2005
10.19

Q. “My son has baby fine, thin light brown hair with a wave curl, 4 inches long. After bleaching his hair, he was ready for dreadlocks.

The hairdresser we went to said his hair was good texture + length for the dread locks. She sectioned hair in ½ inch squares, total of 61, split each square in two, twisted it with beeswax, used a salon product on it and shaved up to ears at back. He loved it!

But before we got home, we drove 2 hours looking for bees wax because the twists were untwisting! We finally found a salon that sold us Walnut Bees Wax, she also told us we didn’t have dread locks, we had twists and we would have to twist and wax everyday. So ½ hour each morning I am twisting + waxing. Thru the night with a stocking, the wax wears off at the pillow area, and untwists but the top of head does not make contact, so the beeswax is still there but twists still undo.

So now that I know we have twists, am I going to be twisting and waxing my life away every morning at 6am for ½ hour?

When the new growth of light brown hair grows in under the squared teased spot, how is it that this becomes teased?

Your beeswax seems harder. With using your wax will it give us staying power for the twists, and less grease shine + less redoing the twists? (My wax is soft but not runny and the twists remain soft.)

DREADS, TWISTS, LOCKS, BRAIDS – are these 4 different hairstyles? Please help!”

A. Ok, I’ll try and tackle these as best I can… ha

First of all, yes, your son paid for and was given twists, not dreads. This is what is known as the great salon-dread scam!

If you go to a salon for dreads, unfortunately most of the time you will never end up with dreads AND they charge you an outrageous price, at that. Very enraging. However, it’s been done now, no use griping about it.

What I absolutely recommend is that you start over again. Search the internet for ‘How to Make Dreadlocks’ – Knottyboy.com has an excellent one – and using that a guide and please, if you can get your hands on a jar of good quality all-natural dreadlock wax, this will make your dreading life SO much easier, I promise. It should be like a soft putty and have an enormous amount of hold, very unlike the creamy, greasy stuff you’ve been using up until now – trust me, I’ve tried all of those products, too, and they don’t work for spit.

You will still need to maintain (backcomb, wax and twist into shape) these new dreads for the first 3-6 weeks until they begin locking on their own, and then after that you should be able to just touch them up every now and then, and just let them dread on their own.

Keep in mind, the shorter the hair, the more maintenance in the beginning, but he will end up with better dreads in the end.

Dreads are what your son wants. Dreadlocks are ropes of well-maintained matted hair, like
what Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, etc. had/has.

Twists are a look achieved by merely twisting the hair into… well, twists!

Braids are straightforward, and locks are a style most-easily achieved by those with Afro-American hair types, it’s a form of twists only with longer hair and not very easy to do with slippery, fine, Caucasian hair types.

For information on what to do about the undreaded ‘roots’ of your sons dreads that you will see coming in within the next few months, please see the extensive information about that on this FAQ page here at dreadlocks.org or the FAQ pages of the Knotty Boy site – everything to help you deal with that can be found there.

Good luck on this dreadful journey – and don’t give up, the main thing his new dreads need are patience and time.

64 comments so far

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  1. Hey! I started my dreads almost one year ago and single hair still keeps coming out..( I would Say it locked to about 70%) Normally I would go every month to a specialist to get them maintained, but as I am broke at the moment I am doing it somehow myself.. the result is obviously not as accurate as made by a professional. Well my hair is mixed raced but softer than my moms for example. I was told It makes it a bit more difficult to achieve proper locs.

    My question now is: What can I do to keep them neat and tidy, when I cant go to the hairdresser ? And what do I do to prevent single hair to keep coming out ? The Palm roll technique doesn’t seem to be very effective on my hair..

    I am thankful for any advise and trick to take care about my hair as much as possible, without messing them irreversibly up..

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  2. Hi I’m white with curly hair I have my hair twisted and waxed with rubber bands on the tips ive had then for three weeks I haven’t washed them our even wet I’m am wondering how I can maintain them without starting over

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    • Rubber banding can tend to pull out hairs by the roots, try some tightening gel or wax, and palm-roll those dreadies!

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  3. I’m currently around 1 month since I’ve had my comb twist & I’ve been using organic root stimulator lock .& twist gel with a gel also beeswax. When I get them retwisted. Is this a good idea should I keep using these products? Please and thanks

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  4. You gotta sit under the dryer or it wont stay. I started my locs may 1st 2014 have to come every week and get it red on since its baby locs but it came out good, my hair jus grows too fast

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  5. Hi. I’m Tyler,my hair is like 2 2/3 inches long and the
    Back keep untwisting,I’ve had it for like one month what
    Do I do

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  6. If his hair was at all even it wouldn’t stay twisted I just got mine twisted and no unraveling the lady I went to makes her own wax and you should not have to re twist every night his hair may have been too even

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  7. this exact thing has happened to me. I have extremely staright similar to chinese or indian hair, she told me she would use gel, some sort of glue twists the hair and then braid it. It does not look bad but i have a concern it will not turn to dreads can any one give me any advice, im not sure if i should take them out or continue with this?

