This is a new area for me and we are still learning. Here I want to share our journey and share what works for us. Enjoy!
It all started with one of my children wanting to get dreadlocks, so we went online and started to do our research on how to do them and take care of them. What I found confused me a bit because nothing seemed to “fit” us.
What I found was how to do dreads on afrotextured hair with comb coils or braids/twists or how to do dreads on “white” straight or semi straight hair with the twist and rip or back combing method.
For the afrotextured hair you pretty much treat the hair the way we are used to, with moisturizing and protecting the hair while you sleep. For the “white hair” you weren’t supposed to moisturize the hair or protect it while sleeping since this would slow down the process of dreading the hair…There was also some conflicting information on if you should or shouldn´t use any products to start the dreads..
Knowing what I know about how important it is to have healthy hair and care for it, I went with the afrotextured way of starting dreadlocks. I first tried to start them with two strand twists or comb coils but the hair just wasn´t “curly enough” to hold. So I braided the hair (thinking we would have what is called “braidlocks”) and kept it moisturized and waited…
This is a picture of our first attempt to start dreadlocks with comb coils..
Nothing happened. I know it takes a long time for the hair to dread but this just wasn´t working for us. The braids came undone and we were always starting over.. I realized that my child’s hair just wasn´t “curly enough” (if that makes sense…)to hold the braids and become dreads this way either.
So we tried the twist and rip combined with back combing method and decided to stay away from moisturizers. This worked pretty well and we finally had something that resembled dreads. Yay!
Then came time to wash the hair. This is where we usually did “root flipping” for the braid locks.. (I know, I know! Not a good idea ). But since we switched methods I had to learn how to maintain the dreads some other way…
I heard of crocheting and palm rolling. I also heard about sea salt and lock peppah.. But what worked the best and what most people recommend is to do NOTHING. Well.. To be honest this is where I fall back and say that since we are dealing with mixed hair we do a little mix of methods.. Most of the time we just keep the hair clean and leave it alone “to do its thing”. But sometimes I do “retwist” the dreads even though we didn´t start the dreads by twisting… This has actually worked great! Especially now when the dreads are a bit more mature.
So my conclusion so far is that we are somewhere in between.. Some things that work on afrotextured hair won´t work for us but some things will work. Something’s that goes for “white dreads” is not necessarily true for us. I hope you understand what I mean..
It was quite frustrating to go through this learning period since we actually saw other biracial people getting beautiful dreads without much effort, while we were struggling. It also didn´t “feel right” to twist and rip or back comb the hair as well, or totally ignoring moisture needs and protecting the hair when I know that you can also damage dreads and have then thin out and break (Yes that can happen!).
So we did a compromise.. Yes, we couldn´t start the dreads with combe coils or twists/ braids, but we can now retwist them and we also use a light oilspray to lock in some moisture after we wash them, to keep them moisturized. We have decided to use a satin pillowcase to protect them while sleeping as well.
My point with this story is to show that everyone’s hair is different and you just have to try and see what works for you. And if you have beautiful curls but they are just not that tight that they easily dread up. Don´t worry, you can still have great dreads!
This is what the dreads are looking like now. They are still a bit fuzzy and have some more maturing to do, but they are getting there!