2005
10.19

Q. Can you tell me what dread wax exactly does to get the dreads all tangled up??

A. There are good dreadlock waxes and bad. Good lock waxes are made from natural oils and unprocessed waxes like beeswax, and should feel like a tacky, stiff putty – not wet. Good waxes can be used on all hair types to form solid, healthy dreadlocks. Bad lock waxes are made from parafin wax, mineral oils (also called ‘white oil’), purfume and petroleum by-products and feel gooey, wet and slippery. These waxes will not hold most hair together to form dreadlocks.

The good locking waxes help to accellerate the natual dreadlocking process by binding the undreaded hair together really tight so that your new dreads get a good chance to knot up, rather than them just getting matted over time after not washing for months and gross stuff like that. It lets them start dreading right away, plus it makes you look like you have dreads even if it’s the first day you put the stuff in your hair. It’s still just tangled hair for the first few weeks, but then those locks start getting tighter and harder, and that’s when they’re turning into dreads! Usually this process takes months, even years without anything in your dreads to help – a good dreadlock wax gets them going in a matter of weeks, and should allow you to wash your hair and scalp like normal without your new locks falling out.

35 comments so far

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  1. im a white girl who just graduated cosmo school i got 3 mixed kids all with differant hair types. Dad and I are both goin to dread out hair. Im so super excited and thot mayb this site needed some positivity. comments to come…….

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  2. i have grown dreads and cut them three times now and regrowing them again. everything from natural dreads to twisted dreads a combination of plaits with dreads redreaded my ols dreads into my afro now. I have tried everything to make them lock quicker. Gel does holod the hairs together but make sure you avoid the scalp. If you happen to sweat you better have a high tolerance for the itch. Bee’s wax seems to help mend them together. I have also tried ToothePaste yep toothpast. Which will give you an excellent bond and gather all of the loose frizzy hairs. Only thing is you’l smell minty fresh all the time but its not hard to wash out. But when it comes down to it just take TIME given the texture of your hair some longer then others. But for that complete lock I say 4-6 months bee’s wax no bees wax products no products. I PERSONALLY FEEL YOU SHOULD RETWIST YOURE DREADS YOURSELF. the only reason i would suggest a salon is to get that perfect parted able to see scalp look, done by the breaking and re-rooting shared roots of seperate dreads. I FIND THE BEST WAY TO RETWIST YOUR HAIR IS IMMEDIATELY AFTER WASHING YOU CAN CHOOSE TO USE WAX OR NOT, EVEN SO YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW EASY IT IS AND HOW YOUR HAIR OBEYS LAYERING AND FOLLOWS THE WAY YOU TWIST IT. YOU WILL NEVER PAY MONEY AGAIN. BY THE TIME YOU FINISH TWISTING THEM ALL YOUR HAIR WILL DRY, THEN JUST SLEEP WITH A DURAG OR WHATEVER TO PROTECT THE TWIST.

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  3. Alright so I have had my dreads in for 8 weeks!!!! I have been getting them retwisted every 2 weeks with gel! But on the 8th week the usual place I go was closed so I found a new place to go to! This was 3 days ago! They twisted my hair with a mix of beeswax and this black stuff(I think it’s called jam or something) and omfg the wax is clogging my poors on my head and making my scalp itch so bad!!! For 8 weeks straight I have not had a problem at all with any itch what so ever when I get my hair twisted with Jamaican mango and line gel but all of a sudden I get beeswax in my hair and it’s so crazy!!!! I am washing my hair tomorrow when i get home from school to try and get the wax out! But yeah I just wanted to tell everyone my experience with beeswax t(-_-t)

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    • Hi. it’s the Jam that’s causing the itching I believe (plus possibly an excess amount of beeswax). The Jam causes flaking and can dry your hair and scalp which will make it itch like crazy (I have been though the sleepless itchy nights- I don’t use it anymore).

      The debate on wax won’t ever end and I guess it has to do with what works for you. I had locs for 6 years (pulled them out last Sept) and the product that you prefer to use flaked on my scalp and caused it to itch. Beeswax combined with light oils or butters works perfectly.