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  8. I went to a salon and tried to get dreads but they gave me twists are the twists supposed to loc?

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    • yes if they are two strand twist you treat them as locs. retwist new growth every 2 and a half weeks and make sure you wash before you retwist. eventually they begin to bud on the ends and lock. i have had mine for 8 months and the twist pattern is gone and they look like normal dreads. good luck on your loc journey.

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  9. Hi mom

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  10. in order to get locks you have to get twist ,, they have to lock from somethin … yall might have them for a couple of months tho …

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  11. i have been growing my hair for 8 years can i get dreads my hair is down the middle of my back

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    • yea you will just have some shrinkage

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  12. hi
    i am 19 years old and have a very big thick afro, i really want to dread it. im wondering if i should just start with how my hair is now, or should i cut it a little bit. I would like to have shoulder langth dreads, also with thick curly afro hair which method is the best.

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  13. i have twists for 8 days and i want to color my hair how can i?

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  14. I’m posting this and I hope it might help others. Tried locking about ten years ago but didn’t have the patience for the start-up, this time I’m about 4 months in to locks after 6 months of growing my hair. I’ve been to different lock technicians and tried to twist and maintain my own hair. I’ve tried beeswax, dread wax, locking gels etc and this is what I’ve found with my thick african hair.

    You can start with about 1 and half inch of hair. Comb twists with locking gel are a good start and then twist up again with a good dreading wax (less build-up). Thinner twists keep better but depends on your taste. Try and keep that for about two to three weeks. GO TO A LOCKS SPECIALIST for those early washes and retwists if you want to keep the locks as neat and tidy as possible. Some dreads will unravel after washing in the early stages and they will set them back for you. I go to the salon every two weeks and inbetween twist with Mango and Lime wax (It’s not 100% natural but I’m busy and I don’t have time to mix 10 different oils and products). Sleep with a durag at least or a good skull cap.

    After that just be PATIENT for those first months and as your locks grow you can start washing at home, maybe get friend or family to help you with retwists and stretch the salon visits if money is an issue. I work so can’t hide my hair in my job but if you don’t have to be in public every day and have the time you can probably do a lot more of your own twisting and washing.

    I love my hair and wish I’d had more patience before cause I’d have long locks now but I probably wasn’t mature enough to relax and let nature do its thing. Also I like having different hair to all my bredrens who all have rows or shortcuts.

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  15. hi
    i started my locks a year a go there growing the only problem is im mixed race half white and half black so i have thick but curly hair my hair has locks but the bottom has not and no matter what i do it is just fressie has any one got advice for what i can do
    please….

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  16. After getting tired of cutting my hair the same style in a foreign land, i decided to have my hair dread to end up all these how to keep my hair issues. But trust me, for over a year now, i have been trying all manner of methods i read from online. Yet nothing promising had happenin. I tried the backcombing, twisting and the braiding with all the waxes i have, still nothing good came out. So far, it was the first twisting i started with before reading all these info that worked well but at the end have to loose them all because they have some small small torn threads in them as a result from the face towel i use in twisting them. So in all i have tried the “better locks lock and hold beeswax”, “knotty boy” and “lets dred”. None of them seem to work well at all. They show off the wax colour in the hair so have to cover them every time i go to work or sleep. Then this makes my hair smells very bad which i cant stand at all. So had to wash all wax out. I will be very happy if someone can come to my aid, please. Anyway, am a black, in case anyone should come in with an advice for me. 10x in advance.

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  17. if you have had a perm can you get dreads

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  18. I just got comb coil twist yesterday
    I’ve been growing my hair for 6months already before the twist, but my thing I’d i don’t know what to do w/them use on them etc :(

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  20. im half native american and im dreading my hair and im useing the twist method with dreadwax and it seems to be working iv had them for a week and there not unraveling or anything infact iv talked to some people who have had dreads for a while and said that there coming along pretty quickly

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    • Hey, how is your hair now? Do they look like locs as new growth comes in? I started mine with twists about a week ago and I’m just wondering if they’ll look like dreads because that’s what I want. Thanks

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  21. Hey I’m African American but my hair is thin but still African amarrican textured…
    Will my twists grow into dreads even though my hair is a little bit thinner?

