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View Full Version : Locked hair ("dreadlock") Q&A pt.2!



Kajzh
September 6th, 2016, 01:55 AM
Hi everyone!
I am a years-long lurker who decided recently to get involved in the community! So hello! During my time hiding in the background, I've noticed some myths and confusion around the topic of locked hair (commonly known as "dreadlocks"). Having locked hair myself and seeing that the old thread closed, I figured I'd open up a new thread where you all can feel free to ask questions about how locks form and are cared for.

My background
I am black with 3b/c hair, and I have been a locked hair stylist for more than a half decade. (For reference, that's my mug down below!) My clients span every race, age group, and hair type — from 1a to 4c. I have expertise in starting, maintaining, and extending permanent locks, and also have experience making temporary synthetic locks that can be worn simply by braiding them into brushable hair. I have background education in chemistry, which heavily informs the products and care regimens I recommend to my clients. So with all that said, I am well-able to answer any question thrown my way!

Feel free to ask — anything
This thread is intended for educational purposes, so don't feel shy about asking about anything you've been wondering or what you've heard. You can't make me feel bad, and you're certainly not silly ... trust me, I've heard it all! If you'd like to see photo examples of anything to aid you as a visual learning tool, feel free to let me know and I can do my best to show you.

I look forward to sharing with you and learning from your expertise elsewhere as well!

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/500x500q90/921/yG4INj.jpg

Alissalocks
September 6th, 2016, 06:38 AM
I know very little about locked hair, one of the women I dance with in my belly dance troupe wears locks. Looking forward to learning more from this thread, thanks for sharing your expertise!

HairPlease
September 6th, 2016, 07:19 AM
Great thread idea! I'm not looking to get dreads, but I've always wondered... how long does it take to wash them and how is conditioning (if any) properly achieved?

Shiranshoku
September 6th, 2016, 07:29 AM
I loooooove the look of locked hair. Your hair is beautiful, by the way.

Since you've given your permission to ask away, I have two questions!

- Aren't they heavy? :D
- How do you feel about people who see wearing dreadlocks as a form of cultural appropriation?

Arctic
September 6th, 2016, 07:29 AM
I love those curls, how easy it is to make your dreads curl? I saw your other photo with straight locks.

Hairkay
September 6th, 2016, 08:20 AM
Hi Kajzh,

your locs look beautiful. Are they free form? My younger sis has had locs for many years now. She started hers by putting her hair into tiny plaits and then letting it grow, rolling them as time goes by and cutting of the plaits ends bit by bit. She currently maintains waist long locs with shaved sides to reduce the weight and make it easier to wear a helmet. She sometimes makes the locs wavy by doing braidouts.

Kajzh
September 6th, 2016, 10:27 AM
I know very little about locked hair, one of the women I dance with in my belly dance troupe wears locks. Looking forward to learning more from this thread, thanks for sharing your expertise!

Awesome! Thanks for following!


Great thread idea! I'm not looking to get dreads, but I've always wondered... how long does it take to wash them and how is conditioning (if any) properly achieved?

It probably takes about 20 minutes to wash and thoroughly rinse them. You can wash a properly installed set of locks as soon as you want to and as frequently as you want to! It's not really much different from washing unlocked hair. The trouble is drying them in cooler climates ... It can take up to 12 hours for mine to dry sometimes.

I use cream conditioner to nourish my hair after every wash. There are many ways to condition locks that don't involve commercial cream conditioner, so you have other options if you're scared to use it. Soft, moisturized hair is hair that is hydrated — and water is the only thing that can do that. (NOT oil! Oil doesn't moisturize hair.) So the key to conditioning your hair is finding ways to attract moisture to your hair strands and encourage it to stay in the cortex.

With that in mind, here are some tips!

> Drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. Really.
> Use a diluted conditioner with a fatty alcohol as the second-listed ingredient. Dilute with either water or vinegar.
> Use humectants such as glycerin and aloe to draw moisture to your hair and scalp
> Avoid sulfate shampoos, because they dry out the hair and scalp
> Co-wash in between shampoo days with aloe or coconut milk to "refresh" your hair without stripping it
> Use a pH-balanced shampoo, or balance the pH of your shampoo by adding vinegar to it
> Seal in moisture after washes with a sealant oil such as jojoba or argan
> Do pre-poo treatments with hot penetrating oils, such as coconut oil, before washing
> Do not sleep on cotton pillows. Buy a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a satin headwrap.
> Cover your hair in harsh, dry weather
> Use distilled water to spritz or steam your hair and scalp on days between washes. For dry scalp, adding some aloe or oil to the spritz will help.
> Avoid baking soda because it damages the cuticles of hair and encourages hygral fatigue, even when followed by ACV. Baking soda is alkaline to the scalp and contributes to dryness and irritation as well.
> Use hydrolyzed protein treatments to repair cuticles of hair (retains moisture)
> Sleep with a humidifier nearby if you live in a dry climate


I love those curls, how easy it is to make your dreads curl? I saw your other photo with straight locks.
Thank you! Locks can be curled with pretty much any heatless method that works on unlocked hair. Bunning, braidouts, twistouts, flexi-rods, rag curls ... anything works! Just dampen the locks, set up the curl style (wrap them around the flexi-rods, braid them, etc), then wait for them to dry completely. Take the setup style down, and they'll be curly/wavy for up to a month .... or until your next wash. :)


Hi Kajzh,

your locs look beautiful. Are they free form? My younger sis has had locs for many years now. She started hers by putting her hair into tiny plaits and then letting it grow, rolling them as time goes by and cutting of the plaits ends bit by bit. She currently maintains waist long locs with shaved sides to reduce the weight and make it easier to wear a helmet. She sometimes makes the locs wavy by doing braidouts.

Thank you! My locs are mostly freeform. My first go-around, I tried to start with two-strand twists, but I didn't like the use of heavy product or the twist pattern. So I brushed them out, restarted them with backcombing, and freeformed them for two years. I have done a few retwists for special events, but I've done it less than ten times in the last half decade. So I'm pretty hands-off and let my hair do its thing. I leave the heavily manicured looks to my clients instead. ;)

The way your sister formed her locs is the same way Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison started hers! I bet they are beautiful!


I loooooove the look of locked hair. Your hair is beautiful, by the way.

Since you've given your permission to ask away, I have two questions!

- Aren't they heavy? :D
- How do you feel about people who see wearing dreadlocks as a form of cultural appropriation?

1. They're not that heavy. They grow steadily, not rapidly, so my neck gets used to all new length/weight as it comes in. The only time they feel awfully heavy is on wash day! Saturated with water, locks are super hefty! Did you know the woman with the longest locks in the world (Asha Zulu Mandela) weighed her hair, and it is approximately 250lbs (113kg) when it's wet!

2. That's a long answer to a complex question, so I will answer it in my next response, just so this one comment doesn't stretch the page to infinity and beyond! :)

HairPlease
September 6th, 2016, 10:42 AM
Wow! Thank you so much for your answers. I never knew dreads could take so long to dry! Excellent tips as well. Your locks really do look fantastic. :D

Arctic
September 6th, 2016, 11:48 AM
Thank for your answer! I have follow up question about curling locks; how long does it take your hair to dry when you've wet set them? What method did you use on the picture above (which are very nice curls)?

Kajzh
September 6th, 2016, 12:45 PM
How do you feel about people who see wearing dreadlocks as a form of cultural appropriation?

Cultural appropriation is a tricky topic to read about lately because it has gotten away from its original meaning in the sociological world. Cultural appropriation is a real result of power dynamics in colonial globalization, but it isn't as prevalent as Tumblr bloggers suggest.

1. Define cultural appropriation
Cultural appropriation is when members of a dominant culture (not race) exploit sacred or otherwise restricted elements of their dominated culture for fashion or otherwise "culturally inappropriate" gain.

2. Identify restriction
Now here is where we diverge from defensive bloggers. The key is "restricted." This is why eating Chinese food, wearing moccasins made by a First Nations artist, and getting cornrows from a black hair salon are all not appropriation. None of those things are particularly marked as sacred, and they are not intended by their originating cultures to have "restricted" use.

What's restricted use? Well, in the United States, our national culture makes it clear that one cannot wear a Medal of Honor unless they have earned it. This means that even within the culture, there are people that cannot wear/own that thing — even replicas. The same goes for warbonnets for members of the Cheyenne nation and other Plains indigenous groups. I wouldn't build a san phra phum (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_house) ("spirit house" for making offerings) outside of my house for decoration, because that's not my faith system, and it's a little rude to the people who actually hold those things sacred (though they are very beautiful!).

