Fear for my new dreads

topic posted Sun, May 18, 2008 - 1:40 PM by  Alex
'm kind of worried- ok, paranoid that my new dreads are going to fall apart.
They're really delicate, as always with the first month. I have extremely fine straight white hair, and I really like the way my dreads look. I got them done yesterday, and the guy that did them rubberbanded them at the roots. I palm rolled, a lot. Today, when I woke up, I saw that the ends of some of them are split just a tiny little bit, and it scared me enough to rubberband the tips of each dread. Then I palmrolled and rewaxed. As if that's not enough, the local store has stopped carrying locking accelerator. So I don't have any. I'm not washing for a week, and I do have dry shampoo (no residue.) And I've palm rolled today. (Sorry for my sentence structure, I keep remembering to add things I forgot)
And I've been to just about every site and I've read that they can break easily. Great.

Can I sleep in a tam?

Also, do you think my dreads will stay together? They're knotted really well, but I just don't know.
I've been using proclaim beeswax. Help reassure me :P
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  • Re: Fear for my new dreads

    Mon, May 19, 2008 - 2:07 PM
    As far as lock accelerator goes, you can make your own by mixing up some distilled water, salt, and lemon juice (very little lemon juice, like a few squeezes from the bottle). Basically that is what most are made up of, and its a lot cheaper to just make your own. Lay off too much wax... oil in the wax can actually have the reverse effect you're trying to achieve. When you do use wax, definitely get something other than the proclaim beeswax. It's main ingredient is petroleum, so not good for dreads, even though it says it is for dreadlocks right on the jar. Try getting a product by DreadheadHQ or KnottyBoy. Just use a small amount, though. Don't freak out, just let them be. Try backcombing anywhere your dreads may be loosening up, palmroll and let it go. Put a tam or something on your head to keep your dreads together and be sure you're taking it off and pulling the dreads apart if they get knotted together. Definitely sleep in a tam or with a wrap that holds your dreads together. I'm not sure about the dry shampoo you're using. It can have hidden chemicals that could be preventing your hair to lock, so get yourself a shampoo you can wash out. This can help your hair shrink and lock better. After rinsing them totally, use cold cold water for a second or two. The ends of your hair are the hardest to lock up, and I've kind of just left mine natural, but some people prefer to thread them up into their locked hair. Whatever you choose is cool.... oh, did I mention don't freak out? Dreads are a process and should be enjoyed. Don't worry when they look a little funky, because they will when they're new.
    • Re: Fear for my new dreads

      Mon, May 19, 2008 - 2:37 PM
      I've been all over town, and the only thing I could find is proclaim, but the guy that did my dreads said he uses it on all of his clients and it holds. But still, something just worries me.

      But thanks for the locking accelerator advice, I'm going to try it and let you know how it works. Should I be able to feel results right away?

      I rubberbanded the tips of each dread (the roots were already rubberbanded) but another concern is that there is about a half an inch of hair covered by rubber bands that I'm not sure it'll lock up. I tried rubbing the root clockwise, and it didn't do much. Actually, it did nothing :P

      Okay, I'm relaxing. And palmrolling. Thanks again for the response.

      One last question though, is it common for people to actually lose their dreads in the first couple of weeks?
      • Re: Fear for my new dreads

        Mon, May 19, 2008 - 4:47 PM
        Well, your guy may use it on people's dreads a lot, but for your hair it might not be the best thing, especially if your hair is very fine and straight. I have really thick wavy hair naturally, so most wax doesn't really affect my hair, but I know of people with caucasian hair that it doesn't work for. I guess it really depends on the natual state of your hair. But one thing to know about the petroleum is it can leave a residue behind in your locks, causing dread rot, which you don't want. Thats when your dreads get mildew-y and stinky and nasty. You don't want that.

        The lock accelerator is basically salt water. And just like ocean water can make you have wavy looking hair and cause your hair to knot, so does the lock accelerator. So, when you spray it on, scrunch your hair around, when it dries, you should be able to see a difference. With wax in your hair, though, I dont know if it will be able to penetrate the oil (petroleum) that stays on the surface. If not, try washing (for real, not with the no rinse shampoo) and then use the spray.

        You'll lose some definition in your dreads, and I've heard of some people with super straight hair say that they come undone, but honestly dude it could be due to your wax. You can go completely wax free, or try a dread wax with all natural products, like I've mentioned in the other post.
        The rubberbands in your hair probably shouldn't be a problem, just make sure you don't keep them in too long or they may rot into your hair. It's been known to happen, although I've never experienced it. A lot of people say using thick thread works best for them, but I go with really small rubberbands to help lock up certain areas that are stubborn.

