Method 1: Back Combing Your Dreadlocks (aka comb knotting and teasing)

This is the “magic bullet” that worked well on my curly, African American hair, although it also works well on straight hair as well. This method gives you the appearance of dreadlocks right away, although you may have to re-do the back combing if your dreads loosen during hair washing, as was my case in the beginning. However, once your dreads mature, you won’t have to worry about that. Also, when you first use back-combing, your new “dreads” will probably look fuzzy, but they will tighten up over time. Additionally, your new growth will start to lock on its own, and will match the rest of your back-combed hair.

This technique is so effective that it’s popular with people with straight hair. Also, if you’re Black and have permed hair, another major advantage of back-combing is that you don’t have to cut it off in order to start your dreads. Back comb what you have! Another main reason I relied on this technique so heavily.

Watch this video to see how it works. Many thanks to ExpertVillage for the demonstration!


Advantages: You get the extreme satisfaction of having dreads the same day. I used this technique the most in my college days. The important thing is to take your time as you carefully backcomb each dreadlock-to-be. The nice thing is that you can control the thickness. It’s recommended that your hair be at least 3 inches long, clean, and dry when you use this technique.

Disadvantages: Be prepared to work your tail off (but it is SO worth it). It can take hours and takes some muscle. If you can swing it, try to get a few family members or friends to help you.  In my case, I had my sisters help. The best way to back comb is to take your time and make the dreads as smooth and tight as possible.

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