Frizzy Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks and Frizzy Hair
Many people come to me complaining of frizziness or loose hair associated with natural black hair and Dreadlocks.  They are often frustrated because days after maintenance, it's as if they've done absolutely nothing to their dreadlocks.

Frizzies are just a part of the process so there's no need to panic.  Your hair Texture and the growth stage of your dreadlocks determines the degree to which frizzies will impact your dreadlocks maintenance routine. 

If your dreadlocks are maintained by a professional, ask her/him what you to do between visits. If you're maintaining your dreadlocks at home, the simplest way to deal with frizzies is to incorporate them into the nearest dreadlock.  This can be achieved in a number of ways.

Palm-Rolling or Finger-Twisting Dreadlocks
When you have stray hairs/frizzies that come out of your twists or braids, they should be palm-rolled or finger-twisted back into their respective dreadlocks. Palm-rolling is done in one complete, smooth motion.  Do not rub your hands back-and-forth UNLESS you are trying to smooth a bump/crook in the lock. 

After shampooing (and conditioning if your dreadlocks are mature), twist or palm-roll your dreadlocks when they're still damp because this is when they are easiest to shape. Doing so also prevents breakage and root damage.

Interlocking is a technique by which a tool, Latch-hook, crochet needle, even a pencil, is used to interweave your lock onto itself.  The Latch-Hooking E-book is available for sale at

More Palm-Rolling Alternatives
Like most of you, I endure the trials of shampooing, palm-rolling and clipping my dreadlocks on a pretty regular basis only to have them unravel or frizz up in a matter of days.  Depending on your hair texture, frizzies can be mild, moderate or severe.  This sections is for those of you who have severe frizzies. 

We classify severe as loose hairs that are 1 or more inches long that protrude directly from the scalp and/or dreadlocks.

Tubby's Untwisted Locks, Post ShampooThe picture to the right demonstrates my dreadlocks post shampoo.  How old are my locks?  At the time this photo was taken they were approximately 6 years old.  So here's where you say, "Oh my God!  Why are they so frizzy?"

The reality is, some people will suffer from frizzies for the life of their locks.  Unfortunately, locticians or veteran lockers will take the attitude that it must be something you're doing or not doing.  And as always, such comments usually point to a lack of knowledge on their part rather than a fault on yours.  Now I can only speak to my own experience and fortunately for you, my experience is the extreme.  Thus, you will benefit from my suffering.

Under-Growth or Extreme Frizzies:  I didn't realize it but one naani's visitors emailed me some months ago regarding an issue she was having with her natural hair.  This sista didn't have locks but was instead writing about the difficulty she was having with braids and cornrows.  She had what she termed, "Under-Growth:"  An abundance of vellus (short, fine, "baby-hair"). 

The following photos demonstrate the difference between Fruzzies and those who have "typical" dreadlocks. Allow the page to completely load before clicking an image in the photo slide show.  Once the page loads, click any image.  To proceed, click the top right corner to proceed or left corner to go back.  Photo descriptions are at the bottom of the slide.
Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Buju Banton Buju Banton Buju Banton Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo

Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Tubbys Locks after shampooing and twisting Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-braiding Picture of Tubbys locks post-braiding These are my locks as of January 2008. naaniModel Simlyloc naaniModel Simlyloc naaniModel Drea naaniModel Drea

Imagine your own hair.  Say it's 12 inches long.  Then imagine that for every 12 inch hair, you have a hair that is 1-2 inches long.  So in a sense, you have an Afro within an short, one long.  Unfortunately, the hairs that make up the mini-afro never seem to grow as long as the rest of your hair.  The hairs that make up the mini-fro also tend to be softer, finer and in my case, straighter.  It's not a matter of just is what it is.

For the woman who emailed us, she was having trouble with her braids/cornrows.  Her complaint was that directly after having her hair professionally did, it'd look as if she'd already had the braids/cornrows in for a week. Fam, I can't tell you how deeply her story resonated with me.  She was describing MY hair!

Prior to discovering the technique that I currently use, I'd palm-roll.  My hair, like this woman's, is very susceptible to  moisture and humidity.  On a humid day, my hair "grows."  Where everyone's hair responds to humidity, it's the under-growth that gets me in trouble.  Since it's closest to the scalp, when it poofs up and out, it looks as if I haven't done anything to my locks.  And anyone with locks knows, if the roots look unkempt, then so does the rest of your hair.

So no matter what I did, within 3 days of doing my hair, it began to look a hot mess.  Retwisting was fairly pointless as it looked better the following day, but the day after that, I was back at square one.  I began to wonder if locks were for me.  But then I discovered braiding.

