There is no wrong or right way for anyone to achieve dreadlocks; it is a personal preference. Some methods take longer then others to achieve the final look so it depends on how fast you want to be sporting some locks. The salon method is the fastest way to achieve the locks however, not all salon methods are not 100% natural and dreadlock perms alter the hairs texture until it grows out.
There are a several natural ways one can achieve dreadlocks in their hair. For all methods of obtaining dreadlocks you will need a shampoo that is 100% residue free, dread wax, locking accelerator, hairclips, rubber bands, comb, and depending on method used a stiff fine-tooth metal comb, soft bristled brush or dread tam. It is also very helpful to have a second pair of hands to help you.
Prepping the hair
The first step in to achieving dread locks is washing your hair. This should be done with the 100% residue free shampoo. Any shampoos with conditioners or fragrance can prevent the hair from locking and leave a buildup in your hair that will lead to dandruff and unsightly locks. The next step is sectioning your hair. You want a uniformed look in your dread size with no spaces. One-inch square sections will produce dreadlocks approximately the same size and pencil diameter size will produce thinner dreads. Rubber band base of each section down as you go. After sectioning, spray hair sections down with a dreadlock locking accelerator just enough to damped, not drench and keep it away from the scalp. Now you are ready to start your method of choice.
Twist and Pin: (For hair that is 3 to 6 inches in length.)
Section the hair into desired size locks. This method will produce the beginning of little dreads that look like small twist and are a great hairstyle in its own. After sectioning the hair, take a small amount of dreadlock wax and being to twist the section into a little ball. Use small hair clips to hold the sections down as you work your way around. Twist and Pin method will take about six months to lock up.
Brush Rubbing (Works only in hair three or less inches in length)
There is no need for sectioning in the brush rubbing method. This process creates natural sections in your hair that produce smaller dreads. Using a soft bristled brush circle the brush on hair in a clockwise direction until little dread balls form. This method produces tiny dreads immediately but will take about two months for them to lock up. After getting well-sectioned dread balls condition your dreads by applying a very small amount of dread wax to each dread. You will barely have to have any wax on your fingers to do this.
Twist and Rip (Hair should be at least 6 or more inches long)
With the Twist and Rip, you will section your hair in desired sized locks band the section next to scalp, and then wash it with 100% residue shampoo. Here is where the trick lies; while washing your hair rub it in a clockwise direction the entire time even in rinse process. After washing, check for any broken rubber bands and replace. Allow your hair to air-dry with rubber bands still in place. Once dry, remove the rubber band from a singular section of hair, and proceed to roll the hair section between the palms of your hands. Once the dread starts to take fairly well, add a small amount of dread wax to the palm of your hand and continue to roll the section. Repeat the process with each section. Your hair sections will look like dreads in about a month to and will completely lock up within 3 months.
Finger Twisting (Hair should be at least 3 inches long)
For finger twisting, you can either section your hair through the brush rubbing method, by random selections, or by sectioning as described above. Take a section and repeatedly twist the section of hair between your fingertips with a light mist of locking accelerator. It will look like small twist braid in a sense. Allow the accelerator to dry fully and then continue to twist. You can move on to other sections as you wait for previous sections to dry completely. After twisting, add just a tad of dread wax to the twist and twist some more. This method takes about 6 months to fully lock but will resemble dreads immediately after done twisting.
Dread Braiding (For hair lengths 6 inches or longer)
After sectioning hair and securing with rubber bands, remove rubber band off section you will be working on, braid the hair down and then secure tip with a rubber band. Continue this process until all sections are braided. Very lightly mist braid with locking accelerator, take a dab of dread wax, and rub the wax between the palms of your hands. Now take a section at a time and roll the braid in between the palms of your hands until the dread wax is worked well into hair. Until your hair fully locks up (approximately a year) it will look like braids.
Backcombing (For hair at least three inches long)
In blacks hair this method works best if hair has been straighten first by a hot comb or chemical perm. Backcombing is similar to teasing hair. Remove the rubber band at scalp of sectioned hair. While holding a section of hair, take a fine toothed stiff metal comb and work comb up the shaft of the hair section taking one or two strands of hair up with each stroke. This will begin to make dreads in your hair. Each stroke up the shaft make sure you pack the hair in tight next to previous stroke. Turn or twist section as you go forming nice round dreads. Once you reach the end, secure the top and bottom of the dread with a rubber band. Take a small dab of dread wax into palm of hand and roll the section of hair in palm of hands to give the dread a finished look. Once completed this method looks just like dreads but does take about 3 months to full lock.
Neglected natural (Can be done with any length of hair)
Obtaining locks naturally can be done easily however will take 8 months to 2 years to achieve the finished look. During that time, the locks really do not present well and many people cannot cope with their hair looking in such disarray for the extended time. The neglect way consists of doing minimal care to your hair. One may choose to simply just not wash, brush, or comb their hair again. One can choose to use dread wax in their hair to help lock the hair strands or let nature take its course. This method takes an extremely long time and the sported risks damaged hair, and severe dandruff. This method is not highly recommended.
There is maintenance required in wearing the dreadlock hairstyle. You should wash your hair at least weekly with a 100% residue shampoo. It is recommended that one place pantyhose over their locks and wash the locks through the pantyhose the first few weeks. Continue to twist them always to help keep their shape as well as tighten the roots as they grow out. While twisting your locks may want to use small amounts of dread wax. This will help your locks keep their shape as well as nourishes the hair. The longer you wear your dreads the better they will look if properly maintained.