If you have determined on that, you have several ways of starting dreadlocks. But is there really any need to know them all, if they all give you the same results? Yes, because they don’t give the same results. That’s why it is useful to learn about them. Actually the way of starting dreadlocks determine your final look. The method affects the size, uniformity and looks of your dreads.
It is important to decide what types of dreads you want. Do you want them all of same size? Do you want them thin or thick? Do you want an instant dreadlock look or you wish to grow in them for some time? And of course, your type of hair is also an important factor to consider, because some methods work better on certain types of hair, like wavy, straight or curly.
Most methods of starting dreadlocks need at least 3 to 4 inches of length of hair to start with. Starting with hair shorter than that is not advisable.
While choosing a product for starting dreadlocks, most commonly a heavier wax is used, because it helps to hold for longer. Once your locks start maturing, you may move towards something lighter.
Comb Twist/Finger Twist
This is the commonest method of starting dreadlocks. You will need a comb (preferably rat-tailed), rubber bands or clips for sectioning and holding product like wax, styling gum, gel etc.
For starting dreadlocks with this method, you can start by parting your hair into square-shaped sections using the comb. 1 to 2 inches square are fine; but actually it depends on how thick you want your dreads to be. And you need not worry about the shape of the locks, because square sections will form round locks. It depends on your personal preference whether you want very clear cut sections or not. You can choose to have any one. But making clear sections will make it a bit easy for you to style your locks in future and also for grouping them in even sections while re-twisting. However, it is not very hard to do these things even with not very clear sections.
Once the squares are formed, you may start from the back and move towards the front of the head. Make use of your chosen product on the sectioned squares for saturating the strands. Wrap the hair strand around the bottom end of the comb and twist till it forms a small tight coil. Put a hair clip or rubber band on the coil to secure it while drying. Keep on doing this till you coil all the squares.
While hand twisting, twist the hair clockwise from its root till it forms a small tight coil. Rest procedure is same as that of comb twisting.
Remember to twist all the locks in the same direction because while re-twisting it makes easier to keep their track. You will not certainly want to do all the hard work again if the direction goes wrong.
Free Forming (Neglect Method)
The name itself suggests what the method is. It is the easiest technique of starting dreadlocks. You don’t have to do anything literally than washing your hair again and again. This method requires no tools or products. You just have to stop brushing or combing so that hair starts knotting and eventually dreadlocks are formed.
Though it seems the easiest technique of starting dreadlocks, it is also the most disadvantageous. Firstly you have to have at least 10 inch-long hair for knotting to be started. Next it takes quite long – as long as about 3 years – for your hair to look like dreads. Till then your looks are quite unappealing, rather unsanitary. And the biggest disadvantage is you don’t have any control over your locks. Some of them may be very skinny, while some others may be quite bulky.
Two Strand Twist
This method of starting dreadlocks is also very common. Starting from the back of the head, the stylist will section your hair and the hair in each section will be made in two strands which will be twisted around each other with plentiful of wax applied to them. The strands thus twisted are then left for drying.
This too is one of the commonest methods of starting dreadlocks. It involves the two-strand twist method too. Starting from the back of the head, the hair is divided into sections. Then hair in each section is backcombed and divided into two strands which are spiraled together. Then again the lock thus formed is backcombed and twisted around itself. According to expert stylists, backcombing is the best way of starting dreadlocks because it gives an immediate dreadlock appearance to the hair, along with making them mature faster. Plus, it can be used on any type of hair.