4 Keys to Transitioning to Dreadlocks

IG @braveblackbird

by Mary Wolff

When it comes to embracing your natural hair, it can be a long and painful process. It can also be a beautiful journey of self-discovery. I know tons of curlies who went natural and will never go back, no matter how hard it was to get started. Transitioning to natural hair can be a challenge for many reasons. It can seem even more challenging if you are transitioning to dreadlocks. Dreadlocks are one of the most beautiful and stylish, not to mention easy to care for, ways to wear your natural hair, but getting there might seem intimidating. It doesn’t have to be scary! Here are a few great tips when transitioning to dreadlocks.

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1. Stop Relaxers 
Relaxers are the enemy of transitioning to natural hair in any state. The key to embracing your natural texture and curl pattern is to leave your hair free from harsh straighteners and relaxers. This is the first step toward creating the loc look you seek.

2. Be Patient
This is going to be a rather long process so prepare yourself for that right now. You will need to first transition from relaxed hair to natural hair which is a journey of its own and then transition to locs. Whether you do the big chop or transition without chopping, it will take time. While there are some quick fixes such as extensions to create the length of dreadlocks you want, they can be costly and the process will still take time.

3. Protective Styles  
When embracing your natural hair to begin your loc journey, you should keep your strands in protective hairstyles like braids as much as possible. This will eliminate breakage and speed up the amount of time you have to spend transitioning. The sooner your hair is healthy and at the desired length, the sooner you can do locs. It is also good practice for how to care for your dreadlocks and get used to something similar to that style of hair.

4. Don’t Get Discouraged
Locs take time and patience. You will have to go weeks without washing your hair while still giving it gentle care. You will have to repeatedly twist and loc your strands before it becomes the go-to movement of your hair.  It may take a while to get the length you want.  You may see someone with neat locs and yours come out more on the frizzy side. Remember, this is a journey and a learning process. There are no absolutes in natural hair care. What works for one person, might not work for you. Don’t get discouraged and just stay committed to your decision.

Transitioning to natural hair and dreadlocks may seem scary, but just remember that this can be a beautiful journey and a chance to really get to know your hair. When it is all said and done, think of how beautiful your locs will look!

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