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Tips for Tips

one hand holding an end of a dreadlock rubbing it into the palm of another open hand

How to create blunted ends on your dreads

Loose ends work for some, but so annoying when all you want is round, blunted tips! The bad news is, ends dread on their own schedule, often times staying frustratingly loose while the rest of your hair locks up in record time. The good news is, there are a few super easy things you can do to get that loose end-hair to knot up nice and tight. It's not going to happen overnight, but if you add this step into your regular maintenance routine you'll have solid tips WAY faster! Here's my step-by-step, oh-my-stars-isn't-this-the-easiest-thing guide to getting your messy tips tidied up.

By Kris, loctician for The Dreadquarters

Detailed Instructions

plastic head with superimposed fake tears and voice balloon saying Boo!

This is Judy. (name changed for privacy)

She's totally bummed! What's going on, buddy?


hand holding dreadlocks with fuzzy ends

Oh. I see. Judy's bummed because her otherwise awesome locks are loose at the tips. We can fix this. We have the technology.

hand holding small amount of hair protruding from end of dreadlock with comb backcombing the rest into a fluffy ball

Step 1 - backcombing

The first step is to backcomb the loose hairs at the end of the lock, pushing the new knots right up to the solid area of the dread. Use a fine toothed comb or...

fingercombing technique holding a few strands of hair extending from a dreadlock while the rest is being pushed into a ball

Step 2 - fingercombing it like a real caveman would, and use your fingers. No need to get all fancy here.

one hand holding an end of a dreadlock rubbing it into the palm of another open hand

Step 3 - palm rubbing

Once you've pushed all that hair as high up as you can (without forcing it) rub the end of your lock in your palm. Now, some people advise you to do this in a clockwise direction, or a counterclockwise direction - but really, they might as well advise you to bark like a dog. I have a hunch folks tell you that kind of thing just to be able to tell you to do something, you know? You're trying to make knots. Just gently rub it around every which way until it's knotted up. No need to check the phases of the moon or anything.

two hand holding a dreadlock between them flat pressed together with arrows indicating reciprocal direction of travel

Step 4 - palm rolling

As always, we finish off our maintenance with a palmroll. This is the key to keeping your locks in great shape! Put the dread between your palms and pretend you're trying to start a fire with two twigs!

Tip: Add a small amount of Knotty Boy Dreadlock Wax to the tip of your dread before palm rolling for added hold.

hand holding ends of newly maintained dreadlocks

Step 5

And that's it! There's no wax in these right now, and it took all of 2 minutes per dread. Maybe. Like I said earlier, this isn't something that's going to hold up after just one go. As time goes on, all those loose little hairs will get sucked into the middle of your lock, and the end will round up as the dread matures. Chances are, this'll come out again after you wash your hair for the first while, but if you incorporate this as a regular step in your maintenance routine, your ends WILL tighten up faster and you won't have any of the problems I regularly see from other end-tightening methods. But how does Judy feel about this?

plastic head with weird unlifelike eyes and hearts floating around with voice balloon saying Yay!

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