Friday, May 13, 2011

Tips for Tips


The very lovely Ashleigh (who will be Our Daily Dread very soon!) reminded me that while I teach all my clients how to work on their ends before they leave the shop, I haven't written anything down about it to revisit later. Loose ends are so pretty for some, but so annoying when all you want is round blunted tips! The bad news is, ends will dread straight-up on their own schedule, often times staying frustratingly loose while the rest of your hair felts up in record time. The good news is, there are a few super easy things you can do to get that loose hair at the ends of your dreads to knot up nice and tight. It's not going to happen overnight, but if you add this step into your regular maintenance routine you'll have solid tips WAY faster!

I harp often enough on what not to do with your ends (oh man, do I hate elastics) so it's high time I spend an afternoon MS Paint-ing my way through what you can do. Here's my step-by-step-oh-my-stars-isn't-this-the-easiest-thing? guide to getting your messy tips going!

This is Judy. She's totally bummed! What's going on, buddy?

Oh. I see. Judy's bummed because her otherwise awesome locks are loose at the tips. We can fix this. We have the technology.

The first step is to backcomb the loose hairs at the end of the lock, pushing the new knots right up to the solid area of the dread. Use a fine toothed comb or... it like a real caveman would, and use your fingers. No need to get all fancy or nothing.

Once you've pushed all that hair as high up as you can (without forcing it) rub the end of your lock in your palm. Now, some people advise you to do this in a clockwise direction, or a counterclockwise direction - but really, they might as well advise you to bark like a dog. I have a hunch folks tell you that kind of thing just to be able to tell you to do something, you know? You're trying to make knots. Just gently rub it around every which way until it's knotted up. No need to check the phases of the moon or anything.

As always, we finish off our maintenance with a palmroll. This is the key to keeping your locks in great shape! Put the dread between your palms and pretend you're trying to start a fire with two twigs! If you'd like, you can add a very little bit of wax at this stage.

And that's it! There's no wax in these right now, and it took all of 2 minutes per dread. Maybe. Like I said earlier, this isn't something that's going to hold up after just one go. As time goes on, all those loose little hairs will get sucked into the middle of your lock, and the end will round up as the dread matures. Chances are, this'll come out again after you wash your hair for the first while, but if you incorporate this as a regular step in your maintenance routine, your ends WILL tighten up faster and you won't have any of the problems I regularly see from other end-tightening methods. But how does Judy feel about this?

Got questions about your dreads? Leave 'em in the comments, or email me at