Locs, dreads, dreadlocks, ‘ras.’
No matter what name you know them by, starting your dreadlocks journey is a big step. Many people seem to think that dreadlocks are for those who don’t want to have to worry about maintaining their hair all of the time, but in reality, this couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Dreadlocks require just as much care and maintenance as any other hair type, and certainly a lot more patience. After all, you don’t go from ear-length locks to back-length locs overnight. Growing healthy dreadlocks isn’t effortless, but neither is it impossible. With just a few key tips, you can learn to give your dreadlocks the care they need to grow long and healthy.
Don’t skip the drying
Never, ever go without drying your dreadlocks. When your wet hair remains without drying, it can develop a smell. The last thing you want is to be walking around with smelly hair!
Instead, either airdry your locs thoroughly or blow dry them. If you have very long or thick locks, you may want to go with the blow drying option. This ensures that you get all of the moisture out of your hair before you pin it up, allowing you to have clean hair and no unwelcome odors.
Master the art of palm rolling
Palm rolling is one of the best things you can do for your locs. Whether it’s when you’re starting to form your locs or just for keeping them looking their best, palm rolling is used to keep locs from unraveling or loosening, keep their shape and in many cases, maintain the neatness of the locs.
Getting the hang of palm rolling your locs effectively takes a good bit of practice. Luckily for you, there are tons of articles and YouTube tutorials that can walk you through the process step by step.
Take it easy on your roots
Re-twisting the roots of your hair can give your locs a nice fresh look. It’s usually a go to for events like weddings because of the pleasant look it gives, but too much of a good thing can undeniably be bad.
You’ve probably seen men with long locs with thinning/balding hairlines and vowed that you’d never let your hair get like that. This thinning comes from too much tension at the root, which can be caused by excessive re-twisting. Instead, get used to the raw beauty of puffy roots! There are lots of styles you can try that’ll look great, and you won’t be forced to compromise the health of your hair for an aesthetic.
Patience is something that you’ll definitely have to learn if you haven’t yet, and your dreadlock journey is sure to teach you that. Everyone’s journey is different. Thick hair and fine hair loc very differently, and some people’s genetics allow them to grow their hair quickly with the least amount of care while others do all of the right things and experience slow growth. It’s important that you don’t get discouraged by looking at other people’s growth. Take care of your hair. Show it love, and it will love you back.
It’s important to remember that no amount of external care is the magical solution to growing healthy locs if you aren’t showing your hair love from the inside out as well. Drinking lots of water and eating nutrient-rich foods can be the difference between thick, strong hair and hair that breaks. A holistic approach is key to a fulfilling dreadlock journey.