How to retwist dreads. Dreadlocks are natural hairstyles that consist of shaped ropes of hair that require little upkeep or maintenance. It’s easy to get started with retwisting, but you can improve the end result with some planning and a good pre-wash.
How to Retwist Dreads
According to Faulk and Courtney, no matter what loc method you started with (comb coiling, palm rolling, or two-strand twists), the way you re-twist your locs will be largely the same.
Make sure you have clips, an extra-large hair tie, an alcohol-free gel, your silk or satin bonnet, and a YouTube tutorial on hand before you begin (keep scrolling if you need a visual right now). When you’re ready, work on one loc at a time:
1. Pin Away Unnecessary Hair
If you have to retwist an entire head’s worth of dreads, you should start at the nape of the neck. Pin away the upper dreads with clips to leave an inch (2.54 cm) thick row of dreads across the base of the neck.
2. Gather Hair at the Base of the Lock
Apply a small amount of dread wax or gel to your fingers, then take a single dreadlock and gather any loose hair between your forefinger and thumb. Twist this hair between your fingers until it becomes entangled with the main lock of twisted hair.
Pull the hair away from the scalp and toward the already twisted/formed end of the lock while twisting. Exert pressure on the dread as you roll it outward. This may cause some minor discomfort, but it should not break the hair.
If your hair snaps while twisting, this is a completely normal part of the process. You can reform the dreadlock by matting and entangling the hair together.
Dreads that have come out of their ropes/locks and are mostly untwisted might require you to re-dread your hair from scratch.
3. Palm Roll the Dreadlock
After the lock has been finger-rolled, it’s ready to be palm rolled. Apply a little dreadlock wax or gel to your palms, then gather the finger-twisted hair between your palms. Firmly roll the hair between your palms, sliding down the lock as you do.
For the firmest, tightest retwisted dreads, you may need to palm roll each lock several times.
Loose hair in locks can be stubborn. In some cases, you may need to roll with extra firm pressure, but be careful not to hurt the person whose hair you’re retwisting.
Dreadlocks that have been palm rolled can be pinned out of the way to keep finished locks from mixing in with those that are unfinished.
4. Re-pin your Hair and Twist the Next Layer of Dreads
After retwisting the base layer of dreads at the nape of the neck, remove your pins to reveal the next layer of hair to be retwisting. The hair above this layer that is obstructing your vision can be pinned to the side.
Retwist the dreads one by one with your fingers and palms until all of the dreads are retwisted.
To ensure that no locks are missed, work methodically at about an inch (2.54 cm) of scalp per row/layer.
5. Finish at the Front of the Head
Continue to retwist your dreads in this fashion in inch (2.54 cm) thick rows until you reach the front of the scalp. When you reach the front of the head, you won’t need to pin any hair out of the way, and can simply retwist the final dreads
After retwisting, some waxes or dreadlock gels become set in place by applying light to moderate heat. Most dreadlocks will dry in 20 to 30 minutes or less.
If you don’t have access to a hair dryer, you can let your hair air dry after it’s been retwisted. If any of the products you used on your dreadlocks are heat activated, use gentle heat to help activate this feature.
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