How can I tighten loose hair on the tips on my dreadlocks? - Dreadlocks FAQ's
There are a few techniques for locking up loose hair at the tips and making your tips round. Some people are down with the paintbrush look of loose hair at the tips but I don't really dig it. It's a personal preference... If you're not a fan either here are your options:
Tip rubbing can be used over time to knot up the loose hair at the tips. There's a little animation as well as an explanation of the demonstration here: Tip Rubbing Dreadlocks
Tip rubbing relies on rubber bands to hold the new knots until they have a chance to lock. It works most of the time in larger dreads but it takes quite a while. Every now and then it doesn't work and you have to redo it. This gets old in a hurry. Fortunately there's a better way...
A Dread Head Loose Hair Tool insert TM here =) can be used to pull loose hair up into the tip of your dreadlocks. Since I've started using this method I haven't revisited tip rubbing much at all. It's easier, faster and more convenient. The best part is...you hardly ever have to redo it. Trouble free tips...it's about frickin' time!!
So here's how to make supa nice rounded tips with the Loose Hair Tool:
About two inches from the tip of the dread (not the tips of the loose hair but two inches from the end of the dreaded part) insert the Loose Hair Tool and slide it down the center of the dread towards the tip. The pointed end of the tool will allow you to guide it down the center of the dread with a little practice. When the tool pops out of the tip put the loose hair into the latch, close the latch, and pull the loose hair up into the dread. Now before you pull it all the way to where you inserted the tool, push the tool forward again and through the side of the dread. As you do this the latch will open inside the dread and leave the loose hair behind. Now just close the latch and pull the tool straight out. Wala!! 9 times out of 10 the tips will lock without any more help and you'll end up with smooth round looking ends just like the pros! =]
Every now and then you'll run across a dread that's not tight enough to hold on to the loose hair. In these cases a rubber band can be used to hold the tip together until it locks. Simple yet effective. Another issue you may have is with very thick dreads that are already very mature. It is possible for them to get so tight that you can not push the tool into the dread. In these cases however the tip is no longer in danger of coming undone and you can simply trim the loose hair that sticks off of the tip.
Pulling your tips in is best done right after you take the bands off of the tips. For more information on when you can remove the bands of your new dreads and use this method check out this post about using rubber bands on the tips of your dreadlocks.