Let’s talk about dreadlocks. Some people tend to stay away from this hairstyle, and our today’s task is to get closer to it. How can we describe dreads? They are unusual, outrageous, impressive, tribal-inspired, what else? The last word that would describe them best is “beautiful”. You know that every woman is beautiful in her own way, as well as the hairstyle she chooses.
Everything You Want To Know About Dreadlocks
There’s no need to tell you how many questions dreadlocks may rise in women’s heads. This kind of hairstyle gives a fantastically unique image and reflects a person’s deep and creative world. But what hides behind this extraordinary beauty, and what to expect from dreadlocks? Below, you’re going to have all your questions answered.
What Do Dreadlocks Feel Like?
How does it feel to be yourself? Initially, dreadlocks had some ethnic and even subcultural backgrounds. However, they haven’t been just a hairstyle; they are still a mirror to the lifestyle and inner world of a person wearing them.
Apart from helping people express their personalities and build harmony with their inner-selves, this hairstyle is also associated with freedom. For example, women with naturally coarse and thick hair can forget about tiresome styling mornings, frequent salon appointments, and expensive hair care products. At the same time, people who wear dreads are free to experiment with their styles in any way they want.
As for the actual feeling of wearing such a hairstyle, dreads are soft and lightweight yet firm sections of hair. Properly done dreads never tighten or outweigh the scalp, and that’s the main reason why you will feel like this style has become a part of you.
What’s The Difference Between Dreadlocks And Sisterlocks?
When deciding to go for long dreads, natural-haired goddesses may get stuck with the choice between dreadlocks and sisterlocks. In fact, these two styling techniques may look pretty much alike with the time. Still, these are two different processes. One of the major differences between growing dreadlocks and growing sisterlocks is time.
While dreads may take up to 18 months to get a decent mature shape, you can obtain sisterlocks in a couple of salon visits. Everything is pretty simple: first, you have a consultation, the next appointment is the locking session, and the last one is meant for re-tightening the roots. As a result, sisterlocks look like locs, but your hair isn’t actually loc’ed. Therefore, you can skip the time-consuming locking process to rock the look you want with the help of a Sisterlock technician.
As for dreads, they require tedious manual work, where you need to get your hair twisted as it grows out. In a couple of months, the hair starts to lock on its own, and your task is to be patient enough.
Both these styles look like ropes twisted together. The good news is, if treated like dreads, sisterlocks may soon turn into them.
When Should You Start Dreads? How Long Should Your Hair Be For Dreadlocks?
There are three crucial details that define when you can start: the method of starting dreads, your hair type, and the look you want to achieve. Let’s get it all straight.
Methods of starting dreadlocks
- Crochet: this method is perfect for those who want to have very stiff dreads. Note that crochet dreads may hold better in the early stage. Also, it’s better to get the look in the salon. Your hair must be at least 6 inches (15 cm) in length.
- Freeform: as the most popular and versatile method, it has no length restrictions. All you need is to incorporate dreadlocks-friendly products into your hair care routine so that your hair could form locs on its own. Make sure to separate the roots early to avoid one single lock.
- Twist & rip: this method is designed to create loose and lightweight dreads. Remember that your hair should be no shorter than 5 inches (13 cm) so as not to get unraveled.
- Backcombing: another universal method that can give both relaxed and firm dreads, depending on how you backcomb your hair. Since there’s a strong risk of unraveling for short lengths, wait until your hair reaches 6 inches (15 cm).
Dreads for your hair type
- Naturally kinky and coarse hair can turn into dreads if it’s at least 1-4 inches (3-7 cm).
- Loose curly textures should be a minimum of 3 to 6 inches ( 7-15 cm).
- Straight, fine, and oily hair types should reach at least 4 inches (10cm), however, the recommended length is 8 inches (20 cm).
Even though there’s a minimum, it’s always better to step out of it and start with longer hair. In fact, the longer the hair is, the more dreads you can create. On very short hair that is even shorter than the recommended minimum, the up and down motions can result in early unraveling.
The desired result
Now that you know how much length each method requires, as well as what kind of dreads it gives, you can create a picture of your own dreadlocks. The most essential thing is to make sure that the length you want to start with will give you the look you’re going for and that it really fits your hair type. Also, if you start with very short hair, you can always attach some extensions to skip that weird growing phase.
