Q. I just got dreads a few days ago. I always thought dreads were dry, but mine are moist with dread wax and probably greasy hair. Does it stay like this, or do they become dry? And my dreads aren’t sticking together too well, they kinda look like twists – will they become better? Is there anything I can do to help them?

A. First of all, did you get them done at a salon or did you do them yourself? Cuz the techniques can vary – some salons do dreads by twisting (not dreads at all, they rarely lock that way for anyone with hair other than afro-american) and some do the backcombing method. If all they are twists, you may need to do them over again and backcomb them properly with a friend, because they will not dread for a very long time in twists.

Make sure the wax you are using is NOT petroleum-based or containing mineral (sometimes called ‘white’) oils or parafin waxes. These waxes are far too slippery and wet to lock most hair types.

If you are using a good all-natural dread wax in your new dreads, you will still feel the product in there for the first few days, and you won’t need to rewax them unless you want to. Give them a few days to dry out a bit, keep them back from your face, etc., and then rewax if they are coming apart. Just use your good judgment, if you need to get some loose pieces in, use wax. If not, then don’t.

And when you rewax, it helps to use a comb to knot them up again, cuz it’s by knotting them up that they become locks, right?

If you find that the twists are just coming undone, get a friend and start them yourself from the beginning – unfortunately you may need to do the whole process again, just to try and nap your hair up a bit so it starts dreading. Again, it does take much patience and time and weeks of crappy-looking hair until it starts to lock, so if you want to leave it and just see what happens, you can do that too.

But seriously, don’t give up because they WILL happen, promise. I know it’s frustrating; on the really bad days just wear a hat or pull them back and don’t worry about it. Love them for what they are and they’ll be fine. And see if there’s anything else you could be doing from the tips here on the website, etc. Good luck, and don’t give up!

Q. I’ve been a dreadhead for nearly a month, but the problem is that my hair is really thin and no matter how much I play with, separate and add additional wax, they seem very flat and shitty. They’re really flat, especially on the scalp and have trouble holding shape in general. I just wondered if you had any advice because I would really love a cool head of dreads.

A. There could be a few things that are not helping… first of all, if you have really fine hair, sometimes if the dreads are started too thin they don’t look so hot for the first few months until they start fattening up. Perhaps they weren’t started tight enough…

But the good news is, after about 3-6 months they do start getting good dreadlocks shapes and looking like real dreads. It’s harder for some of us than others in the beginning, but have no fear, they will be awesome if you just stick it out. You can easily keep them under a bandana or tam for a while until they start smartening up, without any danger of that hindering the locking process.

62 comments so far

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  1. Q. Hi my 3 year old daughter staryed dreads at t salon about 2weeks ago but now the problem is she is starting to lose hair at the back its frustrating me, what I do in such?

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  2. im a dreadlock virgin who loves the look and style. for years i have never had the courage of surrendering to locs. i was wondering what i should use. i want my locs to be natural looking and not dry and caked together. i would appreciate any suggestiins for my thick shoulder length hair.

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  3. Iv had them fr a year and my head is always itchi , my scalp is dry and I’m losing my hair line
    What can I use

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  4. I’m a female and I decided to start dreads about 3 weeks ago even though I was natural. I hadn’t had a relaxer for 3 months so I decided to go to an African salon. I didn’t know what to expect. They began my dreading process by twisting. They told me to come back every3 weeks. I’m now in week 3 and look to go back to get them groomed in a couple of days. What should I expect after getting them groomed this time around being they are starting to unravel?

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  6. I have had my dreads for 2 weeks. And they’re very itchy. can I wash them? in there also starting to unravel what do I do?

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  7. I have had my dreads for 2 weeks. And they’re very itchy. can I wash them? in there also starting to unravel what do I do?

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  8. I have had my dreads in for 2 weeks. and they are very itchy. I’m wondering is there anyway I can wash them? my dreads are also starting to unravel what do I do?

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  9. Is it normal for a lot of scalp to show in the beginning? How long does this last before the scalp lines disappear?

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  11. Ok, I started comb coils 6-13-13, as of today, 6-18 I’ve not changed my mind (surprised) I’m still a lol nervous, been natural 5yrs!, BUT I’M GONA DO THIS, I WILL BE STRONG, BUT ON THE TRUE, THIS 1st stage is HARD,HARD,HARD, when I look n the mirror I get nervous, lol,lol.

