If you’re reading this, it’s too late. My dreadlocks had their 2nd birthday in early April and this post has been long overdue. The first time I decided to install dreadlocks, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find info on care tips, products, dreadlocks and just general info that beginner dreadies usually need to know. And trust me, they need a lot.
I’ve prepared this as a guide for anyone who has dreadlocks in the early stages, is considering having dreadlocks or anyone just looking for info on a dreadlock journey. Here I discuss my mistakes and tips I wish I’d been given from the start.
1.Washing Too Often
New dreadlocks (1 week old) should NEVER come into contact with water for at least 8 or sos. I know what you’re thinking, ‘8 weeks?!!’, but consider that your hair is undergoing a new transition and needs time to adjust and lock.
I ended up washing my hair too often (every two weeks) and my dreadlocks ended up detaching. To add insult to injury, I got rained on during those heavy rainy flash floods kind of evenings in Nairobi and that was the end of my ‘locks’.
2.Having A Palmrolling Obsession
Palmrolling was something I actualy learned to do and watched YouTube tutorials on and then ended up being one of the most useless things that happened to me.
When your dreadlocks are new, you are obsessed with them looking like “perfect dreadlocks”. The truth is, you just need to relax and let your hair form- at it’s own pace. Let it form the way it is meant to and learn to love them and make them your own perfect. It’s a hair journey that ends up being a self-love journey.
This is probably one of the most important lessons I’ve learnt on my dreadlock journey.
Oh how many times I’ve wanted to go back to the Kish in 2015 and slap that tub of wax out of her hands… Over-waxing at that time has led to the product accumulating in my hear i.e buildup. Presently, I have weak dreadlocks breaking at the center, growing beautifully at the root and are dry at the edges. Not to mention the ugly white patches of wax that remain in the locks grrrr!
4.Ignoring your hair
Do not be misled into thinking that because you are now a dreadie, you will need to adopt a no-care kind of philosophy when it comes to your hair. You still need to make sure your dreadlocks look well-moisturized, shiny and healthy. I’m doing poorly at this so if you know anyone who can help, please point me in their direction.
Dreadlocks need minimal care, but they still need certain products. Some people don’t think so, but I believe it’s necessary.
5.Use natural dye only (henna)
I used one of these dyes sold by every beauty vendor and my hair has been paying the price since. I have been shedding continuously after I used that dye and will advice anyone I hear considering dying their hair to stick to henna.
Why did I dye my hair? Because of that freaking annoying wax residue!
Like any other journey, this one has bumps, red lights, traffic jams, etc. You’re going to need to constantly tell yourself to slow down and stop rushing the process. More than anything, listen to your hair.
I use coconut oil and castor oil religiously on my hair. The previous to moisturize the ends and castor oil on my scalp.
-Cover up if possible
Protect your hair from harsh conditions like extreme cold or extreme sun.
-Stick to natural
Make sure you are using the most natural products you can get- this is to mean products with little to no chemicals in them. This also goes for your shampoo because most shampoos have ingredients that will stick to your hair then form the white residue. If you have any product recommendations, please leave a comment.
-Have a wash schedule
Once your dreadlocks form, have a more regular wash schedule i.e. bi-weekly, once a week etc. I was my hair once every two weeks.
-Do not touch your hair
It was close to impossible for me to stop touching my hair every five minutes when it was freshly new and locked. It’s like I kept checking to see if it was any close to looking like real dreadlocks. Keep your hands down and avoid touching them because it interferes with the locking process. The more you touch them, the more you delay the process.
Do you think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments. I am two years into this journey and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m going to need all proud naturals to join me in a power fist now- let’s celebrate our cult. Having dreadlocks is a commitment and not everyone can go through with it. If you just freshly installed yours, book mark this post and use it as a guide. You’ll want to thank me later.