1. WHAT IS A GOOD MAINTENANCE ROUTINE?
So you're now rocking your new set of dreads but what's next? Dreadlocks take time to tighten and mature but a good maintenance routine with get them there faster.
1. If your dreads are brand new you won't need to wash them for around a week. With the extra bulk the dreadlocks give, you may find that your regular shower cap won't fit but we offer extra large shower caps and for that matter, swim caps big enough to fit dreadlocks. They are newly waxed and probably hurt a little because initially they are very tight. If you have a pair of pantyhose, pop those over your head while you sleep to help keep the frizz at bay. .
2. Ok, so they are a week old and probably right about now you are ready to give them a good ol' shampoo. Ideally, keep the rubber bands in place at the base and tips of your dreadlocks which will help keep them in tact whilst they are so new. It's really important you use a residue free dreadlock shampoo. Normal shampoos leave behind conditioning residues - great if you want soft, silky, knot free hair but not so much if you have dreadlocks! Anyone of the Dread Empire liquid shampoos or shampoo bar are perfect for newborn dreads.
Washing your hair is pretty straight forward. Soak your dreads well with water in the shower, squirt a little Dread Empire shampoo and gently work them into the dreads. Be sure to rinse out the shampoo really, really well.
Ok, time to dry. Lean over letting your dreads hang down in front of you and squeeze as much water out as you can. When there's no water coming out spray them down with Dread Empire's Dreadlock Accelerator and squeeze any excess off. Now throw a towel round your head to soak up any left over moisture and after 15 minutes or so whip it off and let them air dry.
3. Now that they are dry, clean and full of Accelerator this is the perfect time to dread ball loose hairs, palm roll your dreads (Palm rolling is when you roll the dread back and forth between your palm like you are playing with Play-Doh®), and to use the clockwise rubbing method. Your dreadlocks will knot and tighten easily now because being clean, there is a lot of friction between the hair strands. They may get a little frizzy while you work on them but just dread ball the frizzys and work them into the nearest dread. Once you are all rubbed out, if desired treat your dreads to a small coat of Dread Wax. Work it in real good and smooth out any frizz as you go. You can use a Hair Dryer to help melt the wax in really good, although be careful not to overdo it as it can dry your dreads out. If you prefer, the Dread Empire Tightening Gel can be used as an alternative to Dread Wax or if you need extra help in smoothing down loose hairs, use in addition to wax. At this point your dreads should look pretty well maintained and this should last up to a week.
4.From here on in, you are welcome to wash your dreads as frequently as you want because clean hair locks and tightens better than hair with oily build up. Just follow the steps above, the rubber bands are a good idea for the first few weeks and be sure to let them dry out thoroughly. As for waxing, after your first shampoo followed by a wax, re apply wax once or twice a fortnight - always following a shampoo and be sure to let your hair thoroughly dry before applying. When your dreadlocks reach their desired tightness you can pull right back on the wax and only apply it when you feel the dreadlocks have become a little loose or if you find them particularly dry. Wax does inject your hair follicle with necessary vitamins so it is a good way to condition mature dreadlocks but if you're after a lighter, wash out formula then go for the Dread Balm or Conditioning Spray.
If you ever feel like the wax needs a freshen up or you have waxy build up then de wax by heating each dread with a hair dryer. Press a paper towel into the dreadlock to mop up as much excess wax as you can and then soak them in hot water (taking care of course not to burn yourself). The follow this with a good wash using a Dread Shampoo and if necessary, repeat this process.Top
2. HOW DO I GET RID OF LUMPS AND BENDS IN MY DREADS?
Most small lumps will work themselves out as the dreads tighten and smooth out. Bends appear if the dreads tighten really fast. Some hairs lock and tighten at different speeds, since the dreads shrink as the tighten. If one side of the dread tightens faster than the other side it will be smaller and tighter and the dread will bend. Fortunately the other side will eventually tighten and as it does the dread will straighten itself out.
For really severe lumps that you have to do something about you'll need to comb them out. Just start at the tip and comb the hair out with the dread comb working your way towards the bump. Comb it out and then redread it. Work your way back to the tip. Use a rubber band and some wax to hold the tip tight while it re-dreads. Some loops and lumps add character or at least I think so, dreads are not supposed to be absolutely perfect and symmetrical. Top
3. HOW DO I MAKE MY DREADLOCKS THICKER?
The amount of hair in each dreadlock dictates how thick the dread will become. Therefore the only real way to increase their size is to use bigger sections. If your dreads are real new I would just recommend combing a few out and starting those ones over again using larger sections. If they are more mature you can combine two dreads by tieing them together with a rubber band or pro elastic at base and tip. This will encourage the new growth to merge together and eventually you may be able to snip off the part which hasn't merged. You might also find a dread cuff helpful in binding the two dreads together.Top
4. HOW DO I TIGHTEN MY DREADS?
Use the clockwise rubbing method and palm rolling (rolling the dread back and forth between your palms) to help the body of the dreads and the roots tighten. Tighten the tips by tip rubbing. Keeping them clean and free of residues helps them tighten tremendously. Of course spraying them with Locking Accelerator or using a light sprinkle of Dread Dusthelps too. The Accelerator increases friction between the hair strands by separating the tiny shingles that make up each strand. This increased friction tightens them super fast. Sun helps the process too, spray the Accelerator in your hair and allow it to dry in the sun. Lightly sprinkle Dread Dust onto dry hair. Top