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.

Incoming search terms:

  • how to dread hair naturally
  • how to make natural dreadlocks
  • how to start freeform dreadlocks
  • freeform dreadlocks tips
  • how to grow dreadlocks naturally
  • how to dreadlock hair naturally
  • how to naturally dread hair
  • how to freeform dreads
  • how to start freeform dreads
  • how to start freeform locs

1,328 Responses to how to dread naturally

1 18 19 20
  1. ela says:

    thanks for last answer
    how about i use ribbn when i wash them &twist it once aweek

    • soaringeagle says:

      ribbon for what purpose?
      when you wash, that get them to dread, if they dread fast they tend to connect at the roots. the faster they dread the more often you will need to separate them // not by twisting but by pulling them apart some have to separate daily even if their hair dreads very fast
      once they become mature you won’t need too separate often at all

    • soaringeagle says:

      and if you continue to twist them weekly you can have significant balding in about 10 months time.. i mean so severe you’ll be lucky to recover
      twice a year for an event, if not excessively tight is generally safe 4 times a year you might be able to get away with for a few years
      weekly it will get worse and worse every single takes about 3 months from 1 retwist to get loose enough to fully restore bloodflow

  2. ela says:

    my hair is african type i am wasing them by shampo i twist my hair regulary but after i wash them(1 week)i start from the begining i want big comb day by day they become thiker. 8-9cm is the length what shall i do

    • soaringeagle says:

      that’s cause your twisting them! that will thin them from a 1-1 section to dread size ratio all the way at times to like 50 – 1 and, then cause at least 10% of that size to be lost to balding called traction alopecia
      if you simply stop twisting they will be fine
      add some photos better yet join post on there cause if its bad we got some real experts to help ya recover.
      the damage can be extreme from years of tight twisting! permanent if allowed to progress too far
      dreads should never be twisted and that being pushed is causing an epidemic of traction alopecia especially in those with African type hair.

  3. Mulatya says:

    What are your thoughts on towel rub method to start your locs? I don’t mind just letting my hair loc on its own. I’m African and just two days without combing and it starts to bunch up. However, it doesn’t look too good like that. I’d like to use towel rub method with some natural coconut oil to help it look better and loc faster. Thoughts?
    Ps: I love this page. Most honest and helpful page i’ve found for freeforming.

    • soaringeagle says:

      this is just my blog our main site has over a million pages of the best info for freeforming
      towel rubbing creates a generally knotty mess that then needs to be ripped apart into separate dreads.. now heres the rub (pun intended) 9 times out of 10 just drying with a towel will make iit more knotty, but the 1oth time can wipe away 3 months proigress in seconds that’s why i don’t even recommend drying with a towel.. while it might create knots more often then not.. it can erase months of progress just as easily

  4. cloud says:

    hello bro i did started mine some couple weeks ago, since then i have not applied water to my head, the only thing i felt was hair curl, tell me what good is that for a dread

    • soaringeagle says:

      that does nothing to help
      water does
      washing does
      the more you wash, the more you swim (especially in salt water) the faster they dread
      how did you start?

      • cloud says:


        • soaringeagle says:

          washing will help it dread swimming will help it dread especialy in salt water just water running through it he;lps it tangle just be careful when washing to wash only the scalp and rinse through you don’t want to rub the hair around much

  5. Lacy says:

    I have started my loc journey (about 1week in for the 3rd time), and everytime I wash my hair I feel like I’ve washed all my twists out. I was starting my local with the sponge twist method. I’ve tried low water pressure, a stocking cap, even slowly under the sink faucet. Nothing seems to keep them in place. I honestly believe that a clean scalp will produce healthier hair so I want to wash my hair. Also I’m extremely active between the gym and martial arts so Im sweating a lot. Should I just hold off on washing for a month or so and rough it out, or am I missing a step?

    • soaringeagle says:

      the stocking caps almost like combing when you pull it on
      are you towel drying? if so stop
      sand no washing is essential to dreading
      keeping twists in however…is not.. let them fall out they will still dread

      • Lacy says:

        Thank you. I guess I need to let it do it on it’s own time and not “micromanaging” it. No towel drying? Not even a microfiber towel? It’s still in the small fro stage so how should I go about drying after showers?

        • soaringeagle says:

          shake it out then air, sun, drip, wind, or if you must, blow (on lower heat)
          don’t wash at night.. wash early so they have time to dry

  6. Gaz says:

    Hi there. My hair is quite long now, maybe half way down my back., and I’ve decided to start dreading natuarally. When do I need to start separating the hair so it doesn’t mat into one big clump and what type of shampoo or soap should I use? I’m going travelling in Africa for three month so a simple bar of soap will be available to me. Thanks. Gaz

    • soaringeagle says:

      wow 3 months in Africa sounds amazing (be careful though some africamn countries are scary unstable) is the best the liquid does make it dread faster then the bars do but with such long hair slowing it down means less separating.
      well on that note, generally you’ll know when just don’t over separate.. i mean pull apart sections before they get a chance to tanglre unless the sections real big
      once they are tangling up you’ll be able to tell but really once 2 sections next to eachother are starting to knot up you can separate after each wash or more often if needed..just don’t overdo it or under do it if it doesn’t seem to separate any connected hairs it didn’t actually need it, but if its hard or painful, you waited too late.. very quickly you’ll get a feel for how often your hair needs it

