My name is Kyle and I am the founder of Head of Dreads. I have had dreadlocks for over two years and have learned a heck of a lot over this time. I’ve made many many mistakes along the way and have learned what works for me and what to stay away from. I am at the point where my dreads are finally very mature and healthy, but they weren’t always that way. I have tried a lot of dumb things trying to help them mature faster that ultimately ended up slowing progress and damaging my hair. Now that I am past the initial trial and error I can help others by sharing information that I have learned through testing and research. Of course I am still trying new things all the time to see if other methods/products work better. But that is just my curiosity.
I have always had an interest in dreadlocks ever since I was very young. In fact I remember rubbing a sheep’s wool in a circular motion on my head in an attempt to make dreads when I was probably around 12 or so. This crude attempt did section my hair somewhat but it definitely was not even remotely close to dreadlocks.
I decided to start my dreads during my second year of college. So I went to a salon and sat there for 6 hours as the stylist used the backcombing method on my hair followed by waxing the fresh dreads. The result was a sticky mess of clumped together hair. I thought everything was going to be good at first and that it would only take a month or so to mature. Ya right. After a month instead of having nice mature dreads I had just about nothing. The dreads had mostly come undone! and thats with putting wax in them to hold them together a couple times a week.
So after I realized this was not working I started doing a lot of research and realized that it is possible to do this naturally. So I quit the waxing/backcombing and bought some non-residue shampoo (important). For the next year all I did was wash my hair with the non-residue shampoo, separate them as needed so that they would not clump together, and palm roll them every so often. I saw a lot of progress this way. I finally had legitimate dreads! However, there was still room for progress.
The ends of my dreads (last 1-2 inches) were still straight, undreaded hair and the roots were not dreading very well.
So after a year of the natural technique I decided to get a crochet hook even though many people are against this. There is much negativity associated with this technique, as it can be very damaging. However, I found that yes it can be damaging, but only if you are dumb going about it. You have to be extremely gentle as you poke in and out of your hair, to keep it from breaking. If you have very brittle hair then I can see why this would be a terrible technique. But for me it honestly worked great. There was very little in the way of breakage and none of my dreads even came close to falling out like many horror stories you hear.
I have also used the twist and rip technique, although not exclusively. Its not that it didn’t work its just that I found crocheting to work better.
There were many other little adjustments I made along the way, such as types of shampoo, gel/waxing, rubber banding, palm rolling, and so on, but what I have mentioned are the main changes I made that brought about a lot of change and progress.
The End Result
When I went natural for over a year my dreads got pretty messy. Then when I began to crochet them it cleaned them up a bit. So the result of that is a bunch of dreads varying in size and shape that are fully matured and look amazing. I like the natural look rather than the perfect uniform salon dreads so I am happy with mine thus far.
If you have any questions about dreading you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know you do because I had a lot also back at the start of it all.