dreadlocks update

my dreads have been in for eight months now. i've changed tactic a lot since i first put them in, and it seems a ripe time to share some of those decisions with you. especially since i've checked my stats tab and it seems like the biggest reason people come to my blog from search engines is to look up dread information. so -

for those of you who don't know me personally or haven't read the original dreads post, you should know: i have very silky, medium thickness hair. it never tangles on its own.

fresh dreads done with 'twist and rip' method, no rubber bands

securing dread ends:

one month in, no rubber bands, loong tails
for the first few months, i chose not to use rubber bands. i didn't want to buy things to make my dreads, and i didn't want to either 1) leave them in and let them rot in my dreads, or 2) have to use even more by taking them out and replacing them before they rotted. as a result, my dreads repeatedly came undone. the dreads that were back combed tended to stay in better than those done with twist and rip, but in general All the dreads around the edges of my scalp came undone multiple times.

two months in, dreading happening on its own for some, loosening for others - still no rubber bands
so sometime in late spring i put rubber bands in my hair. i've been taking them out slowly. some i took out too early, and some of those dreads came undone. some didn't. i was as displeased with rubber bands in my hair as i thought i would be. then i realized that they weren't the only 'binding' material i could use... i had taken to yanking out a suitable weed from the ground when i was without a ponytail, and would strip and bend up stems to tie my hair up. that got me thinking of alternatives, and

five months in, rubber bands added. still some loose, long tails.
i started wrapping the ends of my dreads with embroidery floss. it Is a bought material, but i had it on hand already, and it could also be done with home made cordage. i have also wrapped a few with wool that i spun by hand, which i think is a pretty sustainable option. only a few wraps have come out, and they stay in long enough that the dreads are tight by the time the wraps loosen up at All. and while the colors may fade slightly, so far they aren't getting gross like the rubber bands do.

six months in, wraps w/ cotton and wool thread. still some rubber bands. long tails, but tighter dreads.
twist and rip:

seems to come undone more easily than back combed dreads, at least for my hair type when done in pretty small dreads. i recommend wrapping the ends of small, silky, twist and rip dreads so they don't come undone. i am still happy with this method for ease, speed, and lack of tools required.


a week seems to be the longest i can safely go without separating my dreads. they like to knot up at the base quite a bit, especially if my hair is almost always in a ponytail and bandanna (which it is for work) or a hat. i wish i had sectioned more carefully so there was less cross over knotting from dread to dread.

yay, happy dreads!

the family i'm living with right now has three little girls, and two of them have been considering dreadlocks for a while. their mom looked up various information online, and she seems pretty set on crocheting their dreads if they choose to go for them at all. maybe because she's a fiber geek and is already familiar with crochet hooks. her research seems to suggest crocheting is the best method, and it makes me wonder if there are different ways of crocheting, since i've heard bad stories about it. regardless, i Have used her crochet hook (a TINY one, though not as tiny as recommended - 1.4mm) lately to tighten up some of my Super loose roots (some were loose for 3, 4 inches) and neaten up some of my dreads that had a bunch of loose bits along them. in practice it doesn't seem too different to me than back combing or twist and rip, except that the hook can pull lower bits of hair Up into hair closer to the root, whereas the other two methods only work from the base out. i guess time will tell more how i feel about crocheting...