Some elements of culture are sacred, and others are secular. Here's an article (http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/01/the-dos-donts-maybes-i-dont-knows-of-cultural-appropriation/) with more info about the concept of restricted use as it relates to cultural appropriation.

3. Practical, complex examples
The examples I provided above were obvious no-nos. But as you go on, you'll realize that not everything is cut and dried, because the ideals of individuals in any culture are never entirely homogenous. For instance, there are some parts of some cultures that some members think are sacred, while others think they are not sacred. An example of this is the bindi from India. These things are difficult to navigate, so my best advice to you is be authentic, do research, as questions, be open, and also be critical of your intentions.

Another thing that muddies the water is that a cultural practice may be open to outsiders, but just some aspects of it are restricted to outsiders. Examples include: pow wow participation (but elders meetings at the pow wow are closed) and Catholic mass (but communion is restricted to those who are baptized). These are participation-based cultural activities. But what about aesthetic items?

Let's use tattooing as our example. To Maori peoples, face tattoos (called ta-moko) are very sacred. In order to design and obtain moko, one must know their genealogy (whakapapa) and also obtain consent from others who share one's whakapapa. According to Patrick Ta Koko, "if it lacked a community effort or that process, then it simply is not moko."

Say you want a face tattoo. Are face tattoos "owned" by any one cultural group? Nope! Tattooed faces have appeared independently (without cultural contact) in many cultures across millennia on the six inhabited continents. So is it "appropriative" to permanently mark your face? Absolutely not. But if you were to copy ta-moko, it, indeed, would be highly disrespectful to a restricted and sacred art exclusively belonging to a culture that is dying out — in part to historical violence and forced cultural conversion.

But if you're super into the Maori aesthetic, then there are options for you to respectfully get tattooed with the method, not the community process. Ta Koko writes, "What if I was wanting just a Maori design instead of a moko? There is such a concept known as kirituhi. Kirituhi translates literally to mean, 'drawn skin.' As opposed to moko, which requires a process of consents, genealogy and historical information, kirituhi is merely a design with a Maori flavour that can be applied anywhere, for any reason and on anyone. This is not to say that kirituhi is void of meaning ... But based upon the definition of moko, kirituhi is void of consents, genealogy and historical meaning."

Therefore: Face tattoos are not appropriative. To Maori, you can appropriate their tattoos. However, not all Maori facial tattooing is restricted. Moko are restricted, but kirituhi are not. Though they look almost the same, one is culturally restricted because of background spirituality, and the other one is more secular and is not.

There's nuance and gray area. Remember that.

4. Locks are shared by everyone
Locked hair is a result of not brushing your hair. Every hair type can lock if left unbrushed. Like tattooing, locked hair has independently appeared in cultures on all six inhabited continents across millennia. Don't believe me?

According to my personal research, the following groups all have text, photos, or artifacts discussing the phenomenon of locked hair:
> Indians (called jata)
> Rastafari (called dreadlocks)
> Polish (called kołtun)
> English (Shakespeare called the early stages of freeform knotting fairylocks)
> Gaels (called glibbes)
> Cree (Chief Pitikwahanapiwiyin had them; exact name for it unknown)
> Mojave (Chief Inétabe had them; they were called hair rolls)
> Himba (called ozondjise)
> Nazarite (as per the Nazarite Vow in the Bible)
> Egyptian (Tutankamun was discovered to have had them upon his exhuming)
> Tlingit (a shaman named Tek'ic was photographed with them)
> Mbalantu (called eembuvi)
> Hamar (called goscha)
> Contemporary diasporic Africans (called locs)
> Aztec (had no writing system, so we don't know what they were historically called — though mummies survive)
> Nyamal (name unknown)

This of course is not a comprehensive list, but it easily shows how locked hair is a global phenomenon. Animals can also have uniform locks sometimes; for dogs, the style is called "cording." In alpacas, they are called "pencils."

5. Are locks restricted?
Look above. That's a lot of cultures — and that list doesn't even include all of them. They all had different reasons for having locks. Some of them were formed by neglect. Some are a symbol of priesthood. Some are a symbol of feminine culture. Some are a symbol of asceticism. Some are for pure aesthetics. Can you "appropriate" all of that at once? No. Whatever reason you have for starting locks, that reason is valid and is not inherently appropriative.

Some of the words above used to describe locked hair have restricted implications. "Dreadlocks" are called such because Rastas dread/"fear" the Abrahamic God called Jah — implying spiritual actions/beliefs. "Jata" are called such because they are linked to a Shaivite story regarding Shiva, who birthed the Jat people from his locks.

So it's probably misleading to call my hair "dreadlocks" if I don't honor Jah. And it's probably misleading to call my hair "jata" if I don't honor Shiva. Piggybacking on those traditions would kinda be like faking my own Maori design and calling it moko. As such, I avoid all disrespect and misrepresentation by calling people's hair "locks," a culturally neutral term with no restricted implications — just like kirituhi! (I also call my hair "locs," which is a word used by diasporic Africans, which is a group I belong to ... Type "locs" into Google and see that everyone is black with a curl pattern between 3b and 4c!)

Therefore, having locked hair is not bound by culture. But the name you call the locked hair might be. If you're unsure of someone's cultural background or reasons for locking, play it safe and call them "locks."

6. In conclusion
Cultural appropriation hinges on culture and power. Locked hair is spread across the world, and therefore does not signify a power dynamic, specific culture, particular race, or set of practices.

Are people with locks discriminated against? Yes, but this goes for anyone who has them, not just one group. Locks don't signify a culture, so institutions that disallow locked hair aren't necessarily targeting a specific cultural group. So it's not fair to say "white people shouldn't have them because black people are discriminated for having them." The simple truth is that black people are accepted in institutions with their locks far, far, far more often than nonblack people are. An institution that allows a black person with locks will not always allow a nonblack person with locks. HOWEVER, an institution that allows a nonblack person with locks will ALWAYS allow a black person with locks. So keep that in mind next time someone tries to spread that myth.

Lastly: We live in plural societies. People immigrate, convert to religions, marry into cultures ... you cannot tell anyone's culture by their race. So "cultural appropriation" isn't about witch hunting white people who wear locks, prayer beads, etc. White people can belong to many cultures that have traditionally had locks. And even if they don't belong to traditional cultures with locks, there are many modern subcultures that have unique, specific styles of locks as well — styles that don't imitate any traditional practice anywhere on earth.

Beyond that, even if you're a lone wolf who isn't defined by any culture, locks are a part of human physiology. It's tangled hair. So to say that it's owned by anyone, at the end of the day, is just goofy.

Kajzh
September 6th, 2016, 12:46 PM
Sorry for double-posting! It's bad manners, I know! But the previous response filled up the forum's ENTIRE character limit for one post! Wow! I'm so sorry for the wall of text! I just hoped to be thorough with history and examples, so I sincerely hope it was helpful!


Thank for your answer! I have follow up question about curling locks; how long does it take your hair to dry when you've wet set them? What method did you use on the picture above (which are very nice curls)?
Thank you! It takes up to 48 hours for my wet set locks to dry. It depends on the curling method used, as well as whether I use a hair dryer. Pipe cleaner curls (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EAk8bq5oYE) take the longest for me to dry, by far. Flexi-rods are the fastest to dry, but super uncomfortable to sleep on! The method used in the photo above were made with lock knots (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiqFpzSPoLk) — which, unlike the other methods, can't be done on brushable hair, unless it's braided or something beforehand. Lock knots take a long time to dry and a long time to put in, so I rarely use that method.


Wow! Thank you so much for your answers. I never knew dreads could take so long to dry! Excellent tips as well. Your locks really do look fantastic. :D

Typically it doesn't take that long for most people's locks to dry. I just have a ton of hair, and I am also from Alaska. So it's like two unlikely scenarios piled on top of each other! If I want to speed it up, I use a hooded hair dryer. But since I've moved to the Midwestern US, I haven't had a need for it.

Alissalocks
September 6th, 2016, 12:56 PM
Wow. I feel like I just read a dissertation, that was amazing! Thank you for taking the time to type out such a well thought, informative and scholarly post on this subject. I've already learned so much.

pastina
September 6th, 2016, 02:29 PM
^Completely agree. I've always loved the look of locked hair, and reading about it is fascinating! Thank you so much, Kajzh!! :crush:

Shiranshoku
September 6th, 2016, 02:54 PM
Wow, I really appreciate that you took the time for such a thoughtful and complete post. Very informative! Thanks a lot. I'm sure I will refer back to your insights again in the future.

