Straight hair can be a lot harder to dreadlock than other hair textures. It does not naturally interlock as easily as kinky, curly or even wavy hair does. It may take some experimentation with a variety of techniques and require lots of patience, but it's possible for a white person with silky, straight hair to have a head full of beautiful dreadlocks.
Backcombing is one of the easiest ways to get straight-textured hair to form dreadlocks. Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of oil and residue, and then blow it completely dry. Next, section your hair into square parts. When you start your dreadlocks by parting each section into squares, they will end up well-rounded. Secure the sections with a rubber band and then comb your hair backward beginning as close to the scalp as possible and working to the ends. Roll the sections between the palms of your hands to help with formation. Your hair will tangle up in clumps along each section and eventually mat together. While your dreadlocks are forming, secure the ends of the sections with rubber bands to help the process along. When you secure the ends, use a petroleum-free dread wax, which will smooth down loose hairs and help your hair form dreadlocks much more quickly. It usually takes about six months for dreadlocks to mature, but with the proper care you could have well-formed dreadlocks in as little as three to four months using the backcombing method.
Wool Hat Method
You may have seen people with dreadlocks wearing wool hats or tams. One reason is that they can help people with various hair textures, even straight hair, form dreadlocks naturally. It’s important to start with freshly washed, dry hair. Put on your wool hat and rub it in a circular motion against your hair all over your head. This works much better with hair that has some length. Repeat the rubbing motion frequently throughout each day, and you will soon notice hair knots forming. You can gently pull them apart and the sections will naturally become the dreadlocks you want.
When it comes to dreadlock techniques for white people, the neglect or "freeforming" method is quite popular. Some automatically assume that the neglect method of dreadlocking includes not washing your hair, but the oil from your scalp can actually slow down the process. It’s also very unsanitary. The neglect method requires more patience than the other techniques. Depending on your hair texture, it can take anywhere from one to three years to for dreadlocks to start forming. Curly hair will probably get faster results. As your hair begins matting and forming dreadlocks, you can either separate them for a neater look or just let them do their own thing.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Kimberly Gail has worked as a freelance web copywriter and content provider for more than six years. Her work has been featured on eHow and Travels.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Alabama.