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Our Mega Frequently Asked Questions Page


1. How long does my hair have to be to dread it?


2. How much shorter will my hair be when I dread it?


3. How long will it take for my dreads to dread "all the way"?


4. A note to parents.


5. Can you dye or bleach dreads?


6. What about swimming with dreads?


7. Can I dread my hair by myself?


8. Will sports or sweating effect my dreadlocks?


9. How long will my order take to arrive?


10. Are dreads hard to take out after you do them?


11. Dread Empire, DreadheadHQ and Knotty Boy... what's the difference?


12. To wax or not to wax?

1. How long does my hair have to be?

If you don't mind a little extra maintenance you can start them at about 8cm. You'll have to tighten them by back combing and wax them pretty regularly. Rubber bands will help keep them together until they start to lock up. Starting dreadlocks short takes a bit longer but when they grow out they will be super nice and very smooth. Top


2. How much shorter will my hair be when I dread it?

Usually the hair is about 20% shorter after its dreaded. So if your hair is 15cm long before you dread it, it will be about 12cm after you dread it. Thinner hair shortens more, thick hair shortens less... also the fatter you make the dreads the more it shortens the hair. Top


3. How long will it take for my dreads to dread "all the way"?

The following are modest averages. This will vary from person to person depending on your hair type and your daily routine. If you follow the instructions on this page, chances are your dreads will tighten faster.

Ok, enough of the disclaimer, here is an approximate time line:


Day one - Happy birthday dreadies! They look like.....well pretty much like dreads! Depending on the length your hair was when you started some of them may be standing straight up. Don't worry, wearing a nylon over them when you sleep will train them to stay down.


Week 1 - They look about the same. They might not be standing up as much. If the excess wax wasn't worked in at first it probably has by now or it's been rubbed off by all that palm rolling you've been doing. You may notice them looking flat or squished where you sleep on them. This is not a problem, you can palm roll them to make them round. Being flat doesn't hurt them. Keep the rubber bands on the roots and tips as long as possible. They will make the first few washings a lot easier on your dreads.


Week 2 - They are looking a bit ruff, a bit frazzled. Some hairs that seemed tight initially are now obviously looser. This is normal and shouldn't worry you. Dread ball these loose hairs and find homes for them. Wash the hair, spray it with the accelerator, dry it, and then dread ball for the best results. A small amount of wax smoothes frizz out.


Week 3 - The bodies or middles of the dread are tightening ever so gradually but it's hard to tell. Keep palm rolling them, it will pay off. Seems like every loose hair that could pop out is popping out. Just dread ball them and work them into the nearest dread. Wash the hair, spray it with the accelerator, dry it, and then dread ball for the best results.


Week 4 - Your dreads have good days and bad days but they are noticeably tighter. The roots are looking long, clockwise rubbing will help. Stay on top of loose hairs.


Week 6 - The bodies of the dreads are starting to smooth out and if you've had the rubberbands on the tips they are getting tighter too. Looking good.


Week 8 - As the dreads tighten they shrink a lot. They might get lumpy and crooked if one side shrinks faster than they other. That's ok, they will even out, have faith. Your dreads are going through dread puberty.


3 Months - They are smoothing out and feel tighter everyday. Even Mom thinks they look pretty cool. Less wax is needed. Using clockwise rubbing and keeping them clean and free of residues will help the roots dread themselves instead of growing out straight.


6 Months - Yea, you know they look phat. The shrinking is over, now you'll start to get some length. They feel tight, like little ropes, but they are still tightening and smoothing out. They can hold a lot of water, make sure you squeeze them dry.


1 Year - After a year the only thing that isn't tight is the new growth that's always growing. You may have a retarded tip or two but other than that it's all good. You'll want to continue your washing routine and stay away from other soaps with residues. If it has residues it can kill your dreads by loosening them from the inside and preventing them from drying properly thus beginning to grow mildew. Keep rubbing the roots clockwise to help the new growth dread and wax them once in a while to prevent drying and breaking. Top


4. A note to parents.

So your son/daughter wants dreads and you don't feel it's in their best interest. Well dreads, contrary to the beliefs of some, are not an inherently unclean or unsanitary hair style. They are washed and cared for in much the same way that braids are. They will not make your child smelly or dirty and won't damage their scalp or the roots of their hair. Unlike tattoos dreads can be removed quickly and inexpensively by cutting them when your child grows tired of them. Most workplaces accept well maintained dreadlocks and those that don't are usually content with an all black dread tam (hat for holding dreads). Dreads are not associated with any cults or illicit behaviors, however they are associated with vegetarianism, veganism and other natural and heath conscious life styles. Dreading forces one to look inward for strength and assurance and promotes spiritual growth as well as pig headedness....I mean determination. Dreads are very inexpensive to maintain compared to normal hairstyles which require maintenance by a salon. Pomade, mousses, gels and expensive conditioners are replaced by a highly biodegradable, environmentally friendly wax.

So they are sanitary, actually healthy for the hair and scalp. They are socially liberal rather than conservative, but not offensive in any way. They build self confidence and promote spiritual growth. And they allow your child to express themselves in a natural and non-permanent way.

