I didn’t realize dreadlocks was a hairstyle that sparks so much interest among the non-dreaded community. Being a social person, I love it when someone stops and asks me a question about my hair.
This week I was reading through some comments on a dreadlock Facebook group and I stumbled upon a thread about the weirdest and funniest things loc’d people have been asked.
If you have locs, I bet you will relate to many of them. 🙂
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be offensive to anyone. Also, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, especially if you’re the one asking it. So understand I’m not trying to mock anyone for asking any dreadlock-related question no matter how ‘ignorant’ the question might seem. If you’re asked anything about your locs, always be considerate and don’t judge. Embrace the opportunity to share a little bit about your journey.
Common questions people ask about dreadlocks
My responses are in italics.
Do you have dreadlocks? Are those dreadlocks?
…yup, those are dreadlocks. 😉
Why are there ropes in your head?
Mm, those aren’t ropes.
Are they real? Is that your real hair?
Yup, that is my hair. I didn’t borrow it from anyone, lol.
This is a fair question though. Some people use synthetic or wool extensions, so they’re not always real.
You know you’re white, right?
Some people will get attacked with an argument about cultural appropriation. While dreadlocks are not assigned to one particular culture or people group, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and should be respected regardless. Let people think how they want to think. 🙂 Meanwhile, you do you and don’t allow yourself to be influenced by negative comments.
Why would you do that, you’re so pretty! Why would you ruin beautiful hair?
Thank you but I love my locs the way they are. And no, I didn’t ruin my hair.
Do you think it’s okay to have them at your age?
Older people are sometimes asked this question, and let me just say that dreads are appropriate for all ages. To all my older dreaded peeps, I think you’re awesome!
How do you take care of your hair?
Dreadlocks require a different care method than loose natural hairstyles. I wish I would have known it sooner than later, but learning is part of the journey. If you’re new to locs or considering to get them, check out my maintenance guide for tips.
You were probably too lazy to wash your hair so you got dreads, right?
Clean and healthy dreads take a lot of work, perhaps more than loose hairstyles (at least in the beginning stages). The idea that dreads are a lazy person’s hairstyle is a huge misconception.
How long does it take you to do your hair ‘like that’ each day?
I don’t have to do my hair ‘like this’ every day, lol.
So every morning you make them new?
How often do you take them out?
I don’t take them out.
Here’s another fair question if you have extensions. Synthetic dreads typically last 6 to 12 weeks whereas wool locs might only last 8 weeks.
How did you get your hair to stick like that? How do they not just fall out?
My dreads are crocheted. I don’t use any product to ‘make them stick’. In fact, they’re not sticky. And no, they don’t fall out.
Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of using wax to form their locs. This is a huge mistake. Wax is the catalyst for attracting lint and dirt as well as making locs sticky and heavy. Learn the truth about wax here.
Also, if your locs are sticky for any reason, consider giving them a deep cleanse. Learn how to deep clean your dreads here.
Does your hair still grow or do they knot to your scalp?
Lol! Yes, your hair grows regardless of your hairstyle– dreadlocks are no exception.
Without proper maintenance and constant separation of the roots, however, your locs will form one large knot at the scalp.
How can you go without washing your hair?
I can’t. I love washing my hair.
Can you wash them? How often do you wash them?
Yes, you can (and should!) wash your locs. I wash mine once a week
Keeping your hair clean is absolutely necessary for the locs to knot properly. Contrary to popular belief, dirty hair is not only unhygienic but also counterproductive to the locking process.
Ideally, you should wash them once a week and dry them thoroughly before bedtime. This is my step-by-step guide for how to wash locs and these are some tips on how to dry them quickly.
If you work out or sweat a lot, you can wash them up to twice a week but no more than that. Find more info here about how to take care of your hair if you exercise a lot.
How do you wash your hair?
I wash my hair like everyone else does with the exception of my choice of shampoo. In case you’re wondering, this one is my favorite.
Traditional shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients that are known to produce build up and leave residue.
Do you have to take them out when you shower?
No, my hair always stays on. 😉
I tie my locs in a high bun when I shower (unless it’s my wash day). The mist from the shower helps to moisturize them.
How do you brush them?
I don’t brush them.
Does it hurt to brush them?
I’ve brushed out some of the tips of my locs and that didn’t hurt, but maintenance on the roots is extremely painful so I can only imagine that brushing an entire dread to the root would hurt at some point in the process.
When are you going to get rid of them?
Not any time soon.
I get this question asked a lot but it doesn’t really bother me. The beginning stages of locs are kind of wild. Think of the frizz, the lumps, and bumps, the flyaways, etc. Outsiders may question your choice of having messy-looking hair, but dreadlocks are much more than that and not everyone will understand the journey in the same way you do.
If you’re struggling through the early stages of locs, I encourage you to stay strong and patient. In the meantime, read this article.
