I found your dread thread
There is a lot of helpful advice in this thread already, but I do want to emphasize a few things I've learned in my own journey with dreadlocks... because it really is quite a journey:
-Backcombing (with a flea comb, like a PP mentioned) is really the healthiest way to kick-start a set of rocking dreads. Using a crochet hook or felting needle can rip and break hairs and that can leave you with thin spots, breakage, and extra fuzzy dreads.
-Wax / smoothers / any product at all is really not a good idea. They can gum up the hair and stop the friction needed to create those tight knots that make up the length of the dreadlock. Plus they get trapped in there for years, and can occasionally cause mold!
-When choosing shampoo, always choose something "clean rinsing." I have heard Dr. Bonners can leave a residue, but nearly any shampoo does. You may have to go through a few to find one you like. You CAN wash your hair as often as you like, water makes hair knot up like crazy! I bet your dd has noticed that after the shower before.
- The secret about dreadlocks is that they are supposed to be fuzzy at first
, and that is something that maybe your DD will have to think about before committing. Dreads can be a lesson in patience and they will go through many phases (including a messy frizzy "halo" phase during the beginning... and again about a year and a half in) and you end up having to accept what they are doing on their own because too much messing with them can be damaging. It can be hard for some to get dreadlocks because we are used to worrying about what others might think of our fuzzy heads. Sometimes it takes a while to let go of expectation and let them do their thing.
-Once you backcomb and the dreads start to tighten, you have to separate them at the root by pulling them apart. Try to do it often so that you don't have any gnarly messes to rip apart (cause that really hurts!)
That is all that really comes to mind right now when I think about what I wish I knew ten years ago before I launched into this project! If I think of anything else I'll come back.