If you’re reading this article, then you’re thinking about getting dreadlocks. And let me tell you right from the start that this will turn out to be one of the best hair styling decisions you’ve ever made in your life! Dreadlocks are perfect for everyone, regardless of what type of hair they have, colour or length. The only caveat is that they need to be healthy, very clean, and well-taken care of. So, before you rush into anything, here are a few things to consider before getting dreadlocks from people with locs!
1. Patience, Patience, Patience
When I think about this and I get a mental image of the White Rabbit showing Alice that huge pocket watch indicating just how important time is. That’s right. The first idea on your list of things to consider before getting dreadlocks is time.
Locs do not happen overnight. If we’re talking about installation, that can take hours or even days depending on what type of locs you want, how long your hair is or how thick you want them to be.
When it comes to growing your dreads that will happen in six months to a year. So be prepared to wait it out!
2. You Need to Use Different Hair Products
First of all, you should never use wax when you have dreadlocks. It will just buildup in your hair because wax is very difficult to wash out. The caked residues will turn white in time and start to smell.
You also need to switch to clarifying shampoos in case you are now using cream ones for the same reason. Clarifying shampoos do a much better job of washing your hair and don’t leave residues.
When it comes to styling, gel is best because it is water-based. You can try commercial ones or natural products such as Aloe Vera gel straight from the plant or flax seed gel.
Therefore, you will need to change your entire hair care range of products as part of the things you need to consider before getting dreadlocks.
3. You Will Have to Wrap Your Head at Night
Wrapping your head at night prevents lint from getting into your dreads and forming unaesthetic and unhealthy build-up. The same goes for when you are cleaning your house or gardening because there is a lot of dirt and dust flying around that will just get caught in your locs.
4. You Will Always Have to Dry Your Hair Very Well
The reason is that dreadlocks which are kept moist or even worse, wet, will start to form mold and grow bacteria. Obviously, that is extremely unhealthy. Therefore, you will need to thoroughly dry your hair every time after you wash it.
The best way to do it is to allow your locs to air dry as much as possible so as not to wick moisture from them or cause any damage. But you can use a blow dryer as well if you don’t have enough time.
5. The Stereotypes – Things to Consider Before Getting Dreadlocks
Our list of things to consider before getting dreadlocks continues with stereotypes. While it is true that the collective society has evolved in the past years, people still have a lot of preconceptions when it comes to locs and the individuals who wear them.
For example, a lot of people will inherently assume you are Jamaican or Rasta, even though you might obviously be of another culture or even race. Be prepared to face this stereotype and to explain every time that this is just a hairstyle for you. While you respect both Jamaican and Rasta cultures, you have nothing in common with them.
The second biggest stereotypes part of the things you need to consider before getting dreadlocks is people thinking you don’t wash your hair. This common misconception arises from the fact that some dread wearers might keep their locs a bit untidy or have some deposits built up.
But you should know that the proper way to care for locs is to wash them every week, at least once a week. Which brings me to this.
6. Do Not Trust Anyone Who Tells You Not to Wash Your Dreads
If you come across so called ‘professional locticians’ or even people who already have dreads and they tell you never to wash your locs or only wash them twice a year, don’t listen! You have to wash your hair as you normally would, every single week.
Otherwise, it will become unclean, you will get dandruff and a lot of build-up. Your locs might even start to mold and grow bacteria. Prepare for this type of nonsense ‘advice’ from individuals around you or from quack websites.
7. People Will ALWAYS Touch Your Hair
Yes, this is a given and a huge point on our list of things to consider before getting dreadlocks. When you have locs, people will reach out and touch them, play with them or even pull them a bit, just to see what they’re like.
This could be fine if you don’t mind it. But if you’re an individual with a keen sense of personal space, if you have anxiety, are socially awkward or simply don’t like to be touched, think about it!
People don’t ask before they touch and it might prove difficult to confront them about it!
I hope you enjoyed this list of things to consider before getting dreadlocks. As cool as they may be, dreads do come with a user’s manual as well as a social component that you need to be aware of. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line!