Entangled
September 6th, 2016, 03:13 PM
That was the best explanation of cultural appropriation I've ever read. Wow. Thank you for going through the time it took to be clear and concise while including relevant examples to prove your point.

ArtificiallyRed
September 6th, 2016, 04:59 PM
That was an amazing read! Thank you for typing that up for us so concisely, very informative :)

Kimberly
September 6th, 2016, 05:00 PM
Kajzh, thank you for your amazing posts and all of the time and effort and knowledge you put into them. I don't know if you are a pro writer or what, but I could totally see this running as an article in a mainstream publication like The Atlantic. And it should, too.

neko_kawaii
September 6th, 2016, 05:17 PM
At the very least turned into an article here on LHC.

sarahthegemini
September 6th, 2016, 05:36 PM
I'm really glad cultural appropriation has been mentioned because it is a subject I don't fully understand. Happy to have learned something :)

Also, OP - You are beautiful. You just have the prettiest smile!

MsPharaohMoan
September 6th, 2016, 05:40 PM
If majority agrees on the definitions and ideas in the post, I think we should totally have it as an article! How do you make an article?

Magalo
September 6th, 2016, 05:42 PM
Thank you for the wonderful post. :) I love locks myself, my best friend has a halfhead for years and I did a half head on my youngest sister. I had two for months, finally just kept one then got tired of it (it was annoying among the loose hair) and unlocked it, but I loved seeing them evolve and shrink. I want a full head one day, but I need to be over my long hair journey first. :)

What I really like about them is that not everybody can grow thick, knee length loose hair with a even hemline. But everybody can do that with dreadlocks. It's so cool. :)

Kajzh
September 6th, 2016, 06:03 PM
Oh wow, what a response! I'll look into posting it as an article later today after dinner. I'm glad it was helpful to you. I believe cultural appropriation is a real issue, but I don't think it's as pervasive as we are led to believe. A lot of what you see online is just emotional "us vs. them" tactics. It's not rooted in reason and its conclusions aren't logical.

Someone asked if I write — I have a bachelor's degree in philosophy, another bachelor's in rhetoric, and I worked at a newspaper for nearly four years.



What I really like about them is that not everybody can grow thick, knee length loose hair with a even hemline. But everybody can do that with dreadlocks. It's so cool. :)

It's cool that you experimented with it! Locks are awesome because they are not subject to terminal hair length. There is no max length! That's good news for me, because my brushable hair seems to cap out around my bra strap.

missrandie
September 6th, 2016, 06:05 PM
At the very least turned into an article here on LHC.

I second the motion!

Hairkay
September 6th, 2016, 07:28 PM
Awesome! Thanks for following!











Thank you! Locks can be curled with pretty much any heatless method that works on unlocked hair. Bunning, braidouts, twistouts, flexi-rods, rag curls ... anything works! Just dampen the locks, set up the curl style (wrap them around the flexi-rods, braid them, etc), then wait for them to dry completely. Take the setup style down, and they'll be curly/wavy for up to a month .... or until your next wash. :)

Thank you! My locs are mostly freeform. My first go-around, I tried to start with two-strand twists, but I didn't like the use of heavy product or the twist pattern. So I brushed them out, restarted them with backcombing, and freeformed them for two years. I have done a few retwists for special events, but I've done it less than ten times in the last half decade. So I'm pretty hands-off and let my hair do its thing. I leave the heavily manicured looks to my clients instead. ;)

The way your sister formed her locs is the same way Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison started hers! I bet they are beautiful!


Yes they are so gorgeous that I want to touch them all the time but of course sis won't put up with that.

I second the motion!

I third it. Thanks for the great explanations.

ephemeri
September 6th, 2016, 08:35 PM
Basically going to echo everyone else but I have to say it: thank you for this post. It was incredibly helpful, informative, and also a pleasure to read! I've been confused about cultural appropriation, especially when it comes to hair and fashion, and this was really educational for me.

TatsuOni
September 7th, 2016, 03:14 AM
Great post! Very informative, well written and it's nice to see that you base it on research and knowledge:) And I must say that you have very nice locks!:)

Elly May
September 7th, 2016, 04:59 AM
Echoing everyone else--awesome information. Thank you.

blondecat
September 7th, 2016, 06:09 AM
My hair dreads itself if i don't keep it brushes and bunned or plaited.

Kajzh
September 7th, 2016, 11:19 AM
Great post! Very informative, well written and it's nice to see that you base it on research and knowledge:) And I must say that you have very nice locks!:)

I worked at a newspaper for years, so I can't stand to read anything that isn't at least kinda sourced!


My hair dreads itself if i don't keep it brushes and bunned or plaited.
That's the exact kind of knitting that Shakespeare wrote about on several occasions! He called them Fairylocks, because the story is that mischievous fae come to your room at night and put tangles in your hair. :)

Acid
September 7th, 2016, 02:32 PM
that was such a beautiful post on appropriation!

my hair also dreads up at the nape (i believe thats called a kitchen sometimes? apologies if thats wrong or not a good term ive only heard it a few times to describe knots in the nape of the neck) when i wash and dont immediately brush it out after drying it or let it rub against a hoody or sweater all day so i put in a half head of fake locks last summer because it kept the nape hair tidied away and i liked the elven fairy look with loose hair it gave. my question is, can you bleach real locks? i bleach my hair platinum blonde so ive always been afraid to try real ones incase bleach is left in there and destroys my hair

meteor
September 7th, 2016, 05:38 PM
What a great thread! :D And your locs look stunning! :applause

I have a few questions about locs:

- How does one ensure the dreadlocks get completely dry on the inside after washing, especially if one already has naturally thick hair that takes a while to dry? Is it enough to just aerate/air-dry long and thick locs to get them fully dry?

- How does one protect the hair if one goes, say, to nature or to construction sites or dusty areas... is it a lot more critical to cover the hair than if the hair was un-loc'ed, since it must be harder to mechanically remove really small particles sometimes?

- Are there any hair products/ingredients that are a complete no-no for locs? And on the other hand, any products/ingredients that are particularly beneficial?

- If a loc is broken/cut or some accident happens, is it relatively common to just attach it back to a loc (which is what I believe was cited as the reason (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/asha-mandala-dreadlocks_n_3781219.html) why Longest Dreadlocks are no longer being tracked for Guinness World Records - due to the difficulty of identifying if the loc had any breaks/re-attachments, though I believe Asha Zulu Mandela is the current record holder)? Or will attaching it back make the hair care harder at some point later or will that create a "weak point" in the mane, more likely to break off again?

- What makes some dreadlocks possible to untangle later and others - not? Is it something that one can actually predict (e.g. based on hair type/length/the specific method of locking?) or is it something you can't ever know in advance, so if you get hair locked, you should always assume 100% commitment?

- Can someone please expand a bit on the different methods of creating locs and which methods are preferable for what end result looks/hair types/hair care level/commitment level/etc?

Oops, sorry for so many hair questions! :oops: But this is such a fascinating topic, actually! :D

anou
September 8th, 2016, 02:00 AM
This has been a wonderful thread to read! OP, you have really taken the time and written some wonderful answers. I loved your post on cultural appropriation, it is beautifully articulated. :)

I am a bit of a noob when it comes to locs, so this might be a silly question, but how long does it take for the locs to form completely?

Kajzh
September 8th, 2016, 02:13 AM
y hair also dreads up at the nape (i believe thats called a kitchen sometimes? apologies if thats wrong or not a good term ive only heard it a few times to describe knots in the nape of the neck) when i wash and dont immediately brush it out after drying it or let it rub against a hoody or sweater all day so i put in a half head of fake locks last summer because it kept the nape hair tidied away and i liked the elven fairy look with loose hair it gave. my question is, can you bleach real locks? i bleach my hair platinum blonde so ive always been afraid to try real ones incase bleach is left in there and destroys my hair
Heh, I've only heard black people use the term "kitchen." I'm not sure of its etymology.

You can definitely bleach real locks! It's super common; people bleach and color them in every shade and hue! Claire Sulmers, editor and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, is famous for her platinum blonde locks (http://www.hypehair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/claire-sulmers-0-hypehair.jpg). Her natural hair color is black. Here is a link (http://compunction.org/dyeing.txt) to the most comprehensive guide for coloring locks. The key is to simply rinse well.



How does one ensure the dreadlocks get completely dry on the inside after washing, especially if one already has naturally thick hair that takes a while to dry? Is it enough to just aerate/air-dry long and thick locs to get them fully dry?