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  4. Ok so my hair is almost 3” long and I have been wanting dreads for ages, I was wondering if I should continue to wait for it to grow longer or I can do back combing now? Also, how exactly do I wash it and how often? I am a Caucasian female with average thickness hair. I usually braid my hair but I want legit dreads finally…
    Thanks in advance :)

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  5. Hello everyone! I just got my hair newly dreaded but unfortunately the wax we used was petroleum based…. Is there a safe way to get the petroleum wax out without ruining my new dreads? ( I have a beeswax petroleum free wax to replace the nasty stuff. ) Love to hear from anyone :)

    Rachel

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    • I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but if you need to get any type of dread wax out..use apple cider vinegar!!

      I was putting my natural dread wax in my hair while also doing some research about how to get my hair really stripped and clean. (baking soda and apple cider vinegar,) I didn’t have the baking soda so I just put a whole bunch of apple cider vinegar on and kept my hair in a shower cap for a good hour… After I rinsed it with hot water and shampooed it, I notice my dreads didn’t have that tacky feeling of wax.. Pretty much got rid of it ALL… I did not mean for this to happen, but it did! P: So just a suggestion.

      (I posted this above as well, sorry!)

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  6. I used tiny bits of wax on each dread once every 10 days. The other thing I found useful is to use a hair dryer to melt the wax in to the dread taht stops them being so sticky on the outside that you get bits of fluff etc. They actually go all soft when you melt the wax.

    And todays waxes ARE WATER SOLUBLE, its bees wax. Bees wax is water soluble. Yeah, its not gonig to wash all of it out after one shower when you do stop using the wax but not many showers. You can also dip dreads in very hot water to melt out the wax. Plenty of videos out there showing it being done.

    My advice to anyone. Research BOTH sides of the argument before making YOUR decision. Some people got awesome dreads from no product, some people got awesome dreads from using wax etc. Find out what your OWN hair likes!

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  7. My dreads are about 6 weeks old now and I have ussed very little wax.
    My dread journey is going to take a different route from now on tho, I am going to use aloe vera direct from a plant I have been growing. So I am going to was my hair several times to get the wax out and just use aloe vera gel from the plant (not a pot in the store) and palm roll that in.

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  8. Blah blah blah ^_^
    I have had dreads for like three months now, it just takes patience. Wax or no wax, man it still takes time n_n

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  9. i really would want to dread my hair the natural way ever.What are the reguirements.T hanx in advance.

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  10. I am in the beginning stages of dreading. I decided to stop brusing my hair and let it do its thing. I need help on actually starting the dreads. Should i back comb, palm roll the tangled pieces or just do nothing until my hair is more tangled?? I’m still debating on whether or not to use wax, but how do you keep the frizzies at bay? Thanks for any advice

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  11. is it bad to not wash new dreads for a couple of weeks

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    • Eh, not really.
      The only reason I would imagine to want to wash your hair is to strip all of the oils away for them to easily become more tangled.
      Namaste<3

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  12. i hav had mi dreads for 2 years i use wax and its working good! weni first started i didn wash mi hair for 2 months and they locked.. now i wash em only wen they smell,,, maybe once every 3 weeks…. im happi with mi dreads… but im black with white in me so mi hair is kinda thick and curly,,, i used the twisting method,, just let someone part mi hair and twist it from an airfro now i twist it miself!!!! any questions hit me up on mi email!!!

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  13. So heres the deal
    I got my baby dreads three weeks ago by doing the twisting method I am mainly black with some white in me so i have thick curly hair.Im not sure wether i should b beeswaxs or not.I have twisting gel also and am not sure if thats the way to go. Im hoping my hair is locked up befor two months or around then. and should my hair be locked up already after 3weeks?

