Dreadlocks are hair that's been matted together. There are several techniques for creating locs; one of the most common ones for natural black hair is palm rolling.
What products are used?
Many people use a special cream or wax to roll/twist the hair.
How long do dreads take to form?
It takes a few months (as many as 18 months) for the dread to form and for hair to grow in a matted fashion.
How do you maintain dreads?
For the roots to look neatly bunched up as in the picture to the right monthly maintenance is required by re-twisting the hair. Some people can do this themselves but others prefer to see a specialised, loctician.
Sisterlocks involve much smaller partitions than dreadlocks. The initial installation of sisterlocks takes 10 to 20 hours - two to three times longer than dreadlocks. However, sisterlocks mature into a locked look quicker than traditional dreadlocks.
Brotherlocks are similar to sisterlocks but tend to be a little larger. They remain smaller than traditional locs.
Sisterlocks and brotherlocks are easier to wash and moisturise because of the smaller sections of hair.
Who can form locs?
Dreadlocks form much easier on type 4 (kinky or curly hair). It is much more difficult to get dreadlocks on straight or wavy hair and the techniques available are different and limited. Straight or wavy hair cannot form sister/brotherlocks.
Can you unlock dreadlocks, brotherlocks and sisterlocks?
Some people claim it's possible but the reality is it is extremely difficult and leads to so much breakage that there is no point; most people just chop their locs off when they no longer want them.
Benefits of dreads/locs
Disadvantage of dreads/locs
Dealing with people's misconceptions, e.g. that they're dirty, can be a real headache!
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx