Dreadlocks are a relatively low-maintenance hairstyle, but you have to style them regularly to keep them looking their best. While some choose not to add any products to their locs, others find that dreadlock tightening gel helps secure their roots and tame loose hairs. Gel can also help tighten new locs. Locking gel is available online and in salons that cater to dreadlocked clients, and you can begin using it when your locs are three to six months old.
Shampoo your hair with a residue-free shampoo formulated for dreadlocks. Massage the shampoo into the roots of your hair with your fingertips, working in small circles until you build up a lather. Squeeze the lather through your locs as you rinse. Wrap your hair in a towel to absorb as much water as possible.
Remove the towel after 15 to 30 minutes, when your locs are still damp but not wet. Scoop a dime-sized amount of locking gel into your palm and rub your hands together.
Gather three to four locs between your palms at the roots. Run your hands down your hair to the tips. Repeat on all of your locs, scooping out more gel as needed. A little goes a long way, so err on the side of caution. You can always add more later.
Palm roll each loc, starting at the root and working toward the end. Rub your hands together vigorously with the loc between your palms. If your locs are fuzzy at the roots, apply a tiny dab of gel at each root and twist the loc several times to tighten it.
Allow your locs to dry and backcomb the ends if necessary. To backcomb, hold the loc taut at the end and rat the loose hair with a fine-toothed comb. If necessary, spritz the ratted ends with a light mist of water, rub a tiny bit of gel between your thumb, index and middle fingertips, and apply it to the end of each loc to help tighten it.
References and ResourcesKnotty Boy: When Should I Use the Tightening Gel?
The Dreadquarters: Tutorial