The Brush Rubbing Method

Brush rubbing is ideal if you have very short hair and want completely random sections. When the conditions are right, hair will form knotted balls if it's rubbed in a circular motion. The conditions for this to work well are as follows:

  • The hair type should be highly textured African hair.
  • The hair needs to be freshly washed and dried and free of residues.
  • The hair needs to be quite short. 3/4" to 2.5" is a workable range.


Brush rubbing could be though of more as a method of creating random sections than locking since the locking is basically being done with the twisting method after the sections are formed.


Brush Rubbing Step by Step

  • 1. Use a short, soft bristled brush to lightly rub the surface of the hair in small clockwise circles. After a minute or two of rubbing in an area about the size of the brush, the hair will start to form little round balls of hair. These knotted balls will be the natural sections of your dreads. After they have formed move the brush to another area and repeat until all sections have formed.
  • 2. Apply cream to each ball and twist it clockwise firmly with your fingers.
  • 3. A clip can be used to secure each twist while it is allowed to dry.
  • 4. Sit under a dryer or use a hair dryer to set the twists. This step is important. Let it dry completely and sit for at least 3 hours if possible. If you are brave, you can cover the dreads and carefully sleep on the clips.


Why not twist counter clockwise or to the left? Always doing it to the right will keep the direction consistent, is 90% of the reason. Clockwise is preferable to Counter-Clockwise because more people have circular growth patters that run in the clockwise direction. (Supposedly 70% of us) So this direction works with the natural direction of our hair.

Using Bands to Secure the Twists

Because the hair is quite short and because there is nothing but a twist and the cream holding it in place, these baby dreads will be very delicate. Rubberbands are sometimes used to secure the twists at the root but this should only be done if you can ensure that none of the bands will be put on tightly. Tight bands exert a constant tension on the hair and cause discomfort and possible breakage. Bands should be loose enough that you can roll up and down with your fingers and there should be space between the band and the scalp so it's not constantly pulling on the roots of the hair.




This type of brush works well for the brush rubbing method.
The bristles should be short and soft.