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  14. Hi all,

    I am a white grrrl w/hair that’s about 17 or 18″ long. I want to dread it (have been wanting to for like 3+ years.) I have been feverishly searching & searching on the internet about the best way to dread white (kinda thin wavy) hair…also about how much shorter my hair will be (am guessing a few inches,) AND now I am researching the debate on dread wax…to wax or not to wax…

    It sounds like wax CAN be good — provided it’s the right wax (natural) & used effectively. Pretty much what I’ve gleaned from all the sites I’ve visited & also from talking to friends is that it’s a personal preference. One of my friends (white girl) has NEVER used wax on her dreads & they look good; one of my guy friends used wax (one of the main waxes found from a popular dreadhead site) & he says it aided in locking up his dreads.

    I think the more I look around, the more confused I am (lol!!) & that the best thing is just to try NOT using wax, but if I have an issue w/my dreads not locking up, then use a little bit? Ugh! Decisions…Oh — what about the other products out there? Any thoughts on locking accelerator? Tea tree oils? I know to use a non-residue soap (I just bought Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap.) Any advice is appreciated! Thanks so much! ~Lin

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  15. can anyone help.i used gel to start my dreads and now there are particles of white gel in my hair and i need to get them out(ive had my dreads for 2 days)

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  16. I think a lot of people who bash wax don’t realize that if you only use it a little bit, I used it once a week for the first month I had dreads and then once every 2 months or so.

    I believe I wax my dreads differently from everybody else, I usually take a bunch of wax, spread it on my hands, and then firmly palm roll it once, maybe twice.

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  17. Ugh brownsuga, not washing your dreads is the worst thing you can do. That’s really gross, bad for your locks and scalp and a stupid misconception that gives dreadheads a bad rep.

    Caucasian hair does not need anything to dread, not even backcombing, you can leave it and it will do it’s thang. I’m gonna throw some opinions and advice out there, but I’ve only ever applied these methods to caucasian hair and dreadlocks, my knowledge of afro-caribbean hair type isn’t as great so I’m not sure if all of the advice applies and a lot of this is down to personal experience with my own and others caucasian type dreads.

    I have some natural dreads underneath my 5 year old originally backcombed locks. They formed on their own after I grew out an undercut, no products either I just wash them when my scalp needs it. Washing too much is also bad, if you don’t give your locks a chance to dry you risk mould and your scalp will overproduce sebum(oils, not far away from wax actually) which can greatly hinder the locking process by lubricating the hairs. My natural dreads underneath are less than a year old and they’re already matching my older ones texture-wise. My dreads mature quite quickly because they are kept clean.

    Hair needs to be clean to knot up, it’s best to keep anything greasy, including wax, out of your locks.
    Oh and hay wax users. You might be using a tiny amount like the wax companies tell you to, but you’re palmrolling that into your dreads every time you do, layer by layer. I doubt you’re washing your hair with water hot enough to melt the wax out(why put something in your hair that you want out anyway?). If you’ve followed the initial lock starting methods from companies like knottyboy and dhhq you’ve already taken a hairdryer to them and melted some in from the start. That dirty(wax attracts dirt) mank is going to stay in your dreads, making them harder to dry and there’s a chance you’ll get mould.

    So yeah IMO, tiny amounts don’t make it better at all. Over time you’re going to have more than a tiny amount in your dreads and it’s not going to be worth the initial aesthetics. Aloe gel is better. It will tame your frizzies and washes right out, not to mention the benefits for your scalp are nice too c: Dreads are about patience, after all, but there are some lock safe methods for aiding the process.

    Seasalt and water rinses are great for the locking process as they roughen and dry the surface of the hair, aiding knotting, I include tea tree oil for the benefits to the scalp and it smells fab and repels bugs as well. Don’t overdo it with the salt though, you don’t want to dry your hair out too much.
    I also treat my hair to a deep cleanse every 6 months at least. This includes soaking my hair in baking soda nixed with cider vinegar, lemon, tea tree oil etc and then rinsing like hell, you can find recipes online. If you’ve only used a small amount of wax and you want it out, a deep cleanse may help break the gunk inside the lock down. Deep cleanses are vital for getting out any soap you’ve missed or dirt embedded in the cores of the locks, and of course the clean hair left behind will lock up faster.