How Do You Get Dreads?
We bet that some of you would like to get to know the process of getting dreads. We’ve highlighted the most popular methods - backcombing and twist & rip to show you what to expect from a dreading appointment. Or, maybe you’re a DIY lover?
Tools and products:
- fine-toothed comb
- rubber bands
- sectioning clips
- buildup-free shampoo
- dread wax
How to: The Backcombing Method
- Start with thoroughly clean hair, using a good residue-free shampoo to get rid of any grease, oils, and buildup on your hair.
- Blow-dry your hair in as many directions as possible to achieve the maximum volume.
- Now, it’s time for sectioning. Begin by parting your hair horizontally above the nape area. Then, take an inch-wide piece of hair from the previously sectioned hair.
- Go on to backcomb this and other sections, working from an inch below the roots. The tangle that you create will be the foundation of your dreadlocks.
- Twist the backcombed sections of hair so that they form a tight cylindrical shape.
- While continuing to twist the sections, work some dread wax into them to make the dreads nice and taut.
- After that, palm-roll your dreads, rolling them between the palms of your hands.
- Stagger your scalp while forming dreadlocks so as not to make it look exposed.
How-to: The Twist And Rip Method
- Start by sectioning off all of your hair, dividing them into individual 1-inch sections and tying them with rubber bands.
- Wash your hair with anti-residue shampoo, rubbing it in one direction: either clockwise or counterclockwise.
- Let your hair airdry.
- Rip each section apart, apply dread wax, and palm roll it until it forms a dread.
Remove the rubber bands in a month: it’s crucial to give your locks enough time to bind together and transform into dreadlocks.
Do Dreadlocks Smell Bad?
When forbidding you to get dreads, your mom would probably use their bad-smelling nature as the main reason. Though this misconception is not a myth, it’s not about the dreads itself; it’s about the way one maintains and takes care of them. Let’s be honest: any hair would stink if it’s not washed properly or at all. However, there are some scenarios at which dreads may have a bad smell. Here they are:
- When dreads aren’t washed properly, they may have stinky odors. Dreads should be washed not more than once a week. Otherwise, they will become wet in between washes, resulting in a dread rot.
- If not dried the right way, they retain moisture and start to smell bad. Never let your dreads airdry or go to bed with wet hair. Instead, dry them with a blowdryer.
- Wax is not the best choice for maintenance. Wax retains moisture too, do you get what we mean? Avoid using it at all costs!
- Sometimes dreads stink because of bacteria. Very oily scalps with an abnormal sweaty nature may become a breeding ground for bacteria to grow. To solve it, consult with your dermatologist and blowdry your hair after exercising. Also, you can look for natural alternatives to dry shampoos to keep your scalp fresh.
- Mind your skin conditions. If there’s any kind of dermatological condition like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, your dreads will be affected by it, and smell as a result. Of course, such conditions require a professional approach.
- What about your hair wrap? Sometimes all you need to get rid of the bad smell is to wash your scarf, beanie, or whatever head accessory you wear. As good a rule of thumb, it’s better to wear a clean accessory on cleanly washed dreads.
- The humid climate is cruel. High humidity levels expose the hair to prolonged moisture, leading to dread rot. Don’t forget about maintenance when the climate is changing or you’re about to travel somewhere.
Keys to good-smelling dreads:
- Wash your locks with good residue-free shampoo once a week.
- Moisturize your dreads daily.
- Keep them clean under a scarf when cooking.
- Drink enough water to keep them healthy.
Are Dreads Bad For Your Hair?
They say, one will never be able to get back to the initial hair look once he or she gets dreads. Have you heard about this? As a matter of fact, dreads are anything but damaging. Moreover, they’re rather protective. If not dreads, women go for various creative coloring ideas, which destroys their hair. Consequently, they conceal the damaged hair with lots of products, which is a ton of chemicals that may not be good for your overall health. And when a person gets dreadlocks, the hair simply gets a break, not breakage.