        And yes, relax and palmroll. Breathe in, breathe out, palmroll and palmroll some more. It's going to take some time, brother, so just go with the flow of the hair.
        • Re: Fear for my new dreads

          Mon, May 19, 2008 - 5:31 PM
          Thanks, you've been a great help Heather.

          I'll look for a new wax up in PA this summer. You're right, I don't want mildew in my hair. I'll be really light with the wax until I can find something new.

          One thing you should know about my hair is that it won't dread on it's own. Before I got my dreads, I tried the neglect method which had me spening a year and a half without brushing and I used Dr. Bronners soap. After that long, with not a single knot, I just decided to actually get them done.

          I'm removing the rubber bands in 2 weeks. Let me know if that's too far off.

          And on a final note, I haven't gotten to try the accelerator yet because I can't find an empty clean spray bottle. When I spray it on (I read saltwater can dry your dreads up) should I rewax? (Lightly, of course)

          Thanks again. Really.
          • Re: Fear for my new dreads

            Mon, May 19, 2008 - 5:49 PM
            Leaving the rubber bands in for that long shouldn't hurt.

            Dry dreads=good dreads. One reason hair doesn't lock up easily is because of natural oils that are found on your head. The salt water will actually help the process of stripping those from your hair. Definitely forego the wax after using the lock accelerator. Instead, backcomb (if you can do it yourself, or get someone to help) and palmroll.

            I don't really suggest this, because I think natural is best, but some people say that they can dye their hair and it will change the molecular structure of their hair, causing it to lock up faster. I really don't know much about this, so you'll have to ask someone who has more experience than I.

            You're welcome and good luck!
          • Re: Fear for my new dreads

            Mon, May 19, 2008 - 10:14 PM
            The "good" kind of wax (Dreadhead HQ and Knotty Boy brands) can be found on ebay pretty easily.. thats where I always get mine. Good luck!!!
            • Re: Fear for my new dreads

              Tue, May 20, 2008 - 4:31 PM
              Ahh, good, I'll try that.

              Although I'm thinking about waxing hardly ever, IF ever.

              Before I got my hair knotted up, I wanted dreads for a really long time, and so for about a year and a half I didn't comb and still had no knots. So I might be one of those people that has to use wax. (did I mention this?)
              • Re: Fear for my new dreads

                Tue, May 20, 2008 - 4:59 PM
                man, you posted this question on another dread tribe and i wrote you a lengthy response about the evils of wax... i am writing this just to reiterate what i said there. Wax is terrible and defeats the purpose of what your hair is trying to do while locking (which is MOVE AROUND and TIGHTEN... not stay waxed into place). And dont ever think that you have some type of hair that is too straight, or not the right texture to locks... there are Asians with beautiful locks, and if anyones hair "shouldnt" lock, its theirs.
                • Re: Fear for my new dreads

                  Tue, May 20, 2008 - 5:15 PM
                  Ahh, sorry about that. I just noticed there are way more people in this tribe.

                  So you're saying everyone's hair will lock up on it's own if I allow it to?

                  Because mine doesn't :P But I think it will now that it's been backcombed to hell and back. And I'm palm rolling.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Fear for my new dreads

                    Tue, May 20, 2008 - 5:58 PM
                    If by "everyones hair will lock up on its own" you are refering to the neglect method, yes and no. If you leave it long enough, your hair will mat up on its own (for white dudes like us this is a ridiculously long time), but it is very unlikely that it will end up looking like the locks you are used to seeing and probably want. Most of the time, following the true neglect method is how people end up with one big "beaver tail" lock on one side of their head or one giant lock that encompasses all their hair like this guy ... dont get me wrong though, dude is a fuckin pimp for having that one giant lock.
                • Re: Fear for my new dreads

                  Wed, May 21, 2008 - 3:49 PM
                  YES I too am an advocate of wax-free hair is dead straight, and I didn't have an issue dreading without wax!

                  It is common to lose some definition during the first period of dreads...just be patient...they're not going to be spectacular from the very beginning! You gotta work at them! Just lay off the wax, don;t use residue-y shampoo, and keep palm rolling! PLUS...use the Rip and Pull method to maintain the tips!