It's your call. Top


5. Can you dye or bleach dreads?

Yes, blonde dreads look amazing! Dying or bleaching the hair is easier before its dreaded and the dying and bleaching process will leave the hair a bit dryer and more fried which will make it dread faster. So if at all possible bleach or dye before you dread. If you dye or bleach it after its dreaded wait till the hair is good and locked, about 10 to 12 weeks. Wash out all the wax with hot water so the color will stick. After you bleach or dye, do not use the conditioner that comes with the kit as it will ruin your dreads. Don't over bleach it because the dreads can get dry and brittle and possibly break off. After you bleach your dreads they will feel dry and tight, use a little Dreadheadhq or Knotty Boy wax to smooth them down and replace the nutrients. Top


6. What about swimming with dreads?

You can swim with dreads. Chlorine won't hurt them and salt water helps the hair dread faster. New knattys that haven't tightened up yet will probably loosen up a bit every time they get wet. Its ok, doesn't mean your doing anything wrong or that they are never going to lock up, it just means they are not real tight yet. If you are going to be doing a lot of swimming with new dreads you should really put rubberbands on the roots and tips of the dreads. This will prevent a lot of loose hairs from slipping out. Always squeeze your dreads and get them as dry as possible. Don't let them sit with water in them or they will smell like a wet towel. I thought I'd mention this here cause if you swim a lot your dreads will be wet a lot : ) Top


7. Can I dread my hair by myself?

Yes you can! It's a little difficult, well I'd say it's more than a little difficult, but it's been done and you can do it to. If you're having trouble finding someone to dread your hair, you can go ahead a dread 3/4 of your hair and beg someone to just finished the back. If 3/4 of your hair is already dreaded the back really doesn't seem like much. Top


8. Will sports or sweating effect my dreadlocks?

The sweat won't hurt your dreads at all, it's just salt water really. Lots of sweating though means lots of showers and those can loosen new dreads. Running water over dreads to rinse them won't loosen them much but repeated scrubbing and pulling while they are soapy will usually loosen more than a few hairs. This is natural and usually isn't much of a problem unless your shampoo has conditioners, moisturisers, or scented residues. If your hair is very short wearing rubber bands at the root and tip of the dread will hold the hair secure giving it time to dread and tighten. Also not to beat the nylon thing to death but wearing a nylon (panty hose) stretched over your dreads while in the shower and washing the dreads through the nylon will usually prevent a lot of hair from coming loose from the dreads. Top


9. How long will my order take to arrive?

Orders are dispatched within 24hrs of receiving payment, Monday through Saturday.

1. Regular Shipping - Parcel Post ($5 flat rate for any size order)
Orders are shipped via Australia Post and typically arrive within 3 to 5 working days from the date the payment is received.

2. Express Shipping - Express Post ($10 flat rate for any size order)
Orders are shipped via Australia Post and typically arrive within 1 to 2 working days from the date the payment is received.

Please allow an additional 5 working days for Cheque payments. Top


10. Are dreads hard to take out after you do them?

Dreads are not a hairstyle that you undo every night before bed, once they lock up there pretty tricky to undo. This doesn't mean your going to have them for the rest of your life. DreadheadHQ have introducted the 'Zasta Dreadlock Removal cream' with deep penetrating shampoos and conditioniers that attacks the Dread Wax and loosen your dreads. There is also the option to cut your hair short, not shaved, but short, probably around 6cm or 8cm when you want them out.

Now let's say you dread up your hair and neglect to tell your parents. (I'm not saying this is a good thing to do or trying to give you ideas, if your parents are against it have them read the "note for parents".) When they arrive home from their vacation in NZ they freak and want it gone. Well if it's only been dreaded for around a week, you could undread it. A hot shower to melt out all the wax and a lot of conditioner would get it undreaded unless it's really long and fine, then it may take a little more work. Top


11. Dread Empire, DreadheadHQ and Knotty Boy... what's the difference?

After importing and supplying DreadheadHQ and Knotty Boy to the dread heads of Oz for some years, we started on a quest to find the ultimate in dread products. That led us to designing our very own dreadlock product range, Dread Empire. Not only is Dread Empire made in Australia, but it embodies the awesome characteristics from both the DreadheadHQ and Knotty Boy products. But which one should I chose? DreadheadHQ represents great value for money with serving sizes being a little more generous. Everything from the Knotty Boy is packed with all natural ingredients and sweet smelling essential oils ranging from peppermint to hemp to name but a few. And finally, Dread Empire strives to capture the best qualities of both. Free from Lauryl Sulphates and packed with nutrient goodies and essential oils, these products also smell delish! In a nusthell, you can't go wrong with any of the products. We've tried to expand the line up to simply give you more choice and it's all up to personal preference. We are committed to selling only premium products designed especially for dreads. Top


12. To wax or not to wax?

Google this topic and it won't take long before you'll see that the dreadie community is really divided when it comes to using wax. Some say the neglect method is the only way. We recommend the use of wax if you want healthy, well groomed dreadlocks. Wax will nourish the hair, bind and tighten the dreads and keep them smooth. We always advise that a little goes a long way and if you are concerned about waxy build up then a good soak in hot water every 6 months or so to melt the wax will do the trick nicely.

So, if you prefer the messy look and don't mind how long it takes for the dreads to tighten and mature then perhaps wax is not for you and that's ok too. Products such as the Tightening Gel and Dread Balm offer a lighter, wash out alternative to wax. Most importantly though is that you use a Dreadlock Shampoo which is free from conditioning residues which normal shampoos leave behind. This will keep your dreads clean and won't inhibit the locking process. Top

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