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considering locs in near future

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inverse_gravity View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 15 2006 at 2:34am

I've been to dreadhq and knottyboy in the past.  I'm thinking of starting a set of locs, but my hair right now is only 2-3 inches long.  I've read that the hair has to be at least 4" long to dred up, is that correct?  (Then again, I only know the knottyboy backcombing method, and I'm not sure what type of hair that's meant for--but I assume hair straighter than mine.)  Is the way you know it's long enough when you run a comb through it and you start to get snarls?

There are a lot of questions on this board about whether an individual person can be successful with locs because of their hair type...this being due to the unspoken urban legend that only Black hair is meant for locs.  Maybe we should set up a thread to add communal input and challenge to this idea--I hesitate to say debate, as that can get heated.

I would also like to know whether I can expect any locs I attempt to turn out nicely.  I'm Black/Asian mixed; my hair is of mixed texture: coarse, springy and glossy from my Asian side and with tight waves and curls from my African side (yes, this means that my hair *springs back* into a wavy configuration).  It's not, however, of the texture where I can be sure that the locs would dred up easily and quickly.  I've worn it short for years because, among other reasons, when it's long, it's generally uncontrollable.

I have short, thick, coarse waves which range from less than 1/2" for one curl at the very front of my hairline to 1.5" for one curl at the back of my head (where it is currently standing on end because of its coarseness and density).  I've had my hair cropped very short (eschewing vanity) for the last 7-8 years, but I now want to grow it out.  To me there is no reason to grow it out *but* because I want to look nice, but that's okay.

I feel that my only options for growing my hair out without getting an afro (which I don't want) are 1) dreds, 2) braids, or 3) straightening.  I already know that I don't want to do heat straightening, it's too much work for too temporary an outcome and too much damage.  Chemical straightening damages the hair and puts the health of my scalp (i.e. continued hair growth) at risk, braids put the health of my scalp (continued hair growth) at risk; so from here it looks like the best option for the long-term health of my scalp and hair is dreds.  I take pride in my thick, voluminous hair; I don't want to lose it (but I also don't want it to do whatever it wants regardless of my desires).

I still think dreds are my best bet for long term overall health, even though I will have to really work on keeping my scalp free of oily dandruff (which I currently do by scratching my scalp under shampoo), and I'll have to make sure to blow dry my hair after every shower to retard fungal, mold and mildew growth.  I *have* had long-term issues with that in the past (my hair is very thick and water does not evaporate out of it easily, since air can't reach the underlayers), I know what it's like--I'm currently on an antifungal shampoo.  And if I were to have dreds, I'm not sure that mildew can be removed from matted hair, i.e. hair you can't reach.

This *will* make me look more Black, but maybe Black is beautiful.  Besides, at least I'll be able to have locks that eventually hang down instead of stand up, without resorting to chemical relaxers.

I suppose it depends on what I want.  High risk and fluffy hair or low risk and felted hair.

  • Do dreds pull on the roots of the hairs like tight braids do, or are they more relaxed?
  • After the dreds are initially set up and knotted (after the first 2-6 months), do you have to keep putting wax on them?
  • Does dred wax contribute to acne?
  • Dredding is basically felting the hair--does this felt have a nice texture when the hair that goes into making the felt is not fine?
  • When shampooing, can or should one ever clean the length of the individual locs themselves?
  • I heard to use bar soap to clean the dreds so that conditioner doesn't make them slip apart.  Any opinions on something like Dr. Bronner's Rosemary or Tea Tree soap?
  • How might one get rid of possible calcification in the hair from using bar soap?

Thank you, everybody.  I hope I get some responses to this...

so fall and in the process learn flight
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ThAbAdDeStBaBy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThAbAdDeStBaBy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2006 at 3:12am

Well to be honest your best bet is to check out a Natural Hair Care Salon and get a consultation with a loc specialist/loctician. When you decide to go for it and start locs, then a monthly visit for maintanence will help out a lot in the long run..No matter what hair style one choose one still have to up keep it ya know  

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  • Do dreds pull on the roots of the hairs like tight braids do, or are they more relaxed?  It all depends on how they are started and who does them.
  • After the dreds are initially set up and knotted (after the first 2-6 months), do you have to keep putting wax on them? Well the newgrowth has to be twisted as the rest of the loc, therefore there might be some type of product like wax used for that but only on the newgrowth to my knowledge
  • Does dred wax contribute to acne? Depends on the brand and the sensitivity of your skin, aight put it like this to make it a little easier on ya..after getting the hair loced and twisted always wash your face with a acne fighting facial soap..that will help out a lot LOL
  • Dredding is basically felting the hair--does this felt have a nice texture when the hair that goes into making the felt is not fine? If you have a rough texture to began with then is might not be as fine or soft or what not
  • When shampooing, can or should one ever clean the length of the individual locs themselves? Yeah or go to a natural hair care salon for maintanence
  • I heard to use bar soap to clean the dreds so that conditioner doesn't make them slip apart.  Any opinions on something like Dr. Bronner's Rosemary or Tea Tree soap? Soap..are you serious....sweety there are products out there that's for cleaning locs with. Huhmmm ORS has a line I believe. Or any herbal shampoo.
  • How might one get rid of possible calcification in the hair from using bar soap? By not using soap because I never heard of that one....but then again I could be wrong
  • ThAbAdDeStBaBy
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    cmesweet View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cmesweet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2006 at 2:06pm