  • Re: Fear for my new dreads

    Wed, May 21, 2008 - 1:58 PM
    The girl who did my dreads told me to use wax, and I did for the first little bit, and then stopped from laziness. I found my hair locked up way faster than it was using wax…this makes sense when you think about how greasy hair doesn't tangle as good as dry/damaged hair. Not to mention that wax smells and lint will stick to your dreads after using it. Also, you have to be careful not to use it when your hair is still wet/damp, and not to get them wet after using the wax, because the wax traps in moisture and your dreads could mold.
    DON'T FREAK OUT!!! Stress is bad bad bad, it turns your hair gray and could lead to your hair falling out just because you are putting so much stress on that area of your body. Take more deep breaths and every day visualize your dreads staying on your head and becoming beautifully locked up.
    Good luck!
    • Re: Fear for my new dreads

      Wed, May 21, 2008 - 2:48 PM
      Wax seems to work well in my dreads... if I go too long without using any, they get all flat and difficult to palmroll, and they frizz up. I think its really a personal thing... if it works for you, use it, if not, don't. I definitely agree with not using it before or after getting your dreads wet though.
  • Re: Fear for my new dreads

    Wed, May 21, 2008 - 5:17 PM
    Like Emily said, I think wax is really good for some people and doesn't work for others, like so many other things. My hair frizzes really bad, too so I use wax occasionally, but I'd like to try the locking gel that was mentioned from Knotty Boy. I had pretty tangly, knotty hair to begin with. Before I decided on dreads I'd wake up every morning with a dread in the back of my hair, so wax probably isn't something that will prevent my hair from locking up, but I'm sure it does prevent other people's from locking. Dreads are definitely a process and involves trial and error... just like snowflakes (ha) everyone's hair is different from the next, so you need to find what is going to work in your hair. Go with whatever feels right and if it turns out to be wrong, then you just have to start again, and know not to repeat it next time.

    Having said that, I do think going all natural with no wax is great for people who are able and have seen lots of beautiful dreads that are wax-free. I'm not one of them, unfortunately, but have much love for the people who can.
    • Re: Fear for my new dreads

      Wed, May 21, 2008 - 6:32 PM
      Thanks everyone, seriously, for turning wax off for me.

      My dreads are almost completely waxless, other than the initial wax put in, which has almost worked itself out completely. I notice they're just a grain of sand tighter. I haven't had frizz or difficulty palmrolling either.

      Another thing that really opened my eyes is that I have ONE dread, a little dread in back that is absolutely caked with wax. It's not working itself out, and the dread itself is slipping. I'm not worried anymore, because eventually I think the wax will work itself out and the dread can actually start its process.

      It's been almost a week, and I was told not to wash my hair anymore than once a week, so I haven't washed my dreads yet, but can I at least wash my body? XD I'm not starting to smell or anything. Not that I know of, at least.

      Washing scares me. :P
      • Re: Fear for my new dreads

        Wed, May 21, 2008 - 8:39 PM
        Alex, whenever I'd shower and not want to wash my dreads, I would wear a shower cap...this will prevent steam from "flattening" your dreads style (I mean, they would hang limply around my face if I didn't cover them up in the shower)...and also, the moisture that the steam provides caused me some dandruff issues. Just chuck on a shower cap and shower away!

        As for the wax-caked dread...Hot, hot water is the best for gradually removing wax (although this itself takes ages...another reason I really hate wax lol), but yeah, vinegar is also really good for removing wax...Until it's gone from the dread, every time you wash, use a vinegar-water solution and kinda "bathe" the dread in it, really let it soak-up the vinegar (pour it right over the dread (or dreads), or dunk it, whatever it easier and works for you...
      • Re: Fear for my new dreads

        Fri, May 23, 2008 - 4:33 PM
        Hahaha…of course you can wash your body. I actually only shower once a week, and will wash my face and underarms more often, but I just don't like to waste water and the energy used to heat the water. Unless you are doing something really dirty every day, I think most people can get by just showering when they actually feel dirty.
        But you could always put your dreads in a bag, or a shower cap, or even in a towel or something if you don't want to get them wet. On the other hand, getting them wet wont do that much damage. You just need to do what feels right.
    • Re: Fear for my new dreads

      Wed, May 21, 2008 - 6:34 PM
      heather, i believe your hair frizzes when you dont use was because you have loose hair that has never been given the oppertunity to be sucked into the locks. You see the frizzes, freak out and paste them back down. Hair is hair... its all made up of the same shit. It differs from person to person in color, thickness, and texture, but when it comes to tangling up, if given the opportunity, it will all do it the same. You even said it yourself, you used to wake up in the morning with a natural lock forming in the back of your head, so i dont understand why you of all people think you need wax to help it along. have you ever completely cleaned your locks of all the wax (this takes a few weeks of regular washing), and given them a couple months to pull the loose hairs back in? try it. the general, un-dreaded population of this world think that putting wax in your hair is gross and dirty (and for good reason), and as long as there are people with dreads who when asked "how do you do that?" say they put wax in them... i am going to have naive people comming up to me and saying "eew... dreadlocks are gross", and this is annoying. Everyone knows that dreads have been around for thousands of years (well, not everyone... there are rastas who think they invented it) and people of all cultures have been wearing them. One group of people that commonly wore dreads were vikings, and do you think they had someone selling them little bottles of dread wax? hell no... they were too busy pillaging and burning villages to worry about putting sticky goos in their hair. If there is anyone whos hair would "need" wax to make decent looking locks, it is those of us of Norwegian decent. It really bothers me when companys trick people into thinking they need their products. It is like amphetamine use... once you get into it, you become dependant. And when you stop, there is a period where you feel shitty (or in the case of quitting wax use, your locks look shitty {aka. frizzy}) but after you have time to recover, you are stronger and healthier. The same principle applies to your locks. And just like hard drug use, it is difficult not to succumb to that quick fix "just one more time". Your hair is addicted. Stop making those wax dealers wallets fatter... save your hard earned money and spend it on things that are good for your dreads... like beads. Goddamn i wish i had no morals... i would go into the business of making dread wax and take the money of all the fiends. But i cant in good concience do that, so i just try to drill it into peoples heads that NOBODY needs wax to have perfect, beautiful dreads... this is a lie, told to you by money grubbing corperations who are just trying to make a dollar. Dreadlocks are a very natural process, and there is NOTHING natural about having a head full of wax.
      • Re: Fear for my new dreads