  7. Razvan says:

    Hi there! Im thinking about starting dreads but i have a question. I am a streetdancer and i want to know if dancing would affect the dreading in its early stages. ( i am reffering to moving a lot my head and have my hair moving all over the place)

    • soaringeagle says:

      are you dreading the natural way?
      movement creates knots.. lots of them. that’s why wearing hats or tying it up all the time prevents progress. a gentle breeze will tangle your hair, dancing wildly will tangle it faster
      movement and compression cause dreads, walking causes movement sleeping compression. .. they happen by living.
      this is why its crazy that people force them then use wax to hold it all together so the hairs wont move.. it prevents them from dreading at all
      do i get to see ya dance with those baby dreads flying every which way? join and share your progress and your dancing!

      ps a dear dear friend was a street dancer/activists/playwrite/utopitarian visionary
      literaly danced 24/7 (while awake) never stopped till the day she doied
      actualy her death was a dance of protest .. transforming her body into a beacon of change.. tragic and a great loss
      but cant help but admire her strength and conviction
      i had known her probably 20 yewars and never ever saw her not dancing..

  8. Lauren Small says:

    I have stared growing my dreads for about 2 months now, and they just seem to be getting matted at the back of my head. I also have hair wraps and ribbons and plaits in my hair. My hair seems to have sectioned well, except for the back, which seem to be bigger than the others, and very clumpy. I know you say not to worry, but I am worrying! Any suggestions??

    • soaringeagle says:

      if the clumps are too big separate them by pulling them apart along the lines that seem to be where they would naturally section
      do it while wet and do it as often as needed..the back is just dreading faster so needs separating sooner and more often

  9. Jamar says:

    Is it better to air dry my locks or use a blow dryer? Also, does drying locks with a towel messes them up?

  10. Jack says:

    I’ve started getting natural dreads for 2 months now. Most of my hair has sectioned and started dreading, but only in the middle of each section. The roots and tips are not dreAding at all. Am I just being impatient? Or is there something else I should be doing?

    • soaringeagle says:

      hi sorry for late reply, was in the wilderness last month and 1/2
      but that’s perfectly normal, the roots and tips wont dread till nearer maturity

  11. Misanthrope says:

    How to maintain it from lice nits and dandruff?

    • soaringeagle says:

      sorry for late reply, nits just avoid school aged kids if you can if not teatree oil lemongrass peppermint ..they hate those
      dandruff teatree and rosemary
      also avoid hot water hot water dries the scalp badly

  12. Tj says:

    I have started my journey on May 15. The ends off my hair are locked up but near my scalp are still loose and not locking up. Any tips on how to get the locking closer to my scalp?

    • soaringeagle says:

      they tighten to the scalp as they mature
      never force tighten them that causes traction alopecia and balding

  13. mykel says:

    Pls are there any local way of making dread,because some people I have watched making dread,i saw they mix spray gel,gel and nescafe to roll up the dread,then lastly they apply toothpaste….are those item good to grow dread?and at first they don’t wash not until the dreads are locked up… that still permitted?

    • soaringeagle says:

      that’s an incredibly stupid way to fake dreads
      dreds happen all on their own by simply washing the hair and not combing
      if you want to start dreads has all the best info use twist and rip
      clean hair dreads best
      it dreads itself if all you do is wash it with a dread shampoo

      • Rara says:

        What is a dread shampoo?

        • Rara says:

          And does it matter if it’s Caucasian hair?

          • soaringeagle says:

            i’ll answer both together. a dread shampoo should be non residue, it should be all natural and not contain sls
            for Caucasian hair it helps it knot alot if it contains sea salt, for African hair that’s too drying
            organic dreadlocks shampoo is the best the liquid ‘lockin up liquid’ is perfect for Caucasian hair during the dreading process then switch to the “just for dreads’ bars when more mature, for African hair just use the bars.

            the main thing you want is that it leaves no residues
            these that i just recommended also are beer based for hard water, have microfine clays that bond with oils and dirt and carry them out of your dreads, so even if you only shampoo the roots they clean all the way through while rinsing

            there are some very poor shampoos sold for dreads so beware
            there are very very few shampoos not made for dreads that are marginally ok
            dr bronners is a all purpose soap, that can be used as long as you do not have hard water..if you do, don’t use bronners

            • Rara says:

              Thank you so much for response. I will definitely look into the shampoo and salt spray. Also I read you said about putting a ponytail slows or stops dreading. If I need to wear my hair up for work on a daily basis would I still be able to do this. ? It’s quite long about mid back or longer and I usually twist it up into a knot or bun.

              • soaringeagle says:

                why do you have to tie it up
                you shouldn’t have to..but yes it slows or prevents progress completely, use a wise loose headband to keep it back, or tie it up very loosely
                as soon as you leave work let it hang loose

  14. Tosha says:

    I’m three weeks in on my journey and I have been using black soap to wash my hair is that good and I wanna no what to use my hair is so dry meaning brittle is that w good thing

  15. I have started my locs but when it grows, my hair dresser sews it with a thread. I want to do it naturally without any additional thread just my hair. Please tell me the ingredients I need to start it myself. Thanks

    • soaringeagle says:

      fire the hairdresser
      leave them alone
      hairdressers do everything wrong and arethe worse mistake you can make
      they will take care of themselves without all the added expense and stupid things hairdressers do

  16. 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

  17. 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

1 18 19 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *