leniness (leniness) wrote in get_up_dread_up,

how to get rid of solid wax

when i first joined, there was a post on here about a guy who'd gone to a salon to get dreads and ended up with twists instead (searched for the post, but cannot seem to find it). i then saw this post today on dreadfaeries, which i assume is about a similar situation. if not, itis still about trying to get rid of solid wax from hair. both seem(ed) at a total loss about what to do about it.

"twists", for those who dont know, are when a section of the hair is filled/covered with molten beeswax and then twisted into a dread-like shape. the wax is very obvious, and the result is painful, stiff hair.

when i first had my dreads done, i was fooled into going to such a salon (his portfolio looked very good, and i was naive). by the time i realised what he was doing, it was somewhat late to stop him. he assured me that, unlike backcombed dreads which he condemned for being "too easy to remove", these were permanent. there was no way to get rid of the wax. i was stuck with either hair like this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

to start with, i tried to make the best of a bad situation (hence the beads, etc). but the dreads were actually leaving scratches on the back of my neck, felt horrible, were painful to sleep on or when i rested my head on anything, and looked terrible.

i scoured the net, but there was no information on how to get rid of the damn things, and hardly any on getting wax out of hair at all.

i figure a number of people must end up being given twists, passed off as dreads, by salons who don't seem to know any better. so i thought i would post the way i discovered to get rid of the solid wax here (and hopefully the mods might make this a memory?). the result was normal, brushable hair with no traces of waxy residue. in the process i did lose a few chunks of hair, but this was due to me having to experiemtn with ways of getting rid of the solid wax, which did include attacking it with my nails/combs/hairbrushes (which did more harm than good).

the answer lies in washing up liquid and boiling hot water. i do mean BOILING. it is worth noting that i carried out this procedure about 3 weeks after having the twists put in. a number of them were flaking wax already, and hence "opening up" a little. i recommend trying to get as many of them loose-ish with your fingers before you start - but dont cause yourself pain simply to do so! it should work without, but will probably take a couple of goes. dont iron your hair with brown paper - scalp burns hurt, and it's not that effective on twists.

either boil a large pan of water on the stove, or take the kettle up to the bathroom with you and boil several kettles' worth.

fill the sink as high as you can with boiling water.

add a good amount washing up liquid.

immerse the dreads/twists in the boiling water and wait maybe 30 seconds (or as long as you can stand). in the case of twists, rather than, for example, an accident with a candle, you need to submerse the hair right down to the scalp. this will hurt. try not to burn yourself badly, but expect some scalp redness afterwards (this goes away quickly).

remove, rinse with the shower head and check them. if there's still wax left, repeat.

the result should be clean feeling, brushable hair (which you will then need to wash - i reommend washing a couple of times with pure washing up liquid to remove the rest of the residue if there is any. good old surfactants. you can then wash and condition it with regular products). if there are still lumps of wax in the hair, boil a load more water (as the old water will then be a brownish, wax-filled colour), and repeat the steps above.

i had a couple of solid lumps left which i then picked out with my fingers. within a week or so, i dreaded my hair by backcombing, and they look and feel fine now:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

if this is the removal of solid wax from backcombed dreads (due to aforementioned candle disaster, perhaps), i'd imagine it'd still work, as it's all about melting the wax and then removing it from the individual hairs through the use of a surfactant, but you'd probably need to REALLY rinse afterwards to ensure there was no washing up liquid residue leftover.

hope this helps someone.
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