Dreadlocks 101

In my opinion, dreadlocks are the most natural state your hair can possibly achieve. Dreadlocks, also known as simply “dreads” or “locks,” are a hair style made up of individual sections of matted hair that can be quite thin or thick, depending on personal preference.

Dreads are as natural as natural hair gets is because if hair is left untouched, no matter the hair type or ethnicity, it will eventually begin to lock up and form dreadlocks. By “lock up,” I mean that the hair will begin to tangle around itself and become matted, forming dreadlocks. This is referred to as the neglect method.

A common misconception is that the neglect method is the only way of achieving true dreadlocks… This could not be further from the truth! The neglect method is primarily used by people who wear dreads for spiritual and religious reasons. A well-known example of this would be the Rastafarian practice of letting the hair grow untouched as suggested in the Biblical book of Leviticus.

There are several methods that can be used to create dreads. The neglect method happens to be the easiest, since the hair just grows and the dreads form at random all over the head. But there are ways of achieving uniform-looking locks that require minimal effort. Many people I know with dreads began them by either plaiting or twisting their hair, and thenĀ using the neglect method. This requires you to section the hair, allowing you to control the desired thickness of the soon-to-be dreadlocks.

Another common misconception is that all dreadlocks are dirty. This is so false! Dreadlocks should be washed on a regular basis, or they will begin to stink. People also tend to think that unwashed hair will lock up faster than clean hair. This is totally false! Many of the products that are labeled as being “for dreadlocks” contain conditioners and moisturizers that leave residue causing the hair to be more slick, and more resistant to forming the tangles necessary for creating dreadlocks. This site reveals the truth about washing dreadlocks!

Finally, the biggest misconception about dreadlocks is that you must cut your hair off to get rid of them! Apparently, that is not the case! You can buy dreadlock removal cream and use it to keep all or most of your length if you decide to quit dreads. Just be prepared to put in work if you decide to not to cut your hair!


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