Preparing your mind for Dreadlocks
Are you ready for dreadlocks? Dreads are awesome but, like a pet (that you wear on your head), you really have to commit cause, like a pet, they need lotsa love and time for maintenance when they are new.
BTW, if you're new to dreads and you like videos check out Dread Vlog 1, it talks about what you should know before you dread, good stuff...
There are some things you should know and be aware of before you jump into your dreadlocks journey.
First you gotta relax and realize that dreadlocks are more of a process or journey than a one day, do it all at once kinda thing. It's like being in a band, you've gotta do a little work everyday to keep up with it. Dreads have ups and downs as they mature. Some days everything is looking suh-weet and some days they look....well....crappy. The bonus here is that mature dreads ALWAYS look good, so no more bad hair days :)
Even though maturity comes over time a lot of the work you'll need to do happens closer to the beginning. Maintenance is pretty intense at first and then tapers off from there. As you look around the site you'll find A LOT of info and many people tend to get a little overwhelmed. They're like "when do I do this" and "how long until I start doing that?" and "OMFG there is so much to learn". You can relax, here's why: You just need to familiarize yourself with the concepts. When it comes time you can re-read and get the details.
But how do you know when "it's time"? Keeping up with the timing used to be a problem but now it's pretty easy. Our Dread Kits include eligibility for the hella-cool Lock-Up-Dates™ service by which I'll send you emails timed to your dreads development which will let you know:
- If your dreads are on track
- what to expect at this point in their development
- what changes are needed in your maintenance at their current stage
- even some extra tips for the techniques you'll be using at that time
So don't stress, you'll be prepared! Also don't miss the maintenance routine for the first month in the FAQ.
The next thing you should know is that people will probably see your dreadlocks before they see you. Yep, just like judging a movie by the dvd case. (this approach works far better with movies than w/ people) The point is that some people are going to have a preconceived notion of what a person with dreads is like and if that notion is negative it's up to you to change it.
Next, in a lot of places dreadlocks are somewhat novel, you might be one of the few people they've ever seen with dreads. Naturally, they will have lots of really awkward questions, like "Do you wash your hair?". I mean under most circumstances that would be down right rude! So you need to be prepared for this. They will ask how you started them, what you put in them, if it's all your hair, if you take them out at night...etc. You will get better at answering these questions over time. But sometimes it can be really hard not to completely lose it ROTFL at what people come up with.
Another thing you should know is why you are getting dreadlocks. There is no right or wrong reason for dreadlocks, so don't let anyone convince you that their reason is "better" than yours. And there is also no right or wrong way to make dreadlocks, so don't let anyone convince you that one method is better than another.
There are only easy and hard ways to make dreadlocks, but it's your choice on how you want to make them and how much time it takes for them to lock up. What really mattes is what you want and what works for you. Some people get dreads for a spiritual reason, some for fashion, and some because they're a hardcore juggalo. Whatever your reason, stand by it, and be prepared to back it up.
Now is a great time to mention that the methods that Knotty Sloan and I teach on this site are not the "only" way to do dreads. After A LOT of experimenting, trial and error and feedback from the DreadHead community, we believe that this approach is the very best way to start and maintain dreadlocks. We'll explain why in the pages that follow. These methods work so well in fact, and so consistently, that when you start out with our dread kit and follow our instructions we can guarantee that you'll be happy with your dreads. Instead of providing some information on every method, and bloating our site in an attempt to provide support for multiple methods, we've chosen to focus entirely on backcombing and on the maintenance techniques proper to backcombing. Backcombing is a natural dreading method where by you manually put knots in the hair and then focus on creating the best possible environment for the knots to become dreads. No chemicals of any type are used to force the hair to dread. All products are natural and complement the natural locking process. This is not an instant process but by understanding the dreading process and providing a lil TLDC (tender loving dread care) you can create healthy, mature dreadlocks in months rather than years. This same understanding gives you the ability to control the look of the dreads. From messy, random-ish to perfectly groomed -- from super thin micro-dreads to massive nug-like congos.. Dreads are now an art form.
There are those that disagree with how we view dreads. That is fine. Not everyone judges dreadlocks by the same criteria. (See our customer Dread Pictures section for pics of dreads we believe are top notch) It's important to realize that the "ideal dreadlocks" you have in mind may be quite different from what another person is going for. If you don't feel the majority of the info on this site targeted to getting the type of dreads you have in mind you can check out an article I wrote about alternative dreadlocking methods. If you're still trying to determine the type of dreads you want I would suggest talking with some of our many customers. You can find them on our Dread Family community, on Facebook and on twitter. Look at their dread pics and see how they feel about their dreadlocks journey. In the last ten years we've helped thousands get the dreads they want and we've never come across a head of hair that we couldn't dread so I'm pretty confident we can help you get the dreads you're after as well.
Dreading success and the Dread Pact
You're probably reading this site because you realize how crazy awesome dreadlocks are. I couldn't agree more. After ten years I still love having dreads as much as I did at the end of the first year. There were times though, in the beginning, when I wasn't so sure. At some point before your dreads mature there's a gap -- a period of time where your dreads seem to make no progress at all. This is a hard time, especially if your friends and family never really supported your decision to dread up.
Unfortunately not everyone makes it through this time... Some give up and take their dreads out before they have a chance to lock up. They don't ever get to experience what it's like to have mature dreads. This is sad. Had they stuck it out they probably would have kept them for years. The good new is, this period of dreadly weakness is totally avoidable...just by taking a few easy steps ahead of time it can be avoided.
The Dread Pact walks you though those steps and all but ensures your dread success. Click the button to get your Dread Pact PDF!
Since Dreadlocks are a journey that you're starting, a changing point in your life, now is a great time to start other long-term journeys that have been on your mind.
- Get in Shape! Take up yoga, weightlifting or rock climbing.
- Learn a language or get active with a great cause like the FairTax.
- Go Raw! Treat your body to a raw diet, the benefits are huge.
- Quit Smoking! Never Smoke another cigarette as a DreadHead!
Dreadlocks are nothing short of life-changing, but adding a Dread Resolution like this makes it even more meaningful. They are your dreads and they can be a symbol for anything you want. This is a great opportunity to do something you've been putting off!