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How to Do Dreadlocks with Caucasian Hair

Get your matted coils started with even the straightest hair with these tips.


  • TIP: The natural method takes the longest, looks the most unkempt, and may create a bad odor or dandruff from not washing your hair or maintaining scalp health.
  • Step 1: Do nothing to use the natural dreadlock method. Don't brush, separate, wash, or mess with your hair while dreads form. Use dreadlock wax only to set your dreads after they have begun forming.
  • Step 2: Wash your dreads once or twice a week until the dreads are locked, and then wash them as often as you like.
  • TIP: Wearing panty hose over your head while washing your dreads will help to keep them locked during the first few months.
  • FACT: In Rastafarian culture, dreadlocks symbolize the Lion of Judah as depicted in the Bible's Book of Genesis.
  • Step 3: Incorporate loose hairs into each dread with a crochet needle. Push the needle through the dread, grab loose hairs under the hooked end, and pull the hairs into the dread with the hook.
  • Step 4: Set the locks with dread wax and hold them in place with rubber bands at the top and bottom of the dread. Repeat the process for three months until your dreads are locked.
  • Step 5: Begin the backcombing method by removing one rubber band from a section of hair. Use a fine-toothed comb to grab one or two strands of hair at a time and then run the comb along the section, toward your scalp. Keep combing until a dread begins to form, twisting and turning and twist the dread as you back comb.
  • Step 6: Separate your hair into sections the size of your desired dreadlocks and secure them with a rubber band as close the scalp as possible.
  • TIP: Each method has its own unique set of characteristics and drawbacks. Research each method thoroughly before choosing one.
  • Step 7: Wash your hair with a residue-free shampoo, rubbing clockwise while washing and rinsing. Replace any broken rubber bands after washing and allow your hair to dry thoroughly.
  • TIP: If you don't have residue-free shampoo you can make a paste with apple cider vinegar and baking soda and use it just like shampoo.
  • Step 8: Lock the dread into place by lightly coating it in dread wax. Repeat each morning until your dreads are locked, about three months.
  • Step 9: Start the rip and twist method by removing one rubber band at a time and rubbing each section between your palms. Then pull the section apart into two twisted strands, pulling all the way to the scalp. Repeat with each section until your hair is completely dreaded.
  • Step 10: Decide which method you want to use. The most common methods for Caucasian hair are the natural method, the rip and twist method, and the backcombing method.

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