There are a variety different methods regarding how to dread hair. What works for some may not work for others. I will be going over the most commonly used methods that work including: backcombing, twist and rip, free-form (natural), and crocheting. All of these methods are affordable and can be done without salon help.
Free-form tends to work best on hair with tight curls although I have seen it work on fine/straight hair before (such as myself). Backcombing, twist and rip, crocheting can be used on any hair type and gives your dreads a jump start in the maturing process.
What You Need
You will absolutely need a metal comb for this and residue-free shampoo, rubber bands are optional but a good idea. The type of metal comb is important. The teeth of the comb should be rounded and spaced fairly close together. If you
have ever seen a dog flea comb this is very similar. Do not use an aluminum comb. The aluminum texture does not grip the hair well and will not work nearly as good. Rubber bands can be place on the dread upon completion, at the tip and/or base. The residue-free shampoo will clean your hair and not leave anti-tangle residue as most shampoos do.
Before you start you need to wash your hair with the residue-free shampoo. When sectioning the hair that you are going to backcomb I suggest a 0.75 to 1.25 square inch section. You need enough hair so that the hairs can tangle up well, but not too much where it will fall apart.
- hold the section of hair at the tip
- comb in small strokes toward the scalp, starting near the scalp and working outward
- once backcombed completely to the tip, twist the hair slightly and repeat (helps better compact the dread)
- repeat until you feel it is as dreaded as you can get it by backcombing
- place rubber bands at the tip (important) and at the base (not as important) in order to keep the hair from falling apart
Twist and Rip Method
What You Need
First you need to wash your hair with residue-free shampoo. Then section your hair into preferably 0.75 to 1.25 square inch sections. Why this size? Because any smaller and there will not be enough hair to dread together, any bigger and there will be too much hair causing it to fall apart.
- twist a section of hair the entire way to the tip
- with both hands, holding the hair at the tip, separate the hair in the middle and pull away from each other until until pulled as far as it will go (each time you do this a small mat of hair forms at the base)
- repeat the twisting and pulling apart (the mats will continue to build on top of eachother) until the section is completely dreaded
- place rubber bands at the tip and/or the base to secure hair together
You will need a crochet hook and residue-free shampoo, rubber bands are optional. Preferably get a crochet hook that’s head is .75 to 1 .0 mm in size, as these seem to work best. The curved (hook) end on the crochet hook allows you to insert the hook into the hair without resistance, but upon pulling it out it will grab and pull hair causing it to tangle and mat up. Because this method is able to pull the hair tightly (more than others) into dreads there is not as much of a need for rubber bands, although they can be used if you see fit. The residue-free shampoo washes your hair clean without leaving residue that stops tangling.
First you need to wash your hair with a non-residue shampoo, which will allow it to tangle and form dreads. Next, section your hair off into anywhere from 0.75 to 1.25 square inch sections (preferably). This way they are big enough to dread together but not too big where they will fall apart.
- Hold the section of hair by the tip and slightly twist it (very loose twist)
- Beginning at the base (roots) insert the crochet hook from the side of the hair, slightly pointing toward the scalp
- Once the hook is in the hair pull it out and repeat. Perform this rapidly jabbing in and out of the hair section
- Be sure to hold the crochet hook gently to keep hair from breaking
- Work your way up from the base to the tip as tangles and mats of hair form
- Repeat as desired
Free-form (Natural) Method
What You Need
This is the the cheapest (most affordable) method. All you need is residue-free shampoo and patience. The residue-free shampoo is important, as it will allow the hair to tangle and dread.
Wash your hair with the residue free shampoo.
- Be patient
- Separate dreads that are congoing (dreading with other dreads creating one massive dread)