What do you do when you are tired of your dreadlocks? You can combine them to form stylish and trendy wick dreads. Voila!
So, what exactly are wicks and is it something you should consider?
What are Wick Dreads?
Wick dreads are a much thicker form of dreadlocks. The partings on the head are so large that the number of wicks can be as few as 4 or 6.
The name wick comes from the resemblance to that of a candle wick due to its straight and upright nature.
They are formed by merging together regular dreadlocks that are much smaller and manipulating them into rolls.
Wicks can be started by locking natural, loose hair into wicks. It can take roughly a year or two to fully grow wick dreads from loose hair.
Where do wick dreads come from?
Wick dreads have evolved from dreadlocks which are the face of Afro-Caribbean culture.
There is also evidence pointing to ancient Egypt where mummies and artifacts have been found depicting similar hair style.
The modification of the original dreadlock has birthed the wick dread which originated in South Florida.
It has recently been popularized by rappers like Kodak Black and Jay-Z adorning them on red carpets and major events creating a trend in the media thus prompting people to mimic to the style.
Wicks vs Dreads
Here are key differences between wicks and dreads
|They are generally larger in size (can be as few as 4-6 wicks on the head)||They are smaller|
|Have a straight and upright look||Have a rope-like appearance|
|They are created by crocheting the hair or use of rubber bands||They are formed mainly by palm rolling or comb coils|
There are a lot of similarities between Wicks and Congos but there are also striking differences outlined below:
Wicks vs Congo Dreads
|Have rounded ends||Have blunt ends|
|They are thicker combining 5 or more smaller dreads||They are smaller combining 2-5 smaller dreads|
|When crocheting, the ends are usually needled to give the cylindrical look||In the crochet method, the ends are usually let lose to give the rugged ends look|
How to do Wick Dreads
Wicks can be started using different methods that we shall discuss below:
1. Crotchet Method
The fasted and somewhat easier way to get wicks is to combine already established dreadlocks to form much larger dreads, essentially to wick dreads.
How to wick dreads – step by step
You will need:
- Crotchet hooks (Double, Single & Triple Prong)
- Tail comb for parting
- Rubber bands to secure the combined locs
Step 1: Cleanse & clarify
Start off with cleansing and clarifying your dreadlocks. You wouldn’t want to combine locs that are full of build-up and lint, would you?
There are several ways to clean your locs, you can use a clarifying shampoo as this will lift the build up. When washing your locs, pay attention to the roots, often times sebum build-up will collect at the roots.
Take each individual loc and inspect it for any lint. You may have to wash and rinse several times until the locs are clean.
Alternatively, start by soaking your locs in apple cider vinegar before proceeding to use a regular shampoo. Apple cider vinegar is an effective natural clarifying agent.
Step 2: Section and secure the locs
This step is very important and needs attention.
Section and divide your locs into the number of wicks you desire. If you have 60 locs for instance, you can divide those into 10 sections by combining 6 locs.
Secure the combined dreadlocks using rubber bands.
Ensure your parts are straight, this may mean borrowing hair from an adjacent loc so you end up with well-defined parts. Take your time and be patient.
Step 3: Combine the locs
Combine the locks by using the different crotchet hooks. Either start from the base working your way up or from the ends and work your way down.
You will notice the merging of your wick forming a cylindrical shape.
You may have to keep rotating the wicks and repeating the crotchet method until the locs are fully combined into a sturdy wick.
If your locs are super long, you may opt to cut them and combine the cut locs to form much thicker wicks.
This method of wicking dreads gives a quick and neat look and is pretty easy to achieve with the help of a stylist.
Here is a video tutorial:
2. Freeform Method
This technique can work if you already have dreadlocks or with free natural hair.
All you have to is let it grow out naturally for a while and maintain it by washing it regularly. After sometime, the roots of your hair begin to fuse into thick locks.
Once the hair starts locking, separate the roots as desired into thick wicks.
3. Rubber Band Method
For this method, you will start with free natural hair.
Start by creating the parts you would want to create each wick. After that, you tie up the section of the hair that constitute the wick at three points; the ends, middle and at the bottom close to the scalp.
Leave in the rubber bands for about 3 weeks.
Make sure they do not stay in too long otherwise the rubber bands will tangle up in your locks and that won’t be pretty to remove.
How to maintain wick dreads
- Wash your hair regularly to avoid build up. Make use of a residue-free shampoo followed by a conditioner. Additionally, wash the wicks with warm water and rinse with cool water.
- When sleeping, tie up your wicks and cover them with a satin bonnet or head scarf. This minimizes hair thinning due to friction in bed.
- Spray rose water to promote hair growth and to moisturize the wicks. You can also sparingly oil your scalp to keep it moisturized.
- Re-tighten your locks using the rubber band or crochet method.
Wicks dreads are great way to creatively style your natural hair or dreadlocks. With great maintenance, they can go for years with your wicks.
Should you opt for this style, remember to care for them and rock them as you please.