Starting Dreadlocks

Starting dreadlocks
Starting Dreadlocks

Perhaps its best to first start by saying. You do not need wax and your hair is not supposed to be dirty to dread. Clean hair dreads much faster. This is the Dreads UK method for starting dreadlocks.

Prepare your hair for dreadlocks

Preparation is important in any practice. It will determine the quality of your results. Much like when you decorate a room. You need to prepare the walls before painting them.
When starting dreadlocks, the first thing you want to do is remove all the residues from your hair. This residues (added moisture, shine, softness, volume) from any regular shampoos you've been using can make it harder for your hair to mature and lock up, tho not impossible. However, this will prepare your hair for the perfect condition for dreadlocks. You can find our 'Dreads UK Original Formula' residue free dreadlocks shampoo in our shop. Take your Dreads UK shampoo and give your hair a thorough wash. Then dry your hair fully. You'll feel the difference with your hair now the residues are removed. This should be done the day before you start dreading, or the day before your appointment, if you are booked in with a dreadlocks stylist. If you are making dreadlocks from home. Move on to the next step.

Brushing and sectioning

Sectioning it important for the best results. This will be the difference between manageable and well maintained dreadlocks. For this you will need

  • Sectioning Clips
  • Elastic Bands
  • A tail comb

Start by brushing the hair and get all knots out of the hair. This will give a blank canvas to work with. The two main patterns are 'Brick' and 'Oval'.
The brick pattern is a good starter way of sectioning, particularly if you are making dreadlocks at home. The oval progression is for the more experienced and gives a more natural result as the sectioning lines will be less visible once the dreadlocks are made. See examples below.

Sectioning for dreads

For now, we will focus on the brick pattern for beginners. If you look at 'Brick C' you'll see a round semi-circle line. This will be your first section to take. You'll want to take your tail comb, and run the section line through 3 points. The two places at the front of the head where the hair recedes, and the crown. This may take two or three attempts to get it even and consistant. Once you've take the section, pin it up with your sectioning clip out of the way. Now you can begin your brick pattern on the lower section working your way from the top, to the base, exampled in figure 'Brick B'.

To do this, work on one line at a time, using your elastic bands to secure each individual brick of hair. Once you have your lower section completed, you can brick the top section starting from the front and working to the back. Now your head is sectioned, you can start the dreading process.

Rip and Twist

There are 3 main methods of dreading hair, neglect, back comb and rip and twist. We're going to focus on rip and twist as it gives the most control and the most accurate results.

With all the sections secured out of the way, take one of the sections from the lower area, preferably the bottom. Undo the elastic band. This will be your first dreadlock.

Let the hair fall down and take hold of the end of the hair. Now with your other hand, pull the section apart as if opening a packet of crisps. The result should be your section is split in two with the hair being tangled. The further you pull the hair apart, the closer the tangles get to the scalp. Repeat this process over and over. You will begin to see the hair knotting together and creating your dreadlock, building from the root.

Repeat step 2 for each of the sections until all sections are dreaded.

See video for example

This video will also show you in detail, how to use a crochet hook like a pro!

2 thoughts on “Starting Dreadlocks”

  • shadow

    I always make a centre part when Ive made my own dreads, because I find the middle ones get in the way. And also I like to wear my hair in two bunches or braids and it looks better with a top parting. Only problem Ive found is there is no height with a centre parting. I noticed that everywhere shows the brick pattern with centre dreads, and it seems to give the height.
    Is there a way around this? I mean, a centre part on top but without being flat. I unpicked two sets because it just sat too flat. And I want my next and last set to be right. I did contact dreads Uk once regarding having someone do it, but I dont drive and the distance was not possible for me. I was happy with my own dreads, just this issue with the top. Any advice would be really appreciated, gratefully.

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