Dreadlocks are essentially a lifestyle choice as much as a hairstyle. You must alter your understanding and practices relative to traditional hair maintenance.
As we are fond of saying here, dreadlocks are the oldest hairstyle in the world. When you wear dreadlocks, you let nature take the steering wheel and be your hairdresser.
And there are many benefits to wearing dreadlocks. For instance, you will cease putting harmful and toxic hair products on your scalp.
The side effects of the multitude of toxic chemicals found in over-the-counter hair products are too many to count. But many of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.
The June 2022 meeting of the Endocrine Society publicly declared that parabens, a hormone-disrupting toxic chemical that causes breast cancer, are disproportionately found more often in hair products marketed and sold to the black community.
And especially when it comes to hair products sold to black women.
Moreover, the Endocrine Society stated that all-natural and organic hair products that don't feature toxic chemicals are less likely to be sold in black communities.
And the average woman spends over $55,000 on hair products over their lifetime.
So, by wearing dreadlocks, you can keep your hair free of dangerous and toxic chemicals and save more money.
But attaining anything worthwhile is never easy. Remember, we said that wearing dreadlocks is a "lifestyle choice."
If you want six-pack abdomen muscles, you have to work for them; they won't appear overnight. And you must have the same mindset with dreadlocks. Your hair grows about half an inch per month, depending on your ethnicity and the natural curliness of your hair.
And the process of attaining dreadlocks is to twist your hair strategically and periodically. You want your hair follicles to begin naturally clinging and locking together until they convert into dreadlocks.
But there is a method to starting and twisting dreadlocks. And if you don't follow it, your locs could unravel before the hair follicles begin naturally locking.
So, your starter locs could end up looking like frizzy follicle strands but not dreadlocks.
Let's talk about how to retwist your locs if they unravel. But first, let's talk about how dreadlocks are formed in the first place.
And we are also going to touch on why your dreadlocks may be unraveling too.
Lion Locs produces the best organic and all-natural dreadlock grooming products on the market. Check us out today.
Internal Dreadlock Maintenance
We are going to tell you how to retwist your locs if they unravel. They are simple methods you may have overlooked when you initially started developing your locs.
You can skip to this column's last section if you choose.
But firstly, we need to make sure that you understand how dreadlocks are created in the first place. After all, if you don't appreciate the mechanics of how dreadlocks are formed, then the "unraveling" problem will keep happening.
Dreadlocks are rope-like strands of hair. The best way to describe dreadlocks is to talk about the "internal dreadlock matrix."
The exterior of a dreadlock strand is frizzy, matted, and springy to the touch. The interior of a dreadlock, or the internal dreadlock matrix, resembles a spiral scaffolding of fused and clinging hair follicles.
The follicles at the scalp should be looser as newer hair grows in. Remember, new hair grows at a rate of about half an inch per month.
It takes between six and 24 months for your dreadlocks to form. You should be twisting your hair daily or every 48 hours in the first weeks and months as your hair begins converting.
The hair follicles under your scalp will begin fusing, clinging, and locking together as you twist. And within time, they become dreadlocks.
You must have committed some mistakes, unwittingly or otherwise, for your hair to unravel as you start your dreadlocks.
Before we give our retwisting lesson, let's look at some of the mistakes you could make with twisting starter dreadlocks.
Not Considering Hair Type
Black hair is naturally kinky and curly and will loc much easier relative to the hair types of other ethnicities.
If you are non-black or have naturally straight hair, you may need to employ other methods to start your dreads. You may need to backcomb, braid, or crochet your starter dreads.
Twisting While Wet
Make sure that your hair is 100% dry before you twist them. Your hair follicles are less likely to loc up properly and intertwine if your hair is wet.
Wet hair will also cause hair rot, a smelly kind of hair fungus that is difficult to remove if you have dreadlocks.
Not Twisting Enough
Once your dreadlocks are fully formed, you could twist them once a month. Twisting your dreadlocks too often or with too much force can damage them.
However, if you are using the finger coil method to start your dreadlocks, you will need to twist them daily. Or at least every other day. Neglecting your twisting ritual could cause your dreadlocks to unravel.
Just don't twist with too much force. And you could twist each strand for a minute or two, but don't overdo it. Traction alopecia is incremental hair loss caused by aggressively pulling and twisting hair for the sake of a hairstyle.
Using Traditional Hair Products
Only use organic and all-natural dreadlock grooming products. Depending on your preference, you could wash your dreadlocks weekly or bi-weekly and save tens of thousands on traditional hair products.
As previously mentioned, traditional hair grooming products contain dangerous chemicals. Some ingredients may get trapped in the crevices of your fusing hair follicles and never degrade. Along with causing hair rot, this residue could also prevent your locs from fusing properly.
How to Retwist Your Locs If They Unravel
You can use several methods to retwist your locs if they unravel.
Make sure that your locs are dry before you twist them. After you wash them, they will become waterlogged and heavy. And since they are not dreadlocks year, your twisting hair follicles can easily unravel.
Only use organic, all-natural, and clarifying dreadlock grooming products on your locs.
Redefine your original strand parting. Get a rattail comb and make new square partitions on your scalp out of which each dreadlock strand will grow. This will also encourage new follicle strands to loc together.
Wear a satin hair bonnet or sleeping cap when you sleep. During the first 24 months, your dreadlocks are fragile. The friction of your head tossing and turning on your pillow could unravel your slowly developing locs.
As you twist your starter locs, you may want to tie the ends with a rubber band or hair clip. Just make sure to replace the rubber bands every day or two. Rubber bands will eventually stick to hair follicles.
You may want to use other dreadlock preparation methods as well.
Backcombing involves combing your hair backward from the tip towards the scalp. This action forcibly intertwines and twists up follicles. Commence twisting afterward.
You can braid your hair and then just leave them in. They will naturally become dreadlocks over time.
Lion Locs' organic and vegan dreadlock grooming products are paraben-free and do not contain any toxic chemicals. Check us out today.
Related: Transitioning into Locs