Back when I put my dreads in — and by “I” I mean when I sat there for 9 hours while someone else put them in — I didn’t really consider the fact that there are many different styles of dreads. I assumed dreads were just.. dreads.
So we went for the full meal deal: 45 pencil sized dreads in a precise grid.
But in the past 2.5 years I’ve realized there are oh so many different ways to have dreads. One of those ways being having bangs.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me before. I remember spending hours fuming about my bangs as they refused to lock up. But I fought hard & all these months later I have dreaded bangs.. which have turned out to be a real pain in the butt.
Here’s the thing, with normal people hair you can just tuck long bangs behind your ears no problem. With dreads you have to tuck/shove a large, bulky mass behind your ears or resign to hide behind your “dread curtain,” as Nick calls it.
So earlier in the week I called the most alternative salon I could find in town & explained my situation. They agreed to make my bangs pretty once I combed them out & then I pranced over to the store to buy lots of heavy duty conditioner & detangling spray.
How to Comb Out Dreadlocks
- Dr. Bronner’s, or your current dread shampoo
- Detangling spray (check the kids section for this on the cheap)
- Repairing/deep conditioner
- METAL tooth comb
- Rat tail comb (optional)
- Trash can
Oh, and Nick bought beer. He’s so wise.
- After much research of my hair pre-dreads I determined these three dreads were my OG bangs. So I cut them in half. I didn’t see any sense in combing out my entire dread if I was only going to need it bang sized.
- Then I washed them with the hottest water I could tolerate, deep conditioned them & detangled them. Incidentally, I highly recommend all the products I used cause if they can take out dreads they can probably take out whatever knots you’re dealing with today. Plus I smelled like apples.
- Using your metal comb being picking away at the bottom of the dread. Those freshly cut ends should give you a nice place to start. You’re going to lose A LOT of hair, that’s what the trash can’s for. Just keep picking & combing your way through.
- I re-applied the detangling spray every so often just to keep things slippery & painless.
- Wash & dry your new “normal” people hair!
And an hour later & we were done. This shocked me, it only took an hour to undo years of work & patience. That’s whack!
I’m pretty obsessed with the final result. It’s fun having some “normal” hair to style & change up my everyday hair. I don’t know why I didn’t take the bang plunge sooner!
If any of y’all have dreads & are thinking of doing a comb out or if you have normal people hair & are considering dreads… leave a comment! I’d love to answer all your questions & give you more details about the process.
Through this process I learned a lot about my dreads:
- I cut my bang dreads in HALF before I combed them out. No rhyme or reason, just a hack here & a hack there. When I finished they were nearly twice that length in normal hair terms. Which means all of my hair is twice as long as what you see in dreaded form. Which explains why they weigh so much.
- I bet you’re wondering what the inside of dreads look like, I was too. There’s a surprising amount of dead hair which normal people shed but I just horde & there’s also dead skin. That stuff was real peachy to dig out.
- I’ve learned I don’t remember how to “play” with straight hair. Nick has told me this too as he’s caught me accidentally dread balling his hair before. My bad.
- Does this mean I’ll be combing out my 42 remaining dreads anytime soon? I’m not planning on it. I’m actually hoping this will extend the life of my dreads if you will — it was getting very.. “up, or down?” Only having two hair styles is boring.