Top 4 Dread Myths

nappy roots

Bush baby

1. You must retwist

One of the many cool things about dreads is that you can rep them however you like. There are no set rules.

If you want your dreads neatly parted and every hair in place, cool. Or if you want to rock the bush like yours truly, that works, too.

Don’t let anyone tell you you must maintain your hair a certain way. A dread is a dread is a dread.

 Indian Sadhu

2. You must be black/Rasta

Contrary to popular belief, black people can’t claim invention of dreads. Actually, no one truly knows who rocked the first set.

The Rasta movement began in the 30s, but different races and ethnicities have been dreading for many, many moons. For example, Indian sadhus were wearing dreads in pre-Christian times. That’s like a gazillion years ago.

All hair can dread. Kinky, wavy, straight, and everything in between. Dreads are for everyone. Feel the love.



Photo courtesy Luuux

3. You must use certain products

Don’t fall for the okey-doke. You can use any product–or none at all–on your dreads.

Just because something is expensive, is endorsed by a celebrity, or has a red, black, and green flag on the label doesn’t mean it’s necessarily for you.

Bandwagons are for parades. Learn your hair and what works for you.


salon sinkPhoto courtesy uccrow

4. You can’t wash your hair in the beginning 

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this, I would have…well, a whole lot of nickels.

I don’t care what your cousin/best friend/stylist says. If they’re encouraging you not to wash your hair, run.

Your scalp is skin just like the rest of your body. Would you go weeks without washing your face? Or under your arms?

Your scalp houses bacteria, sweat, toxins, and hair products. Letting that fester can lead to all kinds of drama, notably clogged pores and funk.

Wash your hair, people. The public will thank you for it.


Did I miss anything, NHBG readers? What dread myths have you heard? 

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21 Responses so far.

  1. Ariane says:

    I think the worst myth is that you can’t wash your hair. When I had locs, washing helped dread my hair up faster because it made it more kinky. Not washing your locs can lead to tons of icky buildup that you can’t get out so easily therefore not washing them is something you definitely do not want to do.

    • nappy headed black girl says:

      Yes, this is the worst offender lol And it’s a widely popular and accepted myth.

      I don’t understand why people believe dreads should be permanent instantly. Of course they’re going to come apart when you wash them at first; that’s what they’re supposed to do and there are ways around that.

  2. lauren says:

    I am getting ready to get my starter locs and hate the idea of not washing my hair for a month…what are the ways around dreads coming apart that you mentioned?

  3. Duke says:

    So, when you start your locks, such as the baby lock stage, you can wash your hair? People use to say that you can’t wash them because you’ll end up taking them out of their locks form. Mainly, people who do hair say that.

    • Yep, I was told that, too. The reasoning behind this is that it will wash your dreads out. But here’s the clincher: Water actually helps your hair dread faster because hair expands and contracts with water.

      You know why they may wash out? Because they’re not dreads yet lol It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. Even if you have to reform them every single time you wash, you’ll find that they eventually stop coming loose.

      Sacrificing the health of your hair for a particular look is not the business.

      I’m going to post a washing how-to for new dreads soon. Check back, and thanks for commenting.

  4. Duke says:

    I will & you’re welcome.

  5. Miss Susan says:

    I am so glad that I found your site. I am a Bush Baby, too. I got my hair interlocked too often the first 3 years. That led to my edges thinning and the from of my hair thinning. For the past 2 years, I have been a Bush Baby and love it!

    When I started my locks i started with 8 inches of natural hair two strand twists, and I didn’t wash it for 3 months. I cannot say do or do not wash it, but I can tell you by not washing it, it held it’s pattern. It didn’t bother me not having washed it for 3 months. However, I can tell you that I love not having to retwist or interlock it every other month. Free form locks is what’s up!
    Miss Susan recently posted..A DARK HALLOWEENMy Profile

    • Wild (head) childs representing…woot!

      I’m glad you’ve found a method that works for you. I’m “unblessed” when it comes to syling skills 😉 and I’ve never been one to fuss much over my hair. When I was relaxed braids were my go-to style of choice.

      How did you cleanse your scalp for those three months? Did you not wash at all or did you just use a different method? And what made you decide to take that route? Did your stylist recommend it?

    • loc'd and loving it says:

      I loc’d my hair before all the information was available online. All I knew was that I didnt want to have frizzy or dirty hair so after 2 strand twisting for many months, I decided I would leave them in and loc my hair like that. Mind you, I was still washing my hair weekly with the strands so I would take them out and retwist every week! Once I started locing, I still washed my hair weekly.At first, I tried the use a stocking cap but that wasnt cutting it. I needed a clean scalp!So I got in there when washing and would retwist and use clips to hold the hair until it dried. I had no problems with my hair locing and wouldnt have it any other way.The longest I will ever go without washing my hair is 2 weeks and that doesnt happen very often.

      • Amen about the stocking cap. I know it;s a popular method but it just doesn’t cut it for me, either.

        I used to wash/wet my hair multiple times a week just because I could lol Now I realize that I don’t need all of that. I wash (on average) once a week and spritz once or twice during the week.

        I also considered dreading from twists but I wanted my parts neater. (When I first began I was going to have manicured dreads.)

        Thanks for commenting. How long have you been natural?

  6. Yeah, you can wash your hair. I personally didn’t for the first six months or so, just because when I did that the last time I tried to lock them, it didn’t work. Now that I’ve had them in for over a year, I’m back to washing them once a week. Everyone’s different. Don’t just rely on what one person says. Experiment till you find out what works for you.

    • Preach. That’s one of my top rules: Learn what works for you. It can be scary when you first start out because you don’t know what you’re doing. This is the stage where many of us cause damage to our hair or things that will show up down the line.

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope we’ll see you again.

  7. Andy says:

    Is dreads any dirtier than normal hair? I feel like(at least where I am from) this is the most “popular” view at dreads.

    • This is an unfortunate stereotype. It came about because many people with dreads don’t wash due to misinformation.

      We’re often told by stylists, “locticians” and friends that if we wash our hair it’ll come undone or impeded the locing process. Additionally, many people like their hair to look “fresh” and “done” so they opt not to wash as often.

      So really it depends on the person, not whether or not they have dreads. Do you have them or are thinking of getting some?

  8. Elijah says:

    This is a great blog. If you ever want to exchange articles. Let me know 🙂

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