Dreadlocks have been a staple style for black hair for decades. The idea is to divide and lock the hair so that it continues to grow without losing the look–and maintenance is key!
But dreads aren’t exclusive to black hair, which is why the right techniques and products are necessary to accommodate all hair types.
Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting a Latino, young man and his very frustrated mother. Just two days prior to our meeting, she’d taken her son to a hair salon to finally get the dreadlocks he’d been wanting. But today, as she stood before me, his hair was completely falling apart. (Take a look below!) Being quick on her toes, his mother tied the bottoms of his dreads with rubber bands to hold them together, but she still feared nothing could be done to save the style on his type of hair.
Her son’s hair was very fine, and the intended technique the other salon employed might have worked had he had your typical coarse black hair texture. But since that wasn’t the case, they simply twisted his hair and hoped for the best, sending him on his way with few tips beyond wrapping his hair at night.
Fortunately, for him and his mother, the cause wasn’t lost. Yes, we had to take down what was done before, but the process of redoing the dreads was a fairly simple one.
First, we were sure to divide the hair into equal and even pieces before dreading each one. This really helps with the appearance of the style, and it also makes it much easier to freshen up the look later when necessary. Second, we backcombed the hair to give it more friction, making way for the dreads to lock in place over time. Next, using a crochet hook technique and a rubber band for the root of the hair, we were able to give the dreads a head start in locking. Finally, we finished with a little hairspray, and voilà! The look was saved and good to go, which made for a very happy, very satisfied, and very relieved mother and son.
Crocheting is just one way to lock hair, and many hair stylists have their opinions about it. But what you want out of your dreads will dictate the technique. Neat and sleek dreads will require a different method than a more rough and free style. But we want to hear from you. What techniques or products work for you when maintaining your dreads? Leave us a comment or hit us up on Facebook!
What do you think?
September 4, 2012 UPDATE: As of the end of August, our client’s hair has grown over an inch and looks better than ever! Check out the newest photo below.