Dreadlocks is a fashionable hairstyle that has been sported by various cultures around the world. Mini dreads or short locks are the early stages of hair dreading. If one starts to dread the short hair, it makes growing out full locks at an easier pace later on. One can either create the dreads with a brush or can twist dreads with a comb. This article enlightens technique to make locks and using the right materials, can start the dreads before one’s hair grows even an inch long. This will make the hair grow into long dreads more naturally and is a hassle-free procedure
Tools essential for creating dreads.
The following products play a pivotal role in all dread creation techniques.
Soft bristle brush: A pivotal item necessary for all techniques especially the brushing/sponge method.
Dread Sponge: A useful product designed to dread coarse hair. Stylist recommends using this tool to dread the short hair easily. Application of a sponge brush is seen to work better on a short hair over a bristle brush.
Dread Lock cream: This cream is useful to lock the dreads. It not only holds the hair together but also aids in keeping it knotted.
Rattail comb: This comb is ideal for the twisting method as one can use it comb through, part, twist, and pull the hairs.
Hair Products for Dreadlocks
#1: Knotty Boy Ultimate Detangler
An all-natural, super-slippery, mild, tropical-scented formula leave-in or wash-out every day de-tangler that is designed to help any hair type stay smooth and soft. Aids in unsnarling the greatest of tangles at ease.
- Untangles knots.
- Smoothens rough split ends
- Aids in providing light curl definitions.
#2: Dollylocks (8oz)- Aloe, Coconut & Lime Dreadlocks Tightening Gel
The natural blend of coconut and aloe is seen to work exceptionally well on taming loose fly-away hair while maintaining the dreadlocks neat and tight. All the ingredients included in the product are organic, residue-free, and water-soluble. Leaves out no residue post wash and only aids in perfectly tightening dreadlocks. This product is highly recommended for new dreadlocks.
- Is highly recommended for new dreadlocks.
- An organic blend that can be used for tightening dreadlocks.
- Nourishes and strengthens hair/dreadlocks.
Patch test a hair portion before using it for full coverage as some individuals have experienced flaking post application.
#3: English Spa Oil Free Conditioner
The English Spa Collection is an immaculate blend of English botanicals that include natural oatmeal, aloe, lemongrass, and sea kelp. The Lemongrass extract aids in detangling and nourishing the environmentally stressed hair, leaving it manageable and soft. The product has a light and refreshing fragrance that features notes of citrus and herbs.
- Lightweight formula that doesn’t weigh hair down.
- Suitable for all hair types.
- Paraben and phthalate free.
- The lemongrass aids to detangle the stressed hair leaving it soft and manageable.
#4: Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo
Many shampoos claim to be residue-free but in fact, tend to leave a residue that builds up over time. When the dreads are truly clean they are seen to lock faster and easier at the roots. Knatty Dread Dreadlocks Shampoo is a residue-free dreadlocks shampoo that contains no saponified oilsand is created from coconut surfactants. The product will not leave a coconut fragrance behind but is seen to leave the dreadlocks smelling like it should when it’s clean, natural, and fresh. The shampoo aids to tighten dreadlocks and also helps new growth lock. Hence it is highly recommended for beginners.
- Unscented residue-free shampoo.
- Works well on all dreadlock hair types.
- Reduces the drying time post washing.
- Is a renewable coconut-based formula.
- Doesn’t work effectively on Afro-textured hair.
#5: Dollylocks 12oz Lavender Sky Liquid Dreadlock Shampoo
A rich and stimulating natural shampoo that purely includes botanicals and organic coconut. The product is weightless and residue free hence not only leaves the scalp feeling refreshed but also provides squeaky clean dreadlocks. Hypoallergenic and pH-balanced for gentle and effective cleansing.
- The invigorating essential oils aids in awakening and lifting one’s spirits.
- Soothes the hair effectively with its mild lavender scent.
- Hypoallergenic and pH-balanced.
- Composed of pure botanicals and organic coconut.
#6: Dollylocks 4oz Dreadlock “Beeswax Alternative” Pomade – Dark
A non-greasy, pliable pomade that is composed of the finest organic ingredients to nourish dreadlocks, tame fly-away hair and give the dreadlocks style and hold. Unlike beeswax, this product is seen to easily wash out leaving the dreadlocks free from buildup.
