Myth: You can’t get rid of nits with dreads.
Fact: It may not be easy because the eggs can’t be combed out from the base, but it can be done. I had nits 10 years ago and got rid of them by repetitively using the nit lotion for the whole egg cycle of the nits and washing it profusely, and they were gone.
Myth: You need to use wax to make dreads.
Fact: I never use wax when dreading hair, it just isn’t necessary and causes more problems in the long run. Over the years I’ve come across all sorts of things being used on dreads from candle wax to surf board wax. This is not advised, even beeswax normally solidifies inside the dread. Making them heavy and stiff, and also stops the centre of the dread drying properly which can lead to dread rot and a lot of skank in your dreads you don’t want. If you really want to use wax the best thing to use is knotty boy dread wax, because it’s main ingredient is hemp seed oil which doesn’t doesn’t solidify inside the dread.
Myth: You have to shave your head to take dreads out.
Fact: There is always an inch or two of normal hair at the base, so the hair doesn’t need to be shaved to the scalp. I have also seen many people comb their dreads out from the bottom up with conditioner, this is time consuming and the hair will be very frizzy at first but it can be done. Combing dreads out is much easier in the first 3 months, before they’ve properly formed, though I’ve seen dreads combed out successfully after 10 years. Knotty boy produces a pretty good dread removal kit if you want to make the process easier.
Myth: You can’t wash dreads.
Fact: Of course you can, dreads are the same as normal hair only matted. The only difference being you wash dreads like you are washing a sponge because of the thickness (work soap through, rinse then wring out). In fact if the hair is greasy it is more lubricated and so doesn’t knot very easily, which is exactly what you want for dreads. Normal shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals that leave a residue on the hair to keep it straight and smooth. This actually stops the hair from matting and if you already have dreads it will loosen them. Residue can also build up in the dread making it dry slower, as can some waxes. This can result in mildew forming inside the dread, which doesn’t smell very nice. Instead use normal bar soap, there are many designed for dreads available, sometimes soap can dry the scalp out so some prefer a gel shampoo. DreadsUK do a very good residue-free gel shampoo if you don’t like soap. Natural soap takes off all the natural greases and leaves no residue which aids the hair matting. Sea water is good for dreads for the same reason the salt dries the hair out which helps it tangle and matt.
Myth: Dreads are bad for your scalp.
Fact: As long as they’re washed they don’t effect the scalp at all, the first inch from the base is normal hair. Sometimes people experience a dry scalp in the first few months of having dreads, this is because they are like sponges they absorb more natural oils from the scalp than normal hair. Normally the scalp adapts pretty quickly to produce more natural oils. Good treatments for a dry scalp are a cider vinegar rinse and lemon juice, coconut oil and dread conditioning sprays can be good to alleviate dryness also. Only if they are really heavy (from too much wax) or not separated at the base will the scalp be affected. If they matt together at the base the scalp can’t breathe, this results in the scalp being irritated and uncomfortable. If left unseparated the dreads will matt together at the base and two will grow out as one thick dread. If they aren’t ripped and separated now and then you will end up with whole areas of the head growing out as one big lock and becomes very uncomfortable and hard to manage, the thicker the base is the more the scalp can’t breathe and will again become irritable.
Myth: You can’t dye dreads.
Fact: Dreads can be dyed though you have to use a lot more dye as dreads are denser than normal hair. They may come out patchy the first time and need to be gone over again. Dreads are generally quite strong but as with normal hair if you bleach and dye dreads too much they will become weak and come apart.