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Are You Fruzzy? Dealing with Frizzy Dreadlocks

A few months back I was chatting with naaniMODEL jOjo.  I was explaining how frustrating my locks had become.  My dreadlocks are about 8 years old and beyond the fact that I've had to do a little doctoring on them (cutting) to even them out (one side grows faster and is/was about 6 inches longer than the other...yeah, I know...WEIRD) and colouring a few years back, I haven't done anything special to them.

Damian Marley

A few months back I was chatting with naaniMODEL jOjo.  I was explaining how frustrating my locks had become.  My dreadlocks are about 8 years old and beyond the fact that I've had to do a little doctoring on them (cutting) to even them out (one side grows faster and is/was about 6 inches longer than the other...yeah, I know...WEIRD) and colouring a few years back, I haven't done anything special to them.

I maintain my locks with naani's naturals products, I don't have any issues with build-up or dryness.  I had seborrhea (a dry scalp condition) back in 2002 prior to switching to naani's naturals and growing dreadlocks but that issue has all but disappeared as the result of using milder, natural products and my scalp is now healthy. 

Despite the fact that my hair and scalp are healthy, I've always had a problem with EXTREME frizzies.  When other folks would talk about how frizzy their locks were, I thought we were speaking on the same level.  Some years ago I realized that the majority of people with locks don't get and probably never will get what I'm trying to down.

So this article is for my Frizzy & Fuzzy brothas and sistas (I shall call them "Fruzzies") who love their locks, who would never cut them, but at times want to scream from the roof-tops because the frizz won't stay at bay.

The above photo is of Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley.  I recently developed a major crush on him so I'm posting this photo not only because he's HOT! but also because he is a perfect example of the Fruzzy Crew.

Notice the extreme amount of loose hairs above the bandana.  It's important to note that most of these loose hairs originate FROM THE SCALP, not the locks themselves.  So this isn't a matter of cutting the loose hairs away because doing so would result in bald patches throughout the Fruzzy's scalp.  Where fruzzies generally do have loose hairs eminating from their dreadlocks, this is usually do to their attempt to integrate the loose, independent hair strands into the dreadlock.  The fruzzy hairs sometimes integrate and at others, they don't.  In the end, you still got loose hairs and the challenge is determining what to do with and about them.

frizzy dreadlocks


Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Damian Marley Buju Banton Buju Banton Buju Banton

I can't tell you how many individuals with locks and locticians themselves are unaware of the issues concerning Fruzzies.  Imagine having masses of hair that refuse to lock.  I myself tried to lock some of my fruzzy hair.  I braided the fruzzies together.  What I'd been doing prior was braiding the frizzies down the locks but after each and every shampoo, the fruzzies would free themselves and I'd have to start all over again.

The false assumption would be that the loose hairs are the result of free-forming.  People who freeform do not palm-roll or integrate loose hairs into their lockson a regular and consistent basis.  Thus, Marley's locks are probably due to his freeforming.  That would be true if I too were a freeformer.  I ain't.  The above photo shows my locks at my crown (top of my head).  It's hard to distinguish where the loose hair begins and the locks end.  This happens to be the area of my hair that's most prone to fruzzies but I digress...

There's a certain ethnic hair type that's resistant to locking.  People with this hair type generally have thick, ultra-soft hair with a loose curl pattern.  For those of you stuck on stupid, their hair isn't quite "good hair," but it's not the typical cottony, tight coil pattern associated with people of African descent [based on the naani hair type system these individuals would be a type 3C, 4A or 4B).  They can wear their loose natural hair in curly styles with a little prodding (usually to minimize frizzies).  Where someone with a very loose curl pattern ("good hair"/type 3) can wash and go and end up with wavy coils, type 4A-B Fruzzies can obtain a similar look to those with type 3C hair with the use of products such as  No More Frizzies Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Jelly or Styling Gel or Curly Custard.

Now not everyone who falls in the 3C-4B hair type range (based on the naani 5 Hair Type System) and who grows dreadlocks will be a fruzzy.  Hair strands also need to be taken into consideration.  I've found that those of us who have a high concentration of fine-medium hair strands are far more likely to be impacted by fruzzies than those with medium and/or coarse strands.

Where Fruzzy men and Fruzzy freeformers tend to not have issues with the amount of frizzy hairs that surround their locks, those of us who opt for salon or manicured dreadlocks find caring for our hair to be extremely frustrating.  In short, Marley looks sexy as hell...and his locks look great too :-) but hes a man.  The Fruzziness gives his locks character and style.  I, on the other hand, most women and those individuals who work in professional settings that opt for salon/manicured dreadlocks, find that the fruzzies make us look HOT! as well...a HOT MESS!.

I mentioned that my locks are 8 years old. I took the picture below about a year ago.  This is what my locks look like after shampooing. What's odd is, no matter how little or how much I happened to have twisted my hair during a particular period, as soon as water hits my dreadlocks, the fruzzies seem to be "activated" and work their way outside of the lock or stick up from my scalp...

Tubbys Fruzzy LocksEarly on in my lock journey naani participated in a trade show in the DC area.  A friend of mine with locks tagged along to help with the venture.  We both fell in love with some hemp hats that we'd be retailing.  She put on a hat, I put on a hat.  We'd both done our hair the day before.  We both removed the hats at virtually the same time and that's when I knew I was a Fruzzy.

Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo

Her locks looked just as they did before she put on the hat.  Mine on the other hand instantly had a halo of fruzzy hair.  The motion of lifting the hat upward caused the frizzy hair to loose  from my locks and voila!, instant Fruzzy.  The hat incident aside, my fruzziness is also apparent anytime my locks are in the presence of moisture.  Whether it be a humid day or working out at the gym, the attack of the fruzzies is a constant battle.  I used to work out (I'm truly a "tubby" now) about 4-5 days a week.  Day by day, the fruzzies would increase in number. The past couple of years has been increasingly difficult for me.  When I do other people's hair, the result is absolutely beautiful.  I can turn dirty, crusty, dry locks into a masterpiece, but my own is another story. 

Tubby's Braid OutThe photo to the left was taken about a year ago.  I braided my locks and then undid them braids a few days later.  If you look at the above photo, you'll notice that the fruzzies have been minimized.  Thus, in terms of technique, I know how to incorporate the loose hairs so that I achieve the salon locks I desire.  Only problem is, it takes me about 9 hours to do my locks.  That includes shampooing, deep conditioning, twisting, braid/roller setting but 9 hours is a bit much wouldn't you agree?...especially when you do your hair every two weeks.

A while back I discussed my frustration with naaniMODEL jOjo.  He questioned whether it was due to over-twisting.  We argued over it for a while until he showed me a picture he took from a Damian Marley concert.  When I looked at the photo I felt an instant connection with Marley. Then I remembered I was supposed to be looking at his locks and not at how HOT! he was and I felt an even greater connection. 

I told jOjo that Marley's locks were like mine and given that Marley was a free-former who infrequently twists, the issue can't be that I over-twist.  The issue is my hair texture, not my technique, not my products...

I'm writing this article to let other fruzzies know they're not alone.  I'm also writing it because if you ever see me round town with frizzy locks, you'll know why.  My hair is what it is.  Sometimes I just want to wash and go like everyone else.

Tubby's Locks after shampooing and twistingDespite my frustration, my saving grace has been naani's naturals products.  Lock'd Down Dreadlocks Butter enables me to get through to my next shampoo.  The products along with the braiding frizzies technique means that even a Fruzzy like myself can achieve the salon dreadlocks look as evidenced in the photo to the right.

Finally, I'm writing because I want folks who visit this site to understand that the people who make naani's naturals products USE naani's naturals products.  The information on this site is written from a personal perspective.  The advice we give is learned from personal experience.  We've been there, done that and when we say something works, it works. 

So the next time you ask, "what products should I use on my hair or skin," I would hope that the answer would be apparent.  Unfortunately, for some it's not so I'm saying it now.  I wouldn't be in this, I wouldn't have made this site my life's work if I was just in it for the fame or the money.  I'm not famous, nor am I wealthy.  I do this because since I went natural and subsequently grew dreadlocks, I've had to work my ass off to make my hair look its best...naturally.  Sure, it may take me a little longer than most but in the end and thanks to naani I'm lock'd for life!

much luv,


Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Tubbys Locks after shampooing and twisting Picture of Tubbys locks post-shampoo Picture of Tubbys locks post-braiding Picture of Tubbys locks post-braiding These are my locks as of January 2008. naaniModel Simlyloc naaniModel Simlyloc naaniModel Drea naaniModel Drea images have been reprinted with Permission.  Copyright 2008


naaniFam Speaks
aprilpetillo's picture
1st, know that your locs are beautiful and an inspiration. I’m minimally fuzzy, but have noticed that the few gray hairs that I have coming in and a few of their non-gray friends all refuse to hang out with the locs around them for too long (grin). While I don’t have quite the level of “unravel” that you do after a shampoo, my 3C-4A hair does “fatten up” a bit at the roots after a shampoo—especially if there is no extra attention paid to controlling those roots a bit. Ultimately for me, the fuzziness has helped create volume so that I don’t miss my long ‘fro so much—they help create thickness. I have to wash/retwist about once a week to keep the fuzzy edges at bay (even tho’ I sleep on a satin pillow with my head wrapped in a silk scarf EVERY NIGHT.) So, while I ultimately like the fuzzy volume, it is helpful to know that I am not the only one who is still spending major time (about 5-6 hours when I do them myself) per washing to maintain something resembling a salon look.
naaniFam Speaks
admin's picture

lord give me strength

welcome to the fruzzy crew!  grey hairs are indeed difficult to contend with.  i'm not sure why some of them seem to grow independent of my locks but it's whatever at this point...they're everywhere.

shampooing is still a trial.  i've attempted going a bit longer in between shampoos but all that's done is caused my locks to fatten/draw up a bit.

long story short, before you grow locks, examine your hair texture.  if you're the type who gets braids/cornrows and finds that your hair is frizzy soon after getting it done (in comparison to your peers), chances are you're a fruzzy.  what this means is you will have to spend far more time maintaining your hair (especially if you're a chick).

in the early years, it's not a big deal but as your locks lengthen, spending several hours each week to twist is a bit much.  even if you try to extend your shampoos, it won't matter much because the loose hairs will work their way out of your locks on their own.

at the end of the day, my lock journey has been worth it.  i'm sure i'd do it again...i guess, but i'd save a whole lotta heart ache had i know from jump that "taming" my frizzies will never be something that will take time.  my hair hates me...

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