    Too much palm rolling can damage your locks or cause breakage or weak spots, I recommend only palmrolling when your hair is wet to prevent this, it’s also the best time to rip/separate the locks at the roots if they’re starting to eat each other. Using rubber bands or string around the roots is very bad for your locks as well and creates weak spots, it’s offered in salons that claim to be dreadlock savvy so do your research before you get work done from anywhere or anyone.

    I also want to mention the benefits of using henna on your locks if you want strong, permanent colour without the chemical damage. Henna is brilliant for your hair and leaves it conditioned and strong. I’ve been using henna on my locks for a couple of years now, fabulous stuff. Just make sure you’re getting pure powdered henna because there are “fake” hennas(made up from other dyes or metallic salts) that will mess with your hair or cause allergic reactions.

    I hope this is helpful to those new to locks and good luck with your hair, whatever methods you choose to use.

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  18. my daughter started my dreads with black gel thats it. I didnt wash them for 5 months
    (oct 09) some my say thats crazy but i just washed them for the first time last week they are all locked and by the way i cleaned out all of the gel months ago, just by dampn them and pulling the gook out. Just washed it again today and was gonna use wax to make them look tidy but yall r scaring me so i decided to do about ten of them and see if I c a difference. thanks

    O i agree everyones hair is different for the chick who just cant seem to lock just leave ur hair it will nap up all by itself. as far as caucasian peeps yall my need somethng to hold ur hair together and wax might be the way to go as opposed to back combing which i would never do.

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  19. I have ben going to a hairdresser to start my dreads. Its ben kool as far as I kan tell, never having dreads and all, but I wanna say this. Your dreads r your dreads. Everyones dreads are different, its up to u to choose tha method of locking. As for me like I said, I started about 3months ago using only shea butter so far. Eventually I’m gonna take over myself and research different things, but as for now I’m dealing wit shea butter (which works great so far)

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  20. you can have uniform and tidy dreads without wax… the uniform part comes from back-combing, now from wax. I’m caucasian with very straight hair and have never used wax. I back-combed and that’s it and my dreads locked up in 2-3 months time. I don’t see the point in putting wax in your hair and having to worry about getting it out when its completely un-needed. Hair locks up fine without it and it just seems like a waste of money and time. To the people that say that you’re using an insignificant amount… if you’re using the amount that they tell you to, then its not going to really make a difference on the appearance of your dreads anyways. And if you’re using enough that its making your dreads look not so frizzy, then you’re probably using too much and you’re going to have trouble getting it out in the long-run. Yes, wax melts, but have any of you ever tested the temperature of water it takes to melt wax. I’m betting that most of you don’t wash your hair with scalding hot water. The whole point is, the companies that make it want you to think that you can’t get dreads without it unless you’re of african descent. That’s BS. The truth is, its unnecessary and doesn’t really help even when it is used “correctly” and if it’s used incorrectly, you risk having serious problems with your dreads like mold and stench. The benefits don’t outweigh the risks but hey, its your head so do what you want, its your choice. I think I’d rather believe people that have had dreads for years though than a company that’s trying to make money off of what they’re telling you. The people with dreads have no reason to lie to you about it, but the companies do… so that they can make a profit. Just my 2 cents.

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  21. hey man…
    i just started putting them in its gonna go wrong but hey…
    some stuff i read says you have to use the wax stuff to put them in and some is saying that i dont… so if someone could tell me it would be good…
    thanks.. =)
    because im not very clever/ knowledgeable

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    • Hey dude, it is a good question, there seems to be a needless debate on the internet.

      Basically wax speeds it up and helps if you want your dreads to look uniform and the same size from root to tip. If you want to save the money and have more random sized and shaped dreads go natural. That is it. Both ways will get you dreads.