Some women don’t get dreads as they’re afraid of hair loss. Actually, hair loss is the case only when:
- your roots are pulled too tightly;
- you’re using chemical dyes;
- the locks are too heavy;
- you over-maintain the dreads;
- you’re itching your scalp too much.
Can You Undo Dreadlocks? How To Remove Dreads?
While some people make their dreads parts of their lives, others take them rather than a phase. So now, we’re going to tell you how to remove dreads. Before you start searching for scissors, let us dispell one common myth: dreadlocks can be unlocked. Yes, you don’t need to cut them off. And here’s what you need to do:
Tools and products:
- a rattail comb
- several bottles of removing cream
- Since your hair is matted together, apply as much softening and moisturizing remover as your hair needs to get fully detangled.
- Cut off ½ of your dreads from the ends, and then soak your hair in the product.
- Then, go on to removing the dreadlocks, working with one at a time.
Remember to untangle and brush your hair before washing it. Otherwise, you will end up with a mess that will be extremely hard to fix yourself.
Keep in mind that this process takes more than just one day, and organize your routine so that you can dedicate yourself to your hair.
Now, when you know everything about dreads, let’s be honest: this hairstyle is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen! Of course, you should be brave enough to consider such hair changes, and that’s why so many girls give up without trying. If the only thing that stops you is that dreads are unvaried, there is nothing to be afraid of anymore. Forget all the stereotypes that you know about this hairstyle: it may appear different, it’s versatile and even feminine. And these are not just empty promises: we are ready to prove everything we say about dreads.
Are dreadlocks just matted hair?
Not anymore. Today, there are actually many special techniques to achieve dreads, from knotting to rolling. However, originally, dreadlocks would be created as a result of hair matting, as people did not have hair styling products and combs or brushes to take care of their thatches.
Will my hair grow back after dreadlocks?
If you take the right approach to locking your hair and do not wear the hairstyle overly long, then your mane will most likely get back to normal after you remove the dreads. Though, do not forget to look after your hair while it is locked, washing it not only regularly but also properly.
Can dreadlocks cause traction alopecia?
Unfortunately, any manipulations with hair that entail pulling it back may result in traction alopecia and dreadlocks are no exception. Because your hair follicles are strained repeatedly, the hair can be simply pulled out while the follicles themselves become damaged.
Hairstyles For Short Dreads
Short hair was never meant to have limitations, so here come the coolest dreadlock styles for short hair. We would like to give you some prompts to guess what type of haircut this part embraces, but it’s better to save your time and just tell you: the hairstyles you see in these pics are the stunning variations of bob. Surprised? Of course, you are!
No matter what hair color you choose, short dreads will adorn any shade. No wonder that now you want to know how to dread short hair by yourself, as these girls are so inspiring. But you should keep in mind that it’s quite a tough deal. If you are ready to freshen up your style with dreads, it’s better to find a hairstylist that can do that perfectly: you don’t want to spoil something, right?
Hairstyles For Medium Dreads
You don’t need to say goodbye to your favorite girly looks! No, not today, girl. Don’t you find medium hair length to be the most suitable for getting dreads? Not too short and not too long, quite a good compromise for those who are still afraid that they can lose something. No power in the world can break up you and your dreads. Once you give them a try, you will understand what we are talking about.
Just look at these female dreads hairstyles: can you say they’re not feminine? Yes, that’s what we needed to prove you. These ideas look so nice and fresh that we can’t wait for summer to come. Add some summer vibes to your style! The best thing you will like about your brand new hairstyle: there are tons of easy dreadlock styles. And these cute side-swept ideas are not an exception.
Hairstyles For Long DreadlocksCredit photo: instagram.com/annikhm
Never hesitate to show everyone what kind of person you are. Many girls dream about dreadlocks, but they afraid that society won’t accept such changes. If you feel that it’s something you need to make your life complete, just go and make awesome dreadlocks out of your long hair! Your long hair is actually the best base to get different hairstyles for dreads: loose dreads, updos, half updos and anything you may come up with is possible with your long hair. Yes, it’s time to appreciate it.
Look at how wonderful these girls flaunt with their dreadlocks, it’s so hard to take your eyes off, isn’t it? Don’t worry if you’re not sure that dreads can suit you as cool as they suit these girls: you can get yourself synthetic dreadlock extensions to decide whether this hairstyle is for you.