They just dry on their own. In a cold Alaska climate, my hair takes up to 12 hours to dry when I leave it hanging down. When it's braided or wet set for curls, it can take up to 2.5 days to dry. A concern with locks is that they can form mold if left perpetually damp; in absolutely ideal conditions, mold spores can form as quickly as 24 hours. An easy way to make sure complex styles dry within 24 hours is to use a hooded dryer to dry the hair either fully or partially. I have an old Conair one that I use for this purpose.


How does one protect the hair if one goes, say, to nature or to construction sites or dusty areas... is it a lot more critical to cover the hair than if the hair was un-loc'ed, since it must be harder to mechanically remove really small particles sometimes?

I use a headscarf to cover my hair in dusty areas. he knot matrix of mature locks can definitely trap in a lot of things that are difficult to get out, such as sand. So most people wrap it up in some way if they want to avoid this. I just use neckscarves to wrap my hair (as seen in my avatar(, and it protects it very well.


Are there any hair products/ingredients that are a complete no-no for locs? And on the other hand, any products/ingredients that are particularly beneficial?
Locks can permanently trap several ingredients. Many people are duped into buying and using products with these ingredients and often have to brush their locks out and start over. I was one of those people.

Absolute no-nos (like, I'd rather shave my head than use these, because they don't come out and trap lint and dirt)
> Beeswax
> Petrolatum
> Lanolin
> "Butters" — Shea butter, etc

The issue with waxes, like beeswax and lanolin, is that they aren't water-soluble and also do not dissolve with surfactants or common, nontoxic polar substances. So they are really hard to remove. Impossible, truly. Google around about people spilling candlewax on heir carpet and crying because they can't get it out. Now imagine it on your head! Yeahhhhh.

Butters are also notorious or building up as well. They kinda have that lanolin-ish behavior and melt at temperatures higher than body temperature. So they just sit in the core of the lock, build up, and attract nasties. Shea butter is famous for causing issues, especially in Type 4 hair.

General nos (things I discourage my clients from using)
> Polyquaternary ingredients (typically have low water solubility and cause buildup, but there are some exceptions)
> Silicones (typically have low water solubility and cause buildup, but there are some exceptions)
> Alcohols (dry out the hair — exceptions: fatty alcohols, which are humectants)
> Mineral oil (dries hair out)
> Heavy hold gels, pomades, and other gluey hair substances (low water solubility and cause buildup)
> Honey (theoretically water soluble, but always seems to create a mess?? I dunno, this one is super weird)

Things I recommend
> Humectants — e.g., succulent plant gels, fatty alcohols (moisturize hair and wash out easily)
> Sealant oil — e.g. jojoba (jojoba is mainly a wax ester, and wax esters comprise ~25% of human sebum. It's useful for sealing in moisture.)
> Penetrating oils — e.g. coconut, babassu, palm kernel (protects hair shaft from overswelling, therefore preserving cuticle integrity and elasticity)
> Coconut milk (makes a nice hydrating mask without being too oily)
> Hydrolyzed protein (no matter how well you take care of your locks, the hair at the ends of them can get fairly frazzled as the years go on. Hydrolyzed protein helps patch compromised cuticles and can be essential for keeping hair at the ends of the locks hydrated.)


If a loc is broken/cut or some accident happens, is it relatively common to just attach it back to a loc (which is what I believe was cited as the reason (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/asha-mandala-dreadlocks_n_3781219.html) why Longest Dreadlocks are no longer being tracked for Guinness World Records - due to the difficulty of identifying if the loc had any breaks/re-attachments, though I believe Asha Zulu Mandela is the current record holder)? Or will attaching it back make the hair care harder at some point later or will that create a "weak point" in the mane, more likely to break off again?
Oh, it's super easy for skilled folks to reattach or otherwise extend locks. It's one of my favorite things to do, because it looks like total wizardry. When I reattach or extend a lock, I can tug on it as hard as possible, and it doesn't loosen. So yes, Guinness is correct in saying that locked hair professionals are A+ in technique, and you'd never be able to tell! If reattached properly, they will not fall out either.

Here is a tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO54RMWqDy8) that shows the sturdiest way to add extensions and reattach shed/broken locks.

Here are some examples of my extension work. Click on the thumbnails to view them full-size.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/923/ZHmPNy.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img923/2230/ZHmPNy.jpg) http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/922/ocPerp.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1213/ocPerp.jpg) http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/923/GN0dzv.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img923/9475/GN0dzv.jpg) http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/922/H4yz1O.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img922/8675/H4yz1O.jpg)


What makes some dreadlocks possible to untangle later and others - not? Is it something that one can actually predict (e.g. based on hair type/length/the specific method of locking?) or is it something you can't ever know in advance, so if you get hair locked, you should always assume 100% commitment?
All locks can be brushed out, unless there is very significant long-term buildup — usually from beeswax. So this "concern" is actually worry-free. I brush one lock out on my own head every year or so, just out of curiosity, heh. Lots of my clients have brushed out their locks, even the ones who keep them very tightly maintained.


Can someone please expand a bit on the different methods of creating locs and which methods are preferable for what end result looks/hair types/hair care level/commitment level/etc?
Common 1a-3b methods
> Freeforming (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHS6wS2OpFk) (keep washing, don't brush the hair, and locks naturally form)
> Backcombing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_y9dc1NgOg) (I used this method to start mine)
> Twist and rip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mogv4o-jlv0) (easiest to brush out)
> Crochet (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNVVFIfGjYg) (hardest to brush out)

Common 3c-4c methods
> Freeforming (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GegYD0Q_mZs)
> Two-strand twists (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxuW2KD_gN4) (twist pattern mats and goes away over time)
> Braidlocs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldvy8SKUMRY) (braid pattern mats and goes away over time)
> Sisterlocks™ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maGRpufkDeM) (patented method, so no tutorials)
> Interlocks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIcbhBFUcbA) (technique most similar to Sisterlocks)
> Comb coils (https://youtu.be/CIRFzfyxggI?t=6m16s) (super cool video demonstration)
> Sponge twists (https://youtu.be/KzJJXefffMQ?t=3m50s) (also a fun demonstration)

... What determines which of the kinky hair types are easiest to brush out is dependent on the maintenance method, rather than the starting method. Locks maintained without products are easy to brush out, while those with products typically have a lot of buildup and take significantly more time to brush out. But it can be done!

Kajzh
September 8th, 2016, 02:18 AM
Double post because the previous response took up the character limit!


This has been a wonderful thread to read! OP, you have really taken the time and written some wonderful answers. I loved your post on cultural appropriation, it is beautifully articulated. :)

I am a bit of a noob when it comes to locs, so this might be a silly question, but how long does it take for the locs to form completely?

I'm glad you liked it! Locks can be formed by simply not brushing one's hair. In that case, it can take up to three years or more for the locks to section themselves and tighten. You can also use a manual starting method to section the locks yourself and give them a jumpstart in maturity. If you opt for a manual starting method (such as the ones I linked to above), it can take as few as 4 months for the locks to tighten and "mature" completely. How fast anything happens is dependent on technique and hair type though.

red-again
September 8th, 2016, 02:33 AM
I am in heaven reading this post. I have toyed with locks since I was 18. I'm now 44. I WISH you lived in Somerset, England! Mid be booking an appointment today! I've always loved my hair long ( normal society standards of long, not long for LHC!!) and look hideous with short hair so the ability to brush them out has always something I've sought but not believed on the Internet. Too late once you have them to realise those people were being economical with the truth! But your opinion is fact based and life based so I'm now again looking into dreads! Thankyou

Kajzh
September 8th, 2016, 03:12 AM
I am in heaven reading this post. I have toyed with locks since I was 18. I'm now 44. I WISH you lived in Somerset, England! Mid be booking an appointment today! I've always loved my hair long ( normal society standards of long, not long for LHC!!) and look hideous with short hair so the ability to brush them out has always something I've sought but not believed on the Internet. Too late once you have them to realise those people were being economical with the truth! But your opinion is fact based and life based so I'm now again looking into dreads! Thankyou
Oh wow! I'm glad this was useful to your personal journey! I don't blame your apprehension — the Internet has a TON of bad advice about locks. But they can definitely be brushed out. I suggest looking on YouTube to see all the amazing transformations of people brushing their locks out. The before and after shots are amazing!

meteor
September 8th, 2016, 03:00 PM
WOW, Kajzh! Thank you so very much for answering those questions in so much detail! :flowers: :love: Thank you for sharing all that amazing wealth of information with us, that's amazing! :thudpile:

I'm definitely going to check out those videos you shared for different methods, thanks a lot for sharing them here. :D
I always suspected that wax, butters and lanolin products must not be good for dreadlocks (build-up, lint/dust "magnet"), but it's great to know for sure. :)
Also, one thing that I found extremely encouraging and eye-opening is what you wrote about the brushing out process! :D I didn't know they can all be brushed out, but that's amazing news since the commitment aspect is lowered.
A bit off-topic, but we had a few members here (Heidi W. and Lesliesocool come to mind) who had to cut off their extremely long hair in the past because of a serious tangling accident :( Are there any tips for those situations to save the mane, or do you think some salons that specialize in locs can help with detangling in those situations, too, or are there any special tools/products that can help specifically in those cases? Or is this "accidental" dreadlocking completely different in terms of possibility for brushing them out, because of lack of structured pattern to how hairs interlock? (Sorry, if it's a bit Off-Topic, by the way. :flower:)


All locks can be brushed out, unless there is very significant long-term buildup — usually from beeswax. So this "concern" is actually worry-free. I brush one lock out on my own head every year or so, just out of curiosity, heh. Lots of my clients have brushed out their locks, even the ones who keep them very tightly maintained.

