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Oh snap, sounds like you’ve met a Lock Blocker! They love that line. =]
The short answer is no, dread wax helps dreads compress and lock faster. Lock Blockers believe, or pretend to believe, that wax prevents ALL movement between hair strands in a dread. They repeat over and over that dreadwax works like glue. Apparently hey think it dries, and gets hard, like glue. The only way they could honestly be mistaken about this is if they’ve never used dreadwax. The truth is, dread wax is nothing like glue and glue is a completely unacceptable substitute for dreadwax.
In fact our wax never dries out and hardens like glue, even if you leave the lid off of the jar…forever. It always remains pliable. In my bathroom drawer I have an open jar of wax. (In case you’re wondering why I still keep wax handy, I use a dab ever once in a while after I pull in a dread ball of loose hair. I put a little on the dread right before I palm roll it and it locks the dread ball in wicked fast. Other than that I haven’t used it since my dreads locked up years ago.) Anyway, this jar has been open, in my drawer for years. It’s still feels exactly like it did the first day I opened it. DreadHead Dread Wax never drieds out or gets hard, we guarantee it.
Wax does slow movement, but it never, ever prevents movement. The first time you put wax in a dread and palm roll it, it’s very obvious that the hair can still move around.
The big difference between waxed and unwaxed dreads is that the hair in a waxed dread only moves when a force (like palmrolling or like your head rolling around on your pillow) acts on it. Otherwise it moves very little. This is actually super important – it’s the reason the wax can benefit locking the way it does.
Lock Blockers think it’s necessary that hair be able to move freely all the time in order for it to lock. This simply isn’t true. After you’ve created knots with backcombing you want the hair in those knots to move in only one direction – tighter. Backing out of the knots (Loosening) is never a benefit. By slowing the movement of the hair in between maintenance sessions when you are not compressing it – and by allowing it to move when you palm roll to tighten and compress the knots, you are helping the dreads progress and tighten faster than they otherwise could. Progress is made while less progress is lost = WIN.
This isn’t rocket science but it takes some thought to understand. Saying “Wax dont wurk cuz it stickz yur hair tgether like glew” is a much easier concept to get across…unfortunately it’s also completely bunk.
I actually get this question a good bit…..Why I haven’t added it to the FAQ sooner, I have no idea. =] My dreads were started with the exact method that’s explained on our site. All the techniques, methods, tips, recommendations and products we talk about on the site were used and followed closely. We actually did a good bit of experimenting during the process and we updated our older instructions to include what we learned along the way. My current dreads locked up at around 3.5 months. I expected them to get as tight as my first dreads did. My current dreads (the ones I’ve had for the last 7 years or so) were started from 1/2″ sections. It turns out that the max tighness has a lot to do with the size of the dread. Very thin dreads will not be as tight as thick dreads, even when they are fully mature. Once I figured out that they had already gotten as tight as they could get, I stopped waxing them. (as we recommend) That was at 4 months. They never got super firm like thicker dreads do, but they did continue to improve until they were fully mature. The more hair a dread has (the larger the sections), the faster it will mature, if everything else is the same. My first dreads were THICK and they reached full maturity in about 5 months. They were started the same way, except for the improvements we later made to our instructions. One difference is that our wax formula changed, so less wax is used than before. The A-B routine has also made locking faster and since wax is only used until the dreads tighten, the time wax is used is also less….aside from those differences (and smaller, cleaner sectioning) the process I went through to create my original dreads was the same.
I only had about 30 dreads the first time around and they were very large. They looked cool and I did love them, but after 4 years I decided to re-start my dreads and make them thinner. I wanted them to dry fast since I love swimming and windsurfing and other things that get my dreads wet. I was also tired of my really wonky sections. They were all over the place and I had some “gaps” that I felt looked sparse. I had also bleached my original dreads a lot. This looked cool but maintaining the bleaching was a pain and I wanted my dreads to be natural and chemical free. Sloan and I were also working on a dread removal product (Dread-Zasta). At first it was going to be the only product we sold that we had not personally tested and used on our own dreads…..but after a lot of delays I eventually bit the bullet and combed my dreads out with Dread-Zasta. It was soo hard to make up my mind to finally do it. One thing that made it easier was knowing that I could re-dread may hair and not have to wait for it to grow back out after shaving it or cutting it short! =]
I used 1/2″ sections when I re-did them. Sloan took her time and made them perfect. The result was 130 dreads! They’ve been growing ever since. =] Would I do it again? Yes. But I would go with slightly larger sections. My hair is bone straight white boy hair. With 1/2″ sections I have to clockwise rub a good bit to keep starting new knots as my hair grows. If they were just a little larger, 3/4″, they would require even less maintenance. I’ve combined some of my smallest ones, which together, are now my largest ones, and I’ve noticed that they lock with less help. Sure, I should have made them a bit larger, but by having experience with larger dreads and smaller dreads that are much more challenging to lock, I’ve learned a lot more about making and maintaining dreads and I’m able to help people through situations that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to, so I’m really thankful for that.
On a side note, when Sloan was choosing her sections I talked her into 3/4″. And man they are perfect. It’s true, I’m a bit jelouse. =] So that’s the story of my dreads, both sets!
Well, with the backcomb-and-wax method of creating locks, you should be comfortable losing anywhere from 1/3 to half of your length. The harder you have to backcomb your hair (say for fine fine hair) the more length you’ll lose. If you’re worried about keeping your length, or you want to add extra length, contact the KB Lock Shop – the methods used in the salon allow you to keep waaaaay more of it, and they can extend your new locks seamlessly.
No way! The messier your ends are, the easier they’ll integrate into stubby tips eventually. Freshly cut hair doesn’t play well with others, and you’ll have a tougher time getting it to mat near the ends.
You will definitely need to backcomb a little tighter if you have super slippy hair, and I’ll share a little trick that we use to dread fine hair in the shop: Before you start your locks, apply some tightening gel to damp hair and blow dry. It adds a little extra grip to your hair, and makes it easier to get a really tight backcomb. When you’re finished, wax as normal!
Right away, they will be pretty big and puffy. They’ll look like new dreads! But if you’ve used the KB Wax they WILL be neat and presentable. Generally, after the first wash (after the initial two week waiting period) they will tighten up and lay flatter. You won’t need to take any time off work, but you might want to use a bandanna or a dreadband to keep them in line for the first little while.
A little internet research popped up the following info: Though seemingly more associated with supertight cornrows and weaves, there is a condition called ‘traction alopecia’ which is caused by massive tension on the hair follicles of the scalp (and beards too, apparently. Weird!) it seems to predominantly target young women, and it’s reversible in initial stages. We can honestly say as stylists working in this field for many years, we have never seen a case of traction alopecia related to dreadlocks in the Lock Shop. Here’s the thing though – if you are already starting to thin out, keep in mind that your locks will be holding on to every hair you’d normally shed. They’re going to get heavier and heavier, and eventually your root may become too weak to support the mature lock.