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Beeswax Extended

Beeswax
We've always understood that it's not the wax itself that causes the problems because beeswax in and of itself isn't wholey evil...actually it's not bad.  Most people make the mistake of lumping all products that contain beeswax together and this is unfortunate.  This article will help you understand the natural of beeswax and when to use a product that contains it and when to avoid it.

In addition to beeswax, many over the counter products contain other controversial ingredients...mineral oil and/or petrolatum .  In truth, these two ingredients, not beeswax, are actually the ones that lockwearers SHOULD avoid.

Tubbys dreadlocks

I may need to excuse myself from this topic because I use a Dreadlocks products that contains beeswax.  My dreadlocks are approximately 8 years old and about 5-6 of those years I've been using the same product.  Here's the thing, I don't have any Build-up.  My dreadlocks are amongst the softest.  I don't have problems with lint becoming embedded in my locks either.  So why then does everyone say to avoid beeswax?  I myself used to argue against it but now I know better...

Back in 2000 when I started my dreadlocks journey, I got on the web, went to a dreadlocks site that catered to individuals with naturally straight hair and used the information provided there to lock my hair.  The one thing that I remember from this site was an article and online video where it was suggest that I continually and repeatedly use "wax" on my locks.  Back then I didn't shop online so I went to Sally's Beauty Supply store and purchased a jar of Murray's beeswax, the black kind because well...my hair was black.

About two weeks later I was searching the internet and stumbled upon a Black hair forum with a dreadlocks section.  The first article I read said that I needed to avoid beeswax products.  GREAT!  Now you tell me.  I spent the next few hours using the hottest water possible to wash my locks.  No matter how much I washed my hair every time I squeezed my locks black Murray's beeswax would show up on my white towel.  Long story short I learned that beeswax wasn't for me.  That is until I saw a beautiful man online who subsequently became one of our first naaniMODELS...Mandingo.

mandingo's dreadlocksThat's Mandingo on the right.  In his naaniMODEL profile one of the questions I asked was "what products do you use on your locks."  He said, "beeswax."  Turns out, Mandingo was not only a real estate professional and actor but a licensed stylist as well.  Wait, he uses beeswax?  Why are his locks so clean?   Maybe it's not the beeswax, maybe it's how the beeswax is incorporated in the product.

Beeswax in products is sorta like sugar and Kool-Aid.  The right ratio of sugar to Kool-Aid and you got the best, inexpensive drink on the planet.  Too little sugar and you're better off drinking Gatorade.  Too much sugar and you'll sware it'll give you diabetes.  The point is, sugar isn't bad just because you use too much.  You're the one who made it, you used too much.  And therein lies the problem with traditional beeswax products for locks.  The manufacturer used too much wax.

Most of the products that you'll fin

d over-the-counter (OTC) that contain beeswax are equivalent to Vaseline (tm) or Petroleum Jelly in consistency.  Such products are either thick and gooey OR, if it contains far too much beeswax and far too few oils, it will be hard as a brick, but "hard" products can be deceiving....

Make sure that the Texture or degree of hardness/rigidity in your product that contains beeswax is not due solely to the beeswax.  For example, Cocoa Butter is very hard when cooled but it also has a pretty low melting point. Therefore, if you were to twist your locks with Cocoa Butter only for example, you wouldn't be able to get it out of the jar if the Cocoa Butter is at room temperature.  Does that mean that Cocoa Butter is bad for your locks too?  Of course not.  It's all about concentration.

WHAT'S IN YOUR PRODUCT?
murrays beeswaxWhen most people refer to beeswax, they're usually talking about Murray's Beeswax.  This is a great product on loose hair styles.  It's great for guys who want "waves" in their hair.  It's not for use on dreadlocks and here's why...

Yellow Jar Ingredients: Petrolatum, Select Australian Beeswax, Fragrance

Black Jar Ingredients: Petrolatum, Select Australian Beeswax, Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance

The first ingredient in a product is the ingredient that's used in highest concentration.  Now ask yourself, what's the consistency of Murray's Beeswax?  It's about the same consistency as Vaseline/Petroleum Jelly.  Now I wonder what's in Vaseline?  100% PETROLATUM!

The point is, even without the beeswax, Murray's would still have the consistency of Vaseline.  You wouldn't use Vaseline to twist your locks would you?  Then why are you using Murray's?  It's virtually the same thing.

THE TRUTH ABOUT BEESWAX
Beeswax has traditionally been used to help keep twists intact and smooth fly-aways during the initial locking stages. The problem with traditional beeswax products is that they were manufactured to be so thick that they are very difficult to shampoo out of your hair. Very hot water is often needed to fully remove the product and even then, there may still be some residue which overtime leads to build-up.

Try purchasing a jar of over the counter (OTC) beeswax and examining its consistency. Unlike the pomades we're used to, most OTC beeswax products are thick and repel water like a raincoat.  These products usually contain additives like petrolatum/petroleum or mineral oil which clogs pores and gets trapped in dreadlocks. So imagine having it in your hair after regular applications. How can you truly expect to remove it all in just one setting...especially when you have dreadlocks?

Using petroleum based products repeatedly can cause a build-up of the material in your dreadlocks that may be impossible to remove. In addition as your locks mature, OTC beeswax or petroleum based products can give your hair a dull, lifeless appearance and can also cause your dreadlocks to become quite heavy.

Unfortunately, some of the company's that manufacturer "dreadlocks wax" design it for use on naturally straight hair which is difficult to lock.  These are the companies/sites that will tell you to put tons of their product on your hair in order to lock it.  Most of the customer examples on these website show people with dreadlocks that look sticky, discolored and frankly untouchable.  This is due to excessive use of a product that's poor for locks and/or infrequent shampoos.  Don't fall into the trap.  Just because you entered a search term in Google and the site popped up doesn't mean the products they offer are for you.  Even if you don't trust me, once you get the product, if it's hard as brick...you were warned.

Article Series

This article is part 2 of a 2 part series. Other articles in this series are shown below:
  1. Beeswax
  2. Beeswax Extended

Comments

Comment #1 (Posted by Tenea) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
Really loved this essay. For a while i had been using murrays beeswax and when i found out that petrolatum wasnt good for your hair, i through it away. i since then have been considering using shea butter, however after reading, im thinking about trying out your lock butter. Thank you so much this was a really big help
Comment #2 (Posted by Kiarma) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
Thank you for the great info. I have been trying to lock my hair for one month and I have been reading about products and trying to use the best products for my hair. This article was informative and I plan to order your products.
Comment #3 (Posted by pat) Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
Your infro is very helpful. I am now starting my lock. I will look for this product.

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