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  12. First off i wanna say thanks to this page. Was about to give up on my dreads.
    I forget so quickly when I had them the first time it took 2months before they looked like dreads.
    I have 4wk old dreads, some stay some dont.
    My frustration is loose roots I try to twist & tear
    but it’s not working much.

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  13. In the name of the most high really you don’t need nothing for your but water.

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  14. so i got my hair dreaded today. my auntys experimenting with my hair and she put one dread in. the wax she used had petroleum in it, but it said it was for dreads. i did the back combing method with this wax and i dont know if we should continue using this wax or not?

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    • Wax is fine if you use the right amount. I would steer clear of waxes with petroleum though – they don’t wash out like pure beeswax. Just my 2c.

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  15. Is trimming the loose hair along the dread ok? I cant reach with a crochet hook. Had my dreads 1 day! Twist & rip method.
    I wont cut them again, just wana get alot of this loose hair. :)
    YAY love dem babies!

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  16. All y’all guys i understand your frustrations! This dread business can be frustrating and damn expensive. I have had mine for like two weeks now (had them done at the salon) palm twisted and my stylist recommende that i style them so that they maintain the twist and to have them treated every 2 weeks until they lock. They also recommend that you dont undo the style so that they wash your hair like thay to minimise them opening. So far so good. I cant wait until they lock in about 5 months from now. Lets be patient soon we’ll have heads full of beautiful locks.

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  17. i had twisty in january 2012 but i took them cuzz i didnt know how long they would lock UP I TOOK THEM OUT INTO MY REGULAR AFRO I waited for a month then put the twistys back in my hair

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  18. The back of my twist are unraveling a little. I also can’t helP it but to Play with my twist. Are bot these normal. It’s been 5 weeks since getting twisted

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  19. I’ve just twisted my hair 2dayz ago n this mornin I went tu play basketball…which made my hair sweat…would That hurt me in the longrun???

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  20. so iv had my dreads for a few days now and most are locked goo and tight now but a few have either loose spots or have a spot that didnt seem to knott at all through the backcombing, i have thick wavey hair. how should i fix this dilima??? im white dont know if that makes a diff or not? please contact me…ive waited years for this to not work for me now

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  21. I had mine started at a salon. I went back two weeks later and she washed them. They opened up and she re-twisted…What the? I’m not sure if that is supposed to happen, she said it was. Seems counter productive to me. I’m staying home now and my locs look good…but I itch! To wash or not to wash…WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

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    • washing is really something that is going to be personal preference. i go by the theory if you feel it needs washed,wash it! if you are really concerned about locs coming undone (wether backcombed or twisted) don’t disturb them much focus on your scalp for the time being. ive had locs the majority of the last 10 years and sometimes when your locs are long washing your scalp and not really soaking the rest is just easier especially in the winter cause you don’t want Popsicle locs. alas I digress wash when you feel you need to. use a lil tea tree oil on the itchy spots in the beginning. Good luck on your journey :)

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  22. For those about washing: I wash my hair about every three to four days and I have had my dreads for two weeks. They are doing fine with that and the progression is normal according to everything I am reading. Also I have bone-straight hair.

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  23. im a caucasian female that had curly, thick hair. My dreads are about 10 months old. yet the ends still have an inch or 2 of lose hair. How do i get it to lock up? do i need to backcomb the ends, or let time do its thing?? help please!

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    • Other websites I have read have to pull the tips up into the dread when they start locking with a tool. If no tool, roll the tip in your palm (not palm rolling) this will knot it up. Hope this helps

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  24. I want to know what happens….I mean how do the dreds actually lock? I’m black with kinky hair, but after I twisted thm they look shiny and moist. My twist are holding, but what makes thm lock. Do they just stick together in twist. I knw this may sound strange …but I just really want to understand.

