Views #628 | Intermediate 5

Hair Care for Dreadlocks

Tre talks about having dreadlocks and how to get them and maintain them.

Todd: So, Tres, can I ask you some questions about your hair?

Tres: Sure, go ahead.

Todd: So you have dreadlocks. How long have you had dreadlocks?

Tres: I've had dreadlocks ever since I was in high school, so I would say over ten years.

Todd: And how do you actually get dreadlocks, like what do you have to do to your hair?

Tres: There are many ways you can get dreadlocks. One is to visit the salon and have it professionally done. Another way, the natural way, what I do is just twist my hair and it takes maybe two or three months for the hair to actually lock together and become dreadlocks.

Tres: Now because I am of African heritage my hair is different from my brothers and sisters who are of Asian or European heritage and therefore my hair locks much easier because it's curlier and it's quite flat.

Todd: So when you say you push it together to lock it, you just spend a little time every night just twisting your hair? (Yep)

Tres: Yep.

Todd: How do you do it in the back though?

Tres: It's really hard to describe with words but, it's a shoulder workout, but I just grab my hair, rub it in between my hands, sort of like when you're a kid and you're playing with play-dough and you're trying to make a long cyclindrical rod with play-dough. You twist it in your hands. Same way.

Todd: Now once you have dreadlocks do you have to continually do this to keep them this way or once they are locked are they good forever?

Tres: Once you have dreadlocks it is good to twist them occassionally because if you do not then they'll just grow out as if it's an afro, so I would have a large afro adn then at the tips of the afro I'd have dreadlocks, so I do go back and twist my hair occassionaly.

Todd: OK, and for washing your hair, is there anything special that you have to do?

Tres: Just make sure that you clean your scalp and whenever you choose a shampoo make sure that it's one that does not damage your scalp or what have you.

Todd: Right, so basically, nothing different.

Tres: Right. Nothing different, just watch out for the pH balance.

Todd: OK, thanks Tres.

Tres: You're welcome.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


I've had dreadlocks ever since I was in high school.

A 'dreadlock' is a piece of braided or twisted hair which stays in a combined section on its own. You can either have just one or a whole head full of them. Notice the following:

  1. Bob Marley was well-known for his dreadlocks.
  2. If you want to get rid of your dreadlocks, you will have to shave your head.


One of the ways I get dreadlocks is I just twist my hair to lock together.

When you 'twist' something, you rotate it in the same direction many times. When you are talking about hair, twisting it brings a group of hairs close together in a tight bunch. Notice the following:

  1. Your belt is twisted in the back.
  2. It would look nice if you twisted those curtains there in the middle.


Because of my African heritage, my hair locks much easier because it's curlier.

Your 'heritage' refers to your cultural or genetic history. Here, Tres is referring to his genetic history that makes his hair a certain way. Notice the following:

  1. Many of the people in this part of the country are of German heritage.
  2. One of the goals of this institution is to celebrate Mexican heritage.


I rub my hair between my hands, sort of like when you're a kid playing with play-dough.

'Play-dough' is a toy that children play with. It is a squishy material that you can form into many different shapes. There are also toys that you can use for shaping the play-dough, and it comes in many different colors. Notice the following:

  1. Make sure you don't mix the play-dough colors together, because it will turn a really ugly shade.
  2. My kids can play with play-dough for hours.

pH balance

Watch out for your shampoo's pH balance to make sure it doesn't damage your scalp.

Scientifically speaking, the 'pH balance' something refers to the balance between an acid or a base. In the conversation, Tres is just talking about keeping the skin on your head healthy and clean, so not to oily and not too dry. Notice the following:

  1. This shampoo will help maintain a pH balance in your hair.
  2. When you are a teenage, keeping the pH balance in your skin is very important.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

dreadlocks • twist • heritage
play-dough • balance
  1. You can make a pizza out of , but don't eat it.
  2. She has become very interested in learning about her family's history and .
  3. The doctor told me that I have this rash because of a pH on my skin.
  4. To make the bread, you just take the dough and it like this.
  5. When you decide to look for a professional job, you may have to cut off your .

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