As someone who used to get female dreadlocks extensions on short hair, I’m so excited that we are finally learning more about how to do it the safe way. Now anyone can enjoy the benefits of dreadlocking without fear of becoming ill or having any messiness. It’s because people like you have been advocating for sensible hair care and micro-braids that you can now return back to your natural roots without worry.
1. Leave your hair alone for 8 weeks
The dreadlock extensions will start to form in about 2 months. Before that happens you need to do a few things.
For the first day or two you can have fun with your new hair, but after that you should stop touching it and wearing tight hairstyles (no pony tails, braids etc.). This is very important as the curl pattern is forming during that time and it’ll run right off if disturbed.
If you think about it, dreadlocks are just one huge ponytail. If you want dreads, just wear a ponytail for years and years or get micro-braids. 2 stars
2. Wait until your roots grow out
I think this picture says it all . The roots make up about 80% of the hair, so if you want long dreadlocks, don’t cut your hair short.
The best way to have long healthy dreadlocks is to not cut your hair at all while growing them out. This will help them grow stronger and last longer. It will also keep you from having to deal with split ends which can ruin the texture of dreadlock extensions.
3. Don’t expect miracles with 8 weeks
If you’ve never had dreads before, don’t expect that these extensions are going to look like real dreads right away. It takes time.
Dreadlocks are very different from micro-braids as they aren’t just curls. They can be loose, tight, curly or kinky. Dreads take time to develop and even more time to perfect the style you want. That’s why it’s important that you give the hair enough time to lock up before cutting off the extensions and locking your own hair because of course, once you cut them off your natural hair will not lock up exactly the same way.
4. Care for your micro-braids
The best way to retain the curl pattern is to do absolutely NO STRETCHING while they are still attached. You can go swimming, take a shower or even sleep on them. Just don’t stretch them until they fall off on their own. Stretchy styles like ponytails and pigtails can undo all your hard work in as little as one day!
Micro braids are meant to be worn for 2 months before you start to form dreads, so you only have 4 more weeks before you should start taking care of them properly.
Once the micro-braids are no longer attached to your head and you can see roots sticking out of them, it’s time to start caring for them properly.
Take a look at my dreadlock maintenance guide and follow these tips.
If you do this right, you will have long healthy dreadlocks in no time!
5. Know that they’ll be fragile
Once your micro braids are removed, you won’t be able to wash them or comb through them with a brush. You can only use water and some conditioner on each individual lock. This is normal and nothing to worry about as most of the “fluff” will fall off after you wash them.
The whole reason why someone would choose micro-braids instead of dreadlocks is because the former is much easier to care for. You can’t comb or brush it, but it’s not nearly as fragile as real dreads. You can treat it like normal hair, but just don’t pull a Rapunzel and leave your hair in an updo for a decade!
6. Protect your locks
I hope that you’ve found these tips helpful. If you want to change your dreadlock extension style, just get new ones or go in for a new set. You don’t need to go through this whole process again. If you feel like you want longer locks, then just give yourself another 8 weeks and repeat the whole process again.
7. Just be patient!
Many of you will say that it’s not worth it. After all, you can just get micro-braids and they aren’t nearly as time consuming. That’s fine if that works for you, but the real thing I love about dreadlocks is that they are completely unique. No one will have the same dreads as you because everyone twists their hair differently and has different textures. I have had people tell me, ” I wish my hair was like yours” only to find out that my natural texture is very thin and straight and theirs is coarse and kinky, so why would they want my hair?
The point I’m trying to make here is that dreadlocks are a commitment. You choose how long you want to keep them and how much effort you’re willing to put in, so if you keep asking me, ” what’s the point?” I’m going to point out that there IS a point. There are thousands of people just like you who have been waiting for years and years for the correct information to come along.