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  26. Hi, I was having trouble with my dreds for about 4 months when I first got them. I just was not satisfied with how they look once I got them done (sticky, fuzzy, not uniformed). I knew I wanted them, but they was not looking how I knew they could. So I took someones advice from this website and found me a locktition. Although she could fix them for me, I told her to just take them down and start all over, and I am so happy with them now. They are just what I was looking for and I get compliments every where I go. Now, I can go on my dreadlock journey happy. (I went to 3 people and finally got the right one the 3rd time). Also, I was one of the people who found out the hard way that dread locks take once a week maintance. It still not that bad. I know after awhile I will be able to go two weeks if I tie my head up properly. When I grow them out a little longer, I will post a picture of them. My dreds are the bomb.
    Thanks for all the advice.

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  28. i did my dreads at the saloon plz advise how to take care of them (from the above comment/text)

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  29. i got my dreads done 2 days ago and i washed them the following day and they seems to be ruined what must i do? is this happens to every new dreads? i need advice quickly plz before they get messed up

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  30. I just had my dreads done like 8 days ago. The tips started to get loose and in the scalp i got loose medium sized hairs flying everywhere! is that normal? Im gonna get them fixed next week but is this happening to every new dreadhead?

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  31. I’ve been wanting to have dreadlocks. Looks so cool but then I am not sure yet where to get it. Maybe I’ll ask around Miami on what salon can best give me this Afro look. :)

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  32. please do not worry about how ur dreads look 4 the first 3 months or so 😉 .. they won’t look like mature dreads. 4 ppl with caucasian hair etc, the best way to start dreads is by back-combing. Also, ppl with fine, curly hair should not be afraid to begin the dreadlock journey.. they will full out as they mature.Patients is a virtue.. It will pay off!! ~~ ONE LOVE AND GOOD LUCK!! <3

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  33. My son has beautiful, naturally curly hair. We are lucky when it comes to dreads for him. All we have to do is not brush it for about two weeks and his hair dreads up perfectly!

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  34. I have curly hair.I started my dreads with twists and i had them for a year and they are dreading up but in the front some are 2 dreads into one or just one is that bad and will they still be able to dread up

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  35. OK sooo i have thin curly hair will i be able to get good looking dreads?

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  36. Sammy, don’t worry about it – you are just in the first week. Wait at least a week to wash your hair the first time, then use a residue free shampoo and scrub your hair really well. After that, dry them COMPLETELY and then palm roll each dread and use a tiny amount of wax to rebind them. After a few months, you will be done with wax completely and unless you used too much, it will all be out of your hair by then.

    Good luck

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  37. i just got dreads. i used knotty boy wax, and ugh..they just look wimpyy. theres like white wax in them, and fuzzies everywhere, and their just greasy. can i wash them? or shower? asdfgkl. and if so, with what? water? too much maintenance.

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  38. I have new dreads and I have loosely curly caucasian hair…My dreads keep coming undone…and they dont stay tight. What is the best way to make sure they dont fall apart?

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  39. I am considering getting dreadlocks but am first researching what maintenance is involved to get the maturally dreaded. Roughly how long does it take for them to be low maintenance, and what maintenance does it take in that time?

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  40. my dreads are failing horridly i have a video on youtube about them plz check it out my user name is killaxfreakxshow and my video is HELP MY DREADS!!! plz help

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  41. Uh Oh, what if I have been using a pomade with petroleum in it? I just got them done a month ago, and have been wondering why they havent been twisting together! and now I know why, should I be worried that they are ruined for good or can I revive them with some good wax?

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  42. Hey, mama dreadlocks! I am very understanding of your comments. I also thought dreads were low-maintenance, easy, no-style, option for my 11yr-old son, who was desperate for them, for his long hair.
    So we did it, just us at home, with natural beeswax of course (no residue).
    ****And then, after a year of them getting progressively more dishevelled, and asking about the upkeep, we found out….you must maintain them WEEKLY!!!
    Who knew? So now it’s 3 yrs later. Riley is 14, and has decided he wants them again. (we cut the first ones out when he was 12).
    So, we are now 5 weeks into this second lot, and I am helping him wax n back-tease, ongoing, every week or 2, and they look GREAT!
    My concern is that as a 14yr-old, my boy won’t do the upkeep work enough, and they’ll stuff up again. It took me 6 hrs to do them! Wish us luck!

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  43. how do I stratch my head when I first start without messing them up

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  44. I really want dreads! But I am starting to go bald. My hair line as moved back a bit but the thing I am worried about is that my hair is thinning. Will too much of my scalp be exposed?