[...]

... What determines which of the kinky hair types are easiest to brush out is dependent on the maintenance method, rather than the starting method. Locks maintained without products are easy to brush out, while those with products typically have a lot of buildup and take significantly more time to brush out. But it can be done!

DarkChocolate
September 8th, 2016, 04:46 PM
I once had my hair backcombed when I was a movie extra. I panicked and frantically asked the hair stylist how to get it out. She told me to not try to brush it out but to go into the shower and just let the water run over it. It worked!!

My question is, can dreads be rinsed out? What is the condition of the hair after they are rinsed out?

There seems to be alot of techniques to get dreads, I started using aloe vera gel to moisturize my hair and someone commented that it can be used to make dreads. I have also heard of people going to get their hair locked at a salon. What do they usually do there?

YvetteVarie
September 9th, 2016, 05:24 AM
Hi Kajzh. I'm really happy to see your thread, as I am getting my hair loc'd tomorrow.

My hair is type 4 and semi-relaxed. What I want to know is:

1. How can my stylist get the semi-straight bits to lock, and
2. How can I wash my hair without washing out the locs? My scalp is not happy when I don't wash it frequently, so I need to find ways to wash it regularly without slowing the locking process.

proo
September 9th, 2016, 10:11 AM
What's the best way to temporarily loc the end of a 2 strand or sengelese twist?

truepeacenik
September 9th, 2016, 11:54 AM
Hi Kajzh. I'm really happy to see your thread, as I am getting my hair loc'd tomorrow.

My hair is type 4 and semi-relaxed. What I want to know is:

1. How can my stylist get the semi-straight bits to lock, and
2. How can I wash my hair without washing out the locs? My scalp is not happy when I don't wash it frequently, so I need to find ways to wash it regularly without slowing the locking process.

Please tell us you will have before and after photos. Or at least after. Please?

TatsuOni
September 9th, 2016, 12:29 PM
Please tell us you will have before and after photos. Or at least after. Please?

I too wanna see pictures:)

Kajzh
September 9th, 2016, 04:07 PM
WOW, Kajzh! Thank you so very much for answering those questions in so much detail! :flowers: :love: Thank you for sharing all that amazing wealth of information with us, that's amazing!
Thanks! I'm glad you find it useful. I've dealt with lots of clients and done plenty of research over the years, so it seems silly to keep it all to myself!



Also, one thing that I found extremely encouraging and eye-opening is what you wrote about the brushing out process! :D I didn't know they can all be brushed out, but that's amazing news since the commitment aspect is lowered.
Absolutely! A lot of people think it's suuucccchhh a huge commitment, but it's really not! Just brush them out if you don't like them! Heck, I've made locks on people, and they brushed them out just three days later, haha! Honestly, though, if I were to get rid of mine, I would cut them off. One advantage to cutting them off is that they can be reattached as-is at any time. So if I even missed them, I could just put them back in instead of suffering through the long startup process again.


A bit off-topic, but we had a few members here (Heidi W. and Lesliesocool come to mind) who had to cut off their extremely long hair in the past because of a serious tangling accident :( Are there any tips for those situations to save the mane, or do you think some salons that specialize in locs can help with detangling in those situations, too, or are there any special tools/products that can help specifically in those cases? Or is this "accidental" dreadlocking completely different in terms of possibility for brushing them out, because of lack of structured pattern to how hairs interlock? (Sorry, if it's a bit Off-Topic, by the way. :flower:)
It's a little more difficult to brush out full-on matting. Think of it this way ... what would be easier to untangle: 20 piles with 10 pieces of yarn tangled together in each pile, or one giant pile of 200 pieces of yarn tangled together? I think pulling apart ten pieces of yarn at a time would be easier. Same goes for untangling a whole head. It takes sooo much patience, but it can be done!

I haven't done a whole-head detangle to make brushable hair again (only a whole head that was matted 100% and the client wanted separate locks) but a few of my stylist colleagues have. I just asked permission to share a photo of one particularly impressive transformation. Waist-length hair had been matted up to a solid, shoulder-length mass. After a lot of work and patience, all of it was brushed out and restored! It was quite amazing.


I once had my hair backcombed when I was a movie extra. I panicked and frantically asked the hair stylist how to get it out. She told me to not try to brush it out but to go into the shower and just let the water run over it. It worked!!

My question is, can dreads be rinsed out? What is the condition of the hair after they are rinsed out?

There seems to be a lot of techniques to get dreads, I started using aloe vera gel to moisturize my hair and someone commented that it can be used to make dreads. I have also heard of people going to get their hair locked at a salon. What do they usually do there?

A properly-installed lock will not come out when subjected to running water. A properly backcombed lock will pass the "erection test" — that is, it will stand completely erect because the knots are so tightly packed. This period of erection can last anywhere between a few days to a few months, depending on the client's hair length. Photo of myself below! Click to enlarge. Sheesh, this was all the way back in 2011 ... My hair looks so different now!

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/922/6bFRd3.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img922/2716/6bFRd3.jpg)

When black people go to a salon for maintenance, the stylist either interlocks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac8OpB-o3CQ) or retwists (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qhoJuKf7qQ) the hair. When nonblack people go to a salon, the stylist typically crochets the frizz (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k86OWkCg8m8) and loops (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EfPjl2KR9Q) to make them go away. Aloe can be used for heat-set retwists, but it's not terribly useful for much else! Photo of my aloe-retwisted locks below. Click to enlarge!
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/924/stJrxM.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img924/8871/stJrxM.jpg)


Hi Kajzh. I'm really happy to see your thread, as I am getting my hair loc'd tomorrow.

My hair is type 4 and semi-relaxed. What I want to know is:

1. How can my stylist get the semi-straight bits to lock, and
2. How can I wash my hair without washing out the locs? My scalp is not happy when I don't wash it frequently, so I need to find ways to wash it regularly without slowing the locking process.

Congrats! Feel free to share photos on this thread!

1. The straight bits will do best if they are backcombed before they are twisted. However, even though I backcombed my hair beforehand, it still took three years for the straight, scraggly ends to correct themselves. Photos below, click to enlarge! The first one is from May 2012, and the second is from May 2016.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/922/nSopkp.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img922/8552/nSopkp.jpg) http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/921/fVI9mk.jpg (http://imageshack.com/a/img921/3659/fVI9mk.jpg)

2. I washed seven days after I started. Some people wear a wig cap and lightly focus on the scalp for their first wash. Others go to their stylist and have the stylist do the first wash. I didn't bother with either of them. Clean hair locks much faster than dirty hair, so don't put off washing it!


What's the best way to temporarily loc the end of a 2 strand or sengelese twist?

People typically seal the ends of protective styles with perm rods. If synthetic hair is used, then dip the ends in boiling water for 60 seconds.


Please tell us you will have before and after photos. Or at least after. Please?

Just a heads-up that locks take a long time to settle into a mature look. They rarely look "right" when they are first done because it takes anywhere between several months to several years for the hairs to knot up and compact fully, as seen by the photos above! :)

meteor
September 9th, 2016, 04:22 PM
Thanks a lot, Kajzh, for such detailed reply and for all the wealth of information you've been sharing here! :flowers: This whole thread is just made of awesome! :love:

01
September 10th, 2016, 04:04 AM
Kajzh, I like your post on first page on culture! Best piece I read about it! Amazing. And wtf dogs with locs, haha. Googled, dog from first pic I saw looked really happy, lol.

