locing fine straight hair
December 29, 2013 9:02 PM   Subscribe

Looking at trying to twist up my own hair need input on how to start I have very fine straight hair. Any and all suggestions would be welcomed! Thanks
posted by 4Spokenwords to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I asked a similar question a while back and got some great answers. One of the best tips I took away from it was that curling your hair to just above your ears before putting it up adds a ton of "volume" to any of the styles that were linked to in the responses. The "Gibson Tuck" is still my favorite.
posted by mireille at 9:54 PM on December 29, 2013

Just to clarify - are you trying to "twist up" your hair into an updo (in which case, mireille's question is indeed a good resource), or are you trying to twist your hair into dreadlocks (which is what I inferred from the title)?
posted by jaynewould at 10:06 PM on December 29, 2013

I'm a Caucasian female and about 25-30 years ago I had a head of tight, gnarley, shoulder-length dreads. It took hours and hours and hours - maybe even all day -- but basically it involved taking a very small section of hair (about as thick as you want them to be), backcombing it, and then rubbing it between your palms (as if your hands are cold) in an up and down motion, elongating the mass. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat. And then do the next section of hair. If you try one you'll see that the tighter you backcomb the tighter it will dread up. As they grow out you need to continue dreading the re-growth, but it didn't take that long and I was easily able to do it on my own.

You could do it yourself but I'd be concerned about having them grow out properly, and I'd be shocked if you had the strength and stamina to finish your whole head in one go, so see if there's a hair pro in your area who is known for dreads.

I looked at the question primalux linked to, and all discussions of stylishness and/or cultural appropriateness aside, the comments about dreads being "gross" and smelly were not at all my experience. The method that was used on me produced dreads that could be washed as vigorously as I wanted, and I kept them (relatively) neat and pretty.

As a long shot I googled the guy that did my dreads and -- holy cow! -- it looks like he's still at it. If you are anywhere near L.A. I'd go see him.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:35 PM on December 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have heard of people rubbing their hair with laundry powder to abrade it prior to twisting and rubbing it as Room 641-A describes. This would be good for especially fine hair, but I'd spot test a small patch first just in case.
posted by goo at 3:58 AM on December 30, 2013

I have heard of people rubbing their hair with laundry powder

Oh, I forgot about the detergent! This will create a huge mess that will be very difficult to wash out, even without dreads. A fine-toothed comb should be all you need.

Thinking it over, I’m going to strongly suggest you go to a professional stylist if you want the dreads to come out evenly and lay correctly because there is a skill to that; it’s like when you get your hair cut and the stylist holds and cuts the hair at a certain angle depending on how that section of hair is supposed to fall. Even knowing which ways to create the sections over your head is a skill.

Another thing: I wanted pink dreads and we dyed my hair first. I have no idea how difficult it is to dye dreads, so think about that, too.

(Also, don’t try Ajax or Comet, either. You’re welcome.)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:49 AM on December 30, 2013

This may or may not apply, depending how long your hair is and how much of a hurry you're in.

It can be done at home by the unskilled but it takes months, or maybe years, before the locks look any good. In 1985, I started with butt length, baby-fine, straight hair. I never twisted it at all, just never combed it and washed it plenty often.

It looked a terrible mess while the clumps formed and I only separated the clumps when they got too chunky. I wore a tam for most of a year because it looked so bad. But eventually the hair shrunk upwards as it tangled and started looking like dreads. My hair shrank up to my shoulders before the locks started growing back down.

After that I hardly did anything but wash and go. The locks continue to grow out as distinct locks. Every great once in awhile, a couple of them would start to grow together near the scalp and I rip them apart.

My locks are now as tall as me and require little maintenance. I just shampoo the top and let the water flow through. It does take a long time to dry. You can click on my profile to see a picture.
You may not want to take years to grow your dreads naturally. With me, it is not a hairstyle but a commitment to a philosophy of life.

If you're in a hurry, go to an experienced hairdresser or try small braids.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:04 PM on December 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Check out the how-to's at knottyboy.com and dreadheadhq.com. Use a flea comb, salt water spray, and beeswax. It's imperative that you do the initial backcombing properly (i.e. extremely tight), because you can't really go back and fix it afterwards if the locks are too loose. Once backcombed, roll your locks between your palms every chance you get, use a satin pillowcase at night, and be prepared for them to look rough for awhile before they really start to lock up. Having a professional do the initial backcombing (and even regular maintenance) for you is a good investment, because the process is SUPER time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.
posted by désoeuvrée at 2:05 PM on January 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

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