Yeeeehooooo! So you've got yourself a brand new head of lush fresh dreads! Isn't it exciting!? If you had them made by the Divine Hand & Hook method or by another experienced natural crochet hook Loctician then they will be feeling rather tight and stiff to begin with. This always takes a wee while to adjust to, but it's exactly how the dreads should be if they're locked properly. When new dreads are tight and somewhat rigid it means that there will be minimal ongoing maintenance involved. If they're made by backcomb, twist & rip or only a loose crochet lock (80% locked & under) then they will be fairly squishy to begin with. Essentially this means they really need more locking with an experienced DH&H loctician aka - high quality dread loctician or artist to become more permanent, solid & healthy. Read on to learn the easiest way to care for them....
If your new dreads are NOT that tight and rigid, then it means you'll have a lot of palm rolling to do to get them properly locked (although this is a very ineffective way to tighten
your dreads as it takes very frequent rolling for a long period of time). If you have afro hair and your dreads haven't been made with the crochet hook method, you would've no doubt been given
very different advice to caring for your dreads than the advice here.
The following information is for all cultures & hair types, however if you have afro hair this advice is more relevant if you have had your dreads made with the crochet method (not twist, roll, wax, or braid methods).
If you have had your dreads made in any other way except DH&H or high quality crochet method AND they are still soft, they will need more locking to get them tight & healthy. The best way to do this is with high quality crochet work. I have been teaching this to hundreds of people via live & online courses since 2013. You can grab a really cheap professional course on how to create a dread (thus re-lock a soft or loose dread) with my Divine Hand & Hook method here. (link coming April 2020)
If you haven't yet read about our method V's other mainstream methods then click on the links to get informed about the different ways of making dreadlocks and the Divine Hand & Hook way.
If you have, then you'll understand that every other method that doesn't involve good thorough hook locking, will need regular palm rolling, maintenance & extra work before they are feeling tight. While you might be into the idea of floppy dreads, I don't know many people who want dreads, who are into the idea of having to work at them every day or every week just to get them to be properly locked!
But be rest assured that the rigidity of DH&H locks will wane after the first wash and as the weeks go by. They will become more floppy and malleable, but maintain their tightness. This is a great thing, because it is an indication that your dreads have been locked well and are "low maintenance" dreads. Especially if you take care of them them and follow these simple rules............
- FIRST RULES: Ideally don't wet or wash your new dreads for 1 month - just let your hair get used to being locked into dreads before you mess with them. Now you might be thinking...."Ahhh but I used to wash my hair every 2 days, how can I go 1 month without shampoo!?" WELL, if you have followed the correct hair preparation instructions, your hair will have already been cleansed of chemical residue, which means that it will no longer be addicted to chemicals found in shampoos. When your hair is in it's most natural state, it actually stays clean quite well by itself! We realise that most people struggle with this advice, and many people get an itchy scalp in this "no wash" period. To relieve this problem, you can spray your head daily with "Love Ya Scalp" which will give you a quick dry wash and help to cleanse and revitalize your scalp and dreads, without messing with them.
- AVOID WATER FOR A BIT: If you just can't go the 4 weeks without washing, then try to wait at last 2 weeks. The reason we recommend this is because water is one of the main things that mess up new dreads! It fills them up and causes them to go slightly fluffy. If you wait the month then your dreads are holding their new state of "lockedness" more on their own and they're less likely to fluff up! (CAUTION: if you have had dreads made with another method, for example: backcomb, roll and wax, then wetting them in this 4 week period can cause them to open up a lot and get really fluffy, loosing their tightness and shape entirely!)
- WASHING: After you have gotten through the initial "no washing" period, you can then wash your babies between 1 and 4 times a month with a 100% natural shampoo or our awesome Lemon Mrytle and Macadamia oil Loc Bloc (shampoo bar).
- SCALP ITCH PREVENTION: Use "Love Ya Scalp" to keep your scalp free of dandruff, itchiness, bacteria & to help ward off lice (coz those critters hate the stuff! Ideally spray on your scalp twice a week & massage in. Also, using "Love Ya scalp" spray a few times a week replaces the need to shampoo so regularly because one of the essential oils acts like a shampoo. t actually cleans your dreads too so you can spray it all over them! Then rather than washing once a week you can save the actual big shampoo process to a minimum like once fortnight or once a month! Perfect for winter when soaked dreads take so long to dry!
- PREVENT THAT DAMP SMELL: Wet your dreads only when swimming or on your fortnightly wash. At all other times it's best to wear a shower cap just to keep water off them entirely. Tight dreads take longer than normal hair to dry & can become smelly if left damp for extended periods - the same as clothes do when they're left in the washing machine wet - so there's no point wetting them when you don't need to.
- DRYING: As a rule of thumb, wash your dreads in the morning preferably on a sunny dry day. Ring, pat & turban dry using a micro fibre towel which literally soaks up all the moisture , so & use sun & wind to dry them naturally.
- SLEEPING: It's best to pull your dreadies up behind your head towards the wall to avoid them getting squashed when sleeping. Tossing and turning a lot on them, adds to fuzziness forming. Some people like to wear a stocking over them, I personally think this is overkill, but if it's comfy and helps then go for it!
- DAILY PROTECTION: If you're a tradie or work in construction, painting, kitchens, the outdoors, bush or any environment where you can get dirt, dust, grease, grime in your dreads...protect them!! Wear a beenie, or a big dread band to protect them from all this muck getting into them. You'll be so glad you did. A good cheap trick is go to any department store and buy a pair of women's black leggings in about a size 14 and cut the legs up into rings of different sizes. These work as great headbands and actually look pretty good!
- STOP DREAD MERGING: Touch your darlings about once a week, particularly at the back and check they're not joining at the base. If they are pull them apart. If you do this from the start, regularly, then you will never ever get dreads joining together!
- MAINTENANCE: Have your regrowth done or learn how to do DIY Maintenance, about every 3 months if you'd like your dreads to always be neat, or every 6 months if you don't mind a bit of top fuzz. If you love to "do it yourself" then you should grab my DIY Dread Maintenance Course! It will teach you exactly how to lock in your regrowth, get in the loops and bumps and remove your dread fuzz using the Divine Hand and Hook method of dreadlocking. This means you can do all your own dread maintenance, never have to split and tuck or loop your dreads through, never need sticky wax or lock peppa and save up to $1000 a year!
- CHILLIN: Enjoy the simplicity, coz your Divine Hand & Hook Dreadlocks are locked so well that your dreads really don't need as much thought or work as normal hair. This is a very different experience from if you have dreads made just with backcomb and roll, chemicals or wax. If they have been made this way, find a good hook loctician or grab the DIY maintenance course and pass the hook through your dreads till they're tighter so you don't have to worry too!
- ENJOY LIFE: This gives you more time to spend on your conscious evolution & less time spent on your hair! :)
ANSWERS TO POST COMMENTs:
How do i maintain all the frizz in between goin to my loctition for maintenance?
EXPERT ANSWER: The best way Hayward is to learn how to work with a 0.6mm crochet hook. You grab all the fuzz & mess it up further in your fingers by rubbing it. Then you wrap it around the base on top of any fresh regrowth. Then you get your hook & working on a parallel line to your head - basically across ways you work the hook through the dread on 3 different angles to lock in all the fuzz. Keep going till it's really neat & tight! I go over this in great detail in my DIY Natural Dread Maintenance Course.