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. Will Dread Empire products cause build up?

12. To wax or not to wax? And how do you remove waxy build up? 

1. How long does my hair have to be?

Your hair needs to be at least 8 cm's.  The longer your hair is, the easier it will be to dread and quicker it will mature so if your hair is on the shorter side they may just need a little more maintenance before they really start to lock and tighten. Top

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

Just like if you had curly hair, you'll lose some length once your hair is dreaded. How much you loose depends on your hair type as thinner hair tends to shorten more than thick hair. On average, expect to loose about 20% of your length. Top

3. How long will it take for my dreads to MATURE?

Well this depends on a couple of things - some hair types dread easier than others (think curly, course hair) and how much time your spend on maintenance can influence it also.

From day one you'll most definately get the dreadlock look. You might find some are standing straight up, particularly if your hair is shorter but over the comeing days and weeks these little guys will start to settle down.

From about the first to fourth week it may seem like they are starting to loosen and you'll have lots of loose hair coming away from the dreads. Don't panic, this is normal as dreads tend to tighten and mature from the inside out. Keep them on track by dread balling, palm rolling and by keeping the rubber bands in place for as long as possible. Check out our maintenance and techniques page for more info on what to do.

By week 6 - 8 you should notice them really start to tighten and mature. You may notice them shrink a little more and perhaps get a little lumpy as and crooked as some mature faster than others. Your dreads are basically going through puberty but hang in there, they're are well on there way to adult hood!

At the 3 month mark they are becoming smoother and tighter by the day. Less wax is needed by this point and you may need to clockwise rub more often to tighten up the new growth. Be sure to keep the clean with a residue free shampoo as this will also help encourage the new growth to lock up.

6 months and they should be well over shrinking and you're on your way to getting some length. They should feel tight and smooth and no doubt can hold a lot of water - make sure you squeeze them out after washing and allow them to dry properly.

By their 1st birthday you should be sporting a hot head of mature dreadlocks - congratulations! From here on in maintenance only gets easier. Keep them clean, clockwise rub the new growth and wax them once in a while to prevent drying and breakage.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. Dreads are very inexpensive to maintain compared to normal hairstyles which require maintenance by a salon.

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?

Yep and coloured dreads can look amazing! It's best to dye or bleach the hair before it is dreaded and don't use the deep conditioner which is often supplied with the colour. Colouring and bleach does tend to dry out the hair but this is all good for dreads as it means knotting and locking up will be easier.

If you already have dreadlocks just wait until they are about 10 to 12 weeks old. Give them a good deep clean and remove the wax by soaking them in a little dread shampoo and very hot water (obviously taking care not to burn yourself). Again, don't use the conditioner but it is a very good idea to follow the colour with a good waxing to replace the nutrients and prevent over drying and brittleness.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. If you have baby dreads you may end up with a few loose hairs but just follow your swim with our recommended maintenance routine of palm rolling and dread balling. Rubber bands at the base and tips are also a good idea and 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. Top

7. Can I dread my hair by myself?

Yes you can but it's a challenge! 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. Alternatively just do a few at a time so you won't find it so back breaking. Top

8. Will sports or sweating effect my dreadlocks?

No, sweats fine and dreadlocks should not inhibit your ability to get amongst it! Lots of sweating though means lots of showers and those can loosen new dreads. Always use a residue free dread shampoo and handle new dreadies with care. 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.  Top

9. How long will my order take to arrive?

Orders are dispatched from the Gold Coast, QLD within 24hrs of receiving payment, Monday through Saturday.

1. Regular Shipping - Parcel Post ($5.95 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 providing you reside in Australia Posts Express Post network. Top

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

Dreadlocks, or at least the method we promote, are not a one time only hair style. They will tighten and mature over time, so if they are only a few weeks old then combing them out will be much easier than older dreads. Combing them out is teadious but can be done using deep conditioners or coconut oil and a dread comb.  Top

11. Will dread empire products cause build up?

Dread Empire products do not cause build up, mildew or rot. They just don’t. This is assuming you are following instructions, using the recommended quantities and of course, shampooing (and very importantly, rinsing!) as required. Now there is an exception to the concern regarding build up - wax and to a lesser degree the balm are more heavy duty products, designed to stay in your dreads in order to bind and tighten. We totally understand, they are not for everyone! Often our customers who purchase these products have Afro hair or very dry and coarse hair so it works well for them. Top

12. To wax or not to wax? And how do i remove waxy build up?

Whilst wax is not a critical part in the dreadlocking journey, it does offer great benefits providing it is used correctly. Wax accelerates the locking process of dreads by bringing the puffy loose knots close together so they can begin to find their place in the dread. When only the smallest amount is used (less than the size of a pea) and it is worked into the dread properly, it will help the dread tighten and smooth the loose fuzzy hair down. Our customers who use the wax tend to have either afro hair or very dry, coarse or curly hair. 

Wax also delivers excellent conditioning properties which prevents dry brittle hair without inhibiting the locking process. Hair on the outside of the dread is always exposed to friction, sun light and perhaps bleach and other chemicals so dreads by their very nature can cause the hair to become dry. Another way to condition the hair is the regular use of  Dread Blam or Conditioning Spray. These are lighter alternatives to the wax and won't build up.

And finally, if you prefer your dreadlocks to have that well groomed and maintained look then wax does a great job in achieving this. Of course it's all personal preference because dreadlocks are unique to you - some people prefer the more ruggered look and want to achieve dreadlocks through the neglect or free form method, others don't mind the loose fly away hairs so much and use lighter wash out formula's like the Dread Balm and Tightening gel as alternatives. So the bottom line is do what's right for you and if you do use it, use sparingly and only as needed.

If too much has been used or you are experiencing waxy build up, then wax can be removed by heating each dread up with a hair dryer then wrap paper towel around the dread and squeeze to absorb the wax and draw it away from the dreadlock. If desired, follow up with a soak in a bowl of very hot water (obviously taking care not to burn yourself!) then massage a dreadlock shampoo or other deep cleaning residue free shampoo into the hair and then rinse hair in clean running water, squeezing your dreads as you go. Repeat these processes as needed.




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