how to dread naturally

How to dread hair naturally

Dreading hair naturally is easy as can be. However some tips will make your natural dreadlocks journey easier and faster.

Dreading hair naturally tips:

  • Clean hair dreads best– wash your hair often but not every day. use a non residue dread friendly shampoo or the baking soda deep cleanse, and wash at least weekly, at most every 2 days.
  • Dry hair dreads best– dry hair dreads faster, however african hair gets brittle if too dry so should be moisturized throughout the process, other hair types it helps to reduce oiliness and dry the hair out somewhat, sea salt sprays and soaks can help. baking soda without acv afterwards will slowly make oily hair less oily, also, washing slightly less often will also reduce oiliness slowly.
  • Longer hair dreads best– if hairs too short it is harder to hold in knots, (african textured hair however will dread short) the longer the hair the faster it can dread typically, but longer hair also shrinks more, and may try to congo more as it dreads.
  • let it dread don’t make it dread– try not to play with it much, don’t twist roll or mess with it. when washing, if you use shampoo just scrub the scalp ignoring the hair. if you use the baking soda soak dont scrub. when drying shake it out and air dry.


Phases of hair dreading naturally

When hairs allowed to dread naturally it goes through fairly predictable stages.

  1. Sectioning stage: the hair separates into sections, groups of hair begin to cling together in groups typically this happens within days to a couple weeks of stopping combing.
  2. baby dread formation stage: the sections begin to get tangled and knot, loose knots but still the sections are held together by many knots forming baby dreads. This can begin in days, but more often in weeks, sometimes it can take longer.
  3. Looping wild teenager stage: the dreads will get loops, bumps, kinks, and change dramatically day by day. this stage is fun and exciting if you dont worry about your teen dreads misbehavior. this is the stage where they develop personalities that make them unique, typically in the 3-8 month stage.
  4. shrinking stage: as loops become tighter the dreads shrink drastically, longer hair can shrink from hips, to ears, shorter hair will lose about 1/2 the length typically or more.this is also the tightening stage leading to maturity
  5. mature stage: they change less noticeably over time
  6. growing stage: once mature they will begin to grow, slow until fully mature then faster.

Natural dreading dos and don’ts

do wash them

don’t force them

do enjoy the journey

don’t worry

optional seperate as needed to prevent congos (dreads combining)

tips sea salt sprays and soaks help sea water is 3.5% salt content. don not leave it on too long, it only needs to be in the hair 10 minutes to 2 hours  then can be rinsed out, any longer and you over dry the hair and scalp.

Wool  tams, wool sweaters or blankets put over your pillow will help encourage knotting.

feel free to post questions in the comments.

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1,245 Responses to how to dread naturally

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  1. Sam says:

    Hey my name is Sam I’m 15 I’ve been trying to get my freeform dreads for two weeks and I’ve encountered a problem my hair untangles when I wash it plus my hair is growing really slow and I’m kinda still stuck in the sectioning stage. What should I do?

    • soaringeagle says:

      1 your only at 2 weeks! less then 1% see dreads in 2 weeks well maybe 3-5% but no more your expecting too much too soon
      however what you wash with, how you dry, these things matter a lot.
      all hair grows slowly at an average of 1/2 an inch a month 6 inches in a year
      you can take biotin 16,000 mg a day every single day after 3 months it will double or triple the growth speed
      but it does take about 3 months before it even starts to take effect.

    • soaringeagle says:

      ps sectioning in the 1st week or 2 is good progress ..pretty much average, some don’t even see sectioning for a couple more weeks
      so your doing fine
      suggestions use a good dread shampoo (not al are good) and don’t towel dry

  2. Annie says:

    i’m white, have smooth, a bit wavy, really really long hair down to my knees. can i free form this? sometimes i let it go a week or two without brushing and its a tangled mess. will it separate or create one massive beaver tail? thanks!

    • soaringeagle says:

      if you don’t separate early on you will likely end up with massive dreads
      your hair will want to dread very fast so you will have to contril it so it doesn’t over dread into 1 huge dread..beads are your friends!

  3. Carl says:


    I am beginning free-form dreads, and have no one to ask questions. Can you please advise me?

    I have started about 4 months ago, from completely bald/shaved head. I have African-textured hair (not mixed race). I have small lumps and bumps in some sections of my hair, and in few sections I have flat separated sections of hair that are standing out from my scalp. It seems like the top right half of my scalp is dreading more quickly than other parts, and almost nothing on top left half!

    I read somewhere that there is possibility that all of my hair will not dread using freeform method, and I have also seen pictures of this online. Is this true? Because I have sections of my hair that seem as if they will never dread.



    • soaringeagle says:

      you are only 4 months in, just babies. if you used a starter method this is when they would have come the loosest before then starting to dread
      that’s just because of how you sleep
      it will catch up, changing how you sleep might quicken it

  4. DustyRose says:

    I’ve got long hair and always keep it up in a messy bun. I’ve got 2 small kids and hate my hair in my face. Can I still put it up daily? Obviously without brushing (such a pain anyways)

    • soaringeagle says:

      the more its up the slower it will dread it needs freedom to move t dread
      also if its left up enough it can become a dread bun or bun dread whatever.. 1 dread in the shape of the bun
      the more its left to hang free and loose the faster it will dread
      that’s not to say you can’t put it up from time to time just if its all day everyday it can drasticly slow the dreading or prevent it completely

  5. Willy says:

    Hey I love this site… tons of awesome information. Im 1 week into the natural dread process… was wondering can I use a towel to dry my hair if I just pat it down? Obviously rubbing with a towel could undo some of my nice clumps so if I just pat it down I should be good? Also does giving ur hair a shake like a dog a bad thing? Feels good to shake ur long hair
    Also you said you can use beads early on to help start the dreads.. so can I use normal dread beads?
    Sorry for long winded question and thanks for answer!

    • soaringeagle says:

      well patting it down can be counter productive
      those lil hairs sticking up everywhere are prime for forming dreads
      shaking it out is great don’t be too vigerous though just a gentle shake out gets alotta the water out and helps it tangle
      a beads anything with a hole put in it,or any hole with anything wrapped around it
      so you don’t need expensive dread beads when a stick or stone will do

    • soaringeagle says:

      oh and if you like this site for the info check out same good quality info, same ethics, but 1 million pages of it

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