Here come my dumb questions...

Dandruff?

How do you use coconut milk? I have some (I have loose hair).

How long does it take to lock?

Can they be combed out if I'll get bored? Or would I have to shave it all off?

Is it uncomfortable to sleep on them? I have headaches issues.

update:
Ahh, sorry, I see most of these questions are answered, right above my post even! I wonder if your hairtype is similar to mine? My hair at their curliest look like Summer Kelsey from youtube, she classifies hers as 3b/3c. Are yours something like that? How hard is it to lock such hair?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFtYpSM7sj0

DarkChocolate
September 10th, 2016, 09:48 PM
I have watched some youtube videos about locking hair and had no idea the back combing could cause scalp soreness. Ouch, does it hurt so bad? Locks also mature and don't stick up as much after a year or so. As your hair grows it automatically locks , so can multiple locks join together and cause a matted mess?

Kajzh
September 10th, 2016, 11:32 PM
Thanks a lot, Kajzh, for such detailed reply and for all the wealth of information you've been sharing here! :flowers: This whole thread is just made of awesome! :love:

Awesome! Thanks for the support.

Kajzh, I like your post on first page on culture! Best piece I read about it! Amazing. And wtf dogs with locs, haha. Googled, dog from first pic I saw looked really happy, lol.
Yep, to my knowledge, komondor and puli are the two common breeds with cording.


Here come my dumb questions...

Dandruff?

Never a dumb question! Dandruff is managed similarly across the board. Using products with proper pH, washing on a schedule that grooves with your body, and moisturizing the scalp are key to managing dandruff. I used Head & Shoulders diluted 50/50 with vinegar for the first year or so to manage my dandruff, but then I discovered I didn't need the special shampoo if I managed other parts of my haircare differently.


How do you use coconut milk? I have some (I have loose hair).
Some people warm it up and soak it in their hair 30-60 minutes before washing, like a prepoo treatment. Others use it after shampooing, then rinse it out as a conditioning treatment.


How long does it take to lock?
If you freeform (start them just my not brushing), it can take up to three or more years for the locks to fully mature and stop changing shape. If you start with a manual starting method, then it can take anywhere from a few months to a few years for the locks to mature — depending on how tight the starting method is, how much maintenance you do, and your hair type.

How long a manual startup appointment takes depends on the skill of your professional, the method used, your hair type, and hair length. Some appointments take 30 minutes, and others take more than 10 hours.


Can they be combed out if I'll get bored? Or would I have to shave it all off?
They can be combed out.


Is it uncomfortable to sleep on them? I have headaches issues.
I've slept with satin sleeping caps since the age of 4. So I've never been used to the texture of my hair touching my face/neck while I sleep. So it's uncomfortable for me if I don't wear the cap. But with the cap, it's fine. They even act like a pillow! :) But that's just my opinion.


I wonder if your hairtype is similar to mine? My hair at their curliest look like Summer Kelsey from youtube, she classifies hers as 3b/3c. Are yours something like that? How hard is it to lock such hair?
My hair is pretty much the same as that, maybe a little looser. I definitely have patches of my head that have her same curl pattern, but others have less definition. It wasn't difficult to lock my hair. It was the biggest relief and best decision of my "hair growing" life. Struggling with the bulk of natural hair, detangling, trims, and other things were just too overwhelming, especially with the lack of education I had concerning my hair when I was a kid. Now my hair grows super long with no unnecessary maintenance. I no longer despise wash days. And I also can style it much easier too!


I have watched some youtube videos about locking hair and had no idea the back combing could cause scalp soreness. Ouch, does it hurt so bad?
Backcombing only hurts if you have aremarkably sensitive scalp (some people do!) or if you're pulling too hard and doing it wrong. Startup and maintenance should never hurt or be done too tightly. Excess tightness is a direct cause of folliculitus, and prolonged tightness can be a direct cause of permanent hair loss via traction alopecia.


Locks also mature and don't stick up as much after a year or so.
Yep. On the previous page, you can see my backcombed lock standing perfectly erect on top of my head. My locks don't stand up anymore, of course, haha!


As your hair grows it automatically locks , so can multiple locks join together and cause a matted mess?
Yes. It is necessary to separate locks after every wash to keep them from growing together. Locks left unseparated can grow together, I've had some clients that neglect separation altogether and all of their locks fused into one single mat that covered their whole head like a helmet! However, some people let neighboring locks grow together for various reasons. Some let them grow together in pairs to make all of their locks ticker. Some experience scalp thinning and get locks that are dangerously fragile at the root, so they let the thin one grow together with a thicker, stronger neighbor. I've selectively done this on one spot on my head. I let three become one so they wouldn't be so thin anymore:

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/400x4000q90/923/MVDIUR.jpg

01
September 11th, 2016, 06:16 AM
Ah, caring for curls is tricky for sure! I don't even wear them curly at all, I just can't manage the thing... Were always wearing them formless/puffy and now combed out(with fine tooth comb!) and bunned/braided. So I can understand the urge to just loc them. On the other hand, they matted during brushing into huge loc thing (didn't knew I'm not supposed to brush, lol) so locs remind me of tangle trauma, lol.

Kajzh
September 11th, 2016, 10:52 AM
Ah, caring for curls is tricky for sure! I don't even wear them curly at all, I just can't manage the thing... Were always wearing them formless/puffy and now combed out(with fine tooth comb!) and bunned/braided. So I can understand the urge to just loc them. On the other hand, they matted during brushing into huge loc thing (didn't knew I'm not supposed to brush, lol) so locs remind me of tangle trauma, lol.

That's one thing a lot of naturals have to learn the hard way: No brushes for detangling! It took me years to ditch my brush and figure out finger detangling.

cheeky
September 11th, 2016, 08:54 PM
I appreciate Kajzh starting this thread. Hoped there was a long hair loc'd community on this forum. I've worn my hair in freeform dreadlocks for nearly 4 years.

DarkChocolate
September 11th, 2016, 11:25 PM
Thank you for your detailed answers Kajzh:)

YvetteVarie
September 12th, 2016, 01:36 AM
I appreciate Kajzh starting this thread. Hoped there was a long hair loc'd community on this forum. I've worn my hair in freeform dreadlocks for nearly 4 years.

Maybe we should start one. I just got my locs started this weekend and I'm enjoying it so far.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mcPQujQtRPY/V9ZyoWtWZbI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/6qANEuFvZyItOECir-5cbr47jVfPVtHNwCLcB/s320/DSC_0178%255B1%255D.JPG

My hair before the locs

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-69x90ErQc78/V9ZyrjS-RvI/AAAAAAAAA-U/rBmugHNaZos5ZI4Tb0fsvIo3gnsCNO6XgCLcB/s320/DSC_0187%255B1%255D.JPG
My hair just after getting them started

The stylist used the comb coil method to start my locs. She also cut off about 4'' of my hair, I guess it was too long for this method. I opted for the comb coil method just in case I might want to get the locs taken out further down the road.

ETA: pictures should be vicible now (I hope)

TatsuOni
September 12th, 2016, 02:21 AM
Maybe we should start one. I just got my locs started this weekend and I'm enjoying it so far.

https://t.co/e2E1BHt6ak

My hair before the locs

https://t.co/YDHRgUtrhs
My hair just after getting them started

The stylist used the comb coil method to start my locs. She also cut off about 4'' of my hair, I guess it was too long for this method. I opted for the comb coil method just in case I might want to get the locs taken out further down the road.

I can't see any pics:(

Kajzh
September 23rd, 2016, 08:14 PM
I can't see any pics:(

The post was edited. :)


I am in heaven reading this post. I have toyed with locks since I was 18. I'm now 44. I WISH you lived in Somerset, England! Mid be booking an appointment today!

I will be in London next month and may be doing some hair during my stay.

calmyogi
September 24th, 2016, 03:18 AM
Man, where were you a year ago when I made a post about dreads and it turned into a huge political debate for two days? Lol

TatsuOni
September 24th, 2016, 04:56 AM
Maybe we should start one. I just got my locs started this weekend and I'm enjoying it so far.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mcPQujQtRPY/V9ZyoWtWZbI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/6qANEuFvZyItOECir-5cbr47jVfPVtHNwCLcB/s320/DSC_0178%255B1%255D.JPG

My hair before the locs

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-69x90ErQc78/V9ZyrjS-RvI/AAAAAAAAA-U/rBmugHNaZos5ZI4Tb0fsvIo3gnsCNO6XgCLcB/s320/DSC_0187%255B1%255D.JPG
My hair just after getting them started

The stylist used the comb coil method to start my locs. She also cut off about 4'' of my hair, I guess it was too long for this method. I opted for the comb coil method just in case I might want to get the locs taken out further down the road.

