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What are Dreadlocks
Dreadlocks are basically matted coils of hair, formed naturally or artifically by matting using different techniques. Dreadlocks have been around since ancient times, being practised in the African and Indian culture. Indian saints consider the locks to be sacred and grow them as a religious practice. The Rastafarians, who coined the word 'Dreadlocks' in the 1950's, used it to connote a person growing these locks is living in dread of God, and hence the name stayed.
Methods of Dreading
There are namely, two major types of dreading, the first one being the natural process.
The natural process, famously known as the 'Neglect' method involves a person refraining from combing, brushing, or cutting their hair. This allows the hair to naturally stick together and form dreads. These dreads vary in shapes and size as they are formed haphazardly.
Another form of natural process is called 'Freeform' dreading. In Freeform, the dreadlocking is controlled to a certain extent. The parting and dividing of hair chunks is manually done to have a uniform dread density consistent throughout. Freeform exhibits symmetry unlike the wild Neglect method.
The other way of dreading hair is the 'Salon' or 'Manicured' method. Salon method involves dividing the hair into sections and braiding, coiling, or twisting them to bind them together. This forms the initial stage of dreading. Backcombing is another form of Salon method which involves combing the hair backwards and applying a special form of wax, popularly known as dread-wax which helps in strengthening the dread and making it look firm.
Special dreading tools and accessories are available in the market, like the dread-perming chemicals which renders the hair frizzy, allowing a user to dread the hair accordingly. The 'Salon' method is perfect for making uniform dreadlocks with regards to shape, size and thickness. Hair extensions can also be used while braiding to make them look longer or thicker!
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