In the case of the woman who emailed naani, her issues could be resolved with using better products.  Using products that smooth or secure fly-aways/frizzies would help her braids/cornrows look neater in the short-run.  But in time, moisture in the air, sweat, friction with clothing and pillow cases is bound to put the frizzies back into action.

In my case, it wasn't a matter of products as you'll soon see.  The products were great, it was my technique that was lacking.  And as I've always told ya, you could have the best products in the world but if you're not using the properly OR if your technique sucks, they're not gonna do a damn thing for you.

BRAIDING FRIZZIES:  Instead of two-stranding loose hairs, try braiding.  The picture below demonstrates this technique.  You should be able to distinguish between the locks that have been twisted and those that have not.  The ones that have been twisted are the result of using the braiding frizzies technique in conjunction with palm-rolling.

Where it's a little awkward to do if you only have a few strands of hair, but if you're like me, braiding frizzies can help maintain your lock style A LOT longer than simple palm-rolling or two-strand twisting.

So how do I do that thing I do?  Starting at the root (the area closest to the scalp), braid the frizzies down the lock.  With braiding, you need 3-legs or 3 strands of hair.  In this case, you have the lock itself and the frizzy hair. 

If you divide the frizzy hair into two sections, you now have the three "strands" needed to braid (the lock itself, section 1 of the frizzy hair and section two).  In a way, you're sorta-cornrowing since you're picking up frizzy hair down the length of the lock as you "braid" but hopefully you get the idea.

Article Series

This article is part 5 of a 14 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
  1. Dreadlocks Extensions
  2. Dry Dreadlocks
  3. Dry Scalp and Dandruff in Natural Black Hair and Dreadlocks
  4. Flapping or Flat Dreadlocks
  5. Frizzy Dreadlocks
  6. Hair Growth & Dreadlocks
  7. Hot Water Treatment for Dreadlocks
  8. How Long Does it Take to Grow Dreadlocks
  9. Manicured or Salon Dreadlocks
  10. Methods or Ways to Grow Dreadlocks
  11. Mildew and Odor in Dreadlocks
  12. Popping
  13. Removing Dreadlocks
  14. Rounded Dreadlocks Ends


Comment #1 (Posted by helen) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingempty Unrated
i two strand twisted my hair for locks 4 wks ago and it's a frizzy mess. i've washed it twice. i,ve tried your technique but find it a bit hard.maybe my frizz isn't long enough
Comment #2 (Posted by TT) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
i just got my dreadz like 2 months ago 4rm cutting my regular hair n startn wit gel twist lately ive been getn dem retwisted every 2 weeks by a professional but it seems like n a week dey began to get frizzy iam goin to try d braidn technique tho thanks
Comment #3 (Posted by kaye) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
I need to find a salon in New York that does interlocking. Do you have any suggestions.
Comment #4 (Posted by Leea) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
Thanks for the tips. I've had my locs for almost a year (August will be 12 months) and I have frizzies just like you. I learned that it's because of my hair texture which is very soft. I going to try the braid technique and see how it comes out.
Comment #5 (Posted by Donald) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
i love your site i have been locking since march 20 09 and the frizzy is something eles lol but im enjoying my journey and again thanks for the site much nappy love
Comment #6 (Posted by an unknown user) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
the google eyeballs are an excellent way to pictorically discribe how I feel about this article! Excellent job good tips even for white girls!
Comment #7 (Posted by Cozy) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
Your are the Bomb!!! And you are a beautiful sista!!!! I have been worried about my fuzzy locs!!! I started them in 2007. I started with long hair so this has been quite a journey. I learned the hard way after spending thousands of dollars. I got jimped every which a way. Unfortunately I hear loctitian now and I run the other way. The Palmrolling was joke for me. And she made sure she used plenty of pertrolium (sp) products on my hair to keep it from locking. When I objected she told me I did not know what I was talking about. I go under the dryer so I guess I will try the twist & lock design cream. I'll try to find it. I twist mine too. But I am afraid to dry naturally. I was told my hair would smell if I did. OOps there I go again. Wow!!! You hair looks alot like mine. And they look beautiful to me!!!! Now I feel lifted up. I'm just a little fuzzy and after seeing your locs..... I'm proud of it!!!!! Thanks for the info I learned alot.
Comment #8 (Posted by Davion) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
This was a great article, and helped alot along the way. I think you should post a video on how you braid your frizzies, it'd give a more in depth view.

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