      Cheers

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  22. I had my dread’s put in around 4 months ago but they keep falling out. My hair dressers has retied them 3 times and they last time she triple tied it and their still coming out. It’s really frustrating. I’ve used different waxes, jells and product and then was asked to stop using them to see if that helped
    May hair is around 16cm long so it on the shorter side. She also told me that i have very healthy hair and lots of natural oils. Should that affect the quality of the dread?
    Any help would be great. Thanks

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    • Hairdressers generally know nothing about wax. I don’t even know what you mean by saying your hairdresser is “tying” in dreads.. I’ve never heard that and doubt it would work. I recommend that you heavily research the backcombing method of making dreads. Check out forums and various sites. Dreadheadhq.com has detailed instructions on how to make dreads from backcombing. Get a few friends/relatives over and you can have real dreads that look cool and will stay in… Stop wasting your money by continuously giving it to a hairdresser that obviously doesn’t understand how to create dreadlocks.

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      • “Hairdressers generally know nothing about DREADS.” Is what I meant to say. Typo, sorry.

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  23. Wax isn’t the problem. That is like saying a knife is responsible for cutting you. It is just a tool – and with proper use, it can be very beneficial. I use it, and my hair is clean and looks great.

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  24. wax isn’t bad for dreads, it’s personal preference. natural dreads generally take longer, but wax can be beneficial. you’re not using candle wax, you’re using beeswax which is softer and tends to melt under hot water.

    using too much wax is always a bad thing, you only need tiny amounts. the wax helps the hair to hold itself together, it’s not meant to be used in large amounts.

    so long as you take care of them, don’t over wax and wash them regularly they’ll be fine. i’ve had both natural and wax-aided dreads in my lifetime, both worked out fine though wax is nice if you need to tidy them up a little for formal occasions.

    yorick needs to take a chill pill.

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  25. im in a pickle, i dont know if i should use wax or not. ive used it b4 and it doesnt seem to be “candle” like unless you use too much. ehh, i dont know. im trying to weigh out the options, w/e. i think im going to use it anyway. why would it be in the market if it wasnt usefull

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  26. Stop braiding them. Duh.

    As for what wax actualy does: Pay attention now…

    WAX IS FOR CANDLES. DREADS TAKE TIME, NOT WAX.

    Sorry to tell everyone this, but if you want nice locs, the answer is to wait longer for it to matt up, not load it so full of wax that it can’t. Dread wax is non-water soluable. That means: it doesn’t wash out. You want candles hanging off your head forever?

    “your new dreads get a good chance to knot up, rather than them just getting matted over time after not washing for months and gross stuff like that.” So what exactly is the difference between “matted” and “knotted”? Did you have a stroke?

    Why does everyone think you can’t grow natural dreads if you wash your hair? Washing your hair actually speeds the locking process. Why do you think people brush their hair in the first place? TO GET RID OF KNOTS. Go look up some Sadhus and tell me that backcombing and wax is the only way to nice dreads.

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    • Yet another person spewing nonsense without knowing what they’re talking about.
      You aren’t making your dreads into candles. You’re putting such a tiny insignificant amount of wax in your dreads that all it does it keep the frizzles and lose hairs closer together which gives then a better chance to lock up. You DO NOT USE WAX TO “GLUE” DREADS TOGETHER!
      If you load your dreads so full of that they can’t lock then.. well no they won’t lock. Who here suggested loading them full of wax? Nobody. You either way overused your wax or you haven’t used it and are passing on the useless information that you heard from a friend of a friend of a friend.
      No wax isn’t water soluble.. But think carefully… What happens to wax when it gets hot? It melts…. Any decent companies that sell wax will tell you to use a TINY amount, then when you need to wash it out take a hot shower. Hot = wax melts. Melting means it liquifies which means it just washes right out as if it were water. You want proof wax works? Go check out the thousands of people that have used it successfully. If you use it right it works. Use it wrong and it won’t work. But if you do use it wrong it’s YOUR OWN FAULT.
      So stop whining about how wax is bad.. it’s a BS rumor and it’s not true.

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  27. I been growing my dreads about three years .now they are thinning at the top from getting them braided all the time what should i do!

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    • STOP GETTING THEM BRAIDED -___-
      Let Them Be Dreads… If You Wanted Braids For Three Years, Than You Should Have Gotten BRAIDS …
      *Drops Mic*
      Problem Solved…
      Twitter @ViaFlipThoo

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