A few folks asked about my heated olive oil hair wraps (a trick passed down from my elders). I don't put any chemicals in my hair, so if you're looking for natural ways to soften up your dreads, here goes!
WARNING: BE CAREFUL - it's hot oil we're talkin' 'bout here.
1. Bottle of olive oil (glass bottle, not plastic.)
2. Fill a small saucepan with water, about halfway.
3. Set saucepan on stove, set heat to medium. Put bottle in saucepan.
4. Leave on medium heat about 3-5 minutes; check temperature by pouring some oil into a spoon and dipping your finger. You want to heat it until it's warm, but not scalding.
5.Once you've reached your desired temperature, begin pouring SMALL AMOUNTS of oil into your hands, and massage gently into your hair. Continue with hair until finished, then gently massage your scalp. (I find that there is usually no need to add more oil at this point - there's plenty in your hair already.)
6.Wrap your hair in Saran Wrap, like a turban on top of your hair. Make sure your hair is completly covered. If you are feeling particularly earth-friendly, use recycled plastic bags.
7. Optional: Use a hairdryer set on low for a few minutes, with the plastic on your head. (Be careful not to melt the bags, yo.)
Your hair will be softer, shinier, and your scalp will feel like a wonder all it's own. I let my hair air dry - usually takes about 2-3 hours. If you don't have that kind of drying time, wrap your hair in a soft cotton or natural cloth and go about your day. :)
This works well for non-dreads, also. :) It's cheap, easy,and heavenly.
Good luck! Those of you who try it, let me know what you think!