How to Make Dreads Without Dread Wax

Written by heather dewar
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How to Make Dreads Without Dread Wax
Dreadlocks can be achieved without dreadwax. (Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Making dreadlocks in any kind of hair is achievable with or without dread wax. The purpose of wax is to smooth the strands and help the dreadlocks achieve maturity faster, usually in three to four months. However, tight, well-groomed dreads can be done with a simple backcombing technique and palm rolling, sans dread wax. This method saves money and the mess incurred with wax, but requires a longer waiting period before the dreads fully mature.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Comb
  • Rubber bands or hair ties

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  1. 1

    Wash hair thoroughly with a residue-free shampoo and let dry completely.

  2. 2

    Pull hair up from the back and section a thin column across the back of the head, parallel to the hair line. Pin the remaining hair out of the way.

  3. 3

    Section this column of hair into pieces of hair about the size of an index finger. Use a hair tie or rubber band to keep each section separate from each other.

  4. 4

    Move up the back of the head, making a second column and sectioning out the hair into index finger-sized pieces. Secure the pieces with hair ties. Stagger each section in a bricklaying fashion as you move up the head, so that the dreads on top will hide the gaps below. Do this all the way up the head until all the hair is sectioned.

  5. 5

    Grab a section at the back of the head and remove the hair tie. Holding the hair with one hand, use your other to begin combing backwards starting at about 1 inch from the hair line. Continue backcombing until the hair begins to tighten and knot together, then move down the hair until you reach the tip. The whole piece of hair should be a consistent dreaded texture from root to tip.

  6. 6

    Grab the next section of hair and backcomb. Continue until all sections of hair have been backcombed into dreadlocks.

  7. 7

    Take each dreadlock, one at a time, and roll it vigorously between your palms. Do this until each dreadlock is tight and as smooth as possible.

Tips and warnings

  • A regular comb will work fine, but hair product retailers sell specific combs made for backcombing that can make the job easier.
  • As your dreads mature, repeat palm-rolling the dreadlocks as often as needed to keep them looking well-groomed.

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