There are many different techniques for dreading hair and there are also many different types of hair. Essentially matted hair is just a density of knots tied to knots. All dreading methods result in a 1/4 – 1/3 initial reduction in hair lengh as the hair is knoted and pushed up against other knots. All commercial shampoos and conditioners leave a chemical residue on hair in order to stop it knotting. If you want dreads you want your hair to knot as much as possible so use natural soap or residue free shampoo and no conditioner. A lot of people use wax in their dreads; everything from surf wax to candle wax. Don’t use wax, wax is unnecessary. It builds up inside the dread and stops it from drying properly, causing mildew to form and a nasty smell. The weight of lots of wax in your dreads can also put a lot of pressure on your scalp. Your locks will tighten as they mature, patience is all you need.
The simplest method, which isn’t recommended, is neglect. If you stop washing your hair it will matt up but it will take many months and your scalp would probably suffer. This method normally results in thick random shaped dreads and an irritated scalp. Even with the neglect method the hair still needs rinsing in water as greasy hair won’t knot as it is too lubricated. Other methods include braiding, perm dreads, twisted dreads and synthetic extensions. The base method of dreading hair is back combing; combing the hair in sections toward the scalp from the tip, whilst twisting it and rolling in your palms occasionally. Most methods involve some back combing. Lots of salons interlock dreads to tighten the root, by passing the tip through the base repetitively. This results in large knots that won’t matt up properly, too much tension on the scalp and weak spots on the dreads when they grow out.
The technique Dreadmonkey uses is a mixture of back combing and using a small crochet pin to matt the dread up and tighten it, a method which is very common in Asia. This method produces natural dreads with no wax or chemicals, rounded tips (if wanted) and tight locks. Using this method there is no need for any wax or waiting months for your hair to matt and it works on all types of hair.