So after two years of wanting dreadlocks and reading about the how-tos (creating, maintaining, etc.), I picked up a dread comb and some clips and rubberbands and washed and dried my hair and sat down with my husband yesterday to actually put them in.
Being that he's, well, a pretty typical guy who doesn't spend a lot of time working with hair, we ran into problems when it came to sectioning it out. It was a pretty frustrating several hours and in the end he convinced me to make an appointment to have a stylist make the sections out and then do the backcombing ourselves.
Part of the reason it was difficult to do the sections was because for the thickness of finished dreads I'd like to have (about the size of the hole in the middle of a CD), I was looking to make bundles of hair about 2/3rds that size, not being entirely sure how much bigger they'd become when dreaded but knowing that dreads are generally thicker than the sections that create them. The problem was that making sections that dense took up large areas of my head, which would result in few dreads with large spaces in between. My hair is about 18" long, of average thickness (front view
, back view
; looks very flat because I'd used a straightening iron the night before and this is first thing in the morning. When I wash my hair and just leave it to air dry, it dries in loose curls.)
So heeeeere's what I'm hoping is possible. I'd like to make thinner sections of hair (say, the size of a #2 pencil), to result in more dreads and fewer "bald spots", but when they get backcombed, I'd like to make sure they're held somewhat loosely so that more hair gets packed back, resulting in a wider - but ultimately shorter, at least at first - dread. Length is something I'm definitely willing to sacrifice if it means thicker dreads.
Has anyone had any success in making thicker-than-might-seem-normal dreads out of the size of hair clump I'm talking about? Once they begin to grow out, is it reasonable to assume that they will continue to grow into the thick dread or will they tighten down to "what they should be"? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks!
EDIT: Rahr, fixed broken second link.