- Available in 2oz and 4oz variant packs (light/blonde or dark/brown)
- Tame fly-away hair and nourishes the dreadlocks with style.
- Residue-free and water soluble.
- Contains no wax.
- Pliable pomade that provides a light hold.
Short Hair Dreads Techniques.
This section enlightens on the tried and tested techniques of creating short locks without any hassles.
Method 1: Brushing method.
The brushing method is the easiest technique to create dreads on hair shorter than three inches. For this method, One is required to use a soft bristle hair brush or a dread sponge.
The following steps need to be followed without a miss.
Use a soft bristled brush to make small circular motions.
Brush pea sized circles in a clockwise motion until the hair starts to form into balls for one or two minutes. Once a ball of hair is formed, move to other hair sections to continue making dreadlocks throughout the hair.
- This method works best for coarse hair that’s 3/4 to 2.5 inch long.
- A sponge brush, designed specifically to create dreads and curls in hair can also be made use of for dread formation in short hair.
Dread cream or wax application to each of the balls.
Once all the hair is spun into small balls, one needs to apply a dread wax or cream to moisturize and hold them in place. Put a dab of cream into the hand and rub it into each of the dreads. Popular brands of dread wax include Knotty boy, Dread head HQ, Jamaican Mango & Lime, and Doo Gro.
Use a hair clip or elastic band to secure the locks.
Elastic bands or small hair clips are seen to aid in holding the dreads. Put the elastic band under the ball, near the hair root. Avoid fastening the dreads tightly as it is seen to cause discomfort to the person having it. This step can be skipped in people with medium to coarse hair. Tightly coiled hair tend not to unravel.
Allow the locks to dry and let them sit for at least three hours.
A hair dryer needs to be used to dry the locks completely. Check the dreads to make sure that they are no longer wet but remain moist by the wax application. Once they are dry and set an individual can remove the hair clips or elastic bands.
- A hooded dryer is more effective than a normal hairdryer.
- Refrain from sleeping or playing with the hair for three hours as the dreads can loosen up.
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Method 2: Mini lock twisting.
This method is similar to the sponge or brushing method. Rather than clumping the hair together with a brush one will part the hair with a comb. This is much easier for the hair that isn’t coarse. The following sections explain the process in detail.
Separate the hair into inch-sized squares.
Grab a small portion of hair and make knots out of it with the help of a comb. Continue to do this all over the head, making 1×1 inch squares. Each section of hair will finally yield different dreadlock. One can also secure the end of the hair with a rubber band or a small hair clip depending on the comfortability. Twisting mini locks is ideal for coarse hair as short as two inches. One may require to wet the hair to help get the knots out.
Apply a dread cream post combing through a portion of the hair.
Rub a moisturizing loc cream into each portion of the hair section that has been separated with the aid of the hand. Rub the cream thoroughly before moving onto the next separated hair section.
Insert the comb in the root of the hair and twist it.
A rat tail comb needs to be inserted at the root of the hair. Twist the comb while pulling, until the end of the hair. Make sure to keep the hair in the teeth as it is twisted. Post completion, the hair section needs to be twisted into a small dread. This method is the most suitable technique for short hairs as one does not need much length to twist portions of the hair into dreads.
Note: Applying enough loc cream is seen to secure the dreads without fastening them with a rubber band or hair clip.
Continue to make locks across the head horizontally in a neat and organized row.
Continue creating dreads with a spacing of an inch between dreads. Once a row is done, move onto the next hair portion until the entire hair is dreaded.
Allow the dreads to dry.
Let the dreads stand for at least three hours before touching them or going to sleep. One can make use of a hand-held hair dryer to remove any leftover moisture from dreading. A hooded dryer works more effectively because it provides an even air flow.
Method 3: Dread sponge method.
The brushing method is the ideal way to dread a hair shorter than three inches. For this method, one can make use of a soft bristle hair brush or ideally a dread sponge which is specifically designed for this purpose. An individual can achieve amazing outcomes by combining a lock and twist butter or some aloe Vera gel with a dread sponge.
