Will Clockwise Rubbing break your hair/dreads ? - Dreadlocks FAQ's
This is another bit of mis-info that's popularized by the dreadlocks fundamentalists. Most of the people that will tell you this have some very strict and limiting ideas about dreadlocks, it's almost like are creating their own little dreadlocks religion. Their beliefs are strong, I'll give them that, but they don't seem to be supported by the facts.
Clockwise rubbing, when it's done as recommended with the hair properly prepared, takes 30-40 seconds of rubbing with light pressure. If that damages your new growth (the newest and healthiest hair on your head) you have some serious vitamin deficiencies going on. You may also be suffering from chemical damage. This can be due to over bleaching or over dying the hair. In any case it's a sign of real problems, the source of which is not clockwise rubbing. I've always clockwise rubbed my dreads (first set about 4 years, this set about 7 years now) with no breakage or damage and I've never heard of any of my customers having issues either. I spend a lot of time with my friends/customers every day and they let me know if they are having issues so between my own experiences and all of their experiences for the last 10 years or so I have some idea what's damaging and what's not.
Now I'm not saying that it would be impossible to cause damage with clockwise rubbing if it's done wrong - you can always screw things up. Let's say you didn't use any wax and allowed your hair to dry out real good. Then you bleached the roots a few times. Then you clockwise rubbed with extreme pressure and you did it for a few hours each day - sure, broken hair would result; But that is no reason scare people away from a great technique. As with anything else though you have to listen to your heart, use good judgment, and make the decision that you're comfortable with.
When it's done right it will keep new growth locking very close to the scalp - this looks fantastic for those that desire groomed looking locks and it prevents a great deal of loose hair because it is much easier for new growth to find it's way into the dreads when the knots are closer to the scalp. Clockwise rubbing also stimulates the hair follicles which increases blood flow and promotes strong hair growth. Lastly Clockwise Rubbing helps your scalp exfoliate. Since dreads are not brushed your scalp relies on washing, clockwise rubbing and Head Honcho-ing to help remove dead skin cells.