ETA: pictures should be vicible now (I hope)

Nice! :) Good luck with your new locks:)

animetor7
September 24th, 2016, 05:07 AM
Maybe we should start one. I just got my locs started this weekend and I'm enjoying it so far.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mcPQujQtRPY/V9ZyoWtWZbI/AAAAAAAAA-Q/6qANEuFvZyItOECir-5cbr47jVfPVtHNwCLcB/s320/DSC_0178%255B1%255D.JPG

My hair before the locs

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-69x90ErQc78/V9ZyrjS-RvI/AAAAAAAAA-U/rBmugHNaZos5ZI4Tb0fsvIo3gnsCNO6XgCLcB/s320/DSC_0187%255B1%255D.JPG
My hair just after getting them started

The stylist used the comb coil method to start my locs. She also cut off about 4'' of my hair, I guess it was too long for this method. I opted for the comb coil method just in case I might want to get the locs taken out further down the road.

ETA: pictures should be vicible now (I hope)

Oh my gosh!! They're so cute!! I like the little curly tufts sticking out the ends especially. :)

Nymphe
September 24th, 2016, 08:38 AM
Oh, YvetteVarie, you are going to have so much fun with updos! Very nice...

I had planned to get sisterlocks when I turned 50, but I think I will wait until 60.

Kajzh
September 24th, 2016, 01:57 PM
Oh, YvetteVarie, you are going to have so much fun with updos! Very nice...

I had planned to get sisterlocks when I turned 50, but I think I will wait until 60.
Yes! Updos! I miss my short phase because I idn't fully appreciate its versatility.

Nymphe, why the wait? I network with Sisterlocks clients and professionals, and I love the look. I considered it briefly, but it seems like shrinkage with Sisterlocks is more of an uphill battle than with other styles of locks.


Man, where were you a year ago when I made a post about dreads and it turned into a huge political debate for two days? Lol

I've been on the internet long enough to know how to diffuse the conversation about hair politics. Usually it's hard to have productive conversations about locks without someone butting in and trying to be morally superior by citing myths and half-truths.

Nymphe
September 24th, 2016, 02:49 PM
Nymphe, why the wait? I network with Sisterlocks clients and professionals, and I love the look. I considered it briefly, but it seems like shrinkage with Sisterlocks is more of an uphill battle than with other styles of locks.

I want to reach waist length loose and break my habit of buzzing my hair off first.

What do you think of this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAVCrYPjLuU

Kajzh
September 27th, 2016, 11:26 PM
I want to reach waist length loose and break my habit of buzzing my hair off first.

What do you think of this video?

Wow! You sound committed to your goal. Will you cut your hair again before starting Sisterlocks, or just pay extra to start up all the extra length?

The video is a good quick overview, but it's definitely geared more toward Afro-textured hair. There isn't anything false about it though!

Nymphe
September 28th, 2016, 04:05 AM
Wow! You sound committed to your goal. Will you cut your hair again before starting Sisterlocks, or just pay extra to start up all the extra length?

The video is a good quick overview, but it's definitely geared more toward Afro-textured hair. There isn't anything false about it though!

I am not sure yet. When I start wearing my hair in braids without extensions, I will get a better feel of what I want. One day, I may get microbraids or twists and start from there, since my hair locks so easily.

Thanks for the video review. I wanted to know if she had missed anything.

Oh, BTW, I love you sig pic!

Mannaz
September 28th, 2016, 04:57 AM
Nice to see a dreadlock thread here, thanks for that, and those locks are so gorgeous! I've had two sets of dreads, both sets we're freeform (my hair dreads on itself VERY effeciently) and both times I had to give them up for the same reasons. Main reasons we're excessive shrinking (from WL up to my earlobes!) and due to that dreads became too hard, started to gather buildup although I was supercautious of not using any nastyness in my hair in any point of the process... The buildup led to that "wet towel smell" which of course means bacteria and could lead to mould. I did numerous deep cleanses but it didn't clear the problem so I opened them.

My personal experience is why I don't necessarily agree with using humectants, oils or other conditioning agents in locked hair, for me everything but baking soda and ACV meant trouble, even an organic shampoo with no sulfates and only one humectant would cause build up like crazy. I think it might be a hair type thing though, I know lot's of people whose dreads stay nice and soft and clean with even "worse" care, I just am not one of those lucky people!

cheeky
September 28th, 2016, 10:12 AM
Nice to see a dreadlock thread here, thanks for that, and those locks are so gorgeous! I've had two sets of dreads, both sets we're freeform (my hair dreads on itself VERY effeciently) and both times I had to give them up for the same reasons. Main reasons we're excessive shrinking (from WL up to my earlobes!) and due to that dreads became too hard, started to gather buildup ...

I could not imagine that amount of shrinkage. Growing hair while outwardly losing length was my least favorite aspect of the process. The photo below is my shrinkage in the first month. My locs are chest length now. The shrinkage is still going strong, it just doesn't bother me anymore.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5687/29902553121_92fe0cd69e_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/MyopfH)


.. I was supercautious of not using any nastyness in my hair in any point of the process... The buildup led to that "wet towel smell" which of course means bacteria and could lead to mould. I did numerous deep cleanses but it didn't clear the problem so I opened them.

My personal experience is why I don't necessarily agree with using humectants, oils or other conditioning agents in locked hair, for me everything but baking soda and ACV meant trouble, even an organic shampoo with no sulfates and only one humectant would cause build up like crazy. I think it might be a hair type thing though, I know lot's of people whose dreads stay nice and soft and clean with even "worse" care, I just am not one of those lucky people!

I am very cautious about product usage as well. I cut a couple locs off every 6 months or so, just to verify there's no buildup in the center. It's a bit extreme but I have very full hair, it's just hair and I want to confirm cleanliness.

I use heavily diluted clear no sulfate shampoo maybe 2x/year. I am nearly water-only wash. Heavily diluted mermaid rinse with a dab of ACV & baking soda maybe 1x a year. Henna and indigo power the roots routinely. I don't apply oils or conditioners so I've never had a lint issue. Used to pick some fresh rosemary, boil and strain the tea for an herbal rinse. Used to brush my locs. Sort of stopped doing those. The idea for me growing locs was simplicity, to escape a time-consuming hair regimen. So, I don't do much.

Kajzh
September 29th, 2016, 02:42 PM
I am very cautious about product usage as well. I cut a couple locs off every 6 months or so, just to verify there's no buildup in the center. It's a bit extreme but I have very full hair, it's just hair and I want to confirm cleanliness.

I use heavily diluted clear no sulfate shampoo maybe 2x/year. I am nearly water-only wash. Heavily diluted mermaid rinse with a dab of ACV & baking soda maybe 1x a year. Henna and indigo power the roots routinely. I don't apply oils or conditioners so I've never had a lint issue. Used to pick some fresh rosemary, boil and strain the tea for an herbal rinse. Used to brush my locs. Sort of stopped doing those. The idea for me growing locs was simplicity, to escape a time-consuming hair regimen. So, I don't do much.
For my clients, clarifying shampoo is an essential part of keeping hair clean. Diluting shampoos 50/50 with water or vinegar helps a lot, as well. The truth is that buildup can be caused by anything. Even no-poo and WO washing can cause issues for some. Like in my case, WO washing fails to strip excess sebum, so my sebum mixes with the skin shed naturally from my scalp, creating a very opaque, creamy, water-insoluble buildup. So it's a balancing act, for sure.

Lock brushing with a BBB is also essential for me to avoid lint and skin buildup. I don't have product or other kinds of buildup (I do something similar to you — I brush one lock out every year to confirm cleanliness), but the shape/texture of my locks like to trap lint and debris at the bottoms of minor loops and lumps. It's very predictable where the lint will get stuck, so it's easy to use a BBB to remove it before it gets embedded.


Nice to see a dreadlock thread here, thanks for that, and those locks are so gorgeous! I've had two sets of dreads, both sets we're freeform (my hair dreads on itself VERY effeciently) and both times I had to give them up for the same reasons. Main reasons we're excessive shrinking (from WL up to my earlobes!) and due to that dreads became too hard, started to gather buildup although I was supercautious of not using any nastyness in my hair in any point of the process... The buildup led to that "wet towel smell" which of course means bacteria and could lead to mould. I did numerous deep cleanses but it didn't clear the problem so I opened them.

