Dreadlocking your hair

Do you remember when you were in school, and it was de rigueur to come back off your summer holidays with a hair wrap, complete with beaded ends-whether your two weeks away was spend in Blackpool or Barbados?

2181a3ec2927424ba20a7f5eb5977037Well I got righteously carried away with this whole lark when it became self-evident that you can easily do it yourself, and as a result, spent some six months with most of my hair in medusa-style wraps, until they all started falling out and taking my hair with them!

Anyway, since that time I have had something of a fascination with dreads and similar ‘dos, and later on had braids (I loved them but they didn’t love me):


And semi-dreads, as my hair is quite keen to go down that route on its own if I leave it alone for a few days.

I have never had the guts to go full out dreads though, because I cannot stand to not wash my hair every day, even though I know this is bad for it, and essentially will turn dreads into mildew-scented sentient lifeforms all of their own.

However, I have done enough research into them and spoken to enough mates with dreads to have formed a few conclusions about some of the best ways to dread your hair and keep it in good nick, and I’ll share some of these with you below, as a mini-intro for those that want to find out more.

Getting started

There are several different ways to dread your hair, depending on how long you are prepared to wait, how much time you are willing to spend actually working on the dreads, and what you want the end result to look like. While there are almost as many different ways to dread as there are people with dreads, there are two basic approaches, outlined below:


You can either make the dreads by dividing all of your hair into squares, sectioning them off and them back-combing them to death, which takes forever to do, but does give you a full head from the get-go once you’re done.

Check out this video on how to dread your hair using this method:

Option number two can take months to achieve, and involves letting your hair dread on its own, using certain techniques and products to help it along. Don’t just leave your hair alone though and hope for the best-anyone who sees dreads as a low-maintenance style that never needs washing is in for a rude awakening!

Keeping your dreads clean and conditioned

As mentioned, dreads need a lot of care, and anyone who thinks that dreads are dirty, manky and never need any attention is wrong.

Caring for dreads requires a range of special tools and shampoos, and using just a standard shampoo, washing too often and vitally, not drying your dreads thoroughly will result in manky mildew-smelling hair, due to trying to keep your hair too clean, not due to dodging the soap. Dreadhead has some more tips here.


If you’re thinking of giving dreads a whirl and want to find out more, there are a metric fucktonne of internet forums, advice videos and articles dedicated to helping you to do just this. is a good start!

Are you a Goth with dreads? Got some more info? Tell me!

Lady Gothique
The gal who runs

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