Updo Dreadlocks Hairstyles
First, she gets dreadlocks and then the is never the same. Every outfit she tries looks one of a kind, and every hairstyle she wears turns to trend. If this story is about you, you will love the way your dreads can take familiar updos to the next level.
Braided elements on the sides, colorful beads and ties are what can make your simple updo look like a brand new hairstyle. By the way, dreads do look great with a veil: another score for the versatility of dreadlocks.
Don’t wait for changes to happen, just make them happen! There’s nothing that can stop you if you really want to get this hairstyle, as nowadays black people with dreads are not the only dreads’ owners you can come across. Everyone who wants to have them is free to do that. So, what are you waiting for?
Dreadlocks Ponytail HairstyleCredit photo: instagram.com/encoreever
If you want to both keep your face open and show off your amazing dreads, ponytail will be there for you. Yes, simplicity is genius! Once you get yourself dreadlocks, you will never need to spend a lot of time to get your hair done: the only thing you need is a ribbon to gather all your hair together. What do you think about these dreadlock hairstyles pictures?
These girls know how enviable hairstyles look like. It can be a good idea for your daily look: a high ponytail is both stylish and comfortable. Nowadays most girls are indecisive, so those who are not sure if they won’t get tired of dreads usually opt for instant dreadlocks extensions. It’s a semi-permanent style that is good for those who want to try dreadlocks. So if you like the idea of a ponytail with dreads, you know what to do.
Half-Up Hairstyles For DreadlocksCredit photo: instagram.com/vstryaska
Girls who are looking for a happy medium between loose dreads and dread ponytails, we’ve found something you will definitely like. These updos are just magnets to people’s eyes. How about dying some of your locks? Layered half-updos with sky blue shades are totally inspiring. Sometimes we all need to add something colorful to our hair, a little experiment won’t hurt anybody.
Have a look at these dreadlocks hairstyles photos: dreads can make familiar hairstyles look unforgettable. Half-twist dreadlock updo is something that every girl with dreads should try. A little tip for those who are about to dye their locks: get yourself some tresses and paint them in any color you want so that you can take them off when you need and try something new.
Dread Bun HairstylesCredit photo: instagram.com/encoreever
There is nothing impossible about your dreads: you are free to get yourself any hairstyle you like. If you are fond of updos, you will like these dreadlocks pictures. Even though they are not something that people are used to seeing every day, they still can give a delicate girly look. There are some ways on how to make dreadlocks express your personality. It really depends on what look you want to create.
If you are about to show off your femininity, it’s better to opt for a neat bun with dreads and combine it with some girly dress or lovely tunic. And if you want to get yourself a sassy look: a messy dread bun with ripped clothes are essentials. Just set your style goals and then leave everything up to your dreads, they know how to get it on point.
Dreadlocks Hairstyles With AccessoriesCredit photo: instagram.com/dreadfullhippie
You got your dreads to adorn your hair, what do you have to adorn your dreads? Yes, this is the best thing about dreadlocks: you can let your imagination run wild and put any accessories in your hair. Whether you wear dreadlocks extensions on short hair or you flaunt with your own long dreads, there are many ways to embellish any your look.
We can’t have too much of flowers, right? There is always a place for them, you can even find it on your head. If you want to beautify your dreads with something more casual, opt for a stylish headband. Don’t forget about dreadlock beads: these tiny details can make your hair look unique.
Space Buns HairstyleCredit photo: instagram.com/dreadfullhippie
Remember the double space buns that have become super popular for their cute and easy-to-get appearance? Well, if you sport dreadlocks, you can take this easy and familiar hairstyle to a whole new level: you can twist the top dreads into buns, leaving the rest of the locks to fall on your chest or put all of your dreads into two full, spectacular buns. Yes, in this way, it won’t be just a-couple-of cute-buns hairdo.
Do you know how to make a simple fishtail braid turn into a breathtaking hairdo? With these pictures, the answer seems to be too obvious. Yes, getting dreads is a commitment. But look how unique all simple hairstyles look when they’re done with dreadlocks! P.S. multi-colored strands will make your braid even more outstanding.