My personal experience is why I don't necessarily agree with using humectants, oils or other conditioning agents in locked hair, for me everything but baking soda and ACV meant trouble, even an organic shampoo with no sulfates and only one humectant would cause build up like crazy. I think it might be a hair type thing though, I know lot's of people whose dreads stay nice and soft and clean with even "worse" care, I just am not one of those lucky people!

Very interesting! I've been consultant to more than 5,000 people, and humectants have been a crucial part of all of my clients' success stories. People have a desire to keep their hair dry and damaged so it locks quicker, but that kind of abuse only causes more problems down the line. Refusal to condition and hydrate hair is the #1 cause of broken, shedding locks in my experience. People who use humectants after this kind of neglect have typically reported back to me with overnight turnarounds in the quality of their hair!

However, I know exactly what you mean about the excessive shrinkage playing a major role in the accumulation of buildup. If you start with a method that involved a crochet hook, that completely prevents excessive shrinkage for lengths past mid-back. So I definitely recommend that if you were to ever start again!

Also, the "wet towel" smell is common, but it's very, very easy to get rid of. The smell, as you said, indicates the early stages of mildew. Mildew is both pH-sensitive and heat-sensitive. According to Ohio State University, most molds cannot survive above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Some websites report that application of typical 5% white vinegar kills 82% of mold species, and the cid of vinegar's pH disfigures the proteins in the mold's biology, which leads to the death of the organism. Therefore, the easiest way to get rid of the smell is to heat vinegar up to the hottest temperature you can possibly stand, and soak your hair in it for 30 minutes (no baking soda). The smell goes away instantly, and it also does an excellent job of removing buildup, as well. :)


I am not sure yet. When I start wearing my hair in braids without extensions, I will get a better feel of what I want. One day, I may get microbraids or twists and start from there, since my hair locks so easily.

Thanks for the video review. I wanted to know if she had missed anything.

Oh, BTW, I love you sig pic!

That's definitely an option! I've watched a ton of YouTube videos on braidlocks with the Sisterlocks grid pattern. If you're interested, I can link you to the pattern for your reference! Of course, they won't be authentic Sisterlocks if you start with braids, but if you intend of keeping your length, then it'll be soooo much cheaper to start them with a "knockoff" method, heh.

Also, thank you! The photo is almost a year old, but I haven't been motivated to take a new length check photo!

Nymphe
September 29th, 2016, 02:52 PM
If you're interested, I can link you to the pattern for your reference! Of course, they won't be authentic Sisterlocks if you start with braids, but if you intend of keeping your length, then it'll be soooo much cheaper to start them with a "knockoff" method, heh.Oh, yes, please! Hopefully, I can fine someone brave enough to install them. So the locks should be slightly larger than my coils, right?

01
October 2nd, 2016, 06:33 AM
Man, where were you a year ago when I made a post about dreads and it turned into a huge political debate for two days? Lol

Haha.

Kajzh, did it took you long to learn finger detangling? I think I have problems with learning it, lol. Maybe I'll just get wide tooth comb or something, lol. Coconut milk was great! I should have blended it *cough* but it's very, very moisturizing. When you had loose hair did you only finger combed or combed alternately with a tool? Sorry for loose hair questions but I'm using any occasion I got when I find someone with even remotely similar hair, lol!

melesine
October 2nd, 2016, 11:34 AM
What a wonderful resource, thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering recently how hard it is to color your roots if you have locks. I'll go read the link you posted up thread. My hair naturally tries to lock if I don't comb it long enough. Especially at the nape of my neck where it's more curly. I love the look of them.

Kajzh
October 5th, 2016, 07:00 PM
Oh, yes, please! Hopefully, I can fine someone brave enough to install them. So the locks should be slightly larger than my coils, right?

Oof, sorry for the long wait on the response! I tried for several days to find the Sisterlocks grid guidelines and couldn't find them for the life of me. Today I got lucky though!

Here is a link to the official Sisterlocks grid. (http://www.sisterlocks.com/uploads/8/3/4/6/8346058/sample_parting_for_rows.jpg)

And here are some videos about people using braidlocs. This is Kiki JahDore (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GumSv0Tsv8M), whose work I've been following since 2011; she's very informative. Here is someone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weiYM06yDoA) who has had braidlocs for 6 year. And here are some process videos (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSx5rbcwlsJqG6HyJmpUixw/videos) for someone self-installing braidlocs.


Haha.

Kajzh, did it took you long to learn finger detangling? I think I have problems with learning it, lol. Maybe I'll just get wide tooth comb or something, lol. Coconut milk was great! I should have blended it *cough* but it's very, very moisturizing. When you had loose hair did you only finger combed or combed alternately with a tool? Sorry for loose hair questions but I'm using any occasion I got when I find someone with even remotely similar hair, lol!

Super wide-tooth shower detanglers work just as well as finger detangling for me! I don't have a preference between them. When I had 100% brushable hair, I always used a paddle brush for detangling, but I also didn't have optimal hair care. Now I'm more conscious about hair care, and I stopped using a brush on my bangs. I'm glad the coconut milk worked for you! Sorry about the chunks though, heh!


What a wonderful resource, thanks for starting this thread. I was wondering recently how hard it is to color your roots if you have locks. I'll go read the link you posted up thread. My hair naturally tries to lock if I don't comb it long enough. Especially at the nape of my neck where it's more curly. I love the look of them.

It's super easy! Since the locks are already sectioned, you just kinda "paint" the color on the roots of each lock, then wash it out! It's much easier than touching up the roots on brushable hair.

Nymphe
October 5th, 2016, 08:28 PM
Ah, thank you for the info and no problem on the wait. Life happens.:)

01
October 10th, 2016, 04:55 AM
So, from your perspective, are locs less maintenance than loose hair? Or more? Or the same?

Kajzh
October 10th, 2016, 08:44 AM
So, from your perspective, are locs less maintenance than loose hair? Or more? Or the same?
My locks are far less maintenance than brushable hair for me. But many of my clients with silky hair complain that their locks are far more maintenance than their brushable hair.

It really just depends on how much effort and mindfulness you are used to putting into your brushable hair.

sumidha
October 12th, 2016, 07:06 PM
I randomly came across this article about a woman with amazing dreadlocks, thought this would be a good place for it. :)

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2016/10/pics-nerissa-irvings-real-ankle-length-locs-are-breaking-the-internet/

Kajzh
October 12th, 2016, 07:39 PM
I randomly came across this article about a woman with amazing dreadlocks, thought this would be a good place for it. :)

http://blackgirllonghair.com/2016/10/pics-nerissa-irvings-real-ankle-length-locs-are-breaking-the-internet/
Thanks for sharing! She is a very famous Jamaican model and is so, so beautiful! ♡ Her whole family follows a Rastafari lifestyle. You can hear her mother talk about their hair and how they start/care for their locks in this video:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eNv_FLsZMjY

LittleTea
November 26th, 2016, 11:07 AM
Is it ok for me to revive an old thread with some questions? :cool:

I had twist-and-rip locks for about 3 years and didn't do any maintenance. I cut them off and regret it. Long story short, I have seborrheic dermatitis and when I was travelling in super humid SE Asia during the hot season the weather exacerbated my scalp condition. I couldn't find any medicated shampoo since we were travelling in Northern Laos and I had used up my stash already (I was travelling for about 6 months). It was causing me a lot of grief so I lost a lot of hair from scratching/picking at my scalp and developed some obviously thinning patches of hair.

https://scontent.fyqr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12108943_822999471165454_2629208647624993380_n.jpg ?oh=196cafadf6522a1afa61f6653e50601d&oe=58B96F4D
https://scontent.fyqr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/12074781_822999497832118_8591399959457961111_n.jpg ?oh=07ffbc3a2189f72523eadcc6821424c9&oe=58BF713A

Fast forward to now and the thinning patches are starting to come back, but I need to cleanse often with sulphate shampoos in order to keep my scalp happy otherwise I get an SD flareup. The urge to get locks has overtaken me again because I find them SO beautiful and love how each of my locks had their own "personality". I was thinking about locking my hair again next year after my hair grows a bit longer. I'm wondering what you recommend for maintaining SD and preventing flake buildup (gross, I know) while having locks?

Thanks for the lovely, informative thread! :flower:

Cheers,

LilT

LittleTea
November 26th, 2016, 11:08 AM
I didn't realize the images were so big, sorry! I don't think I can edit posts yet so I can't resize them.