Surfing and Swimming in the Ocean with Dreads - Dreadlocks FAQ's
Hey, I have just dreaded my hair with ur products they rock, any who, how long should I wait before I get backs in the surf?
Dreads have a love/hate relationship with the ocean. The salt water dries them out which helps them knot better. They also get tighter after some time in salt water. The downside is that all the swimming tends to find every loose hair you have and pull it out. (This doesn't have anything to do with the salt, fresh water swimming is the same.) Since you don't want to leave salt water on your scalp you almost always take a fresh water shower afterwards. This rinses the salt off the dreads along with many of the benefits of the salt water. It also reveals even more loose hair.
I say "reveals" instead of "creates" cause 9 times out of 10 the hair was already loose, or almost loose, anyway. The water won't pull locked hair out of dreads, so hair that pops out during a swim would have come out at some point anyway.
So the bottom line is this... Spending time in the ocean will help your dreads tighten and mature but until you spend some time with a Loose Hair Tool they are going to look pretty rough. After taking care of the loose hair they should look better than ever...and you prolly won't have much loose hair for a lil while. =]
So what about new dreads? New dreads will have the same issues and they will also be more delicate. Since the hair really hasn't started to lock the water could pull a lot more hair out and make a lot more work for you.
There are a couple defenses against this. Rubber bands should already be on the roots and tips. If you know you are going to be doing a lot of surfing over the weekend you could fire on a few more bands to really hold things together. You'll want to remove these extra bands though, they're just for the weekend while you're getting in your epic sessions. The other thing that helps is having some wax in the dreads. During the first month you'll already have some so you won't need to add more. The second month your knots will be a little tighter so they will stand up better to the surf. You'll also be on the A-B routine. If you can hit up the beach on your A week you can try to make as many knew knots in the roots as possible. It will work really well with saltwater dried in there.
In any case expect them to take a bit of a beating and be prepared to give'em a little love afterward. With any luck (and maybe some extra palm rolling at the beach) the bodies of the dreads will be tighter and more mature afterward.