What are all natural dreadlocks? - Dreadlocks FAQ's
You'll hear people say ALL NATURAL dreadlocks. What does that mean? Dreads are either made with "Effort and Interaction" or they happen with "No Effort or Interaction". That's one distinction that some people associate with the term "natural". When nothing is done to the hair and it is allowed to combine into dreads or not (allowed to knot or not to knot) =] - we call the lack of interaction "neglect". Some people refer to complete neglect as being "all natural". While this definition is pretty objective it doesn't apply to many actual sets of dreads since it's very unlikely someone would allow their hair to grow with no interaction at all. As soon as you interact with it, it ceases to be "natural". (Since most people do not fully neglect their dreads the "Scale of Involvement", with complete neglect on one side and full interaction on the other makes sense).
The more popular definition of natural dreads has to do with the method that formed them. Dreadlocks are either made using a "Non-Chemical Process & Method" (natural) or they are made with a "Chemical Process & Method" (un-natural). The difference is that in a chemical process the hair is held in a position while chemicals are used to modify the structure of the hair and convince it to stay that way -much like a perm. In a non-chemical process the hair may be physically pushed or pulled into knots but those knots tighten without chemicals or as some people say "naturally". The reason for this definition's popularity is probably because we are already familiar with this distinction being made for food. IE Food with lots of preservatives and chemicals is Un-Natural, food without chemicals is natural.
All of the methods and techniques that we teach on DreadHeadHQ.com assist the natural locking process with natural products. No-chemicals are used to force or speed the dreading, so DreadHead dreads are all 100% all natural. For example, dread wax doesn't speed the locking process by altering the hair or forcing it to do something it would never do on it's own - it just helps it stay compressed and get used to being compressed so that it can tighten more and more each time you palm roll. In other words it's helping the hair do what it naturally does. I personally favor this natural approach to dreading but I respect others choice to use chemical methods. Natural dreadlocks are not superior to chemically made dreads - they are both made of knotted hair and in the long run they are cared for the same way. Those who try to make a big deal out of the natural / non-natural distiction are simply looking for ways to call attention to themselves - if you've decided to go with a non-natural method don't let them give you are hard time. =] That said, even if you start dreads with a chemical process you'll still need to learn how to help the dread continue to knot and tighten as your hair continues to grow, otherwise you'll have straight hair with dreads on the end.