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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1,288 Responses to how to dread naturally

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  1. Callen says:

    My hair is natural dreads but tips aren’t dreaded best way to dread the tips with the natural look still?

    • soaringeagle says:

      usually African hair dreads to the tips other types do not(often)
      African hair benefits from holding in moisture while straighter hair types typically come from somewhat cooler climates an having them dread to the tip makes them take times longer to dry
      loose tips let water drain out reducing the risk of mold mildew and dread rot
      so i wouldn’t worry about what the tips do or don’t do
      if they stay loose its better for them
      African hair with its tight curl pattern cant help but dread smoother shorter and more completely to the tips

  2. Pablo says:

    I have been growing my hair for a about 5 months now and I have a mini fro. I use a sponge to style it for interviews and things the like. I wash it once a week sometimes twice. Reading everyone’s post here has helped a lot. I now want to seriously commit to this process/journey So I am changing shampoo and beginning sea salt spray treatment for my freeform dreads. Is it okay to continue to use the sponge? After washing how do I dry it? I also use shea moisture curl enhancer is this okay to use?


    • soaringeagle says:

      i wouldn’t use the sponge best ways to dry shake it out (no towel) sit in the sun or wind or in front of a fan..or blow dry gently when you must (winter)

      • Pablo says:

        I am about to start working a job where it is mandatory to wear a hard hat for safety precautions. How can I avoid whatever risk that come with wearing a hard hat 8-10hrs a day and make sure my hair stays healthy and grows strong? Will wearing a hard hat this long per day slow down my hair growth?

        • soaringeagle says:

          no.not growth but earky in the dreading process the hair not being able to move freely will slow dreading (but its not a race)
          just when you get of work let your hair be free

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