Although dreadlocks hairstyles have a history that reaches back to old times, the modern Rastafarian society, led by the popular reggae musician Bob Marley, earns credit for carrying dreadlocks into mainstream society. Dreadlocks are made of tangled hair that begins as a long strand of snags and hardens over time.
Maintaining your locks, particularly during its first year, takes lots of time and patience. But once your locks become solid, especially if you have naturally straight hair, it will still produce an inch or two of unlocked hair at the roots. This can make your locks look untidy.
Frequent twisting and palm-rolling are required for keeping your roots looking neat.
It demands maintenance as overtime problems can occur. This includes hair thinning where the dreadlocks reach the scalp.
After ruling out the cause as natural thinning due to trim baldness, take measures to re-strengthen the weakened roots of dreadlocks.
How to Repair a Dreadlock That has Thinned Out at the Root
You should lighten your heavy dreadlocks and those parts of your scalp that are causing some undue tension. After all, your dreads can pull out the hair roots.
You can do this by cutting it shorter or by splitting that portion of your dreadlock in the middle with scissors. Doing so can make your dreadlocks look thinner. Over time, your split dreadlocks will round out.
Strengthen dreadlock roots that are thinning due to unhealthy, breakable hair. Only use high-quality, moisturizing hair products. Combine a few drops of peppermint, lavender, or rosemary essential oil to shampoo or put it directly to the scalp every day to implement additional nourishment.
Avoid any chemical-based treatments and exposure of hair to high temperatures. Use only low-temperature hair dryer settings. Also, eat foods that are high in essential fatty acids like salmon, olive oil, eggs, walnuts, and some dark green leafy vegetables.
You should thicken and re-tighten dreadlock roots once your hair health is restored. Hold the root of the dreadlock between your middle and pointer fingers and bring in some extra hairs from around the dreadlock. Wind the root of the dreadlock repeatedly in a clockwise direction, until your hairs become knotted.
With all this procedures, here are some added techniques that can help with a thinning dread root:
Use a Satin Sleep Cap or Pillowcase
Using a satin sleep cap or pillowcase may further prevent thinning roots and dreads.
The satin material will support absorbing the natural oils and excess moisture from your hair. This helps to eliminate friction between your hair and your pillowcase which usually could result in hair breakage and thinning hair and roots.
Using a satin silk cap can also help in growing healthy hair roots.
Hydrate and Moisturize Your Dreadlocks
It’s essential to keep your hair hydrated. This will help to fight thinning roots and support healthy hair.
An amino acid hair treatment is the best method to combat dryness and add moisture to your hair. Hydrated and well-moist locks will have a fewer chance of getting thin and weak.
Avoid Donning Tight Hairstyles
Trendy hairstyles such as braids weave or even tight ponytails can damage your hair. The tighter your hairstyle, the more pressure is applied to your scalp. This can make your hair roots frail.
Massage Your Scalp
If you’re hoping to encourage new hair growth and stop your roots from thinning, massaging your scalp is a great solution.
This is known to improve hair thickness by expanding the cells of the hair follicles. By stimulating the hair follicles, you will be able to grow thicker hair.
Try using a scalp massager. It won’t break the bank and can be used every day for great results.
Invest in Essential Oils
Coconut, Lavender, Peppermint, and Tea tree oils are beneficial for dreadlocks.
Some oils can aid to restore softness and texture in your hair while others are perfect if you want to add a healthy shine to your locks. Castor hair oil, particularly Jamaican black castor oil, is excellent for promoting healthy hair. Peppermint oil consists of anti-bacterial features that help to eliminate impurities, creating the perfect atmosphere for hair growth.
Common Causes for Skinny Dread Roots
The roots of your dreads can grow thin due to various factors. From common hair loss to medical conditions and diet, your roots may begin to thin as a result of any of these:
Failure to Twist New Hair Growth
Some people may encounter thinning dreads as a consequence of waiting too long to re-twist their locks. This causes the roots to look thinner.
New hair flows straight and has to be physically twisted to form a dreadlock. Waiting too long to twist the new hair to blend with the other dread may cause your hair to thin, as the dreads put pressure on your roots.
Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by tension on the roots of your hair. As your hair weakens over time it frequently breaks or becomes damaged.
One of the biggest culprits of thinning hair is styling your dreads in a way that causes severe friction or tension. Other potential culprits involve wigs, weaves, tight braids, or even high ponytails.
