How can I repair a thin/weak spot in the body of a dread? - Dreadlocks FAQ's
I've had my dreadlocks for just over 6 months, and largely, they're flourishing beautifully. One dread is locked at the roots and at the tip but near the middle of the dread there is a weak spot where the dread is extremely thin, like serious thin, unacceptably thin. I'd be very sad if I have to lose 5 or 6 inches of this dread because a few lousy hairs are being total bastards. Is there any way to fix this?
If the spot has plenty of hair and it's really just an area of the dread with no knots you can create knots and help them lock to fix the problem. Simply use clockwise rubbing to get the knots started and palm rolling to help them compress. Since you can't rub against the scalp in this case you'll grab dread by the dreaded parts on either side of the loose area. Then press the dreaded parts against each other creating slack in the loose un-knotted hair. You can lightly press this hair between the fingers of both hands and roll it around in the normal clockwise circular pattern.
In extreme cases where damaged or dry, brittle hair has left very little hair still holding on, sewing the strong parts of the dread together with thread works, and you can also sew the dread together with it's own hair using the Lock Sculpta. Repairs of this type are tricky business mostly because the dry hair that often causes the thin area is also present above and below the thin area. To make a lasting repair strong hair below the thin spot must be solidly attached to strong hair above.
For sewing the dread with thread you'll need a thread that matches your hair color fairly close. Nylon thread holds up well over time. Fold the dread over on itself so that the good parts of the dread (before and after the weak spot) are overlapped. These overlapping parts need to be pretty solid and knotted for the thread to do it's job so be sure to overlap more than just the weak/thin area.
Fold the weak part down flat against the good parts and sew them together making several passes, moving down, making several more etc. You can vary the technique here but ultimately you're going for a smooth rounded shape. If your first try is unacceptable you can always remove the thread and give it another go. Often the result will be near perfect and very difficult to see unless the thread doesn't match. If there is a bit of strangeness you can put a bead or a peyote stitch directly over it.
Using the Lock Sculpta is similar. It can be done two ways. The first way is just like the sewing method above except after you have the strong parts of the dread overlapped you use the Lock Sculpta to pull human hair that matches your own in between the two parts which locks them together. A temporary rubber band keep the two parts of the dread together while they hair locks tighter. Palm roll to speed up the process.
The second method, which works extremely well for smaller weak spots is done by pushing the two strong ends on either side of the weak spot together. Then with the Lock Sculpta at an angle, pull hair from one part of the dread into the other. This will pull the dreads tightly together. The weaker strands will be pushed out to the side when you first bring the strong ends together, but after a few passes with the Lock Sculpta they will be pulled into the ends giving the dread more strength. Additional hair or thread can also be used as in the method above to make this repair permanent. This method is the most likely to damage the dreads if done wrong, but an experienced Loctician can use it to create a seamless repair that will last and remain strong.
For tips on preventing thin areas see this FAQ: I have a thin area in one of my dreads with very little hair. Help!