How do I get rid of lumps & bumps?

Most small lumps will work themselves out as the dreads tighten and smooth out. Bends appear if the dreads tighten really fast. Some hairs lock and tighten at different speeds to others also causing lumps and bends but as the other hair catches up you will see them straighten up more.

If lumps are bothering you, then a crochet hook can be used to try and pull the hair in the lump back into the dread. Push the hook in from the oppisite side to the lump, grab a few hairs and pull them into the centre of the dread. Depending on how loose the hair is around the lump you could even try to pull some out, rub it between your fingers to create a dread ball then pull it back into the dread using the crochet hook.

Some people also use Dread Beads and Cuffs to hide and flatten lumps.

How do I make my dreadlocks thicker?

The amount of hair in each dreadlock dictates how thick the dread will become. Therefore the only real way to increase their size is to use bigger sections. If your dreads are real new you could comb a few out and start those ones over again using larger sections. If they are more mature you can combine two dreads by tieing them together with a rubber band or pro elastic at base and tip. This will encourage the new growth to merge together and eventually you may be able to snip off the part which hasn't merged. If there are any loose hairs floating around these dreads, use a crochet hook to pull the loose hair into the joined dreads. You might also find a dread cuff helpful in binding the two dreads together.

Another option is to add undreaded human hair to the dreadlock. We sell the wefts separately and you can add thickness by cutting off a small section of hair from the weft, teasing between your fingers using a light sprinkling of dread dust and then use a crochet hook to pull the hair into the dread thickening it up in the process.

How do I tighten my dreads?

Ultimately, a good maintenance routine will fast track the tightening process. Start with keeping your dreadlocks squeaky clean as the cleaner your hair the faster it will knot, lock up and tighten. Use a residue free dreadlock shampoo, such as Dread Empire, as often as desired.

The use of the Dreadlock Accelerator and Dread Dust also assists with tightening. Both products increases friction between the hair strands by separating the tiny shingles that go down the length of each strand. This increased friction causes more knotting and tightening of the dreadlock.

And finally, Dread Empire's Tightening Gel will help tidly them up by taming loose hairs and it has an Aloe Vera base which is reknowned for assisting in the maturing process of dreadlocks.

How do I tighten my roots?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions so let's start by saying that it's normal to have an inch or so of undreaded hair at the base of your scalp. The roots are always the last part to dread and they are never fully dreaded as hair continues to grow. Your hair type will also determine how easily new growth locks up. Here's a few techniques that can be used to tidy up the roots:

Firstly, maintenance is best done on freshly shampooed, dry locs. A good residue free dread shampoo like those from our Dread Empire range will deeply clean and encourage hair to knot and lock up efficiently.

Clockwise root rubbing can be helpful to knot the hair at the base of the dread. Place the roots of the dreadlock between two fingers and rub it against the scalp in a clockwise direction. A light sprinkling of Dread Dust on your finger tips whilst doing this can texturise the hair and help encourage knots to form.

If there are loose hairs, pull them together and rub them between your finger tips to create a dread ball and then pull them into the dreadlock using a crocet hook. Any loose, puffy hair around the base can also be wrapped around the base and pulled into the dread also.

Palm rolling starting at the base and then moving down the length of the dread is also helpful it keeping your dreadlocks spearated and therfore, keeping the base a bit neater.

How do I get rid of those loose hairs?

Essentially you need to create a little dread ball and push it into the closest dread. Ideally start with freshly washed, dry hair. Gather the loose hairs between your finger tips and roll them together to form a little ball. Dread Dust works wonders in encouraging these loose little hairs to knot up. Press your finger tips into the dread dust before getting started.

Once the dread ball is well formed tie it to or push it inside the larger dreadlock. It's a little fiddly so you could use a crochet hook or large needle when doing this.

How do I remove waxy build up?

Soak your dreads in hot water (of course, take care not to burn yourself). When the water has cooled enough, gently massage a small amount of dreadlock shampoo into your dreads then rinse very thoroughly. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times. In addition and if required, once your dreads are dry you could then warm up each dread using a hair dryer then wrap paper towel around them squeezing them as you go to soak up and remove any remaining build up.

I have thin spots in my dreads, how can I avoid breakage?

There are one of two ways you can go here. The first involves removing the thin spot by joining the two thicker parts of the dreadlock together using a crochet hook. Start by pushing the two thicker parts of the dreads together. Hold the join firmly in with your thumb and forefinger in one hand and use the other hand to push the Dreading Hook into the dreadlock at the join and out the other side. Collect some loose hair and bring it back into the dread. Once back inside the dread, give the hook a little twist just to help it knot and lock and then push it out again to grab some more. Repeat, repeat, repeat and do this until the join feels nice and secure. There's really no right or wrong way to do this- you'll get your own groove going soon enough. You may need to do a little bit more crocheting in again a couple of days if some of the hair has slipped out.

The second option, is to add some undreaded hair from a hair weft to the thinned section. We sell the wefts separately and you can add thickness by cutting off a small section of hair from the weft, teasing between your fingers using a light sprinkling of dread dust and then use a crochet hook to pull the hair into the dread thickening it up in the process.

My dreads are like little prickly cacti! How can I make them softer and less scratchy?

This is quite common with new dreads and over the coming weeks, as they start to mature, they will become softer and more flexible. 

If your dreads are more mature, then we strongly recommend the use of the Dread Empire Conditioning Spray. It does a fantastic job of conditioning the hair and replenishing moisture into the hair cuticles without inhibiting the looking process. Conditioning Spray can be applied to wet or dry dreads. The Dread Empire Balm is also worthwhile considering. It's a slightly heavier formula in comparison to the Conditioning Spray and is applied by palm rolling.