Waiting Too Long Between Maintenance
Lack of care may lead to thinning locks and skinny roots, which can lead to hair loss. Maintaining high moisture levels in your locks, reducing breakage, enforcing proper protective styling, and keeping your ends clipped will go a long way.
Poor Scalp Health
Your scalp initiates the foundation for healthy dreads. It encourages growth and nurtures new hair forming.
If your scalp is inflamed or dry, it may resist new growth or lead to damaged hair. This makes your dread roots skinny. Cleaning your scalp correctly and regularly moisturizing can help resolve this problem.
Re-twisting Your Roots in the Wrong Direction
Did you know your hair grows in a circular path? This is often regarded as a “hair whirl”.
The perfect way to maintain your roots correctly is to follow your hair’s natural growth direction when re-twisting.
The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that twisting your hair in the wrong direction can upset the locking process and may cause weak spots. This in turn could lead to thin roots and locks.
Tension in Your Hair
If you’re doing the same hairstyle or using hair accessories that are too tight, this may lead to thinning dreads.
In severe situations, it could also cause damage to your hair follicles producing further hair loss and thinning. Another frequent cause could be the excessive tension at the roots, particularly with interlocking maintenance that’s done too frequently.
Try to avoid tight styling, or don’t do it at all, if you see thinning in your dreads.
Sectioning at the Roots of Your Dreads
Some people would initially want thinner dreads.
As your dreads grow over time, it will also increase in length and will put pressure on your scalp and roots due to its weight. This may cause your dread roots to become skinny and progressively thinner over time.
Poor Nutrition and Diet
One possible reason for thinning dreads and roots is lack of proper nutrition and diet.
Your body requires a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals for healthy, strong hair. Your hair іѕ made up of proteins. As a result, eating protein-rich food ѕuсh аѕ meat, cheese, fish or even almonds іѕ necessary to keep thе health оf your hair.
How Do I Tighten My Roots?
This is one of the most commonly asked problems, so let’s begin by saying that it’s normal to have an inch or so of undreaded hair at the root of your scalp.
The roots are always the latter part to dread and they are never completely dreaded as hair continuous to grow. Moreover, your hair type will also define how easily current growth locks up.
Here are a few procedures that can be used to tidy up the roots:
Firstly, maintenance can be completely done on freshly shampooed, dry locks. A guaranteed residue-free dread shampoo will intensely clean and promote hair to knot and lock up efficiently.
Clockwise root rubbing can be efficient to knot the hair at the roots. Put the roots of the dreadlock between two fingers and rub it into the scalp in a clockwise direction. A slight sprinkling of Dread Dust on your fingertips while doing this can texturize the hair and help encourage to form the knots.
If there are loose hairs, just pull them together and rub them between your fingertips to form a dread ball. Pull them into the dreadlock with a crochet hook. Any loose, puffy hair around the roots can also be wrapped and pulled into the dread.
Start palm rolling at the root and then move down the length of the dread to help you keep your locks separated. Doing so can keep the root a bit neat.
Another Technique to Tighten Your Dread Root
Wash and scrub your scalp firmly with a residue-free shampoo. Work it up as it lathers, then leave it on your scalp for a few minutes. Once done, rinse your hair while squeezing the suds through your locks.
Wrap your hair with a towel to absorb any excess water, then dry it under a hood dryer or you can just allow it to air dry.
Gather all your locks into a ponytail on top of your head. Take three locks at a time from the ponytail then hold them together right where they begin to dread, just under the unlocked roots.
Push them down slightly and rub the locks in a circular movement on your scalp. For about 30 seconds, you will start to feel the roots becoming tangled. Continue rubbing them in circles for another 30 seconds.
Drop the locks and pick up one dread from the three at a time. Press your palms together, with your thumbs into your scalp, then roll the lock firmly back and forth for 30 seconds to help fix the tangles and lock the roots as well.
TIP: Dreadlock products exist to make root maintenance faster and easier. Various companies make a lock-tightening gel, usually with aloe vera. You can also use some zinc oxide powder, plain aloe, or dread wax to keep your dreadlocks look neat.