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    • yes just be patient

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  22. I had my hair 2 strand twisted 4 months ago,i have fine hair,it’s not locking up and i am scard it will never lock up,my husband has long beautiful locks,and i am looking forward for mine to just like his,i love locks,and would give anything for my hair to even look like it’s going to lock up.open to any advise.

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  23. My dreads were twisted with a comb and they tured out pretty good. I guess it really just dependds on your hair texture and what you use…
    @Dreadhead4lifee follow me

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  24. I started my dreadz earlier this summer and I have been on a coaster ride so far…we started with beeswax and locking gel along with a dryer and twist….my hair poofed a couple of days later….we then retwisted and used clips….roots poofed again…then we tried the latch-hook method and this is now working…latch-hook the roots and palm roll the ends…even tho the hair is still soft…it no longer unrolls because the roots are knotted and gives the ends time to lock….we shall keep pushing on and if all else fails I will be shaving it off lol

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  25. my son is 10 months…when can i start his twist or dreads???

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  26. Hey I have two inches of hair and I have soft hair and when it gets
    Wet it gets really curly people say I have “fine hair” “good hair” ect…
    I want to start my locs ASAP but I only want to do the two strand twist
    Method… Right now my hair is in cornrows.. Does anybody have any
    Advice ?? I would really appreciate it!!

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  27. I started my locks on june 26 and I didnt cut my hair at all. I already had natural hair so I had two strand twists in my hair for about one month before I started locking. I had between five to seven inches of hair to start. A friend that started them used the twist/palm roll method on my hair. We used just a regular locking gel. Its been a month and a half and everyone says they look great to be so new. Only problem from time to time is the ends get puffy on some. Locks are def a journey but it is yours. So start them they way u want and journey well. : )

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  28. I got my dreads two days ago. It was a backcombing+twist+backcombing+twist method. Looks fine to me. People need to be patient. Dreads require patience! That’s what makes the final product so awesome. I have 5 or 6 inch dreads. I have faith in them. ;)

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    • how long did the process take, and what type of hair style did you have before you dreaded them ?

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  29. Hello..
    These comments were very enlightening. I have dreadlocks and it will be almost 3 years in august. My dreadlocks are very healthy and have a natural shine. I DO NOT believe in beeswax for your dreadlocks at all. Its a complete mess and sticky. I use Gel. any locking twist gel. Now inorder for your locks to begin a healthy process, all products need to be reevaluated. No products including mineral oil, or pertroleum jelly are to be used because they clog the pores and stunt dreadlock growth. It doesnt matter how you start you dreads as long they are matted and locked. Dreadlocks are very fine pieces of hair locked together or they are the dead hair interlocked. NO wax is needed again!!! it makes your hair sticky and gross. use gel and clips..sit under the dryer or blow dry…i usually fall asleep with the clips in. again..no wax!!! all natural hair care products for all natural hair

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  30. I cut my locs so in the back i have comb twist what is the best thing to cover, wrap hair with at night to keep the comb twist up

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  31. ok so i am 15 and i have about a inch and a half of thick but soft culy hair i am white and black and most people say i have “good hair” and i read through the site and about people saying they dont know which method works for thier hair type i know i got time before my hair is actual length to be dreaded but i would like to know which method i should go with so i dont get scammed for my money at a salon also my mom has dreads she did her own and they look great but we have 2 way diffrent hair types and she is going to use her method on my hair would it work??

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  32. I am an African-American and I have had my dreads for 7 months and they are fully locked. Just to answer all of your questions..

    There is no such thing as a wrong way to get dreads. Dreadlocks are just matted coils of hair. You can get them through twisting (the way I use and in my opinion the most neat), backcombing, comb twisting, not twisting at all, and pretty much just by not combing your hair. So for those who said they were told it is a wrong way, that’s totally false. However, when you decide you want dreadlocks, you want to first look at your type of hair. Caucasians or pretty much anythin besides African hair will have a harder time dreading because of your specific quality of hair.

    This is why most Caucasians use the backcombing method because it is much more convenient as far as time goes.

    Now to address Teetee, you can twist your own hair whenever you decide to. Just look on youtube and you will find everything you need to know.

    Just keep in mind you all, dreading is not just a lifestyle, its a way of life, so take an outlook on your future as far as jobs and careers go when considering this lifestyle. Good luck on your journeys.

