Starting Dreads With Box Braids for Natural Hair
Patience and the need to be free.
This is an update on the locking. I am still locked and very happy at the choice I made to stay away from the "creamy" crack known as relaxers. It is addicting once you fall into using them because you will need to continue to use the stuff to keep an un-natural hair style. It may look neat and styled but that is not what was how my hair grows out of my head. Meaning straight.
I did not expect my hair to grow as long as it is now which is way past the shoulders and to the mid-back. I am grateful to GOD for showing me this healthy way to wear my hair. I needed to find a way to have a style that would allow me to style my hair as if I were still wearing my hair in an un-natural way. And just let it grow.
Starting with box braids
Beginning your locs with box braids.
I have always loved the natural look I have seen many women of color would wear, it was just a beautiful look to me. Even before the Locs were made popular. Natural hair is healthier and grows long quickly. Braiding the hair, cornrows, natural fros would put some stress on the hair to get thede styles. Relaxers would dry out the hair.....not good in the cold weather at all. So I do not like them.
I know because I have tried them....all. It pulled on the scalp if your stylist ws heavy handed and pulled on the hair too tight. For the relaxers...it is like an addiction. You need to keep it up or you revert back to what your natural hair is like. Which I see nothing wrong with it. But 10 years ago depending where you lived and worked, you would fall victim into relaxers.
The last relaxer helped me to make up my mind when it caused an unhealthy experience from a hair salon whose stylist did not truly know what she was doing. I thank GOD that may scalp healed from her using harsh chemicals.
One day, early in the morning I made up my mind to wash my all natural hair. I waited until my hair was long enough to braid after my hair broke off from the relaxer. I cut off the remaing relaxer. My hair was about 6 inches long when I began the box braids back in 02-15-08.
This is the best choice I have ever made in hair styles. EVER. My hair is now long to where it is between my should blades.
To get started after you shampoo as you usually do, you will need:
Duck tail metal clips to hold your hair in sections
Coated rubber hair bands for pony tails
A mirrow to see the back of your head
Wide tooth comb
Rat tailed comb to make straight parts
Castor oil pomade
Always part the braids into the size section you want the lock to be. The bigger the box braid section is the larger the loc will be when it is formed. So for the adverage sized loc the size of straws it maybe as many as 150 locs...or more depending on the thickness of your hair. So be ready to spend a lot of time to get the braids put in.
Then patience and strong arms you will need if you do this all by yourself. If you are able to have someone do this for you, it will be easier and faster to get done. It will take about 8 hours to get these braids into your hair. Going by how long your hair is and how thick.
But in the long run, after you have done all of this work you will really love your hair. You will see just how beautiful your hair is too. You will never need to buy extensions ever again if you take good care of your dreads. Never ever...retwist your hair tight. It can cause damage to the scalp.
Update at 5 years
I still have my hair locked. I didn't have my hair this long since I was a child and my Mom took care of my hair. All I can tell you is from learning to maintain this style is that it is a lot easier than most will expect. Yes you do have to re-twist, or palm roll or latch it at least once a month or just let them grow natural and do nothing. I prefer to aim to keep them neat as possible, I happen to like the way how they remind me of braids.
My hair is past the midway portion of my back right now. I do not know how long I will let them grow. For I have seen women and men with their hair to their knees and then there is a woman who has broken the Guness Book of world records with the longest dreadlocks known. I will say I am not aiming for that. God willing if I am allowed to make it to my waist I will then see what happens from there.
From just small box braids to this. It is a blessing. I will say over and over that relaxers are not healthy for the hair or scalp. It looks nice, but you do have to remember how harsh those chemicals are. It takes along time for those chemicals to grow out of your system and heal your scalp!