How to Keep New Dreads Tight

by Ava Perez

Dreads take up to two months to become tight and established.

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Dreadlocks are a versatile hairstyle that fit just about any culture, gender, hair texture or age. Starting dreadlocks takes patience and elbow grease. Typically, hair is separated, backcombed then rolled between your palms to form a compressed dread. In the first few months, dreads can loosen and come free from the dread formation while fresh hair growth at the root needs to be incorporated into the new dreads. Regular maintenance and a handful of specially-designed products help to keep new dreads locked in place.

Items you will need

  • Mini elastics
  • Dread wax
  • Blow dryer
  • Du-rag
Step 1

Wrap an elastic around the base of each of your dreads. Tighten it right down to the scalp. This will keep the new dreads separated and help to incorporate new hair growth into the dread.

Step 2

Scoop out a pea-sized amount of dread wax and warm it by rubbing between your palms.

Step 3

Select a dread and roll it between your waxed palms in a clockwise direction. Roll until the hair starts to coil around itself at the scalp.

Step 4

Wax and roll each of your dreads.

Step 5

Blast your head with a blow dryer on its warm setting. The heat will melt the dread wax into the core of the dread where it will lock up the dread and tighten the center.

Step 6

Repeat the waxing, rolling and heating process once a week. If necessary, perform the maintenance routine more frequently if you notice the dreads are looking loose or messy.

Step 7

Wash your hair infrequently. Shampooing loosens the dreads, so avoid washing new dreads often. Once every two weeks should suffice. After dreads are established and tight, wash two to three times a week.

Step 8

Wear a du-rag to bed. Cover your dreads while you sleep to prevent friction against your pillowcase. The du-rag also helps to compress the new dreads and hold in the style.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Ava Perez cut her journalism teeth in 2005 while balancing her university studies with a voracious appetite for fashion, music and beauty. Her music reviews, interviews and editorials have been published in numerous magazines worldwide. She specializes in writing beauty, health and fitness-related articles for various websites. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University.