sure why it took so long.

Umm, no it should definitely not take that long. Maybe about 10 mins for each one? You must not be doing it hard enough. When you back comb, you’ve really got to PUSH and FORCE the hair all the way up to the scalp. It has to feel tight. Same with twist and rip; you’ve got to really pull it hard, otherwise nothing will happen. Backcombing is easiest I’d say, especially for long hair. And no you don’t need to use wax at all. When you backcomb as hard as you’re supposed to and then palm roll to smooth it out, the hair will hold itself and won’t fall out. You won’t need elastic bands or anything. It will take a long time to do your whole head, especially if your hair is that long, mine took about 6-8 hours and my hair was half way down my back, so it is going to take you a while. But no, you’re dong something wrong if it took 6 hours for one dread. Watch some youtube videos showing you how to do it. Just search for “how to backcomb dreadlocks” and there are loads, most around 5 minutes long, which shows you how long it really should take you. Good luck.

To the Anon. It really depends on a lot of factors, but it is possible for your dreads to 'fall out' or break off. If you do not keep your hair and scalp moist/oiled it may cause your dreadlocks to break off. Of course, this can depend on your hair texture and other factors, but not oiling your scalp or hair is one reason why your dreads can fall out.

It can often depend on how long you’ve had your dreads for before you need to start oiling/moisturising them, but yes, generally having overly dry hair won’t do your dreads any good. This will include if you regularly bleach your dreads, or if you bleached it a lot before. 

Having weak spots in dreads made by beads or elastics being on for too long may also cause them to snap. Over tightening roots causing the hair to thin out too much will also cause problems, but depending on what your issues are, I’m sure the problems will be fixable before anything like this will happen.

hey i've been having worries with my dreads, is it possible they could fall out?

Why, what are your worries? I’m sure they won’t just fall out. What are the problems?

I've been watching videos of people getting dreads and they dread them all the way to the scalp, but then in asks you say it's normal to have a couple of inches of hair off of the top. Does this happen as the dreads grow, or can you just stop dreading them near the top?

Well when you’re making dreadlocks, you dread from the top down, and they need to be tight at the beginning or they won’t stay in, so yes, they will be made all the way to the scalp. This is why dreads often stick out a bit when they’re new, and why your head will usually be very sore for a few days. But yeah, once your dreads start to grow out, it is normal and good to have a good few cms of undreaded hair, especially with caucasian hair, because otherwise your hair/head would constantly hurt like the very beginning, the dreads would stick out and they would just be too tight, putting too much pressure and stress on your scalp. I hope this helps!

I've seen pictures of dreads that aren't dreaded all the way to the bottom and the ends at the bottom are loose. Is this a specific style of dreading, and if so, how can you maintain it?

Do you mean like people who only dread half the length of their hair and have the lower half loose, like for example? Or do you just mean undreaded tips, like the last picture I posted?

With the tips, that’s how mine are and it mainly happens with young dreads in Caucasian hair as the hair just stops being able to dread at the ends through backcombing or the twist and rip method. The alternative is to blunt the ends - purposely rounding them off, by either rolling the ends of the dreads against your palm until they fully knot up, which takes quite a lot for the tips to dread up into the rest of the hair, or by folding the ends over and crocheting them into the dreads, rounding them off. For many people the ends will just become thicker and round themselves off over time, but for lots of people, the ends will always stay a little whispy and loose.

In the first picture, instead of dreading the hair all the way to the end, you would just stop sooner, leaving a longer length of hair undreaded at the ends. Either way, you can finish dreads at any length you wish to. Your choice!

How well does the twist and rip work?

Really well for caucasian hair. You just need to make sure you do it quite hard, like really do pull the hair up when you “rip”. It’s good to use for the ends as well, whether you do it for the full length or whether you back comb. Personally I prefer backcombing, as I think it made my dreads much tighter than when I did twist and rip, but that’s just my preference.

Do you have any pictures of your own deads?

Yeah, there’s some links at the top of the page to my own blog etc.

i color my dreads so i've been using a sulfate-free shampoo for color treated hair and i want to switch to using the baking soda soak or bar soap made for dreads but i have to maintain my color for work, so would maintaining my color be a problem with the soak or bar soap? does it strip the color?

I have never actually dyed my dreads, so I don’t know about this from my own experience, but I have heard through friends that baking soda does strip hair colour quite quickly. What colour do you dye your hair? You could try using henna hair dyes - they tend to last longer than others or maybe bleach your dreads first as a base then dye them to make colours brighter to begin with?

How would you recommend going about getting synthetic dreads? Since my hair is super short, I don't want to wait years to have long enough hair (that and the stages between acceptable length and short are just awful). About how long should my hair be to put them in and what material do you suggest?

I personally don’t have any experience with synthetic dreads, but there are loads of really good videos on youtube showing what to use, different ways to make them etc, so you should check out some of those.

I'm having some trouble maintaining my dreads at the root. What methods can I use?

Don’t expect your hair to knot all the way to your scalp, its normal and you should have a good few cms of undreaded hair, otherwise it will just be uncomfortable. Root rubbing is the best method, pick a direction (a lot of people say clockwise but I don’t think it matters) and then stick with that way. but don’t do it too often or for too long. You can also maintain loose hairs with a crochet hook and tighten them that way, just again be careful not to over do it.

Hey, I'm thinking about getting dreads in the spring or early summer. Just waiting for my hair to grow out some more. The ends of my hair are fairly split right now as I haven't had them trimmed in about 6 months. Should I get my hair trimmed to make it "healthier", or do you think that will just hinder my growth process?

I hadn’t had a hair cut in at least a year before getting dreads, and I’d also bleached the underneath quite a few times so it was quite dry and brittle, and the dreads I made from that hair are actually the tightest and firmest dreads I have. In my opinion you don’t need to get a hair cut - the drier the hair the better.