     my hair right now is only 2-3 inches long.  I've read that the hair has to be at least 4" long to dred up, is that correct?  Depends on your hair texture...it could be less than an inch to start. Just get comb coils/ fingure twists and retwist the roots every so often.

     Is the way you know it's long enough when you run a comb through it and you start to get snarls? Snarls can mean 2 things... 1) the comb found a tangle 2) You have curly hair  that knotted onto itself, which once again brings us back to tangles .

    There are a lot of questions on this board about whether an individual person can be successful with locs because of their hair type...this being due to the unspoken urban legend that only Black hair is meant for locs.  Maybe we should set up a thread to add communal input and challenge to this idea--I hesitate to say debate, as that can get heated.  This board challenges those ideas...did you forget what forum you posted your question  

    I would also like to know whether I can expect any locs I attempt to turn out nicely. Depends on what you define "nice locs"  I'm sure they will turn out the way you desire, eventually, because of the work you put into it.I'm Black/Asian mixed; my hair is of mixed texture: coarse, springy and glossy from my Asian side and with tight waves and curls from my African side.  I've worn it short for years because, among other reasons, when it's long, it's generally uncontrollable.  Does it grow up or down when it's long?

    I feel that my only options for growing my hair out without getting an afro (which I don't want) are 1) dreds, 2) braids, or 3) straightening.  I already know that I don't want to do heat straightening, it's too much work for too temporary an outcome and too much damage.  Chemical straightening damages the hair and puts the health of my scalp (i.e. continued hair growth) at risk, braids put the health of my scalp (continued hair growth) at risk  Not really, unless you are getting them put in too tight. If they are too tight then you need to 1) tell your stylies to ease up. 2) if they  can't get the point then you need to find different stylists 3) Learn how to braid your own hair, it only take 3 strands...and it's cheaper so from here it looks like the best option for the long-term health of my scalp and hair is dreds.  I take pride in my thick, voluminous hair; I don't want to lose it (but I also don't want it to do whatever it wants regardless of my desires).  Dread locs do not mean you have control of your hair. Actually, working with your hair is the best and less stressful thing to do. All dreadlocs will not lay down and there are various stages that your hair must go thru.  So there may or may not be alot of times your desires aren't met.

    I still think dreds are my best bet for long term overall health, even though I will have to really work on keeping my scalp free of oily dandruff (which I currently do by scratching my scalp under shampoo)  Oily skin,  various products, product build up and dry air...all can cause dandruffs, and I'll have to make sure to blow dry my hair after every shower to retard fungal, mold and mildew growth. Most people I know air dry their locks, but it's your choice...I don't have much to say about it really, just informing you. I *have* had long-term issues with that in the past (my hair is very thick and water does not evaporate out of it easily, since air can't reach the underlayers) O well since you had a previous expeirence with the fungal/ mold; my previous response should be disregarded.

    This *will* make me look more Black, but maybe Black is beautiful. MAYBE black is beautiful?  Everyone is beautiful...so are you doing this to look more "BLACK". Either way I'm sure you are beautiful the way you are and if you live in the USA the one drop blood law considers you BLACK. I suppose it depends on what I want.  High risk and fluffy hair or low risk and felted hair.

    • Do dreds pull on the roots of the hairs like tight braids do, or are they more relaxed? I'm sure it depends on who is styling them and how they are done.
    • After the dreds are initially set up and knotted (after the first 2-6 months), do you have to keep putting wax on them?  You only have to put the wax/gel or whatever on the roots when you twist them to blend in with rest of the locs.
    • Does dred wax contribute to acne? Not sure...but there are lots of differnt products that you can use.. Have you thought of getting locs by the Sisterloc technique? You have to get these professionally done  because the technique is patented.
    • Dredding is basically felting the hair--does this felt have a nice texture when the hair that goes into making the felt is not fine? All textures are nice, in my opinion, so I'm not sure what you are asking. But to try to answer your questions; whatever texture you have now is the same texture your locs will be. 
    • When shampooing, can or should one ever clean the length of the individual locs themselves? Sure you can, plenty of people do it and still have beautiful locs. You might want to go to www.nappturality.com and go to the loc forum there. Plenty of people can of African of descent or half african descent will be able to help you and show you photos.
    • I heard to use bar soap to clean the dreds so that conditioner doesn't make them slip apart. Your hair might break apartNever heard of that...are you sure they didn't mean Black Soap? It's multipurpose and doesn't dry your hair or skin out. You can read about it here www.nasabb.com Any opinions on something like Dr. Bronner's Rosemary or Tea Tree soap?  Yes, alot of loced people use Dr. Bronner's. There are various types of Dr. Bronners, I guess it depends on what scent you like.
    • How might one get rid of possible calcification in the hair from using bar soap? I'm going to have to agree with TheBaddest...you shouldn't be using soap anyways. 
    Natural
    BC May 9, 2004

