Have you ever seen someone with really bad dreadlocks?
You know the type – terrible sectioning, different sized locs, frizzy hair all of over the place, and maybe they even seem unclean.
While some people choose to go an extremely natural route sometimes, more than likely these cases are due to the person not doing their research before starting their dreadlock journey.
If you’re considering dreadlocks, you should know what you’re getting into before you do it. That way, you can set yourself up for a good experience. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Dreadlocks take time and commitment.
Getting dreadlocks isn’t like getting your hair dyed – you can’t just change it back when you’re sick of it. When you get dreadlocks using natural methods (vs. using wax – more on that later), they take time to actually lock in and start dreading on their own.
Everyone is different. In my case, it was a good six months before I felt like my dreads were beginning to mature and lock on their own.
Up until that point, it’s extremely important to help them along their journey with frequent palm rolling and crocheting. Anyone can palm roll their own dreads, but if you aren’t comfortable working with a crochet hook, shoot me a message!
2. They will go through changes
Sometimes, dreads seem to have a mind of their own!
When you first have them installed, you’ll likely notice that your hair will lose a lot of length, and that’s because your dreads will likely shrink up quite a bit.
With time and palm rolling, they’ll get their length back. You’ll notice other ways that they change as they continue maturing.
3. You really, really need to wash your hair
I’ve already talked about this in-depth in a past post. Check it out to learn why it’s so important, and how to do it correctly.
4. Regular maintenance is important
Especially in the beginning stages, having dreads takes a lot of work (that is, if you want them to look nice.)
Once they’re more mature, you won’t need to do maintenance as frequently, but you’ll want to spend extra time at the beginning to get them off to a healthy start.
So, what does “maintenance” mean?
This refers to using the crochet method to bring in loose hairs and clean up the dreadlocks. This keeps the scalp healthy and also keeps your dreadlocks looking nice and even.
Everyone is different and has different preferences. When I first got my dreads, I spent about 4 hours a week doing maintenance on myself. (I’ll admit, that was excessive, but I’m a neat freak.) Now, I touch them up as needed – usually after washing them once a week.
Most of my “clients” come for maintenance every 2-3 weeks when they first have their dreadlocks installed. Those with pre-existing dreadlocks come to me every couple of months for a clean up.
How often you get maintenance is totally up to you – just as long as you do it!
5. You don’t have to shave your head after
Although my friend Amie went for it, shaving your head isn’t the only way to get rid of dreadlocks. This is especially helpful to know if you’re a girl!
You can brush your dreadlocks out when you’re done with the journey. It will take a long time and be a bit painful, and you’ll probably want to do a deep conditioning treatment with a stylist after – but it is possible!
(This is what I plan to do when the time comes!)
6. You’re probably going to love them
Once you get used to your dreadlocks, you’ll forget what life was like without them. You may even learn about yourself throughout the process!
Still want dreadlocks?
Cool! I’d love to help you. I just want you to be prepared to take great care of them!