Dreadlocks are much more than just matted hair.
They usually convey an attitude towards life, a feeling, and many people only feel complete through them. But how do you actually make dreads, and can you make them yourself?
I’ll show you everything you need to know about it in this post – from creation to care to comb them out.
History and origin
Most of us certainly think of Rastafarians when we think of dreadlocks. But in many parts of this world, matted hair, although not in the form we know it today, but in a few variations, was quite popular.
For example, they existed from 1577 to 1648 in Denmark at the court of King Christian IV, as well as among the Aztecs and in Hinduism.
How are they made?
If you think that dreadlocks are nothing more than an unkempt, matted pile of hair, you are quite wrong.
Most deadheads go to great lengths to make their felt curls look reasonable. Usually, the hair is divided into strands depending on the desired thickness.
Then, various methods can be used to create the best conditions for the hair to feel together.
Which are those, and whether you should have dreadlocks made or do it yourself, you will now find out.
Have dreadlocks made
Personally, I would recommend getting dreadlocks done by someone who can. There are so many factors that play a role that you will be happy and satisfied with them afterward.
And especially if you don’t want Natural Dreads but ones with a reasonable division, then you will probably struggle a bit on your own.
In addition, it requires a little experience that you get in the end and also the result that you have desired.
How long must the hair be?
A basic requirement for the creation of dreadlocks is the length of the hair. They should be at least 15 cm long to be able to create them reasonably with the help of the classic methods.
If you have too short hair on your head, you have to say goodbye to your dream for the time being until your hair is long enough.
Who makes dreads?
There are now a few places to go where you can get dreadlocks made.
By the way, you do not go to the hairdresser in this case. There is usually a lack of experience, and often it is not offered.
Often it is other deadheads who offer the creation and also the care or those who once had some. Before you make an appointment, it’s best to let them show you some work. So you can quickly decide whether they suit you or rather not.
Also, Afroshops often offer the creation of dreads. However, you should make sure that the creator also has experience with European hair because that needs a completely different treatment than frizzy African hair.
Of course, the price is also an important factor that should not be ignored.
You are probably wondering what dreadlocks cost. Logically, I can’t give you a universal answer here. It depends on a few factors, like:
- Hair length,
- with or without extensions,
- duration of the creation,
- the commercial provider or private Dreadfee.
I personally paid just under 200 euros for the creation of a total of 60 dreadlocks. That was just under five years ago. The procedure took two creators from 09.00 in the morning to 21.00 in the evening – so 12 hours.
I have also heard of prices under 100 euros or over 400 euros. It’s best to ask before making the appointment.
Based on your hair length and wishes, an estimated price can be made. By the way, some also offer this in the form of a barter deal.
How To Keep My Dreads Moisturized
Of course, in this context immediately arises the question of whether you can make dreadlocks yourself. The answer is pretty simple, yes, of course, you can. However, it’s not as easy as you might imagine.
First, you have to divide the hair and then dread it. If you don’t have any experience, you won’t be able to estimate how thick the dreads will be as a result of the division made.
Besides, you can’t see yourself in the back of your head. Accordingly, you can certainly imagine how difficult it is to divide the hair cleanly.
At least for this, you should definitely organize some help.
The right division
Before we start dreading, the hair must be divided. Depending on the desired thickness of the dreadlocks, you divide them larger or smaller.
Another important factor is the correct arrangement. As you can imagine, if you arrange them all in a row from front to back, for example, there will be big gaps.
That’s why you stagger them to avoid gaps.
The professional will usually arrange your head like this:
Here the arrangement is staggered like bricks, so you will have nice volume in the finished dreadlocks, and hardly any scalp will be visible. This is probably the most commonly used division.
This pattern has the advantage that the dreads do not feel together so quickly at the base, and the arrangement is also staggered here. The longer you have your felt curls, the more you will appreciate this.
After the division, which is fixed with small elastics, the felting of individual strands takes place.
Here, too, there is not only one option but different methods, which all have their advantages and disadvantages.
The neater and more neatly divided, the more pleasure you will have in your dreadlocks. There is nothing worse than a pulling and aching scalp because the hairs feel criss-cross.
By the way, mane elastics for horses are particularly robust and can stay in the hair for a few days. With normal rubbers, one should be careful.
They can become soft and sticky when the hair is washed or when exposed to too much sunlight. You definitely don’t want to have to friemeln this mass out of your dreads.
Different Methods of Moisturizing
Depending on how you would like to have your dreadlocks and what you prefer, there are now different methods of making them.
The three most common, I would like to introduce you here now.
1. Twist & Rip/Strands method
The strand method, also called twist & rip, works pretty simply. After you’ve sectioned your hair, you work your way up strand by strand.
First, twist the bottom ends until they get a little knot.
Then, pull the strand apart in the middle so that the knotted part slides towards the roots.
Continue like this until the strand is completely matted/knotted. Crochet through at the end and add your shampoo, then you’re done.
The most common method for moisturizing dreadlocks is back combing.
Here, the previously divided strands are toupled with a metal comb and then crocheted before adding a Water-Based Moisturizer AND an Emollient Oil.
Disadvantages of this method, if there is too much touping, you lose a lot of lengths, which is not so with the twist and rip variant.
A flea comb for dogs is great for tousling the strands.
3. Rub method
This method is for those who like to have natural dreads and have no problem with the fact that it takes quite a long time to see any development.
Here, dry hair is always rubbed in the same direction with a towel or washcloth for at least 30 minutes a day for the first 3-4 weeks, after which Regular Salon Hydration Treatments and aloe vera is added.
This creates natural dreads, but they take a very, very long time to develop.
Tip: Think before deciding on whether you want to have open or closed tips.
Extensions for longer felt curls
If you want to have long dreadlocks from the beginning, then, of course, you can work with extensions.
On the one hand, there is the possibility to buy loose hair and then dread it yourself or have it created.
On the other hand, you can, of course, buy real dreadlocks that someone else has cut off, for example, and use them to extend.
Dread jewelry for embellishment
Many want to embellish their dreads with beads, wraps, or other accessories. The offer is almost endless.
Most use beads that are simply pulled onto the dread or wrap them with colorful yarn.
Just make sure you use materials that won’t fall into your dreads.
The same goes for fuzzy wool sweaters, by the way. It’s incredibly tiring when you have to fumble individual wool fibers out of your dreads.
Like any other hairstyle, dreadlocks need a certain amount of care.
On the one hand, this includes washing, of course, but on the other hand, the roots also need to be redone, and the lengths need to be crocheted through from time to time if you like them neat.
So if you think that you have less work with matted hair, I have to disappoint you at this point. Tidy dreadlocks need reasonable care, especially the first time.
Palm Rolling: You will come across this term from time to time.
It means the rolling of the dreads between the hands. This makes sense, especially after washing.
This keeps them nice and round and in shape. At the same time, you press fallen out hairs back to the dread.