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How to Make Dreadlocks

Rohini Mohan
Are you fascinated with dreads? Well here is your chance to learn how to make dreadlocks all by yourself. Who knows you may even end up making dreadlocks for your friends....
Dreadlocks have been a part of many cultures around the world. Though in the western world its popularity spread through the Rastafarian movement.
It is often seen as a rebellious portrayal of a political point of view that refutes the idea of war and violence. Instead it goes out for seeking 'Jah'.
Today this hairstyle has become more of a fashion statement as well as a way of self-expression. Dreads may look unkempt and dirty to many, but the fact is that they need a lot of maintenance and care.
They need to be cleaned at least twice a week to clean the scalp and ensure that fiber or other particles do not get stuck in the maze of hair. Those with dreadlocks, should take good care of them once they are made. In fact, dreadlocks have been known to fall off, if they get too dry or are ill maintained.

The Back Sweep Method

Also called the back combing method, it literally means to comb the hair in the opposite direction towards the scalp, so that the hair gets frizzier along the way. Here are the steps you would need to follow if you are making your own dreads.
Though it would be reasonable to request a friend to assist you in this seemingly easy but rather exhausting task. If you do it alone there is a high possibility that the dreads on the back of your head will be ill-formed. Follow these instructions step by step:
♦ Do not condition your hair for at least 7-10 days before the day you intend to get your dreadlocks done. This will ensure that your hair has lesser moisture or oiliness.

♦ Wash your hair with a non residue shampoo and then allow it to air dry.
♦ Once your hair is dry, part your hair into small sections, take as much hair as you would like, depending on how thick you wish your dreads to be. They will get fluffier over time, so be careful not to take too much hair per dread.

♦ Now take one section at a time, while you secure the rest of the free hair with a rubber band.
♦ Take the section and twist it real tight, or simply roll the section over your finger. Always tie the ends of the hair with a rubber band. Now slowly begin to comb your hair backwards towards your scalp from the tip of the hair.

♦ Now apply some dreadlocks wax or bee wax all over the section, this will ensure that the hair retains its twists.
♦ Twist the section again while massaging the wax into the hair and secure with elastic.

♦ Avoid dread waxes with petroleum as they only give shine to already time-tested dreads. Petroleum, loosens out new dreads.

♦ Repeat this process with the remaining hair sections. The entire procedure takes about 4 hours to finish, for shoulder length or longer hair.
Of course you could get neater dreads if you get them done from a professional. The fact being that this hairdo unlike others is more permanent in nature. So, preferably seek professional help, as they will be able to give unique designs, while twisting the dreads with perfection.
Nonetheless if you choose to dread your own hair, make sure that your hair is long enough to be twisted even if they are relatively short. Hair that reaches till your nose would do just fine, and can be made into dreads easily, though you will need to learn how to maintain dreadlocks properly.
Apple cider vinegar mixed in water works great in cleansing the scalp and keeping the dreads dust free. Also once your dreads are made, try not to wash your hair for another 10 days or so. If you can't stand the grime or feel it's getting too dirty, use a cotton swap or a sponge dipped in apple cider vinegar so as to clean the hair.
Back sweep combined with twisting works best to make dreads at home, as it is relatively easier. Your dreads will take a month or more to completely form and you will need to wax them every time you see loose strands or your twists loosening out.