    And one last thing, in my opinion from what I have seen, the shorter your hair is when you start your dreads, the better they will turn out. I started with my hair about 2-3 inches and I twist my hair with Murrays 100% Australian Beeswax. I love my dreads and so does everyone else. Also, I use the twisting method and when I first started, my dreads were “twists”. Good luck with your dreadlocks and I know this will be helpful to someone, or 20 hehe

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  33. What I find funny is I didn’t even think about “I want Locks”
    I’m Black nuff said… It’s my Natural Inclination to Grow and Need with my bare hands
    what cannot be provided by a Nuclea Plant
    and if such a time as a comb touches my head
    I will go Afro! Yeah you heard what I said!
    Peace to my Sisters n Brothers.

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  34. well i just got single-strand twist put in guess there called combtwist…well they lady used this creme/gel/pomade/ and set me under a dryer and told me to not wash it for 2 weeks or even get them week…and then come back in 2 weeks for matience…is there way i can do whaever shes gonna do…myself and save my self…40 bucks?

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  35. My husband is white ad wants me to do a two strand twist on his hair. It would just be for fun for about a week. He has thick curly hair. Will I have to close off the twists with rubber bands or should just use product?

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  36. Well Hello Dreadlocks.org im a 15 year old my name is tre ive been growing my hair for about 6 months first month i had a short fro bout 2 to 3 inches right so see i went up to miami to my step dads other gfs house[her name is candy] she told me i can get my hair twisted i gotta wait a long while before i get dreaded up right so i got it twisted first time i got it twisted looked like lil dots on my head right next day the beeswax she put it there made it gro i got kinda soft Brillo pad hair real soft easy to twist it usually takes about 2-3 days for my hair to grow using beeswax and jamaican twistin and locking gel it grows well as the months and weeks got by it got longer it grew a solid 4-5 and a half inches it slowed down in the process i left it a low afro one thing i never combed it out so i thought it was low jus when my mom told me use a blow dryer with the comb on it and make it hot while im blow drying i reveals the true length and all dat stuff and damn i hate my cousin she convinced my mother to cut my hair when i was little damn i wish i wish she wouldnt have done that i already had twists that looked like short dreads at the age of 3 man imagine how long it would have been 3 years twists on my shoulders till now 15 years old all the way down my back but yea back to da 15 year old lol yea so when i combed it out and all that my hair was long enough for cornrows which i have no there a lil loose get messy if i dont tie it down wit a du rag or a wave cap some people say its long enough to get dreaded some people keep callin me a buffalo soldier becuase i was born in Jamaica port royal im like dont judge me lol yea but what do yall think should i get dreads for my wisdom and becuase im inspired or wait till another year im 15 100 percent jamaican and im not inspired jus becuase of bob marley some people be perpretratin the dreadlock culture some do it jus for a style i do it becuase of jah life da babylon is a vampire i an i will see you through but soon i an i will be dreadin like a rasta

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  37. Locking your hair takes time and patience, not salon hair products and locticians. It’s a NATURAL PROCESS. No matter what kind of hair you have, just stop combing it and use reside free soap/shampoo for healthy, clean, organic dreads:)

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  38. Hello all I do locs african hair only prices are decent…if ya need pictures my pleasure…I’m in the san bernardino ca area..I’ve been doing locs for over ten yrs..work from home in a pleasant one on one atmosphere….

    Trunature

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  39. you cant make a loc, the hair is braided, twisted, or just allowed to matt to create a loc. locking is a natural process, braiding, twisting and matting are just different ways to go through the process. Its not a scam, your son had what is called starter locks. you dont need to twist it everyday. depending on the texture his hair will unravel. These methods are some of the neater methods for locking

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  41. hey Guys, im asain got my hair two strand twisted, and got it sewed inside the dreads should i take all this out and do the backcomb/palmroll

    I been having it for at least three weeks and havent wash it yet.

    Should i take it all out and redo it, or am i fine?

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  42. i am of mixed race (spanish, black u name it) and decided about four years ago to grow what most in my country call a ras (dread, locks etc). the thing is i started twisting it for myself using beeswax, lock and twist gel u name it. it is just a matter of experimenting with different (but safe) products until u discover what works well with your hair, everyone’s different. i never back combed. what i discovered is that in the early stages it is something you have to dedicate time and patience to but eventually, once you don’t comb it out it will infact lock. mine took 6 to 8 months to actually start locking. i am not a professional loctition but i always get great compliments on my hair.

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  43. Hey, I’m just thinking about getting dreadlocks done, my hair is kind of wavy and I read that that can be harder? is this true, and one more question, can I get dreads done at a salon? Because i have NO idea how to do it as home, plus my mom would never let me if I did. my email is red_cloud190@yahoo.com if anyone could help! thanks =]

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  44. Does anyone know how to maintain dreads using thread.

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    • you can use a needle and thread to repair your dread or help put some of the thinner ones together its just like sewing but you don’t do the whole dread just the part that won’t hold

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  45. Man i got kinda long twist what is the best way to keep twists for men up.

