Dreadlock twists are essentially baby dreadlocks. They look like dreadlocks, but have not matured and need special care if you want them to grow into true dreads. Use the right shampoo and thoroughly dry out your twists to keep them healthy and help them grow into real dreadlocks. Mature dreadlocks are "locked up," meaning the hair naturally grows from the scalp locked into dreads. Take care of your twists to avoid unraveling them and help them lock up as soon as possible.
Wash your twists every 4 days for the first month. This gives the twists a chance to lock into dreads, but also lets you keep them clean. After that, wash them on alternate days.
Use residue-free shampoo. Normal shampoo lubricates the twists, which can cause them to come undone. Dreads do not rinse out as easily as traditional haircuts, and residue can also collect in the twists and begin to mildew or mold. The shampoo is available online or try health food and salon suppliers.
Wear a nylon stocking over your twists when you wash them. This helps keep the twists locked up. Put the shampoo on your head, then massage it through the stocking to your scalp. Remove the stocking after you rinse the shampoo out of your dreads.
Squeeze the water out of your twists with a towel after you have washed your dreads. Just pinch each twist with the towel to remove excess moisture.
Wrap your head in a clean, dry towel for 10 minutes after you have pinched out the water with a towel. This helps draw out additional moisture.
Twists take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to properly lock up.
James McElroy began his journalism career in 2001 and his stories have appeared in newspapers around the world, including "The Columbus Dispatch" and "The Star-Ledger." He studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps Graduate School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.