Maintaining the Roots of Your Dreadlocks
Once you’ve washed your locks, add and damp palm roll it with a tightening gel if you want to speed up the root-tightening process. It is recommended to keep the following steps in mind as part of your weekly dread maintenance routine:
Root flipping, or interlocking, frequently gets done in the same way as a crash diet or a get-rich-quick scheme. Thus, it would be best to keep your dreads as is. It is easier and safer than root flipping.
It doesn’t produce such quick results, but it works much better long-term while retaining your locks strong and healthy.
Begin by separating the dread you want to work on. You can use clips if you’ve got a ton of loose hair. Once you’ve identified your section’s ends, take the loose hair and the dreadlock. If you’re having long loose hairs, it’s a good approach to backcomb them up first before you move on to the next step.
Get a good hold on the loose new growth and your dreadlock, making sure that your hair is not crossing over from another dread.
Start rubbing it against your scalp. It is recommended to rub it in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. Just try not to hurt yourself. Remember, we’re trying to create some knots here.
When a good knot is starting to form in the roots, go ahead and give your dread a solid palm roll to the tip. If your dread is completely dry inside and out, you can just add a light coating of dread wax to keep the lock looking tight and well-groomed, but that’s up to you.
The best thing you can do for your dreadlocks overall is to use a palm roll.
How to Crochet Dreads?
Crocheting is a popular way to begin new dreadlocks, preserve existing dreadlocks, and blunt the ends. It’s a simple technique that anyone can learn, and it can help to guarantee that your dreadlocks are smooth and attractive.
When you are set to work on your dreadlocks, go grab a crochet hook in the smallest size you can find and get started!
Place the hook through the hair near the root and pick up a few hairs.
Insert the crochet hook through the part of hair about 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) from where the segment meets the scalp. Take a few strands of hair on the hook on the other side of the part.
Remember, there should only be a few strands of hair on your crochet hook! These few are all it will take to start locking the dread.
Take individual hairs then pass them through the section of hair.
Use the hook to pull the strands of hair through the section. Make sure that the hairs don’t come out of the hook as you do this. If they do, you will have to repeat from the top.
If you have a latch-style hook, then this part will be a lot easier since the latch will limit the hook from snagging on the hairs in the section. If not, you will just have to work more carefully to avoid pulling additional hairs on the hook.
Do this again by working down the section of hair towards the ends.
After you have picked the first few hairs through your section, repeat the same step over again.
Pass the hook through the dread about 1⁄4 in. (0.64 cm) down from where you started, place a few strands of hair to the hook, and pull them passing through the section again. Do this step until you reach the bottom of the section.
As you proceed, you will notice the dreadlock is taking shape. Ideally, your dreads will get smooth edges with no bits of hair coming out of the sides, but they should still feel spongy when you touch them.
If you see some hairs poking out of a section of the dread once you reach the bottom, you can go back to that part and use the crochet hook to grasp them and pull them through.
Quickly push the crochet hook in and out to tighten the dreads.
After you’re done locking the dreads, go back over it at least one time with the crochet hook to make your dread tight.
Put the crochet hook into the dread about halfway and pull it back as fast as you can a few times while keeping the hook inside of the dread. Then, go down the section about 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) and repeat this process.
Go all the way down the dreads to tighten and sculpt it completely.
Crochet the finished locks to tighten them against your scalp.
After you have locked your dreads, you may notice that some of them are still loose at the roots than you would like them to be. You can tighten them by pulling a whole dreadlock pass through itself at the root.
Insert the crochet hook into the base of the dreadlock at the root to form an opening. Then, take the strand about halfway down, and pull it through the opening you created with the crochet hook at the scalp.
This is optional, but it may also help to make your dreadlocks lay flatter against your head and make it look tighter.
TIP: Always wash your dreads regularly to maintain them. Washing your hair will not break them. If anything, it can support your locks to tangle at the roots and this makes it easier to form dreads.
There are quite several things you can do to guarantee that new growth locks as it grows.
Since the hair follicles keep on pushing the hair out straight and unknotted it always has some undreaded or straight hair at the roots.
It doesn’t look possible that straight hair kept at both ends could lock at all. The part of your hair that does the locking are the new baby hairs growing out of the scalp and the ends of the old mature hairs that just came out but can’t go anywhere.
It doesn’t mean that having some straight hair will make your roots look bad. You just have to understand that taking care of loose hair and new growth knotted can make the roots look clean. As your dreads tighten your hair, it also will dread closer to the roots with less help, particularly with larger dreads and textured hair.