What will you do when you don’t want them anymore?
I haven’t decided.
Dreads are not a permanent hairstyle and there are several ways to get rid of them- the simplest option being cutting them off and the most time-consuming option being brushing them out.
You know you will have to cut those off someday?
That’s not the only way to get rid of locs- that’s a misconception.
How long do you think your hair will be when you take them out?
Very long! Let me give you an example. When I brushed out one inch of my dreadlock tips, I ended up with about three inches of loose hair.
My hair type is thin and straight. Other hair types will show different lengths.
Do you put honey or candle wax in your dreads?
There are a lot of ingredients that are harmful to dreadlocks. In this article, we highlight the worst ones.
Why do you have sand in your hair? (Referring to the white little dots at the end of some hairs)
That’s not sand, lol! The white dots are roots of the hair follicles.
As you shed hair, you will notice little white dots scattered throughout the loc. That’s normal and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about it. 🙁 …Always double-check to make sure they’re not lice!
Do they hurt?
No, dreadlocks themselves don’t hurt.
Getting them professionally maintained, on the other hand, is extremely painful especially for those with a sensitive scalp. This pain typically lasts two days. Long and heavy dreads can also cause neck pain. Learn about the pain associated with locs here.
How long do they last?
Dreadlocks can last forever if they’re entirely made from your natural hair. Synthetic dread extensions can last up to 12 weeks after installation. Wool dreadlock extensions can last up to 8 weeks after installation.
Can I touch them?
I don’t mind people touching my hair— but I know some people hate that. If you let someone touch your locs, make sure their hands are clean.
Do they stink?
No. They smell good.
The word stink implies they smell bad…that’s another dreadlock misconception. I use a lot of essential oils in my locs, so they smell nice. Check out this article to learn 6 of my favorite essential oil moisturizer blends for dreads.
Can I smell them?
Can I have one?
Do you use electricity when maintaining?
Lol…I don’t even know how this would work but I wouldn’t want to try.
Do you need to use an air compressor to blow those up?
No, they puff up on their own. I have used an air compressor to clean the dandruff off my scalp, and it works surprisingly well.
So, are you Rastafarian?
Is your hair part of your halloween costume?
No, however dreadlocks complement these 95+ costumes really well.
Which funny, interesting, or weird questions have you been asked about your locs? Share them with us in the comments!
I just started my locs a few days ago and my hair is a little shorter than what it should be so I have rubber bands at the roots and the tips. Kind of got the whole wild spider leg thing going on. My question is that is there a certain way I should be laying my head when I sleep? I’m afraid the rubber bands might fall out or that which ever side I sleep on might smash my locs against my head and have a negative effect on the way the grow or look.
Hi DonDon! Congrats on starting your loc journey 🙂 I’m excited for you!!
My first recommendation would be to remove the rubber bands. While they may seem like they’re helping to keep your hair evenly separated, they can break easily and be “absorbed” by your locs..pieces of it, anyway. On the other hand, if they stay intact, they can inhibit the natural locking process. Your roots and tips need to be free 🙂 Even if your hair is short, the key is to be diligent in separating your locs at the root (as often as necessary to prevent co-mingling..they love to do that! haha)
For sleeping, I wouldn’t worry about the position of your head necessarily. Issues with malformation and weak spots occur mostly when the locs are tied up in the same section for too long- say because of a tight pony tail or dread bun- but you won’t have to think about that until yours get longer 🙂
I would I recommend wearing a silk night cap OR using a silk pillow case to reduce frizz and prevent lint (I regret not doing this sooner myself, tbh!!).
I hope that helps! let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck on your journey!!
I brushed my dreads out recently after having them for about 3 years and I can confirm it is extremely painful and took me almost a month to brush out 69 mature locks. I do regret it sometimes tho so I love to read through ‘blogs’ like this and reminisce <3
Hi Bethany! Thanks for stopping by the site 😉 I brushed out 4 locs last summer and it took me around 20 hours. I was going to try out partials but gave up haha
A month of brushing is an admirable commitment! Yea it’s bittersweet, now is the beginning of a new journey for you <3
Hi, I’ve had my dred’s now for almost 30 years! They’ve been the best of me.. and the bind to me! .. I love them!! I wash them once or twice a week .. now! In the early days I tried to leave them as long as possible!! I leave them to grow long .. then I’ll have a mad flush and cut them short.. then leave them to grow long again!! I bleach an tone them .. I once crazily died them turquoise.. went to Greece and came home looking like grotbags 😂 (green) but here they remain!! A huge part of me.. my personality.. my perseverance as a human being! My love for difference.. or indifference?? My need to NOT just fit in.. but to be accepted.. regardless of others and judgement!
Live, life, love, and peace! 💕
Wow, Mishel!! 30 years! That’s incredible 🙂 I have huge respect for youuu! I love that you’ve switched them up from time to time, it makes it so much more fun!