        Wed, May 21, 2008 - 8:41 PM
        I know a guy with spectacular dreads...he didn't use wax, but instead used Vegemite and Peanut Butter....which is really really I can only imagine the state of his early dreads - and what kinda bugs they must have! But yes, his dreads are now spectacular (I am NOT endorsing the use of Vegemite or Peanut butter for dreads lol), and even more strenuously stress that yes, he is a nutcase lolololololol Sorry just thought I'd lighten the conversation somewhat...give you all a giggle at someone else's dread-stupidity lol ;-)
      • Re: Fear for my new dreads

        Wed, May 21, 2008 - 9:04 PM
        I understand you have a vehement disdain for wax, I really do. However, I don't think pushing your opinions on other people, myself included whether you think they are the best option is right. I had frizzy hair before I dreaded my hair, before I put wax in my dreads, and so on. Its a personal choice and you should respect people for it. The funny thing is, I rarely use wax on my hair at all.

        As far as saying its dirty, I've never once been told my dreads were dirty or gross. In fact, an elderly gentleman complimented me on them just yesterday. When you illuminate a light from within, wax or no wax, dreads or no dreads, your soul shines above all else. If you're having people come up to you and talk about dreads being gross, I suggest that you try educating them on dreads in general, and not spread negative thoughts about dread wax and those who use it. Feel free to share you're own experience with others, but try to avoid speaking badly about all dreads that are waxed as nasty. It's not very polite to speak about your other brothers and sisters hair or choices of products they use in such a way.

        Please keep the negativity and judgement to a minimum. It can be much more toxic that wax ever thought about being. I know that I feel dreads are beautiful (like I believe I clearly stated before) in their natural unwaxed state, and I also believe they can be beautiful otherwise.

        I don't want this to come off as an attack on your beliefs, but it is a reminder that we should all just coexist without judgement for one another's choices. I can tell you have obviously had a bad experience with the wax, but honestly its not worth wasting your energy trying to convert other wax users, especially so critically.
        • Re: Fear for my new dreads

          Thu, May 22, 2008 - 2:14 AM
          Who's that directed at, heather?
          • Re: Fear for my new dreads

            Thu, May 22, 2008 - 4:33 PM
            its directed at me. Heather (and everone else for that matter), please understand that deep down inside, i dont care what you put in your hair or what you do in general. I am not trying to tell you what to do. I am just trying to have a discussion. You all are being way too sensitave, and maybe the inpersonallity of reading something typed over the internet has made my posts come off as harsh or made people think that i am somehow saying that their locks are "bad" because of their choice to use waxes. Please understand that i am not of this opinion at all. Heather, even though you use wax... the pictures of your dreads are beautiful, and above all i want you to know that. I have also been discussing the fact that Dr. Bronners is not residue free as well (which it isnt, and doesnt even claim to be). But that in no way means that it will destroy your locks if you choose to use it. For years and years, Dr B. was the best choice we had, and it has worked. I was just trying to have people understand that if you tell someone to get a good residue free shampoo and then tell them to get Dr B. (which i have seen in numerous posts) you are not telling them to get a residue free shampoo. This has made people very angry. I dont mean to say "dont use your chosen products that you have grown to love" i am just asking you to understand the reality of what these products do. Hey, i know the reality that cigarettes are killing me quickly... but i smoke them one after another like they are the only thing keeping me alive. That is my perogative... just like it is yours to use what you will. On a more positive note, simply for taking to time and effort to grow your locks (whichever way you choose) i think you all deserve a standing ovation. Most people do not have the patience or will power, and since you do, i think you are the greatest people in the world. Maybe i should have made that more clear, and for not doing so, i do appologize.

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