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    inverse_gravity View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote inverse_gravity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 26 2006 at 3:18am

    A little hesitant to reply since I kinda got yelled at...

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    Does it grow up or down when it's long?

    Up.

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    This *will* make me look more Black, but maybe Black is beautiful. MAYBE black is beautiful?  Everyone is beautiful...so are you doing this to look more "BLACK". Either way I'm sure you are beautiful the way you are and if you live in the USA the one drop blood law considers you BLACK.

    Excuse me, I've had (black) people telling me my hair is ugly from a young age and that I should straighten it, I don't live around my black family, and even if I did, all of my black relatives with hair of any length straighten (or braid) their hair.

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    Have you thought of getting locs by the Sisterloc technique? You have to get these professionally done  because the technique is patented.

    I've never heard of the Sisterloc technique before.

    so fall and in the process learn flight
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote inverse_gravity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 26 2006 at 3:42am

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    Just get comb coils/ fingure twists and retwist the roots every so often.

    My hair is too straight for comb coils to hold.

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    There are a lot of questions on this board about whether an individual person can be successful with locs because of their hair type...this being due to the unspoken urban legend that only Black hair is meant for locs.  Maybe we should set up a thread to add communal input and challenge to this idea--I hesitate to say debate, as that can get heated.  This board challenges those ideas...did you forget what forum you posted your question  

    I only said that maybe there should be a topic on it because the same question, "can my hair texture work with locs," keeps coming up over and over again.  At the time I posted my original post, there were at least two other people besides me who did not have kinky hair and were asking the same thing.

    Originally posted by inverse_gravity inverse_gravity wrote:

    I would also like to know whether I can expect any locs I attempt to turn out nicely. 
    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    Depends on what you define "nice locs"  I'm sure they will turn out the way you desire, eventually, because of the work you put into it.

    What I want is for my locs to turn out twisted well together but relatively soft and glossy because of the strands.

    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    Most people I know air dry their locks, but it's your choice...I don't have much to say about it really, just informing you. 
    Originally posted by inverse_gravity inverse_gravity wrote:

    I *have* had long-term issues with that in the past (my hair is very thick and water does not evaporate out of it easily, since air can't reach the underlayers)
    O well since you had a previous expeirence with the fungal/ mold; my previous response should be disregarded.

    Right now I'm using an antifungal shampoo to combat the dandruff--which basically appears as dead skin piled up under my nails when I wash my hair, as well as a thick, smelly oil that coats the shafts and keeps the shampoo from foaming.  Last time I washed my hair I did it three times to get all the dead skin and oil away.  This could be remedied by washing my hair more often, though.

    I'm concerned that if I get locs, this stuff will get caught in them, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person to think that was kinda nasty.

    I've never had a problem with mold, but I have had issues with mildew.  The first sign I had of it was the smell.  It's the reason I don't style my hair wet and air-dry it now.

    Originally posted by inverse_gravity inverse_gravity wrote:

    This *will* make me look more Black, but maybe Black is beautiful. 
    Originally posted by cmesweet cmesweet wrote:

    MAYBE black is beautiful?  Everyone is beautiful...so are you doing this to look more "BLACK".

    No, I'm not doing it to look more "BLACK".  I'm just recognizing that I have hair closer to black hair and maybe I should be looking more to the direction of the black community for suggestions as to what to do with it.

    And I use hesitancy in most of my writing.

    so fall and in the process learn flight
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cmesweet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:57am

    hi,

    First, I must say that I was not hollering at you. There is no way to determine that by reading typed words on the board. However, if you want locs I think you should go for it. But they will be a stage where they aren't going to look the exact way you desire. The person that replied and myself are African American. Your hair is not ugly, some of my relatives think my hair texture is ugly too but guess what I have hair and they don't so I'm not paying them anymind.  You placed your question in the right location. 

    I think the sisterloc routin might work for you.

    Natural
    BC May 9, 2004

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