STARTING OUT: wash your hair with bar soap for atleast a couple of weeks before starting the dread process. (see products for good stuff to use) decide how you think you want your dreads and begin to section them off into their desired size-- either section with rubber bands, or work on one dread at a time.
SIZE AND SECTIONING: the size of your dreads is completely up to you. if you have thinner hair, i suggest thinner dreads. i*f you have lots of hair, thinner dreads tend to look flimsy and dead* and remember, you can always dread two dreads together or cut dreads apart later on.
PRODUCTS: for pre-dreads, i suggest dr. bronner's peppermint bar soap or tea tree soap. i like to use Aveda products because they are natural and smell wonderful. they tend to be a bit pricy though. there are some soaps made specifically for dreads--based on friend's expierences with these various products, knottyboy is the best. dont' use any shampoos with conditioners.
FORMING DREADS: you have three options 1. completely natural, let them happen. (for a lot of white people (me) this takes a long long time and sometimes doesn't work) 2. twist and rip + palm rolling(rubbing hair back in forth b/w palms). 3. backcoming(using a comb to brush hair up towards scalp). in my opinion it's best to do all three. *get as close to roots as possible, it takes time, but it's worth it, otherwise you'll end up re-doing them*
WASHING: some dreadheads don't like washing often, but i do. i wash my hair every 5-7 days. start with dr. bronner's (or dread soap) and then once dreads are pretty tight go ahead and expirement with other products. clean your scalp and dreads! use fingertips to rub soap into the scalp. use a towel to get as must moisture out of dreas as possible. don't sleep with damp dreads. air dry or if it's nice, dry them outside.
FRIZZINESS: I have some frizzy days the first month and now every once in a while. rubbing the top of your head with a wool sweater in a circular motion helps a littl bit. but most of all you just have to be patient. some people's dreads get frizzy after washing, but i've found that mine are get frizzy (and flimsy too) when i haven't washed them in a while. wash your dreads and spend some time palmrolling to get ride of frizziness.
ROOTS: ahh, the roots. they are the trickest part of dreads. (see forming dreads!) i use beads and clear plastic bands to control root problems. if you use the bands, just do a few at a time, for about a week, because otherwise you won't be able to find them/get them out.
ENDS/TIPS: use all three of the forming dreads methods on your tips and they should lock up. palm roll in an upwards direction. trim em every once in a while too.
TIGHTEN: you can tighten dreads up by doing any of the forming dreads methods. also, make a lemon juice and see salt mix and put it in a spray bottle and use on your dreads twice a week. or, wash your hair in this mix.
SMELL: I haven't had any problems with my dreads smelling. Though, once a week or so i use peppermint tea stree foot deoderizer/refresher on my dreads. that's right, it's for feet. but it leaves your dreads smelling clean.
WAX: some dread heads wax some don't. not a big deal. i use wax maybe once a month to maintain /help the shape and frizzies, but i did not use wax to form my dreads.
DANDRUFF: don't pick at your head. scratch your head as little as possible and keep your dreads and scalp clean. every once in a while do a "swat session" bend over so your dreads are hanging and just swat at your head and watch the flakes shower to the ground. it's fun. this prevents *noticable dandruff*
HAIRSTYLES: I thought this catogory would be good because i like to style my dreads. one of my favorite things to do it tie up my dreads in back with my two longest back dreads. i also like to wear them in loose pigtails. braiding dreads is also fun, but don't let them dread together. i like to cut off the bottoms of stretchy pants and make hairwraps out of those. and i like pulling my dreads to one side in a low, loose pony tail.
i will probably add to this, cause i'm sure i forgot some stuff, but that is all for now. if you want to comment and leave your own tips or your own guide that would be cool.
These are from a few months ago, i dreaded some of them together and they tightened up a lot.