Although dreadlocks generally maintain their twisted form with little maintenance, when the new growth appears it does not automatically form into a lock. New growth can make the entire hairstyle look untidy, so it is important to retwist your dreads occasionally. While grooming, you can also create a variety of dreadlock styles; dreadlocks can be braided into cornrows or ponytails just like unlocked hair.
Massage shampoo into the hair. Rinse until the water runs clear. Massage conditioner unto the scalp until the dreadlocks are soft and loose. Rinse or leave in as specified by conditioner directions.
Wring out dreadlocks and blot with a towel until they are damp.
Pin up the majority of the dreads. You will start retwisting the dreads from the back section of your head.
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Place a dab of locking gel on one finger tip. Separate one dreadlock and saturate the new growth with locking gel.
Place the teeth of a rattail comb near the root of the dread, and pull the comb down from the scalp through the new growth until the locked portion of the dread stops it. Remove the comb.
Place the new growth between the palms of your hands and roll the dread, moving downward. Continue to roll until you get to the end of the lock. As you roll down the lock, the dread will begin to twist at the root. Palm roll the same dread again until the new growth is completely twisted.
Clip the twisted new-growth with a hair clip to hold it in place. Move onto the next dread and repeat the twisting process.
Sit under a hair dryer or use a blow-dryer to make sure roots dry thoroughly.
Place a generous amount of cream wax in the palms of your hand.
Put a dreadlock between your waxy palms and roll it. This keeps the entire dread neat and moisturized.
Cut away any loose hairs that were not incorporated into the dread, so that the hairstyle looks neat and even.
Roll the dreadlocks into side twists. Divide the dreadlocks evenly on both sides of the head. Grab the dreads along the front of one side of the head and begin to twist and roll them tight against the scalp. Continue to add dreads into the roll and roll the hair down along the entire side of the head. Add bobby pins into the dreads to fasten the roll in place. Secure the end of the roll with a rubber band. Repeat the process on the other side of the hair. After you have two rolls, one on each side, tie the loose dreads together in one rubber band or hair tie.
Style the dreadlocks into cornrows. Separate the dreadlocks into several vertical sections. Braid each section of dreadlocks into a French braid or cornrows, until you have several braids.
Braid the dreadlocks into a ponytail of braids. Part the dreadlocks as straight as possible into two or three sections. Braid the dreadlocks normally in each section and gather to create a ponytail of braids. Depending upon how thick your dreads are, you may have to make numerous single braids.
If possible, use light natural products to retwist and care for dreadlocks.
Si Kingston has been an online content contributor since 2004, with work appearing on websites such as MadeMan. She is a professional screenwriter and young-adult novelist and was awarded the Marion-Hood Boesworth Award for Young Fiction in 2008. Kingston holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mills College.