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  45. I got my dreads 6 days ago and I’m having that similar ‘loose at the base twisty style’ problem. I talked to a pro dread styler and she said its natural until your hair gets trained to the locks. She recommended getting a crochet needle to help work in the loose base hairs. Just be sure to use good wax (I like knottyboys) about three times a week & blow dry your whole dome to get the wax all the way worked in. I haven’t got to wash my hair yet (you’re suppose to wait a week) but supposedly washing is the key way to lock them in tighter. I love my dreads and I can’t wait till they look more stable as stand-alones. Right now theyre kinda wimpy and twisty looking but the waxing has helped enormously. Don’t loose faith! Dreads take time and patience!

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  46. I definitely ordered some anti-residue shampoo and Murray’s Beewax (that says ‘great for dreads’ on the bottle) and made my first dread to get the feel. I’m now reading up on how horrible this product is and how it’s an exorbitant in petroleum, which is horrible for the dread. I don’t know what to do! Should I take it out and start over or wait a couple weeks to see what happens? It seems like it’s holding pretty well, but then again, it was done about an hour ago…

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    • i used wax and it was out of my hair after rinsing it for a few days… that is how I would suggest you go about it

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  47. Q. im getting dreads in a few weeks and im doing it the all natural way with no wax.is this a bad way to go? my hair is full on thin, white girl hair and now im scared it wont hold, but the woman who is doing it for me doesnt just twist it, she backcombs and knots i think…if i have issues with them can i just put wax on them or is not using wax a bad call to begin with???

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  48. I got my dreads done 5 days ago at an afro-american salon and I am a white girl. My concern is that they used tons of grease on my hair and they seem to be twisted. What should I do, should I redo them or???

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  49. Q. does your head get itchy?

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    • yes it does. A little bit of lemon juice is pretty good. There are also some videos on youtube that show home made remedies to the itchiness

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  50. so, i was at a salon and they did in fact do my dreads as twistys..of course now i am worried that they will fall apart, i have had them in for 3 days and still are pretty waxy..ill sometimes play with my front ones and they seperate fairly easy(assuming its in early stages). just wondering if they will grow in the pattern they are twisted and what I should do about this frustrating situation..

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  51. everywhere i look on the internet, every dread based web site, people say DREADS ARE EASY and LOW MAINTENANCE according to having undreaded hair you must style everyday…..WELL, I wanted to get dreads mainly because i love the look, feel etc. of them..but the main attraction for me was i hated my hair before dreads because i am not the sissy- preppy type to style, curl and hairspray salon a go-go my hair… thinking dreads were my easy way out of any hair care time consuming mishaps was a big mistake…CAUTION TO ALL!!!!! Dreads take A LOT of maintenance, more than I was prepared for. My thought was that I would spend a good 15 hours backcombing them initially and be done with it…NOT TRUE! I am 10 months into my dreads, and every week must spend an hour or 2 or 3 or…????????? to make them look decent. Not that I wouldn’t do it all over again, but it definately wasn’t expected…So, for all of you out there who are tired and fed up, there is hope….hope that comes in years…. and just adapt to the fact that you are a slave to your dreads….in years to come they are like your babies, and with all respect gained…DAMN THEY TAKE A LOT OF WORK!!!! word of advice: they all deserve to have individual names, God! You birthed them for Christ’s sake!!!!!!!!

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  52. Just so everyone knows, DHHQ wax contains white microwax. That’s petroleum based. That’s bad.

    It’s bad because petroleum is a lubricant- prevents things from sticking together. You WANT your hair to stick together. In clumps. That’s the point.

    And easy way to not look like you have shitty clumps of waxed, greasy hair is NOT TO USE WAX.

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  53. I have new twisty dreads and I twist them regularly but they come undone at the edges of my hairline. I do have african american hair so why is it doing this. HELP!!!!

    and why is wax with petroleum so bad

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    • Ok I am a white male and I got short hair but u can grab it … I realy want to get locs but I don’t no what to put in my virgin hair … I realy realy waant locs

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  56. Q. I usually have kinky,nappy natural african type hair, I have twisits at the moment, is it possible for me to leave my hair like it is, shower once a day and grow dreadlocks naturally without any products? Because thats the way I want to do it.

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