Dreadlock Emergencies 101

dreadlock emergencies

As much as we would all like to believe that having dreads is all rainbows, beads, and compliments, it’s just not. There are mistakes you might make, and many people have, that will cause concern and might even be a dreadlock emergency.

There are plenty of ways to prevent the following, but first, you need to understand what you might be causing if you aren’t taking proper care of your dreadlocks in the first place.

Situation #1: Dreads Hanging by a Thread

There are times, especially in the early days with your new set of dreadlocks, that you might experience this emergency situation. You don’t want to think about these situations until it’s too late. Dreads are delicate in the beginning stages and there are times when a dread might become loose or thin and one part of the dread will be dangling from only a few small hairs before breaking off.

If this happens to you, you have two choices. If you find a section of your dread hanging by a thread or a few small strands you have a few options on how to eliminate this problem or remedy it. Your first option is to trim that particular dread if it’s not in a bad area of your hair or will ruin the overall look of the rest of the dreads surrounding it. Your second option would be to get creative. You can purchase a small chunk of synthetic or real hair used in wigs or weaves. With this secondary hair, you can weave together one section of dread with the other section and in all honesty, no one will even notice a difference either way.

Situation #2: Dreads Unraveling

This is another emergency situation that can easily get out of control if you ignore this issue, especially with new dreads. You will likely notice after a few washes that your dreads might start to unravel and loosen. It can make things look strange and frizz will inevitably make its appearance.

To remedy this situation, you will need to tighten your dreads periodically. You will need to set aside time to ensure that you do this and do it well, too. The roots will loosen and with the same technique you used to get dreads you will need to keep up as your dreads grow out. Likewise, the ends will also loosen and with rolling and knotting you can whip the ends of your dreads back into shape as well.

Situation #3: Dreads Breaking Off

Another big problem that many people have with dreadlocks old and new are issues with dreads breaking off. This can happen for a number of reasons including rotting, becoming too loose, or poor installation from the beginning stages.

One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to always be checking your dreads. Every day or every other day, touch every single one of them if you can to make sure they are similar thickness and tightness as the rest of the dreads. This will allow you to ensure you notice a change in one dread before they break. If they do, unfortunately, break, you can make it work by trying to hide it within the rest of the hair, doing an all over trim if it’s not much, or just tightening the rest of the broken dread and rounding out the tip to make it look uniform.

Situation #4: Dreads Smell Bad (Rotting)

Finally, and hopefully, you never experience this emergency situation, your dreads might start to smell and despite washing, your hair is smelly and looking dirtier time after time. It happens often and it can happen for a variety of reasons based on hair texture, length of hair, type of product and more.

The first thing you should consider is the thing you can control; the products you’re using. If you’re buying products labeled “shiny,” “voluminous,” or “sleek” are bound to cause problems. Simply look for a clarifying shampoo, no gimmicks, no extras, and as few chemicals as possible are going to break down the dirt on your scalp and within your dreads and will keep things healthy and dry. Simplicity is best when it comes to washing your dreads. The right product will make the world of a difference in making sure your hair is healthy, inside and out. 

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