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Maintaining dreadlocks yourself

On this page you will find some methods that are most commonly used. Which method is best for you? This is really a matter of experimenting. Some people may hate the crochet hook, others think it is the best way to keep the dreadlocks neat.

Loose hairs

Right next to the root of your dreadlock you will always have some loose hairs. These are newly born hairs that are not attached to the lock yet. This a thing that everyone with dreadlocks experiences. You will always have new hairs growing out of your scalp. There are several ways to deal with these hairs:

  1. Crocheting / sewing: with a crochet hook, dread tool or needle with large eye. Put the tool through the dread, right next to where the roots of the hairs are. Attach the loose hairs to your tool (either through the eye or behind the hook, depending on what tool you use) and pull the hairs into the dreadlock.
    - Using the dreadtool
    - Using a crocheting hook
  2. Clockwise rubbing: take the dreadlock, 2 to 3 cm from your scalp, with your index finger en middle finger. Now start rubbing small circles while gently applying pressure on your scalp. When doing this for the first time it may takes 5 minutes or more before you notice any difference. This method speeds up the knotting process of your dreadlocks' roots dramatically.
    - Clockwise rubbing
  3. You can try to make loose hairs stick to your dreadlock with thread or a rubber band: this is a quick method, but losse hairs do not always knot well and when you remove the rubberband or thread you may see the loose hairs again. What we advise is to put thread or a rubber band after you have sewn or crocheted loose hairs into your dreadlock.
  4. Wax or gel: wax or gel can be good to make your loose hairs and dreadlock stick together. Wax does not speed up the dreadlocking process, so do not use it too often.

Loops / bumps

In the first years dreadlocks go through a process of shrinking: they got shorter and thicker. In different parts of your dreadlocks this happens at different speeds, which causes bumps and loops. If you don't like this, you can:
  1. Pull the dreadlock through the loop, which causes the loop to wrap itself around the dreadlock. A dread tool can be used to make this easier. If you have straight hair this can be staying visible for some time and prevent the dreadlock from getting thicker at that spot. Only do this with extreme loops.
  2. Poking with the felting needle. This is a difficult method (requires some practice) and may also cause breakage of hairs, but the end result is gorgeous: compact and neat dreads. You need to repeatedly poke with the felting needle, into the loop and dreadlock to make the hairs of the loop get interlocked with those of the dreadlock.