Can I fix my new-ish dreads with your products? - Dreadlocks FAQ's

This is a question Anthony asked on Facebook:

I got my dreads started in a shop, but she back combed and twisted. She told me not to wash them. I have been looking at your site and reading everything. Can I still use your guys' stuff to make them better?

Sup Anthony! Welcome to the fam! Twisting isn't really mixed with backcombing. Twisting works in highly textured African hair types and backcombing is manually creating knots with a comb. Usually when you see someone do both at once it's to cover up the fact that the backcombing isn't tight, so they twist it around and around to make it feel and look tighter. Nine times out of ten they are ready to come out in the first wash. In this case it's totally confirmed by the "no wash" instructions. Unless she has backcombed in good solid knots your best bet will probably be to re-backcomb them one by one and get them tight. Then washing won't be an issue and you'll be much further along on your way to dreads.

A lot of people in this situation mistakenly try to fix a lack of knots by adding Dread Wax - and when it still doesn't hold together they add more. Of course wax can't fix it, any more than a good wash can fix a broken car. You have to have good knots before the wax can be used to help them tighten and mature into dreads. So, they end up with an overwaxed mess and 1/2 the time they take their frustration out on the product - "the wax ruined my dreads!!!" It's easy to see how it happens.

Anyway, what you want to do is get the hair as completely clean as possible - no residues. Then you can at some Locking Accelerator, even a little Lock Peppa to maximize friction. At this point it will be BEGGING to knot up and you have three options for each dread:

  1. Leave it be. If it has good knots all the way through there is no reason to rebackcomb.

  2. If it just has some very loose areas but good knots in other areas you can rebackcomb through the dread packing it all down tight. Star at the roots and work toward the tip. See our site for rebackcombing info (note:this should not be used on-going to tighten the dreads)

  3. If there are hardly any knots in the dread- it's almost all just straight hair, then what you want to do is comb it out and rebackcomb - starting at the tip and working toward the root. Then backcomb it starting fresh rather than tightening whats like as in #2 above. When you're all done treat them as if they were brand new and freshly backcombed. It's day 0 as far as the timing and maintenance go.