Method 4: Double or triple twists
Works best in highly textured hair types with a minimum length of two inches. Strand twists are a bit less delicate than the twists obtained by combing method, but washing and heavy activity are seen to loosen the dreads. Neat even dreads with adjustable dread size by sectioning can be achieved. The following section enlightens the complete process in depth.
Sectioning the hair.
Use a comb or the fingers to section the hair. The larger the section the thicker is the dreadlocks. To achieve dreads that grow round and not flat one needs to section the hair in a square. Secure the sections with a clip or band as one continues.
Resection the each separated square hair section.
Separate the sectioned hair into two or three parts depending on the need of the twist type that is two or three strand twist dreads. The basic motion and principal is the same for both strand twists, the only thing that differentiates them is the number of strands that one works with. Apply the dread cream on to the hair while spinning the hair strand. Use enough cream to coat the entire length of the hair.
Strand twist step.
Each strand needs to be twisted around in one direction (to the right in this example) and they should be later on passed around the other strands in the other direction (to the left). The two opposing twist directions push against each other and help the strand twist stay together.
To explain this clearly the three strands are designated by A, B, & C. All three strands are laid out from right to left by holding the strands a couple inches away from the root. Keep some tension on them all the time to refrain them from un-twisting. Begin with strand A, spin it a couple of times to the right and pass it over the other two strands so it ends up on the left side(beside strand C). When you pass it over one is essentially twisting it around the other strands in an anti-clockwise direction. Continue the same process for the other two strands too.
As this pattern is continued one will begin to see a big, fat, natural hair spiral forming. Continue until the end of the hair and secure at the bottom with a tight hair elastic. Complete the rest of the sections in the same way. Over the time the twists begin to loosen a bit and will begin to lock the hair. The new growth is seen to get longer and longer with the hair growth. Because one can’t strand twist the new growth one will need to use anti-clockwise rubbing to aid to lock up or one can also use the re-twisting method in the anti-clockwise to obtain the dreadlocks at a faster pace.
Method 5: Latching dreads
A latched lock is not technically dreaded and works best in African hair types but can also be used in hair types with a bit less texture. This process is not ideal for straight hair types like the Asian or Caucasian hair. Latching works for the hair that is two inches or longer. This technique is durable at all stages since the hair is wrapped into knots and it’s impossible for it to go anywhere. The loc size can be adjusted by sectioning and neat, even dreads are possible.
- Section the hair into squares with the aid of a comb or fingers.
- After all the hair is sectioned choose a section at the back and add a rubber band to the end of the section. The band needs to be fastened tightly. One will not need a band near the scalp.
- The main principle of mechanism in this method is that one passes the dread though itself again and again from alternating directions. It can also be passed through the fingers if there is room. As one works through the dread or when tightening new growth one will probably need to use a loose hair or latching tool.
Method 6: Locking from the plats.
This method works best in highly textured hair types. Ideally, it should be done with very short hair although some people work with longer hair too. Dreads from plats works well for active lifestyles since the plats are seen to hold the hair securely. Dread size can also be adjusted by sectioning. Neat, even dreads can also be made.
Easy tips to grow dreads with Short hair
The following seven pointers will effectively help one’s dreads grow with short hair.
Develop a hair regime.
Sporting dreads take maintenance and one should develop a regime to keep their hair clean and healthy.
Always twist the hair in the same direction.
As the hair grows one may find themselves topping up on twisting every now and again. Make sure to twist the same way as twisting the opposite direction is seen to unravel the hair. Its ok to brush the locks. Refrain from combing through the hair but using the bristle brush will help to keep the hair clumped together.
Keep a good hair cream handy.
Nourishing the hair can be essential in having dreads of personal taste.
Cover the hair during the night.
Covering the hair at night with a dread sock will not only aid in allowing the hair to stay soft but will also prevent messing up while one sleeps and rolls around.
Palm Rolling is the process wherein one rolls the dread back and forth between the palms, applying a little downward pressure and working the way from the top to the bottom of the lock. This is essential and needs to repeated post each wash and any time one thinks of it really. It is a great way to maintain the shape and separate dreadlocks.
This technique is performed at the roots and it initiates new growth to lock up.