Dreadlocks: Separating the Facts from the Fiction

Photo credit: Ben Raynal

Photo credit: Ben Raynal

Dreadlocks: Separating the Facts from the Fiction

There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the subject of dreadlocks, leaving many people to have the wrong impression on this classic hairstyle. In an effort to separate the facts from the fiction, we’re going to shed some light on dreadlocks, answering all of your burning questions.

Will My Hair Be Shorter Once Dreaded?

Dreadlocks won’t physically make your hair shorter, but they will create the impression of shorter hair. You have to remember that creating dreadlocks requires the twisting and turning of hair. And as your twist hair into dreadlocks, it looks shorter than before. According to some sources, the average person’s hair will look 20% shorter after it has been dreaded. Of course, this length is quickly recovered in just a few weeks or months time, so this isn’t a concerting issue for most people. And if you are worried about your hair looking shorter, check out these tips to speed up the growth of dreadlocks.

Do Dreadlocks Require Washing?

Well, there’s no type of hairstyle that MUST be washed, as it’s simply a matter of personal preference. The frequency for washing dreadlocks varies depending on a number of different factors. If you have thin hair and produce an excess amount of scalp oil, you’ll probably need to wash your dreadlocks at least once every couple days. Again, you can go for longer without washing them, but this it may cause your hair to look oily and dirty. Pay attention to your hair’s appearance and wash it when needed.

Can You Dye/Color Dreadlocks?

Absolutely! In fact, many people dye their dreadlocks to achieve a more unique appearance. Dying is actually quite easy since you really only need to cover the outer portion of the dreadlocks and not the inside. Just dye the locks that you would any other hair style and you’ll be well on your way to sporting a unique look.

Can I Dread My Own Hair?

Sure you can! I’d by lying if I said it was easy, but it can be done. Ideally, you should have someone braid your hair beforehand, at which point you can simply use the backcombing method to create the dreadlocks. Keep in mind that you’ll also need a small, handheld mirror in addition to a wall-mounted mirror (such as the kind in bathrooms) to see the back of your hair. With a little bit of work and plenty of time, though, you can dread your own hair.

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