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  46. Hi all, Ive got medium tight curly hair but not as dense or thick as the African type. Anyways i was back on holidays on my native island in the Caribbean about a month ago. Ive been growing my hair for the past 1 1/2 years so I thought I’d might aswell go to a proper Jamaican hair salon to get my hair dreadlocked. Ive read up alot about it before i decided to get them, because of my work etc, I wasnt sure if it was going to be “acceptable”.

    First thing Ive asked her was, “do u do the 2 strand twist or the back combing?” …. she looked at me very confused and I decided to let the question slide and to just let her do her job, after all she knew what she was doing being a Jamaican hairdresser. Well boys and girls, I got “the twist method packed with bees wax”. I paid about US$30.- and was estactic because I got a bargain from a real Jamican hairdresser!!!

    The days to follow i started to think about this twist thing and common sense was starting to tell me that this syle of dreadlocking wasnt going to happen in a hurry, having wax and stuff in it. The twists were slipping out and looking very sad indeed.

    When I got back home i read up a little more about it and started searching dreadlock hair salons in the state for possible future “maitanance or re-doing”. Luckly I found a lady on a website that had 20 years experience in dreadlocking hair, she was a proper locktician who lived in London and worked alot with African type hair texture..

    I explained to her my hair situationa and send her a few pics… With great regret she informed me that the method used on my type hair was the wrong one!! I had to wash my hair out with dishwashing liquid to strip it from all oils etc. At first I thought she only was telling me this so she could have my business however when she dreaded it again from scratch (using backcombing method, with NO wax at all), it looked awesome!!

    What iam trying to say out of my recent experience is that the twist method should be used on tight african type curly hair because it will lock as easy for them as the backcombing method. However for any other type hair being softer curls, strait caucasian or asian hairtypes, use the backcombing method. I now and again spray the homemade locking solution I found on this site ( hot water-tea-seasalt-lemon) and a bit of Knotty Boy locking wax for the frizzies and looking and starting to lock beautifully!!

    As Danielle & DuLoc cleverly commented, there is nothing wrong with the twist method, its just a manicured, neater way to start dreading which takes an awefully long time to lock!

    Happy Dreading folks! – and remember this process takes time and patience as iam fast learning

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    • hello, i just read you post on dreadlocks.org and am african black and thinking of getting my hair dreaded. I was wondering if you could give me the name and contact info of the lady locktician from london who advised you on your hair as i want to go through with it but don’t want to make mistakes.
      cheers for the help!

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  47. You see I’m a black guy so I don’t have this problem. The thing with twists is that they only work in textured (nappy) hair. Basically what I’m saying is: you’re screwed.

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    • yea, sites like this only give you HALF the infromation, which can mess a lot of people up. TWISTING WORKS JUST FINE ON BLACK HAIR. I’ve had twists for two and a half months and I have full blown locs. If you’re white: I recommend using all the unnatural products and procedures you can because its you’ve got a loong road ahead.

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    • I have my hair twisted using the Nudred product but it has grown so fast I cannot really manage it myself anymore, where in San Diego, CA. can I go to have it professionally done?

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      • hi Martin call Jratih 619 721-0745

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  48. I don’t really inderstand this- twists is just an initial way or manicured step to starting locs unless you are a rasta and let them lock with a life a their own. if you don’t comb the twist it will eventually start to tangle and lock on its own. It can be an extremerly slow process depending on your hair texture how ever it is only a natural accurance that your hair will tangle together without combing, hense dreadlocks- thats it!! people who want instant results like to use the back combing method, beeswax and all type of other productsmethods to help along a naturally accuring process. I personally wouldn’t want to put anything in my hair that is edible or I won’t be able to effortly wash out-which includes beeswax, etc. Yes, as a result of not using wax and backcombing- it did take almost 2yrs for my hair to officially loc- but my hair is kinda soft anyway. It has been 5yrs and the end result has been worth it!

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  49. Hey all! I’ve been happily growing my dreds for 6 1/2 months now and I’m loving it! Guys love it, girls love it…everyone loves my hair. I started out by removing braids that I’d had in for the previous 4 1/2 months. My hair grew an astonishing 7 inches from the time I had the braids put in, until I removed them…I was really excited because I thought I would be getting my hair twisted to start locks. When I went into the beauty salon to start my locks, I was horrified to learn that the 7 inches that my hair had grew, would have to be removed due to the texture. 6 1/2 months later, I’m honestly glad that I took this step in my life, If anyone out there is considering dredlocks…Go for it!

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  